普通话一 Mandarin 1

By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on
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The table below summarizes what you will be expected to learn in Mandarin, level 1.
TopicMaterial

Tones

Punctuation

Characters

Six principles of Chinese characters.
Radicals.

拼音 pīnyīn

People pronouns

Numbers

  • count from 1 to 999

  • 二 versus

  • finger counting

Determiners

Measure words

Etiquette I

  • 你好?

  • 你好嗎?
    你好吗?

  • 怎麼樣?
    怎么样?

  • 好久不見
    好久不见

  • 謝謝
    谢谢

  • 不客氣
    不客气

  • 不謝
    不谢

  • 哪裏
    哪里

  • 是嗎?
    是吗?

  • 請問
    请问

  • 對不起
    对不起

  • 沒關係
    没关系

  • 沒問題
    没问题

Social titles

  • 先生

  • 太太

  • 小姐

Name

  • 貴姓
    贵姓

  • 姓什麼?
    姓什么?

  • 叫什麼名字?
    叫什么名字?

Demonym


  • 説 / 說

  • 會說中文嗎?会说中文吗?

  • 會說哪國話?会说哪国话?

  • 是哪國人?是哪国人?

School

  • 學生学生

  • 同學同学

  • 學期学期

  • 專業专业

Directions

  • 哪兒哪儿

Kinship

你家有幾個人?
你家有什麼人?
你有没有孩子?
你幾個兒子?
幾個女兒?

你家有几个人?
你家有什么人?
你有没有孩子?
你几个儿子?
几个女儿?

Occupations

你工作嗎?
伱有沒有工作?
伱做什麼工作?
你仔哪兒工作?

你工作吗?
伱有没有工作?
伱做什么工作?
你仔哪儿工作?

Telling time

年、月、號、星期、上 / 午、點、分
年、月、号、星期、上 / 午、点、分

SubtopicMaterial

Calendar date

... 是幾月幾號?
... 是星期幾?
... 是哪一年?

... 是几月几号?
... 是星期几?
... 是哪一年?

Time of day

早上 、上午 、中午 、下午 、晚上 、午夜

Clock

現在幾點?
现在几点?

Frequency

  • 平常

  • 常常

  • 有的时候

Relative time


Birthday and age

Hobbies

Availability

...有是嗎?
...有沒有時間?
...有沒有空兒?
...忙不忙?
time/place + 見

... 有是吗?
... 有没有时间?
... 有没有空儿?
... 忙不忙?
time/place + 见

Appointments

[person 1] + time + 在 + place + 等 + [person 2]

Invitations

我想找你一起去 ...
我想請你一起去 ...
我請客
[person 1] 請 [person 2] + activity

我想找你一起去 ...
我想请你一起去 ...
我请客
[person 1] 请 [person 2] + activity

Desire and need

  • 喜歡
    喜欢


Opinion

  • 覺得觉得

  • 有意思

  • 沒有意思

See separate entry on 很 usage.

Knowledge

  • 知道

  • 好玩

Food and drink

Classifiers

個 、張本 、杯 、瓶 、位
个 、张 、本 、杯 、瓶 、位

Asking for help

我想請你幾個請題
我想請伱幫我練習說中文
我想找你幫我練習說中文

我想请你几个请题
我想请伱帮我练习说中文
我想找你帮我练习说中文

Question words

、哪哪兒 、幾 、什麼
什麼時候 、幾點 、為什麼
還是 、怎麼

、哪 、哪儿 、几 、什么
什么时候 、几点 、为什么
还是 、怎么

A 还是 B

你喜歡喝查還是咖啡?
你喜欢喝查还是咖啡?

因為 ... 所以
因为 ... 所以

因為今天是你的生日,
所以我請你吃飯

因为今天是你的生日,
所以我请你吃饭

Etiquette II

  • 請問请问

  • 請進
    请进

  • 請坐
    请坐

  • 請吃
    请吃

  • 請喝 ...
    请喝 ...

  • 好嗎?
    好吗?

  • 可不可以?
    可不可以?

  • 方便嗎?
    方便吗?

Etiquette III

Subj + 在去来 + place + activity

要是 ... 那

我說中文說得怎麼樣
我說中文說得不錯
我去得快
我去得很快

我说中文说得怎么样
我说中文说得不错
我去得快
我去得很快

名詞的一級 Nouns

照片 zháopiàn
Photograph

Zhe shi wo/ni/ta de zhaopian?

