Mandarin Chinese Basics – “To have” & Pets / Animals

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Dà jiā hǎo!  Huānyíng!  Huānyíng lái dào Mandarin in 2 minutes!

In this post I will be explaining how to use the verb “to have” and go through different pets and animals in Mandarin.

To have = 有 yǒu

To not have = 没有 méi yǒu (This is the only verb to NEVER take 不 bù in negation)

A note on measure words.  In English we say “I have a dog”.  There is no word for “a” in Mandarin, but instead we say “one unit of”.  The word “unit” will change depending on the noun in question.  They can be categorised by size, shape and dimension.  Here, I include different ones with the noun.  They are only used after the numbers, and the words for “this” and “that”.  If you forget the right one, you can always just use 个 gè and this will work with all nouns.

一只/条狗 yī zhī/tiáo gǒu = a dog (one unit of dog)

一只猫 yī zhī māo = a cat

一个老鼠 yī gè lǎo shǔ = a mouse

一条鱼 yī tiáo yú = a fish

一个大老鼠 yī gè dà lǎo shǔ = a rat

Ok, so here are some typical sentences:

你有宠物吗?nǐ yǒu chǒngwù ma? = Do you have a pet?

有,我有。。。。yǒu, wǒ yǒu… = Yes, I have…

没有,我没有宠物。méi yǒu, wǒ méi yǒu chǒngwù = No, I don’t have a pet.

但是我奖来想要。。。。dànshì wǒ jiǎnglái xiǎng yào。。。。 = But in the future I would like…

Some more animals:  (Just use 个 ge as a measure word if not otherwise stated)

一匹马 yī pī mǎ = horse

猪 zhū = pig

羊 yáng = lamb/sheep

蛇 shé = snake

鸟 niǎo = bird

乌龟 wū guī = turtle

狮子 shīzi = lion

老虎 lǎohǔ = tiger

熊 xióng = bear

牛 niú = cow

大象 dà xiàng = elephant

猴子 hóuzi = monkey

I hope that this satisfies some of your curiosities about animals and pets in Mandarin!

Thanks for reading!



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