Mr Wang () asks Ms Zhang () about her family.


Nǐ jiā yóu jǐ gè rén? 你家有几个人? How many people in your family?
Wǒ jiā yǒu liù gè rén,bàba,māma,gēge,dìdi,liǎng gè jiějie hé wǒ。 我家有六个人,爸爸,妈妈,哥哥,弟弟,两个姐姐和我。 My family has 6 people, dad, mom, big brother,little brother, two big sisters and me
Ní yǒu mèimei ma? 你有妹妹吗? Do you have a little sister?
Méiyǒu。 没有。 No.


Pinyin èr sān liù jiǔ shí shí yī shí èr
Chinese 十一 十二
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jiāhome, familyNoun, indicating home or family, depending on context.
yǒuto haveVerb, indicating possession, real or abstract
méinotAdverb of negation, used to negate yǒu.
没有méiyǒuVerb, to not have
how manyInterrogative pronoun, 12 or less.
Classifier for people, and other things.
liǎnga coupleNumber 2 used only with classifiers (“èr” is almost never used with classifiers.)
哥哥gēgeolder brotherNoun
弟弟dìdiyounger brotherNoun
姐姐jiějieolder sisterNoun
妹妹mèimeiyounger sisterNoun
andConjunction, used only with lists of things.

Pinyin and Pronunciation

ai bai pai mai   dai tai nai lai gai kai hai sky
ao bao pao mao   dao tao nao lao gao kao hao cow
ei bei pei mei fei dei   nei lei gei kei hei weigh
ou bou pou mou fou dou tou nou lou gou kou hou dough
uo bo po mo fo duo tuo nuo luo guo kuo huo whoa


  • All of the pinyin words in the last row rhyme with “wo”. It would be nice if Hanyu pinyin used a consistent representation for similar sounds, but it doesn’t.
  • If you find the difference between “ou” and “uo” difficult, try thinking of the “u” as if it were a “w”. So “uo” sound like “wo” and “ou” sounds like “ow” (as in “low” or “owe”).
  • “er” is a final which has no initial. One example is èr (two). The pronunciation sounds the same as the letter “R” in English.

Listen, and circle the correct choice

  • 1) ba – bai, tao – tei, po – pou, dei – de
  • 2) gao – kao, lou – luo, tao – tou, ou – wo
  • 3) shi – xi, zhe – ji, zha – za, se – ce
  • 4) chi – qi, huo – hou, lei – lai, zha – jia

Listen, and add the tone marks

  • 1) ni, jia, you, ji ,ge, ren
  • 2) yi,er,san,si,wu,liu,qi,ba,jiu,shi
  • 3) baba,mama,gege,dìdi,liang, jiejie, he
  • 4) meimei, mei you, lao shi, xue sheng

Grammar Patterns


A classifier is a word that is used when we quantify a noun. For example: in “ten head of cattle”, “head” is a classifier. Unlike English, where classifiers are seldom used, in Chinese all nouns must be proceeded by a classifier when quantified. We will learn “gè” first. This is the most common classifier, and it can be used whenever we are unsure of the correct one. Being able to use “gè” as a default is convenient because Chinese has hundreds of classifies and each noun only has one or two classifiers that it can be quantified with.

liù rén

Two words for “two”: liǎng and èr

Use liǎng when talking about how many, use èr for counting and labeling. The table below shows how they relate to the concepts we learned (and immediately forgot) in grade school.

 Cardinal  Quantifier, how many   two dollars, two horses, etc liǎng sān
 Ordinal  Order of occurrence  first, second, third, forth dì yī dì èr dì sān
 Nominal  Used as a label  phone number, address, date èr sān

Negating yǒu

méi negates yǒu and negates all other verbs and adjectives. méi is not used with and other verbs and is never used with yǒu. (later we will learn that méi is also used to negate past tense verbs, but for now, we can assume that méi is only used with yǒu).


Check this link for Sentence Practice


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