Is there any difference between these two sentences:




Chinese grammar says we should put 不 in front of the preposition in these types of sentences... But I saw a lot examples when 不 goes after the preposition construction and goes exactly in front of the verbs. The same question regarding 没有, for example,


could we here say

我没有在商店买很多东西 or



  • 我给你不买: this is not a wrong. You can show us the examples you saw.
    – fefe
    May 17, 2020 at 15:04
  • 我给你不买 is wrong, Try 我不买给你
    – Tang Ho
    May 17, 2020 at 16:10
  • @fefe sorry, you are saying not wrong? Right?
    – user25207
    May 17, 2020 at 16:23
  • @fefe I saw the examples when 没有 goes after preposition : 我在日本没有住一个多月。
    – user25207
    May 17, 2020 at 16:24
  • @user25207 sorry. I'm saying 我给你不买 is wrong.
    – fefe
    May 17, 2020 at 16:31

1 Answer 1


First, 不 and 没有 are different, please read What is the difference between 不 and 没?

The rule of 不 'in front of the preposition' doesn't always apply to 没有

As your examples indicated

Both "我在商店没有买很多东西" and "我没有在商店买很多东西" are valid sentences

As for 我给你不买 vs, 我不给你买: 我给你不买 doesn't follow the rule of '不 in front of the preposition' and therefore , is invalid

You can say 我不买电脑给你 or 我不给你买电脑 (both mean "I don't buy computer for you") , but not 我给你不买电脑.

  • In this case could I say 我给你没有卖东西?
    – user25207
    May 17, 2020 at 17:20
  • @user25207 给你 (for you) cannot be followed by negative, You can say "我在日本给你卖东西", "我在日本没有给你卖东西" or 我没有在日本给你卖东西, but you cannot say "我在日本给你没有卖东西"
    – Tang Ho
    May 17, 2020 at 17:24
  • In other context 给你 could mean "give you" e.g. "我在日本卖的东西没有[给你]" = "I didn't [give you] the things I bought in Japan "
    – Tang Ho
    May 17, 2020 at 17:37
  • Ok, here is the last question, I promise;) I understand with 在 we could place it before preposition or before the verb. With 给 we couldn’t. What about other verbs (so far 在 is also have verb meaning), like 用,坐 and etc. ex: 我不用手机发照片 or 我用手机不发照片,我坐车不去北京 or 我不坐车去北京。the same question regarding 没有,because it’s not only meaning negative form of existence, we use it when talk about complete actions, right?
    – user25207
    May 17, 2020 at 17:46
  • Just like 给 (for), 用 (use) can't be followed by negative neither. You can say "我用手机发照片" or "我不用手机发照片" but you can't say "我用手机不发照片" nor "我不用手机没有发照片". Same goes to 坐(ride). You cannot 'ride' something to 'not' go somewhere. You can only ride something to go somewhere.
    – Tang Ho
    May 17, 2020 at 17:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.