Very useful learning material for Mandarin Beginners


Initials:

b p m f d t n l g k h
j (gee) q (chi) x (shi) can only precede i and ü and their compound finals
zh (dj) ch (chur) sh (shur) r z (dz) c (ts) s
y (i) w (oo)

Finals:

a o e (uh) i (eye) u (oo) ü (yu)

Compound Finals:

a: ai (aī) ao an ang
o: ou (ō) ong
e: ei (ā) en eng (ŭng)
i: ia (ya) ie (ye) iao (yao) iu (yū) in (yin) iang (yang) ing (yng) iong (yŏng)
u: ua (wa) uo (wŭ) uai (wai) ui (wei) uan (wan) un (one) uang (wong) ueng (wung)
ü: üe (yue) üan(yuan) ün (yun)

Tones:

• First Tone: Long

• Second Tone: Short and up, like asking a question

• Third Tone: Long

• Fourth Tone: Short and down, like an exclamation

• Neutral Tone: quick, light, and short

Vocabulary

Pronouns
nĭ You; your (when followed by “de”)
nín You (polite, like ustedes)
wŏ I, me, my (when followed by “de”)
tā He; she; him; her; it
wŏmen We; us
nĭmen You (plural)
tāmen They; them
de Indicates possession
zhè (zhèi) This
Nà (nèi) That
zhèr (zhèli) Here
nàr (nàli) There
nàbiān There
biéde other; anything else

Prepositions and Conjunctions
zài in; at; on (used before location)
cóng from
dào to
hé and; with (conj.) (connects nouns)
yòu and; additionally (connects clauses)
shàng(biān) on; above (shàng also denotes time, see notes) (biān = side)
xià(biān) below; under (xià also denotes time, see notes) (biān = side)
háishi or (conj.)
dànshì but (conj.)
suŏyĭ so (conj.)
de shíhou when (e.g., when you eat dumplings, …)
yŏu shíhou sometimes
qiánbiān in front of
hòubiān behind
pángbiān next to
duìmiàn across from
lí away from
yĭqián before; in the past (appears between to actions)
yĭhòu after; later; in the future (appears between two actions)

Questions
ma Used at the end of a yes or no type question (e.g., “how are you?” or “are you busy?”)
ne Used at the end of a special, alternative, or rhetorical question (e.g., “how about you?”/ “what about you?”)
năr (năli) Where
shénme What
shéi (shuí) Who (e.g., Tā shì shéi?)
Nă Which (e.g., Nĭ shì nă guó rén?)
shéi de Whose (e.g., zhé shì shéi de shū?)
duōshao How many; how much (e.g., duōshao xiăoshí)
jĭ How many; how much (only used for small numbers, less than 10) (also “jĭ ge” when followed by measure word such as xiăoshí)
Zěnme How
shénme shíhou when; literally “what moment”
jĭ diăn what time; literally “how many hours” (e.g., xiànzài jĭ diăn le?)
duō cháng how long (does it take to …) (e.g., duō cháng shíjiān)
kěyĭ may; can
zěnmeyàng what about; how about; how is it (e.g., Nĭ xiān shìshi, kàn nĭ chuān zěnmeyàng = You first try it on, see how it looks on you/see you wear how about)
ba used at the end of a sentence when the statement is more of a suggestion (e.g., Wŏmen chūqu chī fàn ba.)

Adjectives/Adverbs
hăo Good
hĕn Very
yĕ Also; too
hái also
máng Busy
bù Not; no
duì correct
méi not; no
guì honoured
piàoliang very pretty; beautiful
Měilì beautiful (more elegant than piàoliang)
dào successfully
kāixīn happy; glad
yìzhí straight
zài again; then; additionally (same pronunciation as “in, at, on” but different character)
yìdiănr a little (+ noun) (MW)
yŏudiănr a little (+ adjective) (MW)
le already (also indicates past tense – see verbs)
lèi tired
jiù just; then; only; soon
búcuò not bad
tài too (much)
guì expensive
piányi cheap
duō many; much; more
shăo few; little; fewer; less
hái still
yígòng altogether; in total
qīng clear; clearly
hóng red
huáng yellow
hēi black
lán blue
bái white
lǜ green
zĭ purple
fěn hóng pink
huī grey
zōng brown
jīn golden
qiăn lán light blue
shēn lǜ dark green
xiăo small
dà big
dà mă big size; bigger size
cháng long
duăn short
lěng cold
rè hot
xiān first
è hungry
gaō tall
kuai fast/faster
yìqĭ together
là spicy
gòu enough
dīng diced (e.g., jīdīng = diced chicken)
jí le very/extremely
jìn near
yuăn far
kě thirsty

