The sentence 很高兴为您服务 (hen gaoxing wei nin fuwu) breaks down as:

hen  |gaoxing |wei |nin |fuwu
very |glad    |to  |you |serve

But the usual word order in chinese is Subject Verb Object, and here the object (you) precedes the verb (to serve). Why is it not hen gaoxing wei fuwu nin?

  • 为 completely changes the order, no?
    – Mou某
    Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 15:30
  • @user3306356 I can't read Chinese characters, I included them for the benefit of other people reading the question.
    – Jack M
    Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 15:32
  • 1
    You are misparsing the sentence. 为 wèi is not ‘to’ as a clause/infinitive marker. It is a true preposition: in Chinese you serve for someone; fúwù is intransitive. Adverbial units like preposition + object appear between subject and verb in Chinese, so the structure is “[I - wô] [wèi nín - for you] [fúwù - serve]”. Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 13:47
  • @JanusBahsJacquet Oh, I see. Thinking of "for you" as an adverb really helps me.
    – Jack M
    Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 14:22

2 Answers 2


The usual Verb-Object order depends a lot on the verb used in the sentence.

I don't see any unusual word order here. 服务 is a verb that requires preposition 为 to be used before an object. This verb is put after indirect object afterwards.

我_I (Subject) 很_very 高兴_happy 为_to 你_you (Indirect Object) 服务_serve (Action).

Similar case:

我_I (Subject) 很_very 高兴_happy 跟_with 你_you (Indirect Object) 结婚_marry (Action)
  • Do verbs with an indirect object always follow the pattern Preposition - Indirect Object - Verb? Or does it depend on the verb? Google translate just gives me wo chi ta for "I'm eating with him", instead of something like "I with him eat".
    – Jack M
    Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 15:46
  • 1
    Correct. I eat with him is 我 (和|跟) 他 吃饭, same word order as in the examples above because 吃饭 is a separable (intransitive) verb. You just need to learn this. Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 15:53
  • 2
    No, please go around saying wo chi ta!
    – Mou某
    Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 15:57
  • @Jack 我吃他 wô chī tā means “I eat him”. Don't trust Google Translate. Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 13:44
  • @Jack Forgot to address your question here. Actual indirect objects are preposition-free and come between the verb and the object: 我给你钱 wô gêi nî qián ‘I give you money’ (verbatim); 他偷我一本书 tā tōu wô yì bên shū ‘He stole a book from me’ (lit. ‘He steal me one [quantifier] book’). The object in your example is not really an indirect object, just a peripheral pronoun in a prepositional phrase. Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 22:16

我很高兴 + Clause is a common sentence structure. It means "I am glad that ... "

E.g. 我很高兴我能为您服务(wo hen gaoxing wo neng wei nin fuwu). I am glad that I can/could serve for you. It can be simplified as 很高兴为您服务(hen gaoxing wei nin fuwu).

More examples:

(我)很高兴您能来参加我们的婚礼。(wo) hen gaoxing nin neng lai can jia women de hunli. I am glad you are here to attend our wedding.

很高兴见到您。hen gaoxing jian dao nin. I am glad to see you.

很高兴看到你的进步。hen gaoxing kan dao nide jinbu. I am glad to see your progresses.

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