Mandarin: Negation Word bù (不)



  1. The negation word is used BEFORE the verb. Example:-
    • EN: am not, can not, should not
    • CH: not am, not can, not should
  2. It used to negate the PRESENT and FUTURE, not the PAST.
  3. Bù (不)may change its tone.

The default tone of bù(不)is 4th tone. If bù meet with the same 4th tone, it change to bú (不)2nd tone.

The tone changing rule only applies to a few words. Don’t worry.


我 不 忙。/ wǒ bù máng. / I (am) not busy.

我 不 是 中国 人。/ wǒ bú shì zhōng guó rén. / I not am Chinese.


**This is just my notes, I’m not native chinese.. You can refer to your lǎoshī (老师)。Thanks =)

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