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Mandarin Chinese Lesson Plan: The Difference Between ‘Dài’ (bring),‘Ná’ (hold) and ‘Qu’ (pickup)

By Sujanti Djuanda

The usages of 带【dài】 (bring/take), 拿【ná】(hold/bring) and 取【qǔ】(pickup/take) often confuse beginners. If you are new to teaching Chinese, here is a step-by-step lesson plan to teach the difference between them.

Overview

1. Explain the meaning and usage of 带【dài】(bring/take) with examples.

2. Explain the meaning and usage of 拿【ná】(hold/bring) with examples.

3. Explain the meaning and usage of 取【qǔ】(pickup/take) with examples.

4. Give sentences with similar usage of 带【dài】, 拿【ná】and 取【qǔ】for comparison.

5. Give examples of 带【dài】and 取【qǔ】, 带【dài】and拿【ná】 when they are used in the same sentence.

I. Explain the Meaning and Use of 带【dài】 with Examples

带【dài= bring】is used when you pick something up then move it to somewhere else, such as a wallet, and it comes along with you. 带【dài】means ‘take’ when it’s used for people.

Example 1:

I forgot to bring an umbrella.

我【wǒ=I】 忘记【wàngjì=forget】 带【dài=bring】 雨伞【yǔsǎn=umbrella】 了【le】。

我 忘记 雨伞 了。

Example 2:

I hope you take her to see the doctor.

我【wǒ=I】 希望【xīwàng=hope】你【nǐ=you】 带【dài=take】 她【tā=her】 去【qù=go】 医生【yīshēng=doctor】 看看【kàn kàn=see】。

我 希望 你 她 去 医生 看 看。

II. Explain the Meaning and Use of 拿【ná】 with Examples

拿【ná=hold, take, bring, carry】is used when you pick something up then hold it in your hand. 拿【ná】is used only for things.

Example 1:

Older brother is holding a ticket in his hand.

Older brother is carrying a ticket in his hand.

哥哥【gēgē=older brother】 手里【shǒulǐ=in someone’s hand】 拿【ná=hold, carry】 着【zhe= indicating a continuous action】 一张【yīzhāng= sheet】 票【piào=ticket】。

哥哥 手里 着 一张 票。

Example 2:

Please hold this tourist map securely.

Please carry this tourist map securely.

请【qǐng=please】 拿好【ná hǎo=hold securely, carry securely】 这【zhè=this】 张【zhāng=a measure word for papers】 导游图【dǎoyóutú=tourist map】。

好 这 张 导游图。

III. Explain the Meaning and Use of 取【qǔ】 with Examples

取【qǔ=pick up, take】 is used when you have to go to another place for picking something/someone up.

Example 1:

Do you know where I can pick up my luggage?

你【nǐ=you】 知道【zhīdào=know】 在【zài】哪里【nǎli=where】取【qǔ=pick up】行李【xínglǐ= luggage】吗【ma】?

你 知道 在 哪里 行李 吗?

Example 2:

They want to pick someone up at the local police station.

他们【tāmen=they】 要【yào=want to】 去【qù=go】 派出所【pàichūsuǒ=local police station】 取【qǔ=pick up】 人【rén=person】。

他们 要 去 派出所 人。

IV. Similar Examples of 带【dài】, 拿【ná】and 取【qǔ】 for Comparison

The following examples are about bringing, holding and picking money up.

Example 1:

Does she bring money with her?

她【tā=she】 有【yǒu= exist】 带【dài=bring】 钱【qián=money】 吗【ma】?

她 有 钱 吗?

Here she picks money up then moves it to somewhere else such as her wallet.

Compare this with example 2:

She is holding a copper coin in her hand.

She is carrying a copper coin in her hand.

她【tā=she】 手里【shǒulǐ=in someone’s hand】 拿【ná=hold, carry】 着【zhe= indicating a continuous action】 一【yī=a】 块【kuài=a measure word for copper coin, money】 钱【qián=money, copper coin】。

她 手里 着 一块 钱。

Here she picks money up and holds/carries it in her hand.

Compare that with example 3:

She goes to the bank to pick money up.

她【tā=she】 去【qù=go】 银行【yínháng=bank】 取【qǔ=pick up】 钱【qián=money】。

她 去 银行 钱。

Here she has to go to another place (the bank) to pick up money.

V. Examples of 带【dài】and 取【qǔ】, 带【dài】and 拿【ná】 When Used in the Same Sentence

Example 1:

Next time take her to the bank to pick money up.

下次【xiàcì=next time】 带【dài=take】 她【tā=she】 去【qù=go】 银行【yínháng=bank】 取【qǔ=pick up】 钱【qián=money】。

下次 她 去 银行 钱。

Example 2:

Can you take me to the post office to bring a package?

你【nǐ=you】 能【néng=can】 带【dài=take】 我【wǒ=I】 去【qù=go】 邮局【yóujú=post office】 拿【ná=take/bring】 包裹【bāoguǒ=package】 吗【ma】?

你 能 我 去 邮局 包裹 吗?