Nouns
chū to go out; exit; come out
bàba dad
māma mom
guānxi relationship
Xiānsheng Mr.; sir; husband
xiăojie Miss
tàitai Mrs.; wife
xìng Surname
míng Given name
xìngmíng Name
péngyou Friend
lăoshī Teacher
yīshēng Doctor
guó Country
rén People
Zhōngguó/ Zhōngguórén/Hànyŭ/Zhōngwén China/Chinese people/spoken chinese/written chinese
Měiguó/Měiguórén/Yīngyŭ America/American people/English language
Yīngguó/ Yīngguórén; Yīngyŭ England/ English people/ English language
shū Book
bĭ Pen
diànshì TV
diànhuà telephone (huà = hear)
diànnăo computer (năo = brain)
diàn electricity
huār flower
bēizi cup
shāngdiàn shop; store
shìchăng market
chāoshì supermarket
gōngsī company; office; workplace
jiā home
qián money
píng bottle
kuài dollar (all currency)
máo 10 cents (currency)
fēn 1 cent (currency)
gēge elder brother
jiějie elder sister
dìdi younger brother
mèimei younger sister
érzi son
nǚ’ér daughter
dīshì taxi
dōngxi thing; stuff
sījī driver
zuŏ left
yòu right
lùkŏu crossing; corner
shíhou time
xiăoshí hour
zăofàn breakfast
wŭfàn lunch
wănfàn dinner
chuáng bed (e.g., qĭ chuáng = get up from bed)
diànyĭng movie
shēngri birthday
fēijī airplane
huŏchē train
huŏchēzhàn railway station
qìchē automobile; vehicle
zhuōzi table
lóu building or floor
guójiā home country
fángzi house; apartment
lù road; street
yánsè color
yīfu clothes (only used for upper body clothes)
kùzi trousers; pants
tīxù t-shirt
chènshān shirt
xiézi shoes
máoyī sweater
dàyī coat
qúnzi skirt; dress
xīzhuāng suit
jiākè jacket
bèixīn vest
duănkù shorts
lĭngdài tie
màozi hat; cap
wàzi socks
nèiyī underwear
nèikù panties
língqián change
fāpiào invoice; receipt
cānguănr restaurant (western, lower class (i.e., McDonalds)
jiŭjiā restaurant (Chinese, especially dim sum)
fànguănr restaurant (Chinese)
fàndiàn restaurant (big/hotel restaurant)
canting restaurant (western, higher class)
càidān menu
dān the bill (e.g., gěi wŏ dān)
Guăngdōng cài Cantonese food
Sìchuān cài Sichuan food
Shāndōng cài Beijing food
Huáiyáng cài Shanghai food
jiànyì suggestion
kuàizi chopsticks (yì shuāng kuàizi)
dāozi knife
chāzi fork
sháozi spoon
cānjīn napkin
zhĭjīn tissue
pánzi plate (MW)
wăn bowl (MW)
niú cow
běi(bù) north (more clear to use with bù)
nán(bù) south (nán = man; difficult)
xī(bù) west
dōng(bù) east
dìfang place
sì jì four seasons
chūntiān spring
xiàtiān summer
qiūtiān fall
dōngtiān winter
yínháng bank
săn umbrella
jīchăng airport
lĭwù gift

