Speaking of the Chinese character “上”, you may have learned that it can indicate position. But actually, “上” is a very useful character and can be used in many different ways. This article introduces four common usages of “上”.
1. 上 is used after a noun
To express on the surface of an object
The cat is sleeping on a chair.
There are some pictures on the wall.
You have something on your face.
To express within the scope of something
The book says that tea has a history of 5,000 years.
In today’s Chinese class, the teacher taught a total of 3 characters.
At the meeting, customers asked us a lot of questions.
To express “certain aspects of something”
Rú guǒ zài xué xí shang yǒu shén me wèn tí, nǐ kě yǐ gěi wǒ dǎ diàn huà.
If you have any questions about your studies, just call me.
Jīngcháng kàn shū hé bù jīngcháng kàn shū de rén, zài sīxiǎng hé xíngwéi shang dōu huì bù tóng.
People who read books often and those who don’t will be different in thought and behavior.
When someone first goes aboard, he or she can have a lot to adjust.
2. 上 goes after a verb
To indicate the result of the action
We finally climbed to the top of the mountain.
It’s raining outside. Shall I close the window?
Two years ago, she got accepted by the best university in China.
To indicate an action starts and will continue
Tā zuìjìn mí shàng le mótuōchē.
He has become obsessed with motorcycles recently.
Now, I have really fallen in love with this place.
3. 上 can be used as a Verb
To mean to go or go up in spoken Chinese
David runs too slowly. Mike, you go!
He went to the hospital.
I’m going to Beijing for a meeting tomorrow.
To mean from low to high
Hop in, the car is leaving.
We take the lift upstairs every day.
It’s getting dark, we’d better not go up the mountain today.
To mean to start doing something on time
Every Tuesday, he goes To school to take his Chinese class.
She goes to work at nine and finishes at five.
To mean to bring the food or drink to the table(mostly used in restaurants)
The waiter has started serving food. Why hasn’t she come yet?
Excuse me, can we have one more pot of tea?
To mean to paint or put
The children are coloring the picture.
Don't worry, you hand won’t hurt anymore after you put medicine on them.
To indicate to a certain amount or degree
Yesterday, more than a thousand people participated in the marathon race.
People tend to sleep less as they age.
4. 上+ Time Word
Time words such as 星期(week), 月(month) and 季度(quarter) can be used with “上”.
He brought me a bottle of wine when he came to my house last time.
Last week, she went to Harbin for a trip.
This book has volume 1 and 2, but I have only read volume 1.
These are the common usages of “上” in Chinese grammar. They are a little complicated but not so difficult to understand. If you still have questions about the use of “上”, please let us know in the comments below. We will answer for you, and then supplement and improve the article.