How to Use 一起 (yìqǐ) in Chinese: A Quick Guide
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.
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.)
“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:
Wǒmen yìqǐ qù.
We go together.
Tāmen liǎ yìqǐ shàng dàxué.
They two attend university together.
Wǒmen yìqǐ chīfàn , yìqǐ hējiǔ.
We eat together, drink together.
Zhè liǎng gè rén yìqǐ shàng le dìtiě.
These two guys got on the metro together.
Xiǎo Zhāng hé tā de nǚyǒu yìqǐ lǚyóu.
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.
和 (hé) sb + 一起 (yìqǐ) + verb/verb phrase
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.
Nǐ yào bu yào hé wǒmen yìqǐ dāi zài zhèli?
Do you want to stay here together with us?
Nǐ yuànyì hé tāmen yìqǐ zǒu ma?
Are you willing to leave together with them?
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).
Wǒ hé nǐ yìqǐ qù ba!
I’ll go with you together!
Wǒmen míngtiān yìqǐ chī dùn fàn ba!
Let’s have a meal together tomorrow!
Nǐmen yìqǐ lái wǒ jiā wán ba!
You guys come and hang out at my place together!
Nǐ hé wǒ yìqǐ zhù ba!
You come and live with me!
Nǐ hé tāmen yìqǐ tiào guǎngchǎngwǔ ba!
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!