One Chinese sentence a day

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Welcome to learn Chinese help at http://www.chinesetolearn.com/
Learn one Chinese sentence a day with us in a fun, effective and musical way!

New post sample one

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Christmas is around the corner – How to say “As soon as Thanksgiving went away, she started Christmas shopping right away” in Chinese:感恩节一过,她就开始圣诞节大采购。Gan3 en1 jie2 yi2 guo4, ta1 jiu4 kai1 shi3 sheng4 dan4 jie2 da4 cai3 gou4。 Gan3 en1 jie2 (感恩节 Gan3 en1 thanks for the favor or mercy, jie2 holiday; together gan3 en1 jie2 means thanksgiving) yi2 (一 adverb, just) guo4 (过verb, passed), ta1 (他 pronoun, he) jiu4 (就 adverb, then) kai1 shi3 (开始 verb, start) sheng4 dan4 jie2 (圣诞节 sheng4 means saint -noun-, dan4 means was born -verb- jie2 holiday -noun; together these three characters mean Christmas) da4 (大adjective, big) cai3 gou4 (采购 noun, shopping)。

Let’s learn the yi2 + verb +jiu4 + verb — as soon as V then V

This structure connects two actions. It can be used to combine two actions in two different types of situations:habitual situations or one-time only situations.

1. Habitual situations -Whenever the first action occurs, the second action follows right away.

For example,
小李一游泳就呛水。
Xiao3 Li3 yi4 you2 yong3 jiu4 qiang4 shui3.
Whenever little Li swam, he get choked with water.
2. In a one-time situation, the second action takes place as soon as the first is completed.
For example,
他一出门就跌倒了。
Ta1 yi4 chu1 men2, jiu4 die2 dao3 le5.
As soon as he got out of the door, he fell on the ground.

圣诞节 Christmas, 圣 sheng4 means saint -Jesus-, and 诞 dan4 means was born; so literally, it means the holiday that the saint was born. Let’s learn Christmas phrases: 圣诞树 (sheng4 dan4 shu4 Christmas tree), 圣诞老公公 (sheng4 dan4 lao3 gong1 gong5 Santa Claus), 雪橇 (xue3 qiao1 sled), 驯鹿(xun2 lu4 reindeer), 圣诞卡片 sheng4 dan4 ka3 pian4 Christmas cards and 圣诞礼物 (sheng4 dan4 li3 wu4)。 What’s on your wish list this year? Hope your wish will come true 愿望成真 yuan4 wang4 (wish) cheng2 (become) zhen1 (true). Merry Christmas 圣诞快乐 sheng4 dan4 kuai4 le5.

Chinese version Christmas song

New post sample two
Learn Chinese phrases, sentence – learn Mandarin – How to say “You are the apple of my eye” in Chinese:

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你是我眼中的苹果. Ni3 shi4 wo3 yan3 zhong1 de5 ping2 guo3. Ni3 (second person pronoun, you) shi4 (a copula verb to link the subject and the complement, is) wo3 (here means wo3 de5, my) yan3 zhong1 (yan3 means eyes, zhong1 means in or within or inside, thus yan3 zhong1 here means in the eyes) de5 (a particle to connect the attribute and the object it describes) ping2 guo3 (apple).
Apple of my eye comes from old English, Shakespeare also used it in the 1590s when he wrote A Midsummer Night’s Dream:
“Flower of this purple dye, / Hit with Cupid’s archery, / Sink in apple of his eye”.
The pupil of the eyes is shaped like an apple. So, when you say “someone is the apple of your eyes” means that you see this person fondly and can see him or her for a long period of time.
There are a few phrases about eyes: yan3 jing1 (眼腈 eye), yan3 qiu2(眼球 eye ball), yan3 jie2 mao2 (眼睫毛 eyelashes), yan3 bai2 (眼白 the white part of the eyes) and jin4 shi4 yan3 (近视眼 near sighted eyes, myopia).

This following song – Love song 1990 -is written and sung by Luo Da You, it starts with describing how pretty the eyes are –烏溜溜的黑眼珠 和你的笑臉. Check the Chinese songs categories for the translation.