Food and Beverage (specific)
Shuĭ Water
chá Tea
kāfēi Coffee
píjiŭ beer
kělè cola
tang sugar
guŏzhī fruit juice
miànbāo bread
dòufu bean curd (tofu)
cài food; vegetable (dish)
ròu meat
jī chicken
jīdàn egg (chicken egg)
yú fish
yā duck
hăixiān sea food
niúròu beef (literally “beef meat”)
pángxiè crab
niúpái beef steak
xiā shrimp
zhūròu pork
yóuyú squid
yángròu lamb; mutton
shuĭguŏ fruit
píngguŏ apples
xiāngjiāo banana
júzi orange
mángguŏ mango
pútao grape
mùguā papaya
xīguā watermelon
lí pear
căoméi strawberry
bōluó pineapple
lìzhī litchi
yēzi coconut
shūcài vegetable (actual veggie)
qiézi eggplant
shēngcài lettuce
tŭdòu potato
húluóbo carrot
yángcōng onion
huángguā cucumber
xīhóngshì tomato
qíncài celery
xīlánhuā broccoli
yùmĭ corn
dàbáicài Chinese cabbage
wōsŭn asparagus lettuce
qīngjiāo green pepper
jiāng ginger
suàn garlic
cōng Chinese onion
yán salt
jiàngyóu soy sauce
cù vinegar
Làzi jīdīng traditional spicy Chinese food of diced chicken with chili
pútaojiŭ wine (literally, “grape alcohol”)
cha shao bao BBQ pork steamed bun
zhēng jiăo steamed dumpling
xiāngbō gūlŭròu sweet and sour pork
hànbăobāo hamburger
bĭsàbĭng pizza
niúnăi milk (from a cow)
kăomiànbāo toast (kăo = roast)
guŏjiàng jam
năilào cheese
huángyóu butter (literally, yellow oil)
xiāngcháng sausage

Verbs
le Indicates simple past tense
guò Indicates present/past perfect tense (have, has, had __)
chī to eat
qù to go
jiào To call; to be known as
shì To be; am; is; are (negative: bú shì); to try (shìshi = polite “try” like “please try”)
lái to come; to order (in restaurant only, can use lái to mean order, e.g., lái yí ping pijiu, lái yí ge ___)
huí to return; go back
kàn to see; look at; watch; read
yŏu to have (negative: méiyŏu)
jìn to come in; enter
qĭng please; to invite
gōngzuò to work (also can be noun: work, job)
yào to want (something); to need
xiăng to want (to do something); to miss (people/country); to think
hē to drink
gěi to give
chī fàn to eat a meal
dă dī to take a taxi
măi to buy
gàosu to tell
zhīdao to know
shuō to speak; say
wèn to ask
zŏu to go; walk
guăi to turn
tíng to stop
dào to get to; arrive; reach
qĭ to get up
qĭ chuáng to get up from bed
shuì jiào to go to bed
zuò to do; to sit; to take (use when naming method of transportation, e.g., “by plane” = zuo feiji); to cook
dă qiú to play ball (any ball game)
kāishĭ to start
Shàng bān to go to work; start work; working
Shàng kè to give a lesson; go to class
Shàng lóu to go upstairs
Shàng chē to get on the bus or car (any vehicle)
Xià bān to get off work
Xià kè to get out of class
Xià lóu to go downstairs
Xià chē to get off the bus or car (any vehicle)
ting to listen; to hear
fù to pay
xĭhuan like
Bĭqĭ compare
chuān to wear (clothing); put on
shìshi try
diăn to order
néng to be able to; can (physically) (e.g., can run, can eat)
máidān/jiézhàng to bill; to settle accounts
huānyíng to welcome
guānglín to come; visit
chăo to stir-fry (big pan, like wok)
shāo to stew after frying or fry after stewing
qīngzhēng to steam
jiān to pan fry (small pan with oil)
zhá to deep fry
huì to braise
dùn to stew
yòng to use
huì can (after learning)
fang to put
zhù to live
ná to take (actually physically taking)
dài to take; bring; carry (to somewhere)
qŭ to fetch; get back; withdraw (money from bank)
fàng to put
jiē to receive; meet; welcome
sòng to give as a present; off or out (e.g., to send off)
xià yŭ to rain
wán finish (e.g., kànwán = finish reading)

Phrases
Nĭ hăo Hello; literally, “you good”
Zàijiàn Goodbye; literally “see you again”
Nĭ chīle ma? “Have you had the meal” OR “Good Afternoon”
Zăoshang hăo Good Morning
Wănshang hăo Good Evening
Xièxie Thanks
Bú Kèqi/Búyòng xiè You are welcome; literally “don’t be polite”
Duì bu qĭ I’m sorry
Méi guānxi Never mind; it doesn’t matter; literally “don’t have relationship
Nín guì xìng?/ Nĭ xìng shénme? What is your surname?
dă dī to take a taxi
Měilì Huāyuán the Beautiful Garden
qĭngwèn Excuse me; May I ask (literally, “please ask”)
wŏ zhīdao le I got it
hăo ba okay
tài guì le too expensive
piányi yìdiănr make a little cheaper
kěyĭ piányi diănr ma? can you make it cheaper?
Jiā li home inside/inside a home/at home
zhè jiàn ba this one or this piece (of clothing)
shuō màn yìdiănr speak a little slower
wŏ zuì xĭhuan My favorite (“I most like”)
Méi wèntí No problem
Nĭ xĭhuan shénme tiān? what season do you like?
yào ___ le soon (e.g., Tiān yào xià yŭ le = soon it will rain)
mamahuhu soso

