The Chinese grammar section explains the main grammatical structures you need to know in order to make your own sentences. There are example sentences to show how the language is used.
Watch our videos to help you understand grammar and listen our audios to help you pronounce the language in an interactive, clear and simple way.
In this unit, learn to:
English phases such as "the apple that my mother bought ..." or "my classmate who lives in Hong Kong ..." contain a subordinate cause that modifies the noun antecedent to the relative pronoun (that and who in these cases). Similar to English, a Mandarin subordinate clause that serves as a modifier puts before the noun it modified, connected by '的'.
The modified noun phase uses the grammatical structure: Modifier + 的 + noun. The modifier can be in multiple forms or structures. Some used in common are as follows:
a) Modifier = Verb or Verb Phase
A modifier is constructed using a verb or a verb phrase. '的' is used to connect between the modifier and a noun.
e.g. 刚洗的衣服。Clothes that are just wasted.
b) Modifier = Subject + Verb Phase
e.g. 妈妈做的饭。 Rice that is cooked by mum.
c) Modifier = Location + Verb Phase
e.g. 在大学工作的教授。A Professor who works at the university
d) Modifier = Verb-object Phase
e.g. 喝咖啡的人。 The person who drinks coffee.
e) Modifier = Subject + Location + Verb Phase
e.g. 我在大学认识的同学。 Classmates I met at the university.
Use the word ‘的’ to form a phrase which is equivalent to a noun phrase. As the headword in the noun phase is understood based on context, the headword can be omitted.
e.g. 这本书不是我的。 This is not my book.
(In this example, use ‘的’ to form a phase 我的书。The Chinese sentence without omitting headword actually is 这本书不是我的书 and the headword 书 can be omitted.)
e.g. 这个杯子是你的吗? Is this your cup?
(In this example, use ‘的’ to form a phase 你的杯子。The Chinese sentence without omitting headwords actually is 这个杯子是你的杯子吗 and the headwords 杯子 can be omitted.)
Use the adverb ‘就’ :
a) after a time phrase to indicate an action takes place sooner than expected, like 'as soon/early as (a certain time). Its structure is Subject + date/time + 就 + Verb Phase
e.g. 我七点就起床。I woke up as early as seven o'clock.
b) after a prior action to indicate 'then' or 'consequently' to construct sequential actions.
Its structure is Subject1 + Verb1 + 完 + (Object1) + (Subject2) + 就 + Verb Phase
e.g. 他做完功课就去玩 。When he finishes his homework, he then goes to play.
Chinese Vocabulary and Writing
The Chinese vocabulary and writing section introduces new Chinese vocabulary you need to know in order to understand the language. For each new vocabulary, you learn what it means, how to pronounce and write it.
Having a good vocabulary will help you improve your language level and become a more confident speaker of Mandarin. Practising Chinese writing is often one of the best ways to improve your vocabulary.
Chinese character copybooks available online or in printed format enable you to practise your Chinese writing in a stroke by stroke manner.
In this unit, learn how to pronounce and write new vocabulary below:
弟弟 [ dì di ] Young brother
打篮球 [ dǎ lán qiú ] To play basketball
房间 [fánɡ jiān ] Room
就 [ jiù ] Used to indicate a conclusion
开始 [ kāi shǐ ] To begin, to start
快 [ kuài ] Quick, fast
门 [ mén ] Door, gate
旁边 [ pánɡ biān ] Beside
跑步 [ pǎo bù ] To run, to jog
外 [ wài ] Outer, outside
也 [ yě ] Also, too
左边 [ zuǒ biɑn ] Left side