New post sample three

Learn Chinese phrases, sentence – learn Mandarin : How to say “The secret to live happily is to have a grateful heart” in Chinese:

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活得快乐的秘密是有一颗感恩的心。Huo3 de5 kuai4 le4 de5 mi4 mi4 shi4 you3 yi1 ke1 gan3 en1 de5 xin1. Huo3 ( 活 verb, live) de5 ( 得 a particle to connect the verb and the adverb which modify the verb, in the sentence, the adverb is kuai4 le4) kuai4 le4 (快乐 originally is an adjective, but here functions as an adverb) de5 (的 a particle used to connect the attribute and the noun that it modifies or describes) mi4 mi4 (秘密 noun, secret) shi4 (是 is) you3 (有 have) yi4 (一 one) ke1 (颗 a measure word for heart) gan3 en1 de5 (感恩的 thankful, grateful, gan3 means thanks, en1 means mercy, de5 is a particle to link the attribute and the noun that follows) xin1 (心 heart). Let’s learn about some feeling phrases: kuai4 le4 (快乐 happy), nan2 guo4 (难过 sad), gao1 xing4 (高兴happy), you1 shang1 (优伤a more classic word for sad), ju3 sang4 (沮丧frustrated), and shi1 wang4 (失望 disappointed).

Enjoy the grand and lovely Chinese music — If you would like to see the English translation of this song, check it under the Chinese songs categories or do a search on the site with the song titled : 滄海一聲笑/沧海一声笑 Cang hai yi sheng xiao
Sea smile 海笑 hai3 xiao4 (remember it is not 海啸 tsunami, even the pinyin and tones are exactly the same :)): the legend of the swordsman

Oct. 12. 2011

How to say “Halloween is coming soon, so I want to buy Halloween costumes” in Chinese: wan4 sheng4 jie2 kuai4 dao4 le5, suo2 yi3 wo3 yao4 qu4 mai3 wan4 sheng4 jie2 fu2 shi4

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万圣节快到了,所以我要去买万圣节服饰。Wan4 sheng4 jie2 (Halloween 万圣节) kuai4 (quick, soon 快) dao4 (arrive 到) le5 (a particle to indicate an affirmative tone 了), suo2 yi3 (so 所以) wo3 (I 我) yao4 (want 要) qu4 (go 去) mai3 (buy 买) wan4 sheng4 jie2 (Halloween 万圣节) fu2 shi4 (costumes 服饰 fu2 means clothes, shi4 means decoration, costume can also be translated as fu2 zhuang1 服装). Speaking of Halloween, it is also the time to buy candies (tang2 guo3 糖果).

Oct. 11. 2011

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How to say “Heart attack is very scary” in Chinese: 心脏病发作非常可怕 xin1 zang4 bing4 fa1 zuo4 fei1 chang2 ke3 pa4. Xin1 zang4 (heart 心脏) bing4 (illness or disease 病) fa1 zuo4 (attack or an illness starts 发作) fei1 chang2 (very 非常) ke3 pa4 (scary or fearful 可怕). Some phrases about heart that you might want to learn: Xin1 xiong1 xia2 zhai3 (心胸狭窄 narrow-minded or intolerant), xin1 kuan1 ti3 pang4 (心宽体胖 when heart is at peace, the body will grow fat) and xin1 sui4 (心碎 heart broken into pieces).

Oct. 10. 2011
How to say “He is a patriot; he loves his country” in Chinese:

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他是位爱国者,他爱他的国家。ta1 shi4 wei4 ai4 guo2 zhe5, ta1 ai4 ta1 de5 guo2 jia1. ta1 (他 he) shi4 (是 is) wei4 (位 a measure word to refer person) ai4 (爱 love) guo2 (国country) zhe5 (者 person), ta1 (他 he) ai4 (爱 love) ta1 (他 ta) de5 (的 a particle to show possession, to put between a pronoun and the object the person possesses) guo2 jia1 (国家 country or nation). The opposite of patriot is pan4 guo2 zhe5 叛国者 traitor.