Numbers
yī 1
èr 2 (used without measure words)
liăng 2 (used with measure words)
sān 3
sì 4
wŭ 5
liù 6
qī 7
bā 8
jiŭ 9
shí 10
líng 0
shí yī 11
èr shí 20
yī băi 100
yì qiān 1,000
yí wàn 10,000
shí wàn 100,000 (10*10,000) (e.g., liu shi ba wan = 680,000 or 68*10,000)
băi wàn 1,000,000 (100*10,000)
qiānwàn 10,000,000 (1,000 * 10,000)
yì 100,000,000

Measure Words
• Measure words express units of measure for objects or actions.
• Noun measure words: units used to show the number or amount of an object.
o Noun measure words for individual units, collectives, weights and measures (length/distance, weight, area, volume), and indefinite measure words (e.g., xiē)
• Verb measure words: used to show the number of times an action is carried out

gè A generally applicable measure word. Can be used for people, as well as for many tangible and intangible objects
bēi glass; cup (used for measuring liquids)
běn items measurable in volumes/bound objects, such as books and notebooks.
píng objects in bottles
bǎi hundred
qiān thousand
wàn ten thousand
diăn (zhōng) o’clock
fēn (zhōng) minutes (always fēnzhōng when talking about duration, as opposed to time)
kè quarter (precede by number of quarters)
suì age (e.g., liang suì= 2 years old)
jīn a unit of weight, which equals half a kilo (approx. 1 Pound)
zhŏng kind; sort; type
diănr a little; a bit (indicates a small number or amount) (written alone when it follows a verb, e.g., chī diănr dōngxi = eat a little something)
yìdiănr a little (+ noun)
yŏudiănr a little (+ adjective)
xiē some (indicates a large number or amount) (written alone when it follows a verb, e.g., chī xiē dōngxi = eat something)
yìxiē some
zhèxiē these
nàxiē those
tiáo for something long or narrow or thin (e.g., fish, snake, dog, belt, tie, scarf, and all lower body clothing (pants and skirts) and dresses)
kuài piece; lump
dài bag
dĭng used for objects with protruding top/a peak, something to put over one’s head (e.g., a hat = yì dĭng màozi)
jiàn used for clothing (tops) (“yīfu”) (e.g., undershirt, shirt, coat)
shuāng used for pairs of objects which naturally come in pairs (e.g., shoes, socks, gloves, eyes, ears, hands, chopsticks)
pánzi a plate of (e.g., yì pánzi __ = 1 plate of __)
wăn a bowl of (e.g., yì wăn ___)

Time Words
zăoshang early morning
shàngwŭ late morning (10-12)
zhōngwŭ lunch time
xiàwŭ afternoon
wănshang evening
zuótiān yesterday
jīntiān today
míngtiān tomorrow
bàn half (as in time)
chà to lack; be short of (time) (e.g., 3 minutes til 10 = chà sān fēn shì diăn)
xiànzài now; present
diăn (zhōng) o’clock (MW)
fēn (zhōng) minutes (always fēnzhōng when talking about duration, as opposed to time) (MW)
kè quarter (precede by number of quarters) (MW)
wănshang __ diăn pm
zăoshang __ diăn am
shíhou time
xiăoshí hour
nián year
yuè month; moon
yīyuè January
èryuè February
sānyuè March
sìyuè April
wŭyuè May
liùyuè June
qīyuè July
bāyuè August
jiŭyuè September
shíyuè October
shíyīyuè November
shí’èryuè December
tiān day
xīngqī week
xīngqīyī Monday
xīngqīèr Tuesday
xīngqīsān Wednesday
xīngqīsì Thursday
xīngqīwŭ Friday
xīngqīliù Saturday
xīngqītiān Sunday
hào date
zhōumò weekend
shíjiān time
Jīnniàn This year
Qùniàn Last year
Míngniàn Next year
yí cì once
liăng cì twice
sān cì three times
shàng cì last time
zhè cì this time
xià cì next time
dì-yī cì the first time
dì-èr cì the second time
dì-sān cì the third time
chūntiān spring (placed at beginning of sentence)
xiàtiān summer (placed at beginning of sentence)
qiūtiān fall (placed at beginning of sentence)
dōngtiān winter (placed at beginning of sentence)

