Ms Wáng () and Ms Lǐ () are arranging a lunch meeting over the phone.

PinyinChineseEnglish
Níhǎo,nǐ máng ma?你好,你忙吗?Hi, are you busy?
Bù máng, nǐ ne?不忙,你呢?Not at all. And you?
Wó yě bù máng. Wǒmen qù chī fàn ba.我也不忙,我们去吃饭吧。I’m also not busy. Let’s go eat.
Hǎo. Qù nálǐ?好,去哪里?Okay. Where to?
Wǒ zài bàngōngshì. Nǐ kéyǐ lái zhèlǐ ma?我在办公室,你可以来这里吗?I am at the office. Can you come here?
Wǒ zài xuéxiào. Qù shāngdiàn jiàn, hǎo bù hǎo?我在学校,去商店见,好不好?I am at school. Can we meet at the store?
Hǎo.好.Okay.
Zàijiàn!再见!Bye!
Improve your pronunciation! After listening to the audio, try recording your own voice. Click here to repeat the last audio played

 

Vocabulary

PinyinChineseEnglish
ná哪里whereInterrogative pronoun used to ask about location.
nàlǐ那里therePronoun, located away from the speaker. Compare to zhèlǐ (here)
goVerb indicating motion in the direction away from the speaker.
láicomeVerb indicating motion in the direction towards the speaker.
zàiatVerb, meaning “located at”
ba Particle, turns the sentence into a suggestion.
xuéxiào学校schoolNoun, any type school
bàngōngshì办公室officeNoun, any type office
shāngdiàn商店storeNoun, any type of store
fàndiàn饭店restaurantNoun, any type of restaurant
duìcorrectAdjective, indicating the state or condtion of being correct.
jiànmeetVerb, to meet someone casually
ké可以canModal verb, indicates permission or ability

 

Pinyin and Pronunciation

initials:
finals:
 bpmdtnljqx 
iyibipimiditinilijiqixi
iaya      liajiaqiaxia
ieyebiepiemiedietienieliejieqiexie
iaoyaobiaopiaomiaodiaotiaoniaoliaojiaoqiaoxiao
iouyou  miudiu niuliujiuqiuxiu

This group is a subset of the “i” medials (the ones with the “i” sound in the middle). Except for the first column and the first row, each word from this set consists of three parts. For example “bie” is composed of:

  • initial: “b”
  • medial: “i”
  • final: “e”

These words almost sound like they have two syllables “bie” = bee-eh, but the two syllables merge into a single sound.

Please note the last row. The combination of “iou” is an example of an inconsistency in the pinyin “spelling” system.

  • In the first column, “you”, the “y” simply replaces the “i” in “iou”. But in the others, the “o” has been dropped, leaving “iu”.
  • Unfortunately, by dropping the “o”, an important visual clue for pronunciation is lost.
  • Due to regional dialects, “iu” is pronounced differently in different parts of China. In particular, “liu” is sometimes pronounce lee-ew, even though the standard pronunciation is lee-oh.

Listening Practice

 Circle the one you hear Add the correct tone marks
1bie – bei, die – dei, yi – ye, yao – you, xuexiao, bangongshi, shangdian,
2yi – ya, ji – jia, bi – bie, qi – qia, nali, zheli, nali,
3niao – niu, liao – liu, jiao – jiu, jiao – qiao, bi, mian tiao, pi jiu
4xia – xie, qi – qie, qia – qiao, tie – tiao, qu, lai, zai, dui, keyi, qing wen

 

Grammar patterns

Verb-not-verb pattern

The verb-not-verb pattern is used to ask a question. If a verb-not-verb pattern appears in a sentence, there will be no “ma” at the end of the sentence. There are a number of variations on this pattern, involving adjectives, modal verbs and action verbs.

verb typesubjectverb-not-verbobjectalternate verbs
adjectivetāmenmáng bù máng lèi bú lèi, hǎo bù hǎo
action verblǎoshīqù bú qùxuéxiàolái bù lái, zài bú zài
modal verbWáng xiānshengyào bú yàohē jiǔxiǎng bù xiǎng

Note that when using the verb-not-verb pattern with yǒu, you must use méi.

  • yǒu méi yǒu dìdi?

It is also used with duì and hǎo when seeking confirmation on a statement

statementverb-not-verb
shū zài zhèliduì bú duì
wǒmen qù shāngdiànhǎo bù hǎo

Multi-verb Sentences

A Chinese sentence may have more than one verb phrase and no connecting word is required. However, any verb phrase indicating time, manner or location should come before an action phrase. Here are some examples.

SubjectModal verbLocation phraseAction phrase(Question)
Nǐmenxiǎnglái wǒ jiājiàn péngyouma?
Wǒmenyàoqù fàndiànchī fànhǎo bù hǎo?
Tāmenbù kézài bàngōngshìhē píjiǔ. 

Practice

Multi-verb sentences have the form: [subject][modal verb][action phrase]

  • [subject] can be a pronoun, type of person, or name
  • [modal verb] can be xiǎng, yào, or kěyǐ
  • can use qù, lái, or zài
  • [action phrase] can use jiàn, chī, or hē

Using vocabulary from this lesson, write 3 mult-verb sentences using “ba” to indicate a suggestion, 3 in the form of a question using “ma” and, finally, 3 in the form of a question using verb-not-verb. Please bring your sentences to the next class and share.

Homework

Check this link for Sentence Practice 

Audio

Click on the player to hear the dialog.

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