To have, to exist 有 yǒu Grammar

有 is a useful and common word in Chinese. It has two main meanings, “to have” and “to exist.”

The sentence structure for “to have” is,

  • Subject + 有 + object
  • Subject + 沒有 + object

It means someone or something has (or does not have) something or someone.



车。(Tā yǒu chē.)

He has a car.

他们两个孩子。(Tāmen yǒu liǎng ge háizi.)

They have two children.

没有钱。(Wǒ méiyǒu qián.)

I do not have money.

女朋友吗?(Tā yǒu nǚ péngyǒu ma?)

Does he have a girlfriend?


The sentence structure for “to exist” is,

  • Location + 有 + object
  • Location + 沒有 + object

When we use 有 to say that something exists, typically a location replaces the subject.


我的学校很多学生。(Wǒ de xuéxiào yǒu hěnduō xuéshēng.)

There are many students in my school.

加州很多人。(Jiāzhōu yǒu hěnduō rén.)

There are a lot of people in California.

这个房子里没有人。(Zhège fángzi lǐ méiyǒu rén.)

There is no one in this house.

家里水果吗?(Jiā li yǒu shuǐguǒ ma?)

Is there any fruit at home?


Use the “can-do” list to check if you learned this grammar.

Can-do checklist:

⃞        I can understand when to use 有 yǒu.

⃞        I can place 有 yǒu correctly in a “to have” sentence.

⃞        I can place 有 yǒu correctly in a “to exist” sentence.

⃞        I can understand the meaning when people use 有 yǒu in a simple conversation.


Simplified Chinese Version


Traditional Chinese Version

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