Rules:

• When two 3rd tones appear consecutively, pronounce as 2nd tone , then 3rd tone .
o E.g., becomes
• Last name goes before any title
• Yī becomes:
o Yì when followed by tones 1 , 2 , or 3
o Yí when followed by tone 4
• “de”
o Adjective +noun, always use “de”
 E.g., piàoliang de huār (beautiful flower)
 E.g., “The man I met was English” becomes English “de” man I met
o Sometimes “de” can be dropped, such as where there is a good relationship
 E.g., Wŏ māma
 E.g., tā bàba
 E.g., wŏ péngyou
 E.g., wŏ jiā
• Conjunction “and” (“hé”) is only used when talking about two things, not for compound sentences.
o Yòu (“and”) connects clauses
• No “shí” if followed by adjective/adverb
o E.g., Tā de huār hen piàoliang NOT Tā de huār shí hen piàoliang
• Never “go home” (qù jiā), always “return home” (huí jiā)
• Sentence Structure (Time)
o Time Subject Location Action Object
(big time, then precise time)
o Time Subject Intensifier Adjective
• Yào versus xiăng
o Xiăng + verb = want to do
o Yào + noun = want something
o Yào + verb = need
• Negatives of Verbs and Adjectives
o shì = bú shì
o yŏu = méiyŏu
o Negative form of an adjective is bù + adjective
o Verb indicating action in the present or future = bú
 E.g., Wŏ bú qù shāngdiàn (I am not going shopping)
o Verb indicating action in the past = méi
 E.g., Wŏ méi (yŏu) qù shāngdiàn (I did not go shopping)
• Duplicating a verb converts the verb to “try to ___”
o E.g., wèn = to ask, but wènwen = try to ask
• Duplicating an adverb emphasizes the descriptor
o E.g., cháng = often; chángcháng = very often
• Past Tense
o Le: simple past tense
 Can be placed between verb and object OR at the end of the sentence
 Never use “le” when using “méi” to negative the verb because “méi” already indicates simple past tense in the negative forms (bú indicating present and future)
o Guò: past perfect (those with helping verbs)
 Must be placed between verb and object; never at the end of sentence
 Use in conjunction with “méi” (e.g., Tā méiqùguò Beijing = He has never been to Beijing)
• Èr vs. liăng
o Èr: used when counting without measure words
 Also used when a measure word is used for a number ending in two (22, 102, 542, etc.)
• E.g., èr shí èr ge rén – 22 people
• E.g., yī bǎi líng èr běn shū – 102 books
• E.g., liǎng qiān wǔ bǎi sì shí èr kuài qián – 2542 dollars
o Liăng: used with measure words
 E.g., liǎng ge rén – two people
 E.g., liǎng běn shū – two books
 E.g., liăng píng píjiŭ – 2 bottles of beer
 E.g., liǎng bǎi – 200
 E.g., liǎng qiān – 2,000
 E.g., liǎng wàn – 20,000
 E.g., liǎng diăn – 2:00 (always use liang in context of time, except where 2 is component only, such as 3:42)
 E.g., liăng suì – 2 years old (age)
• Numbers greater than 100
o When need to combine 2 sets to make 1 number, must add yī between. For example:
 217 = 200 + 17
 200 = ér băi
 17 = shì qī
 217 = ér băi yī shì qī
• Yìdiănr vs. Yoŭdiănr
o Yìdiănr + noun
 E.g., Wŏ shuō yìdiănr Hànyŭ
o Yoŭdiănr + adjective
 E.g., Wŏ yoŭdiănr lèi.
• Expressions of Date
o Years are stated as each numeral component, e.g., 2006 = érlínglíngliù nián
o To state how long someone has been someplace – Tā zài Běijīng liăng nián
o This, Next, and Last
 Year: Jīnniàn (this) Qùniàn (last) Míngniàn (next)
 Month/Week: zhèige (this), shàng ge (last), xià ge (next)
o Date (hào)
 Jīntiān jĭ hào? (What is today’s date?)
 Jīntiān shì sānyuè wŭ hào (today is 3 month 5 date OR March 5th)
• Shì = optional, may be dropped
o To ask birthday, must ask, what month, what date
 E.g., Nĭ de shēngri jĭ yuè jĭ hào?
• Duōshao vs. Jĭ vs. Duō cháng
o How many hours/minutes does it take to __? __ Jĭ ge/duōshao xiăoshí/fēn?
o How much time/how long does it take to __? __ duō cháng shíjiān?
• Shàng versus xi�
o On/Above and Below/Under
 Zhuōzi shàng = on or above the table
 Lóuxià = below or under the floor/building = downstairs/lobby
 To say that a book is on a table = Shū zài zhuōzi shàng (book at table on)
o Denoting Time
 Shàng (past)
• Shàng ge yuè (last month)
 Xià (future)
• Xià ge yuè (next month)
o As Verbs:
 Shàng indicates to begin or get on
 Xià indicates to finish, get off, or get out of.
• Comparisons (More/Less and Most/Least): Bĭ, Gèng, and Zuì
o Bĭ (more/less than):
 Object 1 + bĭ + Object 2 + adjective (object 1 is the stronger object in comparison)
• E.g., Guăngzhōu bĭ Běijīng rè = It is hotter in Guangzhou than in Beijing
• E.g., Zhège gōngsī bĭ nàge gōngsī dà = This company is bigger than that company.
