B. Verbs of motion taking a simple directional complement
Verbs of motion such as shàng上, xià下, jìn进, chū出, huí回, guò过, and qǐ起 frequently take lái来 and qù去 as complements. Table 1 below shows lái 来and qù去 suffixed to verbs of motion to show whether the movement is toward the speaker or away from the speaker. In English, the direction of an action is usually indicated by the verbs ‘come’ and ‘go’, which are represented respectively by the verbs ‘lái来’ and ‘qù去’ in Chinese. Note that as complements lái and qù have neutral tone when they are attached to verbs except for the verb dào到.
Table 1. Simple Directional Complements
verbs of motion
action proceeding toward the speaker
dào ... lái
到 ... 来
action moving away
from where the speaker is
dào ... qù
到 ... 去
The examples below show how these compounds are used in sentences:
1.1 shànglai上来(to come up)
Wǒ zài lóushàng, qǐng nǐ shànglai.
I’m upstairs. Please come up.
1.2 shàngqu上去(to go up)
Note: Both the speaker and the listener are at the foot of the hill.
Tīngshuō shān-shang fēngjǐng hěn měi. Nǐ xiǎng bù xiǎng shàngqu kàn kan.
I heard that the view on the top of the mountain was beautiful. Would you like to go up to take a look?
2.1 xiàlai下来(to come down)
Note: The speaker and the listener are downstairs. The speaker tells the listener that he is going upstairs.
lóushàng. Wǒ qù jiào tā xiàlai.
He’s upstairs. I’ll go to tell him to come down.
2.2 xiàqu下去(to go down)
Note: The speaker and the listener are upstairs. The speaker asks the listener to go downstairs.
Lóuxià yǒu rén jiào mén. Nǐ xiàqu kàn kan shì shéi.
Someone is knocking on the door. Go down to see who it is.
3.1 jìnlai进来(to come in)
Note: The speaker is inside the house asking the listener to come inside.
lěng, nǐ kuài jìnlai
It’s so cold outside. Quickly come in.
3.2 jìnqu进去(to go in)
Note: Both the speaker and the listener are outside the house.
Tiānqi tài lěng le. Wǒmen kuài jìnqu ba.
It’s too cold. Let’s quickly go in.
4.1 chūlai出来(to come out)
Note: The speaker is outside the house. The listener is inside.
Fángzi-li tài rè le. Nǐ
kuài chūlai ba.
It’s too hot in the house. Quickly come out.
4.2 chūqu出去(to go out)
Note: The speaker and the listener are inside the house.
hǎo! Wǒmen chūqu
zǒu zou ba.
The weather is really nice! Let’s go out and take a walk.
5.1 huílai回来(to come back)
Note: The speaker and the listener are at the same place. The speaker is going to take a short trip. He tells the listener he’ll be back in the evening the next day.
Wǒ míngtiān wǎnshang huílai.
I’m coming back tomorrow.
5.2 huíqu回去(to go back)
Note: The speaker and the listener are in
Wǒ míngtiān huíqu.
I’m going back tomorrow.
6.1 guòlai过来(to come over)
Note: The speaker asks the listener to come over to where he is.
Guòlai shì shi zhèi jiàn
Come over here and try this sweater on.
6.2 guòqu过去(to go over)
Note: The speaker and the listener are not at the lake.
Tīngshuō nèibiān yǒu yí gè
xiǎo hú. Wǒmen guòqu kàn kan.
I heard there’s a small lake over there. Let’s go over there to take a look.
7.1 qǐlai起来(to rise, to get up)
Note: The speaker asks the listener to get out of bed.
Yǐjīng bā diǎn le. Kuài qǐlai
It’s already . Get up quickly.
8.1 dào + place + lái到 ...... 来(to come to)
Note: The speaker is in
Huānyíng nǐ dào
Welcome (you) to
8.2 dào + place + qù 到 ...... 去(to go to)
Note: The speaker is not in
Wǒ hěn xiǎng dào Fǎguó qù.
I very much want to go to