1。 能neng2 circumstance vs.会 hui4 skill 2. 认识ren4shi (people) vs. 知道zhi1dao4 (to know) Exception: 你对。。。有什么认识。 What do you know about...? 3. 和 he2 and. The main mistake with 和 is using it to connect phrases. English sentences like “I went to the cafe and ordered a coffee” can not be translated using 和. In those cases you actually do not need a connector at all. Linking nouns with 和 (he) 和 works exactly like “and” in English, sitting between the two nouns. Some examples of linking nouns with 和: 我和我的丈夫都是老师。 My husband and I are both teachers. 啤酒和葡萄酒我都喜欢喝。 I like drinking beer and wine. 这些书和衣服都是你的。 These books and clothes are all yours. There are some other words for connecting nouns that are also covered by “and” in English. 4. Linking nouns with 跟 (gen) 跟 is often translated as “with”, but actually it is interchangeable with 和 in most cases. It works in the same way, sitting between the two nouns it links: 我跟我朋友常常去酒吧。 My friends and I often go to the bar. 你跟我一样大。 You and me are the same age. 她跟她男朋友一起住。 She and her boyfriend live together. Notice how all of the above sentences could just as well be expressed using “with” in English. I used the slightly awkward versions using “and” just to illustrate that 跟 is actually very similar to 和. There are a number of different words for connecting verbs and phrases in Mandarin Chinese, all of which can be translated as “and”. Without a conjunction Quite often, it is possible to just not use any explicit word for “and” when linking phrases. This is usually quite a safe bet when speaking ━ just say the two phrases without any connector. Some examples: 我每天去咖啡店喝咖啡。 Everyday I go to the cafe and have coffee. 一个男人过来问我怎么了。 A man came over and asked if I was OK. 我开车去了城市买东西。 I drove to town and went shopping. If a sentence in English can be expressed using “to”, you can usually omit any kind of connector in Mandarin. Look at the examples above and notice how they all have some sense of purpose in the second phrase ━ “I go to the cafe to drink coffee”, etc. 5.然后 (ran2hou4) If you really want to use a conjunction, you can use 然后. This means “and then”, and makes the sequence clear. Some examples: 然后呢？ And then? 我想先休息一下然后去学校。 I would like to rest a bit first and then go to school. 6. 也 (ye3_) 也 is a common connector for verbs and phrases in Mandarin, and is often used to link two phrases that share the same subject. If you’re talking about one person doing two things, 也 is a safe bet to link the two phrases together. 也 is literally “also” or “too”, but a more convenient way to think of it might be “and also”. This makes it easy to use to express “and”. Some examples: 我吃了炒饭，也喝了啤酒。 我吃了炒饭， ye3he1le pi2jiu3. I ate fried rice and drank some beer. 我们很想你，也非常期待你在这里。 We miss you and are really looking forward to you being here. 他喜欢唱歌，也喜欢跳舞。 He likes singing and dancing. 我们要去北京，也要去上海。 We want to go to Beijing and Shanghai. Notice how 也 introduces a new phrase, but keeps the same subject. The verb is often the same as well, in which case it must be repeated. 也 can link phrases with different verbs though, as in the first two examples. 7. 还有 (hai2you3) 还有 is a very versatile word and has a lot uses besides expressing “and” in Mandarin. It can be used to tack on extra information to the end of a sentence. Some examples: 他买了蔬菜，还有一些水果。 He bought vegetables and some fruit. 我很累，还有点心烦。xin1fan2 I'm tired and a bit grumpy. The “furthermore” conjunctions The following words can also express what would be “and” in English. They’re all used to link verbs or phrases, and have the sense of “furthermore” or “as well as”. The most common way to link adjectives to nouns is with 很. This is often described as meaning “very”, but its main function in this case is just to sit between the noun and adjective. “她很高” can just be translated as “she’s tall”. 8. 没有 + 了 没有 is used to negate past actions, and 了 is used to mark completed actions. 了 grammar is confusing, so it’s easy to mistakenly think that 了 is about the past tense. 了 just can’t be used with 没有 when it’s a negating a past action. 了 and results Once you’ve got 了 straightened out as a completed-action marker, there are further pitfalls waiting for you. A lot of learners assume that phrases like “我来了” and “我回家了” mean “I’ve arrived” and “I’ve come home”. They actually mean “I’m on my way” and “I’m going home”. This is because the 了 in these sentences is sentence 了, not aspect 了. Aspect 了 is the one that marks completed actions, whilst sentence 了 is for ‘status updates’. It introduces a new situation. To say that you have arrived, you need to use the actual word “arrive”: 到. You then get “我到了” and “我回到家了”. 9. Positive-negative inversion + 吗 Two common ways to form questions in Mandarin are positive-negative inversion, and adding 吗. After learning both, you can easily slip into putting both into one sentence, which is usually incorrect. With positive negative inversion you form a question by adding a negative form of the verb right after it. Some examples: 10. 你是不是日本人？ Are you Japanese? 他有没有签证？ Does he have a visa? And forming questions with 吗 is famously easy: you just stick it on the end of a statement.