Chinese Grammar - Use the Chinese character "mǎi" (Buy)

Updated: May 15


How to use the Chinese character "mǎi" (buy) in Mandarin

Learning Highlight


  • Learn how to use the Chinese character "mǎi" (buy) to indicate an action or intention to buy something in Mandarin Chinese.















“买. mǎi” is a verb, it means “to buy” or “to purchase”

The simple structure can be :

Subject + "买, mǎi" + object

For an example:

“我书, wǒ mǎi shū。” (I buy books.)

  • 我, wǒ” is a subject, means I.

  • 买, mǎi” means to buy.

  • 书, shū” are books.

So, combine them, “我买书, wǒ mǎi shū” means “I buy books”.

Let see more examples:


我们苹果

wǒ men mǎi píng guǒ。

We buy apples.

彼得电脑

bǐ dé mǎi diàn nǎo。

Peter buys computer.

Its negative form is “不买, bù mǎi”

  • 不, bù” means no or not.

  • 不买, bù mǎi” means “do not buy”.

For examples:


不买书。

bù mǎi shū。

I don’t buy books.


我们不买苹果。

wǒ men bù mǎi píng guǒ

We don’t buy apples.


彼得不买电脑

bǐ dé bù mǎi diàn nǎo

Peter doesn’t buy computer.

If you want to express “already bought”, we use "买了, mǎi le",

  • "了, le" has the meaning of completion.

  • "买了, mǎi le" means you have already bought.

The simple structure can be:

Subject +买了, mǎi le” + object.

For examples:


买了苹果。

mǎi le píng guǒ

I have bought apples.


买了衣服

mǎi le yī fu

I have bought clothes.

Its negative form is "没买, méi mǎi”

  • 买, méi” means ‘no” or “not”.

  • 没买, méi mǎi” means “haven’t bought”.

For examples:


没买苹果。

méi mǎi píng guǒ

I haven’t bought apples.


没买衣服。

méi mǎi yī fu I haven’t bought clothes.

Next, if you want to express "an intention to buy" in Mandarin. We use ”要买, yào mǎi”

"要, yào " has the meaning of "an intention to do".

要买, yào mǎi” meaning is “intend to buy”.

For examples:


要买苹果

yào mǎi píng guǒ 。

I want to buy apples.


要买

yào mǎi shū

I want to buy books.

Its negative form is “不要买, bú yào mǎi".


For examples:


不要买苹果。

bú yào mǎi píng guǒ

I don’t want to buy apples.


不要买书。

wǒ bú yào mǎi shū

I don’t want to buy books.



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