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:
The Rhetoric Question “能…吗”
Use the rhetoric question “能…吗” to express an expected answers of a questioner. If the questioner is using an affirmative form to raise a question, the questioner expects a negative form of an answer. However, if the questioner is using a negative form, an affirmative form of the answer is expected.
In general, a rhetorical question may anticipate an obvious answer, and the purpose of a questioner who raises such the rhetorical question is to put emphasis on some points being conveyed.
If an affirmative form is used with “能…吗” in a rhetorical question, a questioner actually expects a negative form of an answer.
This cake was bought a month ago. Can it be eaten now?
In this example, “eat” (“吃”) is used with “能…嗎” to form an affirmative question, indicating a questioner expresses a negative answer. That means, the cake cannot be eaten (as it has gone bad already).
If a negative form is used with “能…吗” in a rhetorical question, a questioner actually expects an affirmative answer.
You eat after you sleep, sleep after you eat, can you not get fat?
In this example, “not get fat” (“不胖”) is used between “能…嗎” to construct a negative question, indicating a questioner expresses an affirmative answer. That means, you would get fat (if you keep eating and sleeping all the times).
Use “了” to indicate a change
Use “了” at the end of a declarative sentence to indicate a change in situation which is different from the current status.
“了” is a modal particle, put it at the end of a declarative sentence to indicate a change in situation which is different from the current status.
I used to dislike history course, but now I like it very much.
When I was young, I liked eating candy. I don't like eating it now.
Comparison of “又” and “再”
Use of adverbs “又” and “再” to put before a verb to indicate an action or a situation to happen again.
“又” and “再” mean “one more time” in English. They are put before a verb to indicate an action or a situation to happen again. The grammatical pattern is (又 + Verb) or (再 + Verb).
Pay attention on the grammatical differences between these 2 patterns:
"又+Verb" is used to indicate an action or a situation that has already happened again.
I bought a skirt last week and another one this week.
You already drank a cup of coffee in the morning and another one now!
(The above 2 examples indicate that previous actions that have already happened one more time)
“再+Verb” is used to indicate an action or a situation that has not yet happened, but will happen again.
The cakes in this shop are very delicious. I ate them yesterday and today again. I will eat them again tomorrow.
(The above 2 examples, use “再” to indicate an action that is expected to occur again, but has not yet happened)
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:
蛋糕 [ dàn ɡāo ] (n) cake
锻炼 [ duàn liàn ] (v) to do physical exercise
饿 [ è ] (adj) hungry
果汁 [ ɡuǒ zhī ] (n) fruit juice
健康 [ jiàn kānɡ ] (adj) healthy
检查 [ jiǎn chá ] (v) to check; to examine
决定 [ jué dìnɡ ] (v) to decide
礼物 [ lǐ wù ] (n) gift; present
每天 [ měi tiān ] every day
面条 [ miàn tiáo ] (n) noodles
胖 [ pànɡ ] (adj) fat
生气 [ shēnɡ qì ] (v) angry
甜 [ tián ] (adj) sweet
听说 [ tīnɡ shuō ] (v) to hear about; to be told
忘记 [ wànɡ jì ] (v) to forget
为了 [ wèi le ] (prep) for the sake of
以后 [ yǐ hòu ] (n) after; later
又 [ yòu ] (adv) again
最近 [ zuì jìn ] (adv) lately; recently