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Use Chinese verbs “接” and “接到” to express “answer” and “receive”

answering and receiving in chinese, chinese words, learning chinese

The verbs 接 (jiē) and 接到 (jiēdào) are both used to talk about answering and receiving (e.g. with a telephone), but the way they work grammatically is different and they have different meanings.

动词"接 (jiē)"和"接到 (jiēdào)"都是用于谈论应答和接收(如电话),不过它们在语法使用上有些不同,意思也不一样。

 

The difference lies with 到 and the change it makes to the meaning of a verb. By comparing 接 and 接到, you'll get a gentle introduction into how 到 works and Chinese verbal complements in general.

不同之处在于和"到 (dào)"的搭配以及它改变的动词的意思。通过比较"接"和"接到",你会稍微了解 "到"的用法以及中文动词补足语。

 

接 (jiē): to answer

 

On its own, 接 means ‘to answer' or ‘to connect'. Originally 接 does mean ‘receive', but its meaning is not as complete as ‘receive' in English. The Chinese 接 is an action verb, and only describes the attempt. We don't know from 接 alone the result of the action.

单单"接"这个字本身就是"去应答 (to answer)"或"去接触 (to connect)"的意思。"接"的最初本意是"接受",但和英文里的"receive"又不完全对应。中文里的"接"是个行为动词,只用于描述"尝试、意图",单单一个"接",我们无从得知动作的结果是什么。

 

In the following examples, 接 is used in this way as a simple action verb:

如下的例子中,"接"就是这样的用法,只是一个简单的行为动词。

 

我要接个电话。

Wǒ yào jiē gè diànhuà.

I'm going to take a phone call.

 

请接一下电话。

Qǐng jiē yīxià diànhuà.

Please answer the phone.

 

没人接。

Méi rén jiē.

No-one's answering.

 

As you can see, whilst the action of answering or receiving a phone call is described, the result of the action isn't made totally clear.

可以看出,描述回应或接收电话的动作的时候,并未清楚给出动作的结果。

 

接 can also mean ‘receive' in the sense of meeting someone, especially at a particular time and place. Have a look at some examples:

"接"在会见他人的语境下也表示"receive"的意思,尤其是在有详细的时间和地点的情况下。看看一些例子:

 

你可以来机场接我吗?

Nǐ kěyǐ lái jīchǎng jiē wǒ ma?

Can you come to the airport and meet me?

 

不用接我。

Bùyòng jiē wǒ.

There's no need to come and meet me.

 

我没有去接他。

Wǒ méiyǒu qù jiē tā.

I didn't go to meet him.

 

Notice how the action itself is described, but the actual result of the action isn't specified. The last sentence might seem like it does describe the result of 接, but look closer. It actually says that no attempt to 接 anyone was made, so there's no result.

注意例子描述了动作本身,但是动作的实际结果并没有给出说明。最后一个例句看似给了"接"这个动作的结果,不过要看清楚点,它实际上只是说"接人"这个尝试动作并没有发生,所以也是没有给出结果。

 

To specify the result of what happens when you try to 接 something or someone, you need 到.

要想说明你去接某物或某人时发生的结果,则需要搭配"到"这个字。

 

接到 (jiēdào): to receive

 

When you add 到 after 接, you make it clear that the action was achieved or completed. You may know that 到 means ‘arrive', and this sort of makes sense here: our action of trying to 接 "arrived" at its target destination.

当你在"接"后面用上"到"的时候,你是清楚指出动作已经达到或完成。或许你已经知道"到"的意思是"arrive",而这样的意思在这里是讲得通的:我们"接"的动作已达到它的目的地了。

 

Many verbs in Chinese work in this way; on their own they don't specify the result, but adding 到 (or one of a range of other result complements) makes the action complete.

许多中文的动词都有这样的用法,它们本身并不能说明结果,但是搭配"到"(或其他结果补语)之后便可以表明动作完成。

 

Have a look at some examples with 接到:

看看一些使用"接到"的例子:

 

我们还能接到他们吗?

Wǒmen hái néng jiē dào tāmen ma?

We will still be able to meet them?

 

你接到电话了吗?

Nǐ jiē dào diànhuàle ma?

Did you manage to answer the phone?

 

我没有接到电话。

Wǒ méiyǒu jiē dào diànhuà.

I didn't manage to answer the phone.

 

我在机场没有接到他。

Wǒ zài jīchǎng méiyǒu jiē dào tā.

I didn't manage to meet him at the airport.

 

我在火车站接到他了。

Wǒ zài huǒchē zhàn jiē dào tāle.

I managed to meet him at the train station.

 

The examples have been translated into English with ‘manage to'. This is a little unwieldy, but makes the meaning of 接到 clearer.

这些例子在英文里翻译成了"manage to"。其实这样翻译不是很地道,但是可以让"接到"的含义表达得更清楚。

 

Finally some examples directly comparing 接 with 接到:

最后比较一下直接使用"接"和"接到"的例子:

 

我没有接到电话。

Wǒ méiyǒu jiē dào diànhuà.

I didn't answer the phone [because I was unable to (因为我没有成功做到)].

 

我没有接电话。

Wǒ méiyǒu jiē diànhuà.

I didn't answer the phone [because I didn't try to (因为我没有尝试去接电话)].

2016-06-22

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