Oct. 9. 2011
How to say “Lady, do you want to dance with me?” in Chinese:

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小姐,你要跟我跳舞吗?xiao3 jie3, ni3 yao4 gen1 wo3 tiao4 wu3 ma5? Xiao3 jie3 (小姐lady), ni3 (你 you) yao4 (要 want) gen1 ( 跟 with or follow) wo3 (我 I or me) tiao4 wu3 (跳舞 dance) ma5 (吗 a particle to change a statement to a question)? If you want to say ” I want to invite you to dance” in Chinese, it will be : 我要邀请你跳舞。Wo3 ( I 我)yao4 ( want 要)yao1 qing3 (邀请 invite)ni3 (你 you)tiao4 wu3 (跳舞 dance).

Oct. 8. 2011
How to say ” I love to go fishing” in Chinese:

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我爱去钓鱼 wo3 ai4 qu4 diao4 yu2. wo3 (我 I) ai4 (爱 love) qu4 (去 go) diao4 yu2(钓鱼 literally means using fishing rod to catch fish). There are many kinds of fish: jin1 yu (金鱼 gold fish), gui1 yu2 (鲑鱼 salmon), mei3 ren2 yu2 (美人鱼 mermaid), xiao2 yu2 (小鱼 small fish), da4 yu2 (大鱼 big fish), and cai3 hong2 yu2 (rainbow fish 彩虹鱼).

Oct. 7. 2011

How to say ” Can you do me a favor?” in Chinese:

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你可以帮我一个忙吗 ni3 ke3 yi3 bang1 wo3 yi2 ge5 mang2 ma5? ni3 (你you) ke3 yi3 (可以are able to) bang1 (帮help) wo3 ( 我me) yi2 (一one) ge5 (个a measure word for help) mang2 (忙bang1 and mang2 together means  help, bang1 is the verb and mang2 is the object) ma5 (吗is a particle to change the sentence from a statement to a question)? The particle “ma” can be added to the end of any sentence to make it into a question. For example, if you want to ask, “Have you done your homework?” , you would say, “ ni3 zuo4 gong1 ke4 le5 ma5” 你做功课了嗎? ni3 zuo4 gong1 ke4 le5 你做功课了( you have done the homework) is a statement, while ni3 zuo4 gong1 ke4 le5 ma5” 你做功课了嗎 (Have you done your homework?) is a question.

Oct. 6. 2011
How to say “She is a vegetarian” in Chinese:

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她是一位素食者 ta1 shi4 yi2 wei4 su4 shi2 zhe5. 她是一位素食者 ta1 (she她) shi4 (is是) yi2 (one 一) wei4 (a measure word for person 位) su4 (originally means plain, here means non meat eating 素) shi2 (a classic word means eat 食) zhe5 (person 者). You can also say 她吃素不吃肉 (She eats vegetables; not eats meat) ta1 chi1 su4 bu4 chi1 rou4. Chi is a verb which means eat, bu4 is an adverb to negate the verb, and rou4 is the noun means meat.

Oct. 5. 2011
How to say ” He broke up with his girlfriend” in Chinese:

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他和他的女朋友分手了ta1 he2 ta1 de5 nu3 peng2 you3 fen1 shou3 le5. ta1 (he 他) he2 (and 和) ta1 (he 他) de5 (的 a particle to put between pronoun and the object to show possession) nu3 (female 女) peng2 you3 (friend 朋友) fen1 shou3 (分手 originally means parting hands, here means break up) le5 (了 a particle to show the change of status). Phrases about breaking up you might want to know: got dumped -- bei4 shuai3 le5(被甩了), bei4 pao1 qi4 le (被抛弃了)。

Oct. 4. 2011
How to say ” Jogging is my favorite sport” in Chinese:

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慢跑是我最喜欢的运动 man4 pao3 shi4 wo3 zui4 xi3 huan1 de5 yun4 dong4. man4 (慢 slow) pao3 (跑 run) shi4 (是 is) wo3 (我 I) zui4 (最 the most) xi3 huan1 (喜欢 like) de5 (的 a particle to put between verb and the object) yun4 dong4 (运动 sports). Some favorite sports you might want to know: swimming (you2 yong3 游泳), play basketball (da3 lan2 qiu2 打篮球), play soccer (ti1 zu2 qiu2 踢足球), and play football (da3 gan3 lan3 qiu2, 打柑榄球).

