A is attempting to buy a train ticket to Beijing Download

Name
Chinese English equivalent
A: Wǒ xiǎng mǎi qù Běijīng de huǒchēpiào. 我想买去北京的火车票。 I need a ticket to Beijing.
B: Nǐ xiǎng mǎi shénme shíhòu de? 你想买什么时候的? When do you plan to go?
A: Wǒ yào zhège zhōumò qù, nǐ yǒu xīngqīliù zǎoshang de ma? 我要这个周末去,你有星期六早上的吗? I want to go this weekend. Do you have tickets for Saturday morning?
B: Yǒu. Nǐ yào zuò dòngchē hái shì kuàichē? 有。你要坐动车还是快车? Yes. Do you want the bullet train or the express train?
A: Dòngchē hé kuàichē yǒu shénme bùtóng? 动车和快车有什么不同? What is the difference between the bullet train and the express train.
B: Dòngchē bǐ kuàichē kuài de duō. 动车比快车快得多。 The bullet train is much faster.
A: Wǒ juéde dòngchē yě bǐ kuàichē guì. 我觉得动车也比快车贵。 I think the bullet train is also much more expensive.
B: Duì a. Dào Běijīng de dòngchē piào bǐ kuàichē piào duō yībǎi bāshí kuài. 对啊。到北京的动车票比快车票多一百八十块。 True. It will cost 180 dollars more to take the bullet train to Beijing.
A: Dòngchē dào Běijīng xūyào jǐgèxiǎoshí? 动车到北京需要几个小时? How long does it take for the bullet train to reach Beijing?
B: Liù ge bànxiǎoshí. 六个半小时。 Six and a half hours.

Vocabulary

Pinyin Chinese English
huǒchē 火车 (n) train
piào (n) ticket
zhōumò 周末 (n) weekend
zuò (v) ride
dòngchē 动车 (n) bullet (super express) train
kuàichē 快车 (n) express train
bùtóng 不同 (adj) difference
de duō 得多 (adv) to the extreme
juéde 觉得 (v) to think or feel
(v) compared to
xūyào 需要 (v) need

Grammar Patterns

Describing the kind of ticket

In English we might say “I need a ticket to Beijing”. But in Chinese the word order is different. Instead using a prepositional phrase, the details are expressed as an adjective phrase. For example

Adjective phrase Noun
qù Běijīng de huǒchē piào
míngtāin zǎoshāng qīdiàn de huǒchē piào
méiyǒu wǒ xǐhuān de piào

Note: “de” (的) is used to connect the a pre-position adjective to the noun when the adjective phrase has more than one word.

Asking about the difference

In English we might ask “What is the difference between A and B?”, but in Chinese the pattern is reversed.

  • [A] hé [B] yǒu shénme bùtóng? (literally: A and B has what difference?)

 

Making comparisons

In English we might say “A is more expensive that B”, but in Chinese the pattern is a bit different.

  • [A] bǐ [B] guì. (Literally: A compared to B is more expensive)

 

First item (compared to) Second item Property
Nà gè chènshān zhè gè guì
Zhōngwén Yīngwén nán*
Sìchān cài Guǎngdōng cài

(*note: nán means difficult.)

Another way to think about “bǐ” is that it means “more than”, as in “A more the B (is) expensive.”.

When one thing is much more or less than another

When expressing a lopsided comparison (example: A is much more expensive then B), use the post-position intensifier “de duō”. Unlike “hěn” or “tai”, which can not be used with “bǐ”, “de duō” positioned after the adjective being compared. For example: “[A] bǐ [B] guì de duō”.

First item (compared to) Second item Property by a lot
Nà gè chènshān zhè gè guì de duō.
Zhōngwén Yīngwén nán de duō.
Sìchān cài Guǎngdōng cài de duō.



Expressing a less lopsided comparison is similar in structure, but instead of using “de duō”, use “yī diǎn”, or “yī diǎr”, instead.

First item (compared to) Second item (is more) by a little
Nà gè chènshān zhè gè guì yī diǎn.
Zhōngwén Yīngwén nán yī diǎn.
Sìchān cài Guǎngdōng cài yī diǎn.

 

Expressing the amount of difference

The grammar pattern used to express the magnitude of the difference, is very similar to the one used above.

First item (compared to) Second item Property Amount
dòngchē piào kuàichē piào guì yībǎi bāshí kuài
kuàichē piào dòngchē piào shǎo yībǎi bāshí kuài
Lǎoshī zǎo yī gè xiǎoshi

(note: shǎo means “few” or “less”.)

Practice

Sentence Practice

Flashcards