How to use 跟 (gēn) and 也 (yě) correctly in Chinese grammar
Some people learning Mandarin Chinese can get the words 跟 (gēn) and 也 (yě) confused, or use them incorrectly. The two words have related meanings and functions, but they’re used quite differently. Here’s a quick explanation of the differences between 跟 and 也.
跟 (gēn): “and”, “with” (conjunction)
跟 is a conjunction.
As with 和, you can’t use 跟 to link verbs or verb phrases. This is an important point, and using 跟 or 和 to link verbs is a common mistake that people learning Mandarin often make.
Always remember that you can only use 跟 to link nouns together. That is, it links things not actions.
Have a look at some example sentences for 跟:
As you can see, 跟 is simply used to link nouns together, where “with” or “and” might be used in English.
也 (yě): “also” (adverb)
也 is an adverb meaning “also”, “too”, “as well”, “either” etc. Unlike 跟, it links verbs, verb phrases and adjectives (remember that adjectives often behave like verbs in Chinese). That’s the most important difference between 跟 and 也:跟 links nouns, 也 links verbs.
Have a look at some example sentences for 也:
*A:* 我喜欢炒饭。I like fried rice. *B:* 我也喜欢。 I like it too.
Notice how 也 always links verbs or adjectives, and 跟 always links nouns.
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