How to say "with" in Chinese

Many elementary level students ask GoEast teachers: How can I say "with" in Chinese? For example:

I went to a bar with my friends yesterday.

Most teachers tell you to use "hé(和, and)". It's good enough for class but not perfect. Let's find out why. 

Generally speaking, students want to express "with" in these two situations:

  1. I went to a bar with my friends yesterday. (with someone)
  2. I can eat with chopsticks. (with a tool)

Here's the difference:

  • If you say "with someone" you should use gēn (跟, with)

I went to a bar with my friends yesterday. 

昨天我我的朋友去了酒吧。

Zuótiān wǒ gēn wǒ de péngyǒu qùle jiǔbā.

Please note that gēn should be immediately after the subject. It can't be at the end of a sentence like English.

  • If you say "with a tool" you should use "yòng (用, to use), not gēn (跟, with).

I can eat with chopsticks.

我会筷子吃饭。

Wǒ huì yòng kuàizi chīfàn.

For elementary level, this is all you need to know about "with".

Can you use "with" correctly? Here's a quiz to find out.

  1. I'll buy a lot of stuff with my boyfriend tomorrow.
  2. I don't want to work with him. I don't like him.
 

Correct Answer:

1. 我明天要跟我男朋友去买很多东西。

Wǒ míngtiān yào gēn wǒ nán péngyǒu qù mǎi hěnduō dōngxī.

2. 我不想跟他一起工作。我不喜欢他。

Wǒ bùxiǎng gēn tā yīqǐ gōngzuò. Wǒ bù xǐhuān tā.

 

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