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

written by: Sujanti Djuanda • edited by: Rebecca Scudder • updated: 6/6/2012

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.

  • slide 1 of 6

    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.

  • slide 2 of 6

    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。

  • slide 3 of 6

    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。

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    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。

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    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.

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    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?