Below are just 2 example sentences for the general format '[phrase]地给[noun][verb][phrase]'.

  1. 他十分坦率地给我讲了他的故事.
  2. 他很不情愿地给了我帮助.

This type of sentence is very common in Chinese. I would like to know if, generally speaking, it is acceptable in Chinese to replace '给' with '替' or '为'. If you are Chinese, would you find that acceptable in most, if not all, cases?

  • Dear Thomas, if you are going to edit English, you should first know what is right and what is wrong. "This type of sentences is very common in Chinese." is wrong. "This type of sentence is very common in Chinese." is right. If you are not sure, leave it alone, until your English improves, or you will make yourself look silly! We don't want that, do we?
    – Pedroski
    May 10, 2015 at 3:15
  • 1
    some users feel that if anybody is "making themselves look silly" it is the author of lectures like the above 有用户觉得,如果有谁"让自己看起来是愚蠢的话"就是写作上面这样教训的用户。
    – user6065
    May 10, 2015 at 4:14
  • Reechen, alter Freund, du lebst noch? Immer noch so freundlich gesinnt, mir gegenüber? Mann, ich könnt' dich knutschen! You still can't use the first person, but maybe your English is better than Thomaschen!
    – Pedroski
    May 10, 2015 at 5:24
  • 1
    编辑,请您劝告这位用户不允许随心所欲地更改其他用户的名字。 Editor:please remind user not to take liberties with other users' names
    – user6065
    May 10, 2015 at 16:36
  • 3
    Woah, come on people, be nice. @ThomasHsieh, sorry, the original was correct: there is just one type of sentence there, even though there is more than one sentence. Does that make sense? This means it should be singular, not plural (if it said "These sentences are very common in Chinese," then plural applies, since there are multiple sentences there.) Pedroski, people edit to improve the question, not to slight you. Don't forget your manners.
    – Ming
    May 12, 2015 at 1:15

6 Answers 6


No. The words have different meanings.

Let's look at your first sentence: 他十分坦率地[给]我讲了他的故事 : He openly told me his story.

If we were to replace 给 with 替: 他十分坦率地[替]我讲了他的故事: He openly told his story for me (implying that I was supposed to be the one telling the story).

If we were to replace 给 with 为: 他十分坦率地[为]我讲了他的故事: He openly told his story to me for my sake.

In general I'm not too sure how you got the idea that they are interchangeable.

  • Someone said I could replace 给 with 替 or 为 in these kinds of sentences, as they both also have a meaning 'for'. I would like to know if this is generally possible, not just in a specific sentence. Personally, I don't think so, but I am not Chinese. I don't think the person who said that is Chinese either.
    – Pedroski
    May 10, 2015 at 0:45
  • I'm pretty sure you can't. 给 = to give, 替 = do instead of, 为 = do for
    – Ringil
    May 10, 2015 at 1:10
  • It's not difficult to come up with sentences where either 替 or 為 are translated as "for," so I can understand how the confusion arises, but they still mean distinctly different things.
    – Brian Tung
    May 11, 2015 at 19:41

Grammar only:

In the case, "他十分坦率地给我讲了他的故事". We can trim it, then we have "他给我讲故事". You see it ends with "讲故事" (vt+noun). You can also change the order: "他讲故事给我" to make it "vt+noun to someone".

他很不情愿地给了我帮助 can be trimmed as "他给我帮助". You see it ends with "帮助" (noun). It is the object of 给 and 给 is vt.

In case 1, if you replace 给 with 替 or 为, then the grammar is OK but the meaning may be changed. Using 为 is OK because you change "to someone" to "for someone". But if you use 替 here, the meaning is changed to "instead of someone".

In case 2, you cannot replace "给" with other characters since normally if you changed vt, you changed the meaning.

  • In "他十分坦率地给我讲了他的故事" does the author mean '十分坦率地给' or '十分坦率地讲‘? On what basis can we decide?
    – Pedroski
    May 22, 2015 at 22:51
  • @Pedroski the author means "十分坦率地讲" in this case. I didn't remove 给我 in trimming since it is a part of the discussion. If you trim everything, you end up with "他讲故事". So if you are not sure, you can try to trim everything and then start from there.
    – FortCpp
    May 24, 2015 at 23:11

I hope this can give you a tiny help. ( how to use color-level layout?)

No, They can't be replaced.

xxx地(openly) It is a phrase of adverb. 给(verb) literally means give, for XXX In This Case: 他十分坦率地"给"我讲了他的故事. He openly/honestly told his story for me.