Zhe shi shei de _noun_ ?

shi wo de

bu shi wo de

Classifiers

In Chinese, classifiers (aka measure words) are used. These go between the quantity (either 幾 / 几 jǐ or and actual number) and the object being counted.

個 / 个 gè / ge
general classifier; classifier for people

口 kǒu
family members

You ji ge?

動詞的一級 Verbs



yǒu
to have / to own

Character is an ideogram of a hand holding a piece of meat. 没有 méi yǒu means not-have

Chinatown Los Angeles 有 yǒu chinese character
有 yǒu

Desire and need


喜歡
喜欢
xǐhuan
to like (to) / enjoy

If you like or prefer something in general, then this verb to like is the right choice. 你喜歡學中問嗎?你喜欢学中问吗? But if you want to go out and do something, consider using 想 xiǎng.



xiǎng
to want (to) / planning to


yào
will do



must / to have (to)

得 dě can also be used to describe an action.

Opinion


覺得
觉得juéde
(v) to think


hěn
(adv) is indeed

高兴
gāoxìng
(adj) happy, pleased
漂亮piaoliangpretty
好玩haowanvery fun
有意思youyisiinteresting
没有意思meiyouyisiuninteresting

Knowledge


知道
zhīdào
(v) to know

Tabuzhidaoyingwen does not directly translate as, "She does not know English" -- instead, it more accurately means, "She has never ever heard of English."


認識
认识
rènshi
to be acquainted with, to recognize

Action verbs

You speak a little Chinese.




jiàn
to see


kan
to watch

Yes/no questions




ma
yes or no?
There are two ways to form yes/no questions: using ma and using affirmative-negative. Both methods accomplish the same objective.

Adding ma to the end of a statement turns it into a yes or no question; ma must always go at the end of the statement. One can also form a yes/no question by stating the verb/adjective in affirmative then negative form. If the verb/adjective is more than one syllable, one need only include the first syllable in the affirmative form.

Statement ma±
你是中國人
你是中国人

nǐ shì zhōngguórén
you are Chinese
你是中國人嗎
你是中国人吗

nǐ shì zhōngguórén ma?
you are Chinese?
你是不是中國人
你是不是中国人

nǐ shì bùshi zhōngguórén?
you are Chinese?
你喜歡吃法國菜
你喜欢吃法国菜

nǐ xǐhuan chī fǎguó cài
you like French food
你喜歡吃法國菜嗎
你喜欢吃法国菜吗

nǐ xǐhuan chī fǎguó cài ma?
you like French food?
你喜不喜歡吃法國菜
你喜不喜欢吃法国菜

nǐ xǐ bù xǐhuan chī fǎguó cài?
you like French food?
他有工作
tā yǒu gōngzuò
he has a job
他有工作嗎
他有工作吗

tā yǒu gōngzuò ma?
does he have a job?
他有沒有工作
他有没有工作

tā yǒu méiyǒu gōngzuò?
does he have a job?

Question words



ne
and?

And? It is used after a statement, to ask about another person. 你 呢 ni ne? And you? 他 呢 ta ne? And him? 她呢 ta ne? And her?




shéi
who?

什麼
什么
shénme
what?


nǎ / něi
which?

zhe shi na guo?
ni xihuan chi na guo ren?


哪兒
哪儿
nǎr
where?




how many/much?


duō
how many/much?

為什麼
为什么
wèishénme
why __ ?

Why are you studying Chinese? 為什麼學中文?为什么学中文? The phrase 為什麼为什么 translates as why? and comes at the beginning of a statement. It is composed of two words: wèi means for; 什麼什么 shénme means what?


因為
因为
yīnwèi
because __

所以
suoyi
so __

Composed of several parts: 因 yīn (because); wèi (for).




(conj) and




(conj) also

要是


要是
yàoshi
(conj) if




(conj) then

Used to connect sentences.




huán
(conj) also, too, as well

還是还是


還是
还是
háishì
(conj) or

可是


可是
kĕshì
(conj) but, however, although
我是美國人,可是我不是加州人
我是美国人,可是我不是加州人
wǒ shì měiguórén, kĕshì wǒ bùshì jiāzhōurénI am an American, but I am not a Californian



de
of, belonging to, from

chinese de of character
的 de

A 的 de B
B belongs to, is from, and/or is of A

的 de can be omitted after 我 wǒ, 你 nǐ, 他 tā and other pronouns when discussing close kinship. For example, 我 的 爸爸 Wǒ de bàba is grammatically correct, but it strangely emphasis my! my! father; 我 爸爸 Wǒ bàba is more correct.

