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In English, if I wanted to say: "Today I practiced Chinese with an employee" the other subject (employee) can properly come last in the sentence. Of course I can also say "Me and an employee practiced Chinese today.

However, my understanding in Chinese is that subjects typically appear in the beginning. So I would assume Chinese version is "今天我和一个员工练习中文." -- or something like that. Is this indeed true?

And which of these are most common to combine subjects? , , ,

Can someone help explain proper usage of speaking when multiple subjects appear in sentence?

2 Answers 2

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和 = 跟 = 与 = and/along with. 和 has the most uses; 跟 is used in causal conservation, and the use of 与 is rare, especially in speech, but in older literature, lyrics, or formal writing.

  • 今天我和/跟/与一个员工练习中文. - Today I practiced Chinese with an employee.

means "give; provide" - 今天我给员工們上了一課 (Today I gave/provide a lesson to the employees, or Today I taught the employees a lesson.)

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  • Ok this makes sense, however, I'm unaware of this usage of 上了 to mean teaching or providing. Can you explain a little further on this? I'm aware of 上班 to be a verb to Work, and 上学 to be the same for going to school, but seeing by itself threw me off. Thank you.
    – Adrift
    Jul 7, 2023 at 19:08
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    It is topic specific. Wife (a teacher): "我要給學生去上課了" - I've to go teach (the students/class) now = I've to go to class (to teach) now. Me: "我要去上班了" - I've to go work now = I've to go to the office [to work] now. Son: "我要去上學/課了" = I'm going to school/class [to learn] now. The words in [ ] are redundant but represent the actions depending on the status of the speaker. Teacher - to teach; Worker - to work; Student - [to the place to learn/be taught]. 了 means you did that (in the past); the action is completed (taught vs teach)..
    – r13
    Jul 7, 2023 at 19:44
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Change employee for him to make life easier.

Today I practised Chinese with him.
今天我和他一起练习汉语。

Colloquial: Me and him practised Chinese together today.
Him and I practised Chinese together today.

But you probably wouldn't say:

*Me practised Chinese today.
*Him practised Chinese today.

Prepositional phrases are often called complements in Western Grammar. Complements add information. Complements may be omitted. In my opinion [和他一起] is just that, information about the practise.

今天我练习汉语。
今天我[和他一起]练习汉语。
今天他[和我一起]练习汉语。

I suppose, below, you could call "我和他" a double subject, but then, if they are both the subject, who did they meet?

我和他见面。

Extend that: 我和他是在90年代遇见的。

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