The Verbs “Like” and “Love”: 喜欢 (xǐ huān) & 爱 (ài)

As the saying goes, “To each his own”. This mean the things we like and love vary a lot. Fortunately, though, the way to express our likes and dislikes in Chinese is quite similar to English. Of course, each language has its own way to express it.

In Chinese, we use the verbs 喜欢 (xǐ huān) and 爱 (ài) to talk about what we like and what we love, whether it be objects, people or activities. Also, as we do in English, to add a certain emphasis, this is, to say that you “really” like or love something, we add and adverb before the verb. These can be: 很 (hěn) or 非常 (fēi chánɡ).

“To like” (喜欢; xǐ huān) + object

  • I like ice-cream.
    喜欢冰淇淋。(Wǒ xǐhuān bīngqílín).
  • My grandma likes Spring.
    我祖母喜欢春天。(Wǒ zǔmǔ xǐhuān chūntiān).
  • We like the caribbean beaches.
    我们喜欢加勒比海滩。(Wǒmen xǐhuān Jiālèbǐ hǎitān).

喜欢 (xǐ huān) + verb + object

  • I like to eat ice-cream.
    喜欢吃冰淇淋。(Wǒ xǐhuān chī bīngqílín.)
  • My grandma likes to buy flowers.
    我祖母喜欢买花。(Wǒ zǔmǔ xǐhuān mǎi huā.)
  • We like to travel to the Caribbean Islands.
    我们喜欢去加勒比群岛旅行。(Wǒmen xǐhuān qù jiālèbǐ qúndǎo lǚxíng).

Degree adverbs 很 (hěn) and 非常 (fēicháng)

  • I like ice-cream a lot.
    非常喜欢冰淇淋。(Wǒ fēicháng xǐhuān bīngqílín.)
  • My grandma likes Spring a lot.
    我祖母很喜欢春天。(Wǒ zǔmǔ hěn xǐhuān chūntiān.)
  • We like the Caribbean Sea very much.
    我们很喜欢加勒比海。(Wǒmen hěn xǐhuān jiālèbǐ hǎi.)

And if you want to emphasize even more how much you like something, you can say: “我真的很喜欢…” (Wǒ zhēn de hěn xǐhuān… ). It’s like saying “really / truly…”, etc.

  • Eating ice-cream fascinates me.
    真的很喜欢吃冰淇淋。(Wǒ zhēn de hěn xǐhuān chī bīngqílín.)
  • Grandma truly likes Spring.
    祖母真的很喜欢春天。(Zǔmǔ zhēn de hěn xǐhuān chūntiān.)
  • We really like the Caribbean Sea.
    我们真的很喜欢加勒比海。(Wǒmen zhēn de hěn xǐhuān jiālèbǐ hǎi.)

The verb “to love” (爱; ài)

Bebé con su mamá
  • Mothers love their chilndren.
    母亲他们的孩子。(Mǔqīn ài tāmen de háizi.)
  • She loves to watch movies.
    看电影。(Tā ài kàn diànyǐng.)
  • I love you.
    你。(Wǒ ài nǐ.)

Negative sentences and questions

To express what we don’t like, we use 不 (bù) before the verb.

  • I don’t like ice-cream.
    不喜欢冰淇淋。(Wǒ bù xǐhuān bīngqílín).
  • I don’t like to eat ice-cream. (w/verb)
    不喜欢吃冰淇淋。(Wǒ bù xǐhuān chī bīngqílín.)
  • I don’t like to eat ice-cream at all.
    不喜欢吃冰淇淋。(Wǒ hěn de bù xǐhuān chī bīngqílín.)

Finalmente, for questions we use the particle 吗 (ma):

  • Do you like to study Chinese?
    喜欢学中文吗? xǐhuān xué zhōngwén ma?

Hopefully you do! If you’d like to learn more about how to read Chinese characters, this article about Pinyin will help you a lot.

In our academy of Asian languages, Hanyu Chinese School, we offer everything you need to study this fascinating language. Contact us to find out about our individual, tailor-made plans. If you want to make it more fun, get your friends to study together.

You can also find us on social media. And if you fear you don’t have time to do it, try our On-the-go course. We look forward meeting you!

.

Leave a comment