Oct. 3. 2011
How to say ” E T (extraterrestrial) comes from outer space” in Chinese: wai4 xing1 ren2 lai2 zi4 wai4 tai4 kong1

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外星人来自外太空。wai4 xing1 ren2 ( 外星人,wai4 means outer, xing1 means planet, ren2 means people, so wai4 xing1 ren2 is people from outer space) lai2 (come) zi4 (from) wai4 (outer) tai4 kong1 (outer space). Some phrases you might want to know: UFO (不明飞行物体,bu4 ming2 fei1 xing2 wu4 ti3), flying saucer (飞碟,fei1 die2) and space shuttle (太空飞梭tai4 kong1 fei1 suo1).

Oct. 2. 2011
How to say ” Here comes weekend, I want to see a movie” in Chinese:

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周末到了,我要去看电影 zhou1 mo4 dao4 le5, wo3 yao4 qu4 kan4 dian4 ying3. zhou1 mo4 (周末 weekend) dao4 (到 arrive) le5 (了 a particle to show the change of status), wo3 (我 I) yao4 (要 want) qu4 (去 go) kan4 (看 see or watch) dian4 ying3 (电影 movie). Some popular weekend activities that you might want to know: guang4 jie1 (逛街window shopping), mai3 dong1 xi5(买东西buy things), zheng3 li3 jia1 li3 (整理家里tidy up the house), da3 qiu2 (打球play balls) and can1 jia1 wu3 hui4 (参加舞会 attend dance party).

Oct. 1. 2011
How to say ” That little child is naughty” in Chinese: na4 ge4 xiao3 hai2 wan2 pi2

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那个小孩顽皮. na4 (那,that) ge4 (个,a measure word for child) xiao3 (小,little) hai2 (孩,child) wan2 pi2 (顽皮,naughty). There are a few phrases to express the meaning of naughty, 顽皮 is one of them. You can also use tiao2 pi2 调皮or tao2 qi4 淘气.

Sep. 30. 2011
How to say ” He is too fat, so he wants to lose weight” in Chinese: ta1 tai4 pang4, suo3 yi3 ta1 xiang3 jian3 fei2.

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他太胖,所以他想减肥. ta1 (他he) tai4 (太 too)pang4 (胖 fat), suo3 yi3 (所以 therefore) ta1 (他 he) xiang3 (想 think or want)jian3 (减 decrease) fei2 (肥 fat). 他太胖,所以他想减肥. 胖and 肥 all mean fat. But, it is not pleasant to say 太肥,太肥 hints super obese. A best way to describe a guy, he is fat would be ta1 hen3 jie1 shi2 (solid 结实); refer to a lady, it would be better to say ta1 hen3 feng1 man3 (丰满 luscious full).

Sep. 29. 2011

How to say “She dances well” in Chinese:

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她跳舞跳得好ta1 tiao4 wu3 tiao4 de5 hao3. 她ta1 she, 跳舞tiao4 wu3 dance, 跳tiao4 originally means jump, however tiao4 is the verb to go with the object dance (a habitual combination), so tiao4 here  means dance, 得de5 is a particle to put between a verb and the adverb which describe the verb, 好hao3 well. Some phrases that contain tiao4: 跳高tiao4 gao1 high jump, 跳远 tiao4 yuan3 long jump, 跳水 tiao4 shui3 diving, and 跳绳 tiao4 sheng2 jumping rope.

Sep. 28. 2011

How to say “Chinese people use chopsticks to eat food” in Chinese:

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中国人用筷子吃食物 zhong1 guo2 ren2 yong4 kuai4 zi5 chi1 shi2 wu4.  中国 Zhong1 guo2 means China,  人 ren2 means people, 用 yong4 means use, 筷子 kuai4 zi5 chopsticks, 吃 chi1 eat, 食物 shi1 wu4 food. Some other table utensils are 汤匙tang1 chi2 spoon, 叉子cha1 zi5 fork, 刀子dao1 zi5 knife.

