How to Use 一起 (yìqǐ) in Chinese: A Quick Guide

yiqi Chinese

The adverb 一起 (yìqǐ) is one of the most essential Chinese words to know. It means “together”. You can hear 一起 (yìqǐ) in many circumstances, such as when people give a suggestion or invitation. 一起 (yìqǐ) follows a different word order rule in Chinese from English. In this article, you’ll learn how to use 一起 (yìqǐ) properly.

Expressing Do Something Together

一起 (yìqǐ) is the easiest way to express an action being done together with other people. All you have to do is to put 一起 (yìqǐ) before the action.

Pattern

一起 (yìqǐ) + verb/verb phrase

In English, you would say “do something together”, in Chinese, however, you have to reverse the word order and say “together do something”. This is because adverbs in Chinese always go before the verb or verb phrase in a sentence. (一起 yìqǐ is an adverb of manner that defines how an action is performed.)

For instance,

We study Chinese together.

  • × 我们学习中文一起
    Wǒmen xuéxí zhōngwén yìqǐ.
    You can’t put “一起 (yìqǐ)” before the verb phrase ”学习中文 (xuéxí zhōngwén)”.
  •  我们一起学习中文。
    Wǒmen yìqǐ xuéxí zhōngwén.
    Literally: We together study Chinese.

Let’s look at some more examples:

  • 我们一起去。
    Wǒmen yìqǐ qù.
    We go together.
  • 他们俩一起上大学。
    Tāmen liǎ yìqǐ shàng dàxué.
    They two attend university together.
  • 我们一起吃饭,一起喝酒。
    Wǒmen yìqǐ chīfàn , yìqǐ hējiǔ.
    We eat together, drink together.
  • 这两个人一起上了地铁。
    Zhè liǎng gè rén yìqǐ shàng le dìtiě.
    These two guys got on the metro together.
  • 小张和他的女友一起旅游。
    Xiǎo Zhāng hé tā de nǚyǒu yìqǐ lǚyóu.
    Xiao Zhang and his girlfriend travel together.
Xiao Zhang and his girlfriend travel together

Expressing Together with Somebody

If you want to express that you are doing something together with somebody, you can simply add “和 (hé) sb” – meaning “with sb” before 一起 (yìqǐ). It would thus be “with sb together do something”, literally.

Pattern

和 (hé) sb + 一起 (yìqǐ) + verb/verb phrase

Examples:

  • 我和你一起去超市。
    Wǒ hé nǐ yìqǐ qù chāoshì.
    I’ll go to the supermarket together with you.
  • 我和我的闺蜜一起结婚, 一起生子。
    Wǒ hé wǒ de guīmì yìqǐ jiéhūn , yìqǐ shēngzǐ.
    I got married, and delivered a baby together with my bestie.
  • 你要不要和我们一起待在这里?
    Nǐ yào bu yào hé wǒmen yìqǐ dāi zài zhèli?
    Do you want to stay here together with us?
  • 你愿意和他们一起走吗?
    Nǐ yuànyì hé tāmen yìqǐ zǒu ma?
    Are you willing to leave together with them?
  • 你想和梅西一起踢球吗?
    Nǐ xiǎng hé méixī yìqǐ tī qiú ma?
    Do you want to play football together with Messi?
Do you want to play football together with Messi

Well, Chinese people (more than anyone else) love doing things together in pairs or groups, so you will often hear them mention “一起 (yìqǐ)” in an invitation or suggestion (marked by the particle 吧 ba).

  • 我和你一起去吧!
    Wǒ hé nǐ yìqǐ qù ba!
    I’ll go with you together!
  • 我们明天一起吃顿饭吧!
    Wǒmen míngtiān yìqǐ chī dùn fàn ba!
    Let’s have a meal together tomorrow!
  • 你们一起来我家玩吧!
    Nǐmen yìqǐ lái wǒ jiā wán ba!
    You guys come and hang out at my place together!
  • 你和我一起住吧!
    Nǐ hé wǒ yìqǐ zhù ba!
    You come and live with me!
  • 你和她们一起跳广场舞吧!
    Nǐ hé tāmen yìqǐ tiào guǎngchǎngwǔ ba!
    Why don’t you square-dance with them together!
Why don't you square dance with them together!

Wrap Up: Using “yiqi” in Chinese

The adverb 一起 (yìqǐ) is one of the basics of the Chinese language. Saying 一起 (yìqǐ) in Chinese should be as simple as saying “together” in English. However, you have to be careful of the word order – always use it before the verb or verb phrase in a sentence. Stick to the pattern even if it sounds weird to you at the beginning. Keep practicing and you will use it like a native speaker!

Remember, grammar is the glue that holds the pieces of language together, so don’t forget to check other grammar articles on ImproveMandarin.Com’s Grammar Channel! 谢谢 (xièxie) for reading this!