Similarly, 的 de is not used for single, well-understood concepts. For example, 中國 的 人 / 中国 的 人 Zhōngguó de rén is grammatically correct, but 的 de imparts an usual, added emphasis; 中國人 / 中国人 Zhōngguó rén is the norm.

Further, consider 老的朋友 lǎo de péngyǒu (friend who is old) versus 老朋友 lǎo péngyǒu (old, long-time friend).



zhǐ
only



cái
subjecttime whenverbobject



le

了 le is used to denote an action (verb) that has been completed or initiated. It emphasizes that something is in the past and is the closest Chinese equivalent to a past tense. There are three cases: no object; with an object and unmodified verb; and with an object and modified verb.

SubjectVerb
SubjectUnmodified VerbObject
SubjectModified VerbObject

Etiquette I


你好
nǐ hǎo
hello

再見
再见
zàijiàn
see you later

謝謝
谢谢
xièxie
thank you

不客氣
不客气
bùkèqi

對不起
对不起
duìbùqǐ
sorry (oops)

In Chinese, 對不起对不起 duìbùqǐ translates as I'm sorry. However, it is not totally equivalent to I'm sorry in English, which can be used to express sympathy. This is simply a polite way of excusing oneself after a faux pas.


沒問題
没问题
méiguānxi
no problem
There are two common ways to politely end a conversation with somebody you have just met.

(我)認識你高興
(我)认识你高兴
(wǒ) rènshi nǐ gāoxìng
A pleasure to meet you

(我)很高興認識你
(我)很高兴认识你
(wǒ) hěn gāoxìng rènshi nǐ
(I) am pleased meet you

太好了
tàihăole
Excellent!

太 __ 了 tài __ le
(very __ ; too __)


怎麼樣
怎么样
zĕnmeyàng
okay?

Ni zenmeyang? Colloquial way of asking "How is it going?"

Etiquette II

Etiquette III


請問
请问
qǐngwèn __

(please-question)
Pardon me, may I ask -- ? Excuse me (before asking a question). Stemming from the notion that it is rude to immediately begin questioning someone, it is polite to first say qǐngwèn when beginning a conversation. However, it does not need to be repeated subsequent questions in the same conversation.



ya

Add to the end of a question to make it more polite, less demanding.


一下
yīxià
just once

一下 yīxià follows the verb in a sentence, and makes that verb more polite and moderate, as opposed to imposing and command-like.

你看 nǐkàn: Look! This is an order.
你看一下 nǐkànyīxià: Take a look.
The addition of 一下 yīxià turns the order into a gentle invitation or request.

我介绍 wǒjièshào:I am introducing!
我介绍一下 wǒjièshàoyīxià: Allow me to introduce. With the addition of 一下 yīxià, this is the set phrase to use before introducing two people.

我給你們介紹一下我给你们介绍一下

你看一下,這是什麼字?你看一下,这是什么字?

請你進來一下请你进来一下


一點
一点
yīdiǎn
a bit

Like 一下 yīxià, 一點一点 yīdiǎn also follows the verb in a sentence. However, while 一下 yīxià modifies the verb, 一點一点 yīdiǎn modifies the object. 一點一点 yīdiǎn can be shortened to just diǎn.

有一點(兒)+ adjective有一点(儿)+ adjective

普通话拼音English
你想餅乾嗎 / 你想饼干吗nǐ xiǎng bǐnggān ma?Wanna cookie?!
你想一點餅乾嗎 / 你想一点饼干吗nǐ xiǎng yīdiǎn bǐnggān ma?Would you like some cookies?
你想吃什麼 / 你想吃什么nǐ xiǎng chī shénme?What food ya want?
你想吃什麼 / 你想吃什么nǐ xiǎng chī diǎn shénme?What would you like to eat?

有一點
有一点
yǒuyīdiǎn
a bit

我學得漢字有一點難我学得汉字有一点难



ba

Add to end of a command to make it less, well, commanding. Use 吧 to moderate a command and to confirm a statement. 下課以後我們去看電影吧. 你是中人吧?下课以后我们去看电影吧. 你是中人吧?

普通话拼音English
你喝茶 / 你喝茶nǐ hè cháDrink tea!
你喝一點茶 / 你喝一点茶nǐ hè yīdiǎn cháDrink some tea!
你喝一點茶吧 / 你喝一点茶吧nǐ hè yīdiǎn chá baHave a little tea.

Directions

你在哪兒?你在哪儿?
你去哪兒?你去哪儿?