Sep. 27. 2011

How to say “Sharing is a good thing” in Chinese:

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分享是一件好事fen1 xiang4 shi4 yi2 jian4 hao3 shi4. Fen1 分mean divide, xiang4 享means share, fen1 xiang3 together mean share, shi4 是means is, yi2 一means one, jian4 件is a measure word for matter here, shi4 事means matter. The opposite of hao3 shi4 is huai4 shi4 坏事 bad thing. For example, cheating is a bad thing in Chinese we would say: 欺骗是一件坏事 qi1 pian4 shi4 yi2 jian4 huai4 shi4.

Sep. 26. 2011

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How to say “Satellite dropped onto Earth” in Chinese:人造卫星掉到地球上ren2 zao4 wei4 xing1 tiao4 dao4 di4 qiu2 shang4

A few days ago, some people worried about the the satellite that was as big as a bus might plummet to Earth and cause some damages. Luckily, according to NASA, it did safely plunge into the oceans:) Satellite in Chinese, we call it 人造卫星ren2 zao4 wei4 xing1, 掉 diao4 means drop, 到 dao4 means reach, diao4 dao4 together mean drop and reach, 地球 di4 qiu2 Earth, 上 shang4 means top or surface. The sun we call it 太阳 tai4 yang2, and the moon we call it 月亮 yue4 liang4.

Sep. 25. 2011

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How to say ” Excuse me, may I please ask, where is the restroom?” in Chinese: 对不起, 请问厕所在哪儿?dui4 bu4 qi3, qing3 wen4 ce4 suo3 zai4 na3 er5.
It is very important to know how to ask this question, so let’s learn. Dui4 bu4 qi3 对不起 has two major meanings, one is sorry, the other is excuse me. In this situation, we are using the second definition of 对不起. 请问 qing3 wen4 means (may I) please ask. ce4 suo3 厕所 (restroom), zai4 (在is a locative particle with prepositonal function)na3 er5 (哪儿where). There are many ways to say restroom beside ce4 suo3 厕所. You can replace it with restroom – 卫生间 (we4 sheng1 jian1) hygiene room, 洗手间(xi3 shou3 jian1) washing hands room.

Sep. 24. 2011.

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How to say ” I like to eat apples” in Chinese: 我喜欢吃苹果 wo3 xi3 huan1 chi1 ping2 guo3. Wo (I 我)xi3 huan1 (like 喜欢) chi1 (eat 吃) pingguo (apples 苹果). Let’s learn about some fruit: xiang1 jiao1 香蕉 banana, tao2 zi5 桃子 peach, xi1 gua1 西瓜 watermelon, ju2 zi5 橘子 orange, li2 zi5 梨子 pear, cao3 mei2 子草莓 strawberries and ying1 tao2 樱桃 cherry.

Sep. 23. 2011

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How to say ” She is a very moody person” in Chinese: 她是个很情绪化的人 ta1 shi4 ge5 hen3 qing2 xu4 hua4 de5 ren2. ta1 (她she) shi4 (是 is) ge5 (个 a measure word for person) hen3 (很very) qing2 xu4 hua4 (情绪化 moody) de5 (的 a particle to connect adjective and the object it describes) ren2 (人 person). Learn about the moods: happy 快乐 kuai4 le4, disappointed 失望 shi1 wang4, mad 愤怒 fen4 nu4, sad 伤心 shang1 xin1. For example: His dog died, he is very sad. 他的狗死了,他很伤心。ta1 de5 guo3 si3 le5, ta1 hen3 shang1 xin1.

