还 (hái) vs. 也 (yě): Also

By Ling-Ling Lisa Shih
From Ling-LingChinese.com

也 (yě) vs. 还(hái)

Although both 还 (hái) and 也 (yě) mean “also,” but 还 also means “in addition, additionally.”  It is important to note the following rule, in order to use them correctly.

When 2 clauses sharing the same subject,  you can use either 还 (hái) or 也 (yě), but when 2 clauses referring to different subjects, only 也 (yě) can be used.

  1. With the same subject, you can use either 还 or 也.

I like to eat American food. I also like to eat Chinese.

喜欢吃美国菜,()也喜欢吃中国菜。

喜欢吃美国菜,()还喜欢吃中国菜。

2. With the different subjects, you can only use 也 (yě).

喜欢看电影,我的男朋友喜欢看电影。(correct)

喜欢看电影,我的男朋友喜欢看电影。(incorrect

还 means “also, in addition, additionally.” When you say, “我喜欢看电影,我的男朋友还喜欢看电影。” It just doesn’t make sense to say, “I like to watch movies, my boy friend, in addition, likes to watch movies.” But it is perfectly o.k. to say, “我喜欢看电影,还喜欢看书。” (I like to watch movies; in addition, I like to read book.”

More info about the usage of 还:

Beside meaning “also,” 还 (hái) can also be used to mean “still” and “yet.”

是一个小孩子。Tā háishi yí ge xiǎo háizi. He is still a little child.

没有来。Tá hái méiyou lái. He has not come yet.

没有吃饭。Wǒ hái méiyou chīfàn. I have not eaten yet.

 

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