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  5. Why is 送 separated from 给?


Why is 送 separated from 给?

Can someone explain of how do you use 送给 in 我们应该送什么礼物给她? Why is 送 separated from 给? Why isn't it 我们应该送给她什么礼物??


March 28, 2018



I am only answering in case no one else does. Note that I am not 100% sure.

I believe in this context that 给 can mean strictly "to".

[Source: https://www.yellowbridge.com/chinese/dictionary.php]


The usage of 送给 is similar to some English verbs that contain multiple space-separated words like strike out (as in he struck the ball out of the park).

Another example: take a bath / 洗澡

  • I’m going to take a hot bath.
  • 我要去個熱水。 (literally: I need go wash a hot water bath)

These kinds of verbs are pretty common in Chinese.


Many Chinese verbs can be separated in a similar manner, for instance: 说话, 读书 and 睡觉. 我说了一个小时的话,而我的儿子没有听到。 我想读三本书。 我每天睡8个小时的觉.。 This method is often used.


When I learned it growing up, 送 is more like sending something in the mail. 给 is more like giving something in person.


送 and 给 both mean to give, however 送 has the connotation of it being a gift with the sense of "giving", whereas 给 is just simply the act of giving something.


送 would be like giving your sister a gift, with a strong sense of "giving". If you went out and bought a book or you had a book that you would really wanted to give to your sister, you would use 送 .

给 would be like your brother asking you to give your sister a book that he found in the house. There is no sense of giving, rather you are just literally and physically giving your sister the book.


From what I learned in my mandarin class, 送 is a verb that means a usually free gift while 给 is a preposition that mark the recipient of an act or event (like 'for' and 'to' in Englsih. As a Chinese preposition, 给 can also function as a verb.

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