Sep. 22. 2011

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How to say “He is not only very tall, but also very handsome.” in Chinese: 他不但很高,而且很帅 ta1 (他 he) bu2 dan4 (不但 not only)hen3 (很 very)gao1(高 tall), er2 qie3(而且 but also) hen3 (很 very) shuai4 (帅handsome) In the 不但, 而且 structure, 不但 can be omitted. So, it is OK to say 他很高,而且很帅. There are certain phrases to describe the beauty of people. For female, you can use 漂亮 (piao4 liang4 pretty) and 美丽 (mei3 li4 beautiful) to describe females, but use 帅气 (shuai4 qi4 handsome with spirit) and 英俊 (ying1 jun4 brilliant and handsome) to describe the male gender. There is another one that is very common — 可爱 (ke3 ai4 cute) can be used on both genders.

Sep. 21. 2011

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How to say “What is your name?” in Chinese: ni3 (你 you) jiao4 (叫 call) shen2 me5 ( 什么 what) ming2 zi5 (名字 name)? 你叫什么名字?
The verb jiao4 here means “to be called,” and it needs to be followed by an object. So, when someone asked you 你叫什么名字? You should answer with : wo3 jiao4 Mary Smith (Ma3 li4 玛莉 shi3 mi4 si1 史蜜斯). If you don’t want to tell the last name, you can just reply with wo3 jiao4 Mary (Ma3 li4 玛莉).
If you met the person before, but you are not quite sure that is the person’s name, and you want to confirm it. You can ask ni3 (你 you) jiao4 (叫 call) Mary (Ma3 li4 玛莉) ma1 吗? Are you Mary? 吗 is a particle that can be put at the end of a statement, and it will change the sentence from a statement to a question.

Sep. 20, 2011

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How to say ” He will not come today” in Chinese: Jin1 tian1 ta1 bu2 hui4 lai2 他今天不会来。Jin1 tian1 (今天 today) ta1 (他 he) bu2 (不 not )hui4 (会 will) lai2 (来 come).他今天不会来。
Hui4 (会 will) is a modal verb that indicates an anticipated event or action. For example, I will go to see the concert. In Chinese, it will be wo3 (我 I) hui4 (会 will) qu4 (去 go) kan4 (看 see) yin1 音yue4 乐hui4 会 (yin1yue4hui4 means concert)。
Bu4 不 is a negative adverb. When bu4 is put before a fourth tone, the bu4 will naturally be changed to bu2; changes from the fourth tone to second tone. Bu2 hui4 means will not.
We mentioned earlier, hui4 can also used as the capability to do things. In that way, hui4 is equal to is able to. For exampe: wo3 hui4 tiao4 wu3
我会跳舞 (I am able to dance), but it can also mean I will dance. We can decide what kind of hui4 it means by understanding the context.

Sep. 19, 2011

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How to say ” I am taller than you” in Chinese: wo3 bi3 ni3 gao1 我比你高.
我比你高 means I am taller than you. wo3 (我 I) bi3 (比 compare) ni3 (你 you) gao1 (高 tall). bi3 is a comparison marker can be used to compare two entities. Usually we put bi3 between the two things that we are comparing. For example: Ta1 (他 he) bi3 (比 compare) ni3 (你 you) shou4 (瘦 skinny)–He is skinner than you, or ni3 (你 you) bi3 (比 compare) ta1 (他 he)hao3 (好 good)you are better than she.

Sep. 18, 2011

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How to say ” Do you like coffee or tea?” in Chinese: ni3 xi3 huan1 ka1 fei1 hai2 shi4 cha2 你喜欢咖啡还是茶?
The Chinese people use the sound of the coffee and made these two words Ka1 fei1 咖啡, while long time ago, English speakers adopted the sound of tea (t’e) from China. In Taiwanese, people still call tea as t’e (dei).
There are a few way to express the meaning of or in Chinese. You can use hai2 shi4 还是or huo4 shi4 或是, both mean or. For example, you can ask your friend “Do you like summer or autumn?” In Chinese, it would be ni3 xi3 huan1 xia4 tian1 hai2 shi4 qiu1 tian1 你喜欢夏天还是秋天or ni2 xi3 huan1 xia3 tian1 huo4 shi4 qiu1 tian1 你喜欢夏天或是秋天.

