How to Express Where Are You or Where Something Is Located in Mandarin Chinese
Last lesson I was writing about how to say to be in Mandarin as expression of to be someone or something. This lesson I will focus on an expression of place or location. For this, you will always use the word:
在 – zài —- this has many uses like:
- exists, be alive
- be at, in or on
- depend on, rest with
- lie in, consist in
- join or belong an organization
- be on the job
- prepositions: at, in, on — when talking about place or time
But now I want to focus on the main meaning, which is to express location. Here are some sentences that you should remember, so you will get used to the meaning without thinking about it.
他在。 — Tā zài. — He is (somewhere located)
他在中国。 — Tā zài zhōngguó. — He is in China.
她在工作。 — Tā zài gōngzuò. — She is at work.
你在哪里? — Nǐ zài nǎlǐ? — Where are you?
我在这里。 — Wǒ zài zhèlǐ. — I am here.
How to say that something or somebody is not somewhere in Mandarin?
Basically to create negative sentence, you will need to add the word “not – 不” in front of this 在 word. Exactly the same as when creating the negation of the verb “to be – 是”.
So it will be: 不在 – bùzài
Here are example sentences:
我不在北京。 — Wǒ bùzài běijīng. — I am not in Beijing.
我的父母不在家。 — Wǒ de fùmǔ bù zàijiā. — My parents are not at home.
你的钢笔在桌子上。 — Nǐ de gāngbǐ zài zhuōzi shàng. — Your pen is on the table.
To expand on the knowledge, you can watch this video below, that will teach you one of the use of the word 在 when you want to ask or explain where do you live.
Of course, by learning more step-by-step Mandarin Chinese online, you can achieve more consistent language learning improvements. Also I recomend to start talking to native Chinese speakers as soon as possible. The best option for talking to native speakers is iTalki. Check it out and see how many Chinese friends you can make or you can even select personal Mandarin tutor that is cheaper than any local classes.