If it replaces 替: the meaning will be different. 替 includes subbing meaning, as preposition can be used as same as 为,给. doing sth for somebody 替我倒一杯茶。to pour a cup of tea for me. In Your Case: 他十分坦率地"替"我讲了他的故事.here should be verb, He honestly subbed me to telling his story.

If It replaces 为: It usually will mean for..., to.... original: in order to. due to. etc. In Your Case: 他十分坦率地为我讲了他的故事. It makes sense that means He honestly told his story for me in my sake. 他很不情愿地为我帮助. It isn't coherent, but makes sense. He reluctantly did me a favor.

Some sentences: 她为我写了一封信。 She wrote a letter for me. 她替我去考试。 She subbed me to take a test (Verb). she took a test for me (preposition) 她给我一个吻。 She gave me a kiss. 她给我做菜。 She cooked up foods for me.

not all translations are for XXX in sentences. their meanings are similar. When you understand literally meaning you will make sense differently.

In general, According the context, you would easily understand which one is verb which one is preposition. when it is used for verb, it translates as original meaning. When it is used for preposition. it translates as doing sth for somebody.

Hope this helps.

  • If you tell 给 and 给我 apart, 她吻我,她给我一个吻。她给我吻我的母亲。She kissed me. She gave me a kiss as same as She gave a kiss for me. Latter is she kissed my mother for me. You see its difference? May 10, 2015 at 6:56
  • How to tell 替 and 替我 apart? 替我买东西,你替我去买东西。今天请替我逛商场。To go shopping for me. you sub me to go shopping. Today please sub me to windows shopping. Because Chinese are ambiguous. As I am Chinese I often confuse exactly meaning. So it is difficult for Foreigner learner. May 10, 2015 at 7:17
  • Sorry, can't follow that, but thanks for trying to explain it to me! Have an upvote! I'll read it again tomorrow, maybe I'll understand! That was the understatement of the the century: 'So it is difficult for Foreigner learner. '
    – Pedroski
    May 10, 2015 at 13:09
  • You are welcome! Excuse my English can't say it clearly, Let's think it simply, 给 sometimes is give, sometimes is for XXX, 替sometimes is subbing/in stead of, sometimes is for XXX. As I am Chinese, I am confused 替 in many cases too. For example 他替我照相,Is that meaning he takes photo of me or he takes place in me to take a photo? if any questions let me know. May 10, 2015 at 13:55

They are not interchangeable. The latter two have fairly narrow meanings in that kind of context: 替 means "on behalf of"; it could be translated as "for," but only in constructions where it clearly means "on behalf of," as in "He did my work for me."

為 wèi means "for the sake of"; again, it could be translated as "for," but only in constructions where it means "for the sake of," as in "She took care of the financial matters, for my peace of mind."

給, on the other hand, has a whole slew of meanings, only one of which is "for." More generally, it can be used simply to indicate the indirect object of a verb, especially (but not exclusively) when that object is the "recipient" of something. That is more or less the way it is used in your example sentence.


Sometimes, Yes. For your example, No.
给 can work as verb(give) or preposition(for/by)
他给了我帮助。(He give me some help)--your example 2.
他给我买了些吃的。(He buys some food for me)--your example 1.
他给狗咬了一口。(He is bitten by a dog)
It looks confusing?
A 给 B something: A give B something. Verb(give)
A 给 B do something. Preposition(for/by)
1.If A is doing, it's "for"
2.If B is doing, it's "by"

替 also has 2 meanings: "instead of" and "for"
It's highly depend on context.
A is celebrating his birthday, I brought some gift for A
B is celebrating his birthday, but A can't attend, I,instead of A, brought some gift.
Even for native speaker, it's hard to tell which meaning is used without context.

为 is much simpler-"for"
A is celebrating his birthday, I brought some gift for A

It's easy to understand your example 2 is using 给 as verb so the replacement is wrong.
for example 2, 给 and 为 can be interchanged, but 替 will cause ambiguity.

edit: like @Fortcpp mentioned
给 is more like "to"
为 is more like "for"
So there may be some different, slightly?


他十分坦率地给我讲了他的故事. Okay

他十分坦率地替我讲了他的故事. Okay

他十分坦率地為我讲了他的故事. Okay




when u are wondering 給 or 替 or 為, Choosing 給。 I come from China.Trust me:)

  • 没有来自中国的骗子吗?(笑话):-) 我trust你哦!
    – Pedroski
    May 28, 2015 at 2:04

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