Sep. 18, 2011

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How to say “She has big eyes” in Chinese: Ta1 you3 da4 yan3 jing1 她有大眼睛. Ta1 她 she,you3 有 has, da4 大 big, yan3 jing1 眼睛 eyes. 她有大眼睛 She has big eyes. Ta1 她 is the female third person pronoun, while ta1 他 he is the male third person pronoun. you3 有means have or has. When you have something, you said wo3 我you3 有something. When you don’t have something, you said wo3 我mei2 没you3 有something. For example: wo3 我you3 有bi3笔 I have pen, ta1 他mei2 没you3 有bi3 笔he doesn’t have pen. Mei2 没is a negative prefix for verbs, you put mei2 没in front of verb to negate the meaning.

Sep. 17. 2011

Play an instrument is cool. So in Chinese, how to say ” I can play guitar?”

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wo3 我 I, hui4 会can, tan3 弹 play, ji2 ta1 吉他 guitar. 我会弹吉他。Hui4 means the capability to do something. For example, you can say wo3 我 I, hui4 会 can, tan2 弹 play, gang1 qin2 钢琴 piano(I can play piano), ta1 他 he, hui4 会 can, la1 拉 play, xiao3 ti2 qin2小提琴 violin (He can play violin).Original meaning of Tan2 弹 means bouncing, so when you play the piano, watch your fingers bouncing on the keyboard. La1 拉means pull, imagine that you will be pulling and gliding the bow on the strings rhythmically.

Sep. 17. 2011
Now is the season of Fall. Let’s learn about autumn and leaves–one of the most wonderful scene on earth:)

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Autumn came, leaves fell. In Chinese you will say 秋天到了叶子掉了. qiu1 tian1 dao4 le5, ye4 zi5 diao4 le5. Qiu1 tian1 秋天autumn, dao4 到arrive,le5 了a particle to indicate the change of status or action, ye4 叶leaves zi5 子 a particle to add after some nouns habitually, diao4 掉fall, le5 了a particle to indicate status changed.
The four seasons are called si4 ji4 四季. There are chun1 tian1 春天, xia4 tian1 夏天, qiu1 tian1 秋天and dong1 tian1 冬天.

Sep. 16. 2011

How to say “what do you like?” in Chinese: ni3 xi3 huan1 shen2 me 你喜欢什么?

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ni3 你 you, xi3 喜 huan1 欢 like, shen2 什 me 么 what. 你喜欢什么?What do you like?

shen2 什 me 么 mean what, and they are two high frequency characters in Chinese. You can expand the sentence by putting an object after 什么, then you will have more specific question to ask. For example, you can ask 你喜欢什么音乐(yin1 yue4, music) What music do you like? or 你喜欢什么电影 (dian4 ying3, movie) What movie do you like?

Sep 15, 2011

How to say “it rained” in Chinese? Xia4 yu4 le 下雨了。

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xia4 下 drop, yu3 雨 rain, le 了 a particle to indicate the action has occurred.下雨了it rained.

In Chinese, there is no change of verb tenses. So, if you want to say something that has happened, it is a good way to use the particle le 了 at the end of the sentence. For example: Wo3 kan4 dian4 ying3 le 我看电影了 I have watched movie, wo3 chi1 le 我吃了 I have eaten or ta1 lai2 le 他来了 He has come.

Sep 15, 2011

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How to say how are you in Chinese: 你好吗 ni3 hao3 ma? How are you?
ni3 你 you,hao3 好 good, ma 吗 a particle to indicate the sentence is a question. 你好吗 ni2 hao3 ma how are you?
How to answer it? Normally people respond with hao3 xie4 xie 好谢谢 好good,谢谢 thanks. If you want to say very good, then you should say hen3 hao3 很好 very good. If the day is bad, then you can answer with bu4 hao3 不好 not good.

