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Negation in Mandarin 不 (bù) versus 没 (méi)

I have noticed that 不 (bù) and 没 (méi) are both used for negation; also, they do not seem to be interchangeable usually.

Here is a decent looking list that I have found describing the uses of 不 (bù) and 没 (méi):

- 1. 不 (bù) Negates in the Present and Future

- 2. 不 (bù) Negates Habitual Actions

- 3. 不 (bù) Is Normally Used with Adjectives

- 4. 不 (bù) Is for Asking Questions

- 5. 没 (méi) Negates Past Actions

- 6. Only 没 (méi) Negates 有 (yǒu)

- 7. 没 (méi) Is for Making Comparisons

- 8. 不 (bù) Is Used Almost Exclusively with Certain Verbs

This website elaborates more on this list. https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/Comparing_%22bu%22_and_%22mei%22

November 4, 2017



mei you means don't have, so use it in that context primarily


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