 Object 1 + bĭ + Object 2 + Adjective + de + Degree (object 1 is the stronger object in comparison)
• E.g., My mandarin is much better than my teacher’s = Wŏ de Hanyu bĭ wŏ de laŏshì de hăo de duō.
• E.g., His house is a lot bigger than my house = Tā de jiā bĭ wŏ de jiā dà de duō.
 Object 1 + méi + Object 2 + Adjective (Object 2 is stronger object in comparison)
• E.g., Hong Kong is not as big as Beijing = Xianggang méi Beijing dà.
• E.g., I ate more than he = Tā chī de méi wŏ de.
• E.g., He plays ball better than I = Wŏ da qiu méi tā hăo.
o Gèng (more/less): Object + gèng + adjective
 E.g., Guăngzhōu gèng rè = it is hotter in Guangzhou/Guangzhou is hotter.
 E.g., Jiānádà gèng lěng = It is colder in Canada/ Canada is colder.
o Zuì (most/least): Object + zuì + adjective
 Zhōngguórén zuì duō = China has the largest population/Chinese people are the most
 Zhè gè píngguŏ zuì dà = This apple is the largest one/ This apple biggest
• “De” used at the end of a sentence refers back to the object from a prior sentence so the noun is not repeated
o E.g., Wŏ xiăng kànkan nà jiàn tīxù. Nĭ yào shénme yánsè de? Wŏ xĭhuan báisè de. Báisè de méiyŏu de le. Nĭ yào huángsè de ma?
• Saying “Yes”:
o Repeat the questioned verb to say yes, because no “yes” in Chinese. (Dui = correct)
o E.g., Nĭmen néng chī là de ma? = Can you eat spicy food? => Answer: Néng = yes/can
• Cì
o Cì means “times”
o When using cì to indicates number of times (e.g., once, twice, three times), it is placed at the end of the sentence
 E.g., I have been to Beijing twice = Wŏ qùguo Běijīng liăng cì.
o When using cì to denote which time (e.g., the first time, the last time, etc.), it is placed at the beginning of the sentence or before the action words (after the subject and time words)
 E.g., Dì-yī cì qùle Xiānggăng shì qunnián shì’ér yue.
 E.g., Wŏ yījiŭjiŭbā nián dì-yī cì qù Xiānggăng.
• “Can” (Kěyĭ, Néng, and Huì)
o Kěyĭ – ask permission
o Néng – physically
o Huì – after learning
• Shénme ___ dōu ___
o E.g., Shénme jiăozi wŏ dōu xĭhuan chī = I like to eat all dumplings
o E.g., Shénme yīfu wŏ dōu mai = I buy all kinds of clothes
o E.g., Shénme donxi wŏ dōu meizuò. = I didn’t do anything
o E.g., Shenme ren wŏ dou bù zhidao = I don’t know anyone
o E.g., Jintian wŏ shénme donxi dōu meimai= Today didn’t buy anything
• … de shíhou (When …)
o Placed in the middle of two actions
o E.g., Nĭ chī jiăozi de shíhou, fang yìdiănr cù hé jiàngyóu = when you eat dumplings, put a little vinegar and soy sauce.
o E.g., When I was in China, I bought many things = Wŏ zài Zhōngguó de shíhou, wŏ mai le duō donxi.
• “One of my favorite”
o Wo de yi ge zui xihuan de canguanr
o Wo de yi ge zui xihuan de pengyou
o Wo de yi jian zui xihuan de yifu
• Positional Words – Sentence Structure (běibù, nánbù, xībù, dōngbù, shàngbiān, xiàbiān, qiánbiān, hòubiān, pángbiān, duìmiàn)
o A + zài + B + position
 E.g., Hong Kong is at the South of China = Xiānggăng zài Zhōngguó nánbù.
 **E.g., There is a big book store across the street = Yŏu dà shū dian zài lù duìmiàn
o If action is taking place at the location:
 A + verb + zài + B + position
• E.g., I sit next to him = Wŏ zuò zài tā pángbiān.
 A + zài + B + position + verb + object
• E.g., I buy clothes opposite to my husband’s office = Wŏ zài wŏ de xiānsheng de gōngsi duìmiàn măi yīfu.
• E.g., I read books in front of him = Wŏ zài tā qiánbiān kàn shū.
• Positional Words (Lí) – Sentence Structure (away from)
o A + lí + B + far (yuăn)/near (jìn)
 E.g., Shenzen is not far from Hong Kong = Shenzen lí Xiānggăng bù yuăn.
 E.g., Beijing is far from Hong Kong = Běijīng lí Xiānggăng yuăn.
 E.g., Is it far from here? = Lí zhèr yuăn ma?
• Yĭqián and Yĭhòu
o Action A + Yĭqián/Yĭhòu + Action B
 E.g., Lái Guăngzhōu yĭqián, wŏ zhù zài Běijīng. = Before I came to Guangzhou, I lived in Beijing.
 E.g., Lái Zhōngguó yĭqián, wŏ bù huì shuō Hànyŭ = Before I came to China, I could not speak Chinese
 *E.g., Tā yĭqián yŏu hěn duō shū = She used to have many books
 E.g., Xià kè yĭhòu, wŏ huí jiā = After I get out of class, I will return home.
 E.g., Xuéhuì Hànyŭ yĭhòu, wŏ xiăng zài Zhōngguó gōngzuò = After I learn/study Chinese, I want to work in China
 E.g., Wŏ yĭhòu, gàosu nĭ = Later I will tell you.
 E.g., I have not seen him before = Wŏ yĭqián méi kàn guo tā
• Dào (successfully)
o kàn = to look; kàndào = to see (successfully look)
o tīng = to listen; tīngdào = to hear (successfully listen)
• Dài (take versus bring)
o Take: Dài + qù
 E.g., I take my book home = Wŏ dài wŏ de shū qù jiā

