1

What is the difference between 我给你讲 and 我跟你讲? These two phrases both seem to translate to I told you. But when would one be preferable to another?

Thanks

2

給 = Give/Let, 跟 = With/Together. When used with another verb together, "給" designate the "transceiver" / "receiver" of the verb, while with "跟", both party are the subjects.

The examples you chose is a indistinguishable case (there are probably a lot of them). Let me elaborate with something else:

  • 我給你吃飯 = I let you eat
  • 我跟你吃飯 = I eat with you
  • 你給我吃飯 = You let me eat
  • 你跟我吃飯 = You eat with me / You and I eat together
  • 我給你休息十分鐘 = I give you 10 minutes to rest
  • 我跟你休息十分鐘 = I rest for 10 minutes with you
  • 你跟我休息十分鐘 = You rest 10 minutes with me / You and I rest for 10 minutes together
  • 我給你看看 = I'll show you this / (I give you a look of this)
  • 我跟你看看 = Let's see this / (I look at this with you)

As for your examples, I guess we can distinguish them literally with:

  • 我給你講 = I give you a speech
  • 我跟你講 = I speak with you

However, the physical actions of these two are probably not distinguishable from each other.

  • 给我 is often used colloquially for rude commands or rude emphasis. For example, 你给我滚出去. = You, fucking get out of here. 你给我吃饭 = You, fucking eat the meal. – Victor Jul 1 at 0:26

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