Open Class HSK test -

Unit 20

Caution is the parent of safety 小心驶得万年船

Learning Objective 

Chinese Grammar

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:

Use conditional “只要…就…” to connect the two clauses of a conditional complex sentence

“只要…,就…” is used to connect the two clauses of a conditional complex sentence, with “只要” introducing a necessary condition and “就” followed by the consequent result.

In English, “只要…,就…” means "as long as... then....". In other words, whenever A happens, B (always) results.

The grammatical structure is:

“只要 + Subject1 …,(Subject2 +) 就…” or

“Subject1 + 只要 …,(Subject2 +) 就…”

The subject can be put before or after “只要”. If there is a second subject in the sentence, it is put right before “就”.

For examples:

  • 只要你想去,我就陪你去。
    If you want to go, I will accompany you.

  • 只要我有时间,我就一定去探望奶奶。
    If I have time, I will visit grandma.

Use “被” to express passive voice

主动句 (Active sentence):

Let’s see an active sentence: Brother eats a cake.

[Subject]                            +    [Verb]      +      [Object]

弟弟(Brother)                           吃(eats)           蛋糕(a cake)。

[Thing(s) doing the action] +    [Verb]       +     [Thing(s) receiving the action] 

被动句 (Passive voice)

A passive voice of the sentence becomes: A cake is eaten by brother.

[Subjec]      +     [被/ 叫/ 让]      +       [Object]      +  [Verb]

蛋糕(a cake)            被                  弟弟(Brother)      吃(eat)。

[Thing(s) receiving the action] +  [被]   + [Thing(s) doing the action] + [verb]

In passive sentence, the subject is the receiver of an action and the object is the doer of an action.

When to use the passive voice?

a) When the speaker is particularly concerned or focused on the "receiver of an action"

b) indicates something unsatisfactory or undesirable (e.g. hurt, cheated)

How to use the passive voice?

a) interchanging the positions of subjects and objects, and

b) Adding “被/叫/让” between the subject and object. The verb followed by object, and

c) inserting “other elements ” as a supplement (such as : 了, a complement or additional object) at the end of the sentence if necessary.

Notes: The object following "被" can be omitted, and the object following "叫/让" cannot be omitted.

The grammatical structure is:

[Subject] + [被/叫/让] + [Verb] + [ other elements]


  • 花瓶被弟弟打破了。
    The vase was broken by my brother.

  • 我被骗子骗了很多钱。
    I was deceived by a scammer a lot of money.

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:

被 [ bèi ] (prep) used to indicate the passive voice

必须 [ bì xū ] (adv) must

船 [ chuán ] (n) boat;ship

打 [ dǎ ] (v) to send; to remit

东 [ dōnɡ ] (n) east

换 [ huàn ] (v) to change; to substitute

黄 [ huánɡ ] (n) yellow color

黄河 [ huánɡ hé ] Yellow River(the second longest river in China)

解决 [ jiě jué ] (v) to solve

经常 [ jīnɡ chánɡ ] (adv) often

难过 [ nán ɡuò ] (adj) sad

年轻 [ nián qīnɡ ] (adj) young

认为 [ rèn wéi ] (v) to think; to believe

试 [ shì ] (v) to try

万 [ wàn ] (num) ten thousand

小心 [ xiǎo xīn ] (adj) careful

信用卡 [ xìn yònɡ kǎ ] (n) credit card

影响 [ yǐnɡ xiǎnɡ ] (n) influence

遇到 [ yù dào ] (v) to come

Supplementary Notes