o Bring: Dài + lái
 E.g., I bring my book to China = Wŏ dài wŏ de shū lái Zhōngguó
 E.g., Tā dàilái le chī de dōngxi = He brought food
• Dài and lái are placed together because there is no location specified as to where the food is brought to
• Sentences with “Bă” for emphasis (function/grammar word)
o Structure: Subject + bă + Object + Verb + Other Parts…
o Without “Bă”: Emphasizes action
 (1) E.g., Qĭng gěi wŏ nàge!
 (2) E.g., Tā hé le yī bēi chá.
 (3) Ná gěi wŏ nàge = Take and give me that
 (4) Wŏ sòng tā yì bă (MW) huā.
o With “Bă”: Emphasizes (object)
 (1) E.g., Qĭng bă nàge gěi wŏ.
 (2) E.g., Tā bă yī bēi chá hé le.
 (3) Bă nàge ná gěi wŏ = Take and give me that
 (4) Wŏ bă yì bă (MW) huā sòng tā.
 He ate my breakfast = Tā bă wŏ de zăofàn chī le.
 She gave me her computer = Tā bă tā de diānnăo gěi wŏ.
 Please go home and bring that book to me = Qĭng huí jiā bă nà běn shū qŭ gěi wŏ.
• “Take and Give Me” versus “Give Me”
o Must say take and give me (Ná gěi) when the person you are commanding does not have the object in his/her possession
o If person you are commanding has object in their possession you can just say “give me” (gěi wŏ)


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