Mr Wang () and Ms Shang () are co-workers and happen to meet in the hallway.

PinyinChineseEnglish
Ní hǎo, Wáng xiānshēng. Nǐ míngtiān qù nálǐ?你好,王先生。你明天去哪里?Hello Mr Wang. Where are you going tomorrow?
Qù shànghǎi.去上海。To Shanghai.
Shénme shíhou qù? Shàngwǔ háishì xiàwǔ?什么时候去?上午还是下午?When (do you) go? Morning or afternoon?
Wǒ xiàwǔ qù.我下午去.I’m going in the afternoon
Jīntiān wǎnshang nǐ máng ma?今天晚上你忙吗?This evening are you busy?
Wǒ bù máng .我不忙。I am not busy.
Wǎnshang nǐ gēn wǒ qù chīfàn, hǎo ma?晚上你跟我去吃饭,好吗?Tonight, how about having dinner with me?
Hǎo a!好啊!Okay!
Nà, wǒmen jīntiān wǎnshang jiàn.那,我们今天晚上见。In that case, see you tonight.
Hǎo de, wǎnshang jiàn.好的,晚上见。Okay, see you tonight.
Improve your pronunciation! After listening to the audio, try recording your own voice. Click here to repeat the last audio played
  jīntiān míngtiān
zǎoshang 7:00 7:00
8:00 8:00
shàngwǔ 9:00 9:00
10:00 10:00
11:00 11:00
zhōngwǔ 12:00 12:00
xiàwǔ 1:00 1:00
2:00 2:00
3:00 3:00
4:00 4:00
wǎnshang 5:00 5:00
  6:00 Gēn péngyou chīfàn 6:00
  6:00 6:00

Vocabulary

Pinyin Chinese English
míngtiān 明天 tomorrow noun
jīntiān 今天 today noun
zuótiān 昨天 yesterday noun
shénme shíhòu 什么时候 when Interrogative pronoun. Literally “what time”, because shíhòu means time.
shàngwǔ 上午 late morning noun
xiàwǔ 下午 afternoon noun
zhōngwǔ 中午 noon noun
then conjunction, “in that case”
gēn with preposition
xiànzài 现在 now The present moment

Pinyin and Pronunciation

initials:
finals:
b p m d t n l j q x  
in bin pin min     nin lin jin qin xin
ian bian pian mian dian tian nian lian jian qian xian
ing bing ping ming ding ting ning ling jing qing xing
iang           niang liang jiang qiang xiang

Listen and circle the one you hear

  • 1) yin – yan, ban – bian, bin – bing, ying – yang,
  • 2) pin – pen, pian – pan, mian – mang, jin – jian,
  • 3) xing – xiang, qiang – chang, xing – xin, jiao – qiao,
  • 4) xia – xie, qi – qie, qia – qiao, tie – tiao,

Listen and add the correct tone marks

  • 1) jin tian, ming tian, shang wu
  • 2) gen wo yi qi, ting yin yue
  • 3) shen me shi hou, jintian xia wu
  • 4) wan shang jian, Shang hai

Grammar Patterns

Time when

When expressing the time at which an action will take place, the time information must precede the verb. Consider these two examples, which demonstrate that the time information may come before or after the subject, as long as it precedes the verb.

  • míngtiān qù xuéxiào
  • Jīntiān wǒ hěn lèi

Time words may follow a modal verb, but they must precede the main verb. The choice of order depends on emphasis. Just like in English, to emphasize something, it is placed earlier in the sentence

  Time    
  Míngtiān wó xiǎng chī jiǎozi. (emphasis on time)
míngtiān xiǎng chī jiǎozi. (emphasis on who)
Wǒ xiǎng míngtiān chī jiǎozi. (emphasis on preference)

Word order

When describing a point in time, the more general time words must precede the more specific words. For example “this morning” is jīntiān zǎoshang – and not the other way around, because “today” is more general than “morning”.

Examples

  • Jīntiān xiàwǔ wǒ qù xué xiào.
  • míngtiān wǎnshang xiǎng chī jiǎozi.
  • Tā yào zuótiān zǎoshang qù Shanghai.

Chinese uses this logical approach, of word order determined by general before specific, for more than just describing time. For example, t is also used for describing dates and locations. This is a very satisfying pattern of expression and will not take you long to get used to.

Homework

Check this link for Sentence Practice 

Audio

(to download right click here , select “save as”)

Second voice recording courtesy of Cecilia Shang