Sep. 15, 2011

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Wo3 xi3 huan1 ni3 我喜欢你 I like you.
Wo3 我 I, xi3 huan1 喜欢 like, ni3 你 you. 我喜欢你 I like you.
If you want to say “I don’t like you.” All you need is to add bu4 (不 not) to negate it. Hence, I don’t like you will be Wo3 bu4 xi3 huan1 ni3 我不喜欢你.
If you want to deepen the like to love, you need to know the word ai4 爱love. So, I love you will be Wo3 ai4 ni3 我爱你. Guess what will be I don’t love you? Yes, it is easy, just to put bu4 不in front of the verb ai4 爱 to negate the meaning. Wo3 bu4 ai4 ni3 我不爱你.
Tone rule: when bu4 go with another verb also is fourth tone, the bu4 will be changed to second tone. So, bu4 ai4 should be pronounced as bu2 ai4.

Sep. 14, 2011

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今天天气很冷。 jin1 tian1 tian1 qi4 hen3 leng3

今天 jin1 tian1 today, 天气 tian1 qi4 weather, 很 hen3 very, 冷 leng3 cold.
今天天气很冷. jin1 tian1 tian1 qi4 hen3 leng3 Today weather is cold.

Normally in Chinese, we put the date or time first, then the object, then the descriptive words. For example, if you want to say “He is very good today.” You will say 今天他很好。ta1 jin1 tian1 hen3 hao3.

When two third tones go together, the first third tone will be changed to second tone. For example: 很冷 hen3 leng3 became hen2 leng3, and 很好 hen3 hao3 became hen2 hao3.

10 Responses to One Chinese sentence a day

  1. Tina says:

    I learn more from you than by going to class! I finally understand sentence structure! Thanks a lot.

    • Shu says:

      Hi Tina,
      I am glad it helps. Chinese sentences sometimes are very different from the English structure, but they have certain rules to follow. Let me know if you need some other help with learning Chinese, and I will be glad to help you. Good luck on your learning, and thank you for taking the time to write me the comment.

  2. Grace says:

    Good job, Shu!

    I like the brief style you use to explain Chinese grammar via one sentence a day. Good update frequency too!

    Keep your good work up!

    Grace

    • Shu says:

      Thank you for the encouragement, and I am glad you enjoy the site:) Sometimes, it is stressful to update the site daily, but I am trying to give my students something to learn everyday …

  3. Yupin Werapun says:

    I enjoy the lessons. I am a retired government officer who used to study some Chinese words when I was first worked as an English teacher in the South of Thailand. My two Chinese teachers in Yala, S. Thailand passed away a long time ago because both of them were old when they taught us.
    My I ask a question? I am not sure what number 5 means. There are 4 sounds/levels in Chinese intonations?

    • Learn Chinese Help says:

      Hi Yupin,
      Welcome to the site! Besides the One Chinese sentence a day page you were visiting, you can also check out basic Chinese lesson under the categories. I made ten detailed lessons for the beginning Chinese learners, and I think they will benefit you too.
      Wu3 五 means number 5 and it also a surname too. For there is a word 无 pronounced as wu2 (second tone) which means nothing, wu3 is not considered as a lucky number in Chinese. In Chinese numbers, people don’t like number 4 si4 either, for it is pronounced like si3 死 which means dead or die. On the contrary, Chinese people like six and eight those two lucky numbers which signify everything goes well and smoothly.
      There are five tones in Chinese – first tone, second tone, third tone, fourth tone and neutral tone. You are welcome to check out Chinese pinyin under categories. There are some learning games that you can play too there.
      Keep the learning spirit up and have a good day there.

  4. Nancy says:

    Thanks for the excellent explanations in “one chinese sentece a day” it helps me a lot to understand the grammar.

    • Learn Chinese Help says:

      Hi Nancy,
      You are very welcome. Let me know if you have any questions regarding learning Chinese. Listen to some Chinese songs and have fun:)

  5. Henry Han Rui 韩锐 says:

    the translation Chrimas into Chinese is 圣诞节,not 圣旦节。旦 doesn’t have the meaning of being born, 诞 does! for example, 诞辰,the birthday for the dead, 诞生, being born.

    • Learn Chinese Help says:

      Hi Han Rui,
      Thank you for pointing it out. It is a careless mistake of me. I will correct it, and thank you for visiting:)

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