Does anybody know what is the rule for using 给 (gěi) or 给 (jǐ)?

I’m a HSK level 4 student and only now I’ve met “jǐ” in a sentence:


At first I read 给 as “gěi” but both the book and google translate have the pinyin as “jǐ”.

I haven’t found anything online that remotely touches this subject.

  • 补给 (BuJi)给予 (JiYu), 给 (Gei), 送给 (SongGei)
    – user27172
    Dec 15, 2021 at 14:01
  • I pronounce "Gei" for this case because it is immediately followed by 自 which has a similar sound.
    – r13
    Dec 15, 2021 at 14:08
  • My impression is that it is pronounced only in a few instances, as in 給予 or 供給. Otherwise, I would pronounce it as gěi. I also think from a descriptive perspective, people say gěiyǔ for 給予 more than they used to.
    – Brian Tung
    Dec 17, 2021 at 4:15

3 Answers 3


I could be wrong, but IMO:

给 (gěi), when it is used as a verb, such as "to give", "to allow"; and when it is as a preposition, "to" or "for", or the phrase "for the benefit of; on behalf of (替)"

给 (jǐ), when used in a compound word, such as "補给", "给予", "自给自足".


The 给 can be replaced by "替", or translated as "for". So, the pronunciation is "gěi". Note, if the word "予" is added after 给, then "给予" is pronounced as "jǐ yǔ".



In the above sentence, as in the sentence 给自己找麻烦, the pronunciation of 给 is gěi.

We all love Google Translate, but it cannot be trusted blindly. Anyway, while it indicates jǐ as the pinyin of 给, if you click and listen to its pronunciation, you will notice that it is gěi.


If you check 漢典, compiled in mainland China and also includes entries in 國語詞典, compiled in Taiwan, you'll find that the the same character pronounces differently in the two places. For example, 給 in 供給 is pronounced as gěi ㄍㄟˇ in mainland China but jǐ ㄐㄧˇ in Taiwan.

According to 漢典, it seems 給 in the sentence "有的时侯这只猴子给自己和其他人找了很多的大麻烦!" should be pronounced as jǐ ㄐㄧˇ in China as exemplified by this sentence “行李鋪蓋也叫他們給你送出來。(介詞 3)” although I always pronounce it as gěi ㄍㄟˇ. In fact, in all the eight examples where 給 is pronounced as jǐ ㄐㄧˇ, I always pronounce them as gěi ㄍㄟˇ.

============= the following is from 漢典, mainland China ============
● 給

gěi ㄍㄟˇ

1. 豐足;充裕。《説文•糸部》:“給,相足也。”《玉篇•糸部》:“給,足也。”
2. 供給;供應。《玉篇•糸部》:“給,供也。”《廣韻•緝韻》:“給,供給。”
3. 供事;服役。《史記•絳侯周勃世家》:“(勃)常為人吹簫給喪事。”又“給事中”的簡稱。《資治通鑑•唐代宗大曆三年》:“自給、舍以上及方鎮除拜,軍國大事皆與之議。”
4. 連及。《國語•晋語一》:“誡莫如豫,豫而後給。”
5. 給予;賜予。《吕氏春秋•權勳》:“若殘豎子之類,惡能給若金!”又指給養;俸祿。晋孔愉《重表讓禀賜》:“而偷安高位,横受寵給,無德而禄,殃必及之。”
6. 敏捷。《莊子•徐无鬼》:“王射之敏給。”
7. 口齒伶俐。《論語•公冶長》:“禦人以口給,屢憎於人。”
8. 姓。《廣韻•緝韻》:“給,姓。出《姓苑》。”
9. 恭而不中禮。《禮記•仲尼燕居》:“敬而不中禮謂之野,恭而不中禮謂之給,勇而不中禮謂之逆。”

● 給

jǐ ㄐㄧˇ

1. 使對方得到或遭受到。《後漢書•章帝紀》:“其悉以賦貧民,給與糧種,務盡地力,勿令游手。”
2. 叫,讓。如:飯管飽,酒可是不給喝;這本書你到底給看不給看。
3. 介詞。表示物件、目的,相當於“為”、“替”。《二十年目睹之怪現狀》第十七回:“行李鋪蓋也叫他們給你送出來。”
4. 介詞。引進動作行為的主動者,或表示被動語態,相當於“被”。如:這兒給弄得亂七八糟;這事給你弄壞了。
5. 介詞。表示方向,相當於“朝”、“向”、“對”。如:給老師行禮;給新郎新娘道喜。
6. 助詞。用於主動句。如:風把門給吹開了;您給找個人。
7. 助詞。用於被動句。如:小車給修好了。
8. 語氣詞。表示命令語氣。如:你給我滾!你給我把地掃乾淨!

● 給

xiá ㄒ〡ㄚˊ


============= the following is from 國語詞典, Taiwan ============
給 jǐ ㄐㄧˇ 名

1. 軍公教人員的薪俸。如:「俸給」、「加給」。

2. 姓。秦、漢代時有給事中一職,後以給為姓。

1. 供應。如:「供給」、「補給」、「自給自足」。《戰國策·齊策三》:「孟嘗君使人給其食用,無使乏。」

2. 授與、賜予。如:「給假」。《宋史·卷二九六·張茂直傳》:「且給錢五萬,以助其裝。」

1. 富裕、豐足。《孟子·梁惠王下》:「春省耕而補不足,秋省斂而助不給。」

2. 敏捷。《漢書·卷六五·東方朔傳》:「上以朔口諧辭給,好作問之。」《新唐書·卷一九八·儒學傳上·顏師古傳》:「師古性敏給,明練治體。」

給 gěi ㄍㄟˇ 動

1. 交付。如:「我給他一本書。」

2. 用某種動作對待別人。如:「給他一個教訓。」、「再給他一次機會吧!」

1. 與。如:「送給」、「借給」、「留給」。

2. 替、為。如:「你給我拿些吃的!」

3. 向。如:「快給他道謝。」

4. 被。如:「大家都給他騙了。」

1. 加強語氣。如:「你給我閉嘴!」
  • Are not the citations from 漢典 inverted? Dec 16, 2021 at 7:56
  • @Giuseppe Maybe but I'm not the person to judge or challenge 漢典。
    – joehua
    Dec 16, 2021 at 9:25
  • Hi, the page can be found here. It's just a mistake. It becomes clear comparing the sections 基本解释 and 详细解释. I'm sure they will be grateful is someone lets them know. In the meantime, I would suggest you to modify your answer quoting from the section 详细解释. Dec 16, 2021 at 10:53

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