I teacher mine told me that 买 could be use to buy/purchase but also to "to decide to buy", or "go shopping", other teacher told me the first one was wrong.

Who is right?

  • 2
    The first teacher is a woman, the second teacher is a man. ;) Apr 5, 2016 at 2:02
  • Without further context and explanation, the first one is wrong.
    – user4072
    Apr 5, 2016 at 3:17
  • "decide to buy" is 决定买, which means you just make a decision, but have not bought
    – gcd0318
    Apr 5, 2016 at 5:18
  • Probably the first teacher told you that because when you see 买到 in the future she'll remember you that 买 is the attempt to buy, while 买到 is buying indeed. Apr 5, 2016 at 19:12

2 Answers 2


买 means "to buy". But the phrase 买东西 means "to go shopping". You can use similar phrases like 买衣服, 买蔬菜 and so on to mean "shop for clothes / vegetables". You could say:

I went shopping, but the store was closed, so I didn't buy anything.

There could be a similar context where it means "decide to buy", but I haven't heard it used in that sense.

Your second teacher is right in that it normally does only mean "to buy".

  • Decide to buy: 买不买?买。
    – NS.X.
    Apr 6, 2016 at 9:11

 I am Chinese student. 买 could be use to buy/purchase but also to "to decide to buy", or "go shopping" 买and卖:buy and sell

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