Student Reader

普通话一 Mandarin 1

The table below summarizes what you will be expected to learn in Mandarin, level 1.
Topic
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

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 就 才
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
dě 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?
jǐ 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).

hè (conj) and

yě (conj) also

要是

要是 yàoshi (conj) if

nà (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?

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普通话一 Mandarin 1Comments