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Archive for the 'Chinese Grammar' Category

Learn Chinese Grammar (It’s simple!)

Chinese Verbs

  • Chinese verbs are not inflected… meaning that they don’t change form. Only one form of each verb exists; there is no conjugation.  It doesn’t matter who is talking, when they are talking about, or who they are talking to, the verb is the same.

Word Order

  • Since there is no conjugation of verbs in Chinese, Word order is often your only clue to figuring out who is doing what. The good news is, in normal Chinese declarative sentences, word order is the same as that we use in normal English declarative sentences, being:subject - verb - object

Negation of Verbs

  • Negation occurs before the verb and any prepositional phrase, just add a negation word, 不 ‘bu4′, in front of the verb.

Expressing Tense

  • Chinese verbs don’t change ‘tense’.  Rather, we use time words to indicate whether something will happen tomorrow, is happening now, or happened yesterday.  The Chinese language relies heavily on the use of adverbs to communicate what English and many other languages do with different verb tenses.

Measure Words / Classifiers

  • In Chinese measure or “counting” words must be used when objects are enumerated. Generally the format is number + measure word + object.  When the number is ‘1′, however, it’s OK to omit the number in that case.

Pronouns

  • Chinese has 1st, 2nd and 3rd person pronouns.  They have singular (I, you, he, she and it) and plural forms (we, you, and they).  The same pronouns are used for subject, object, possession, etc.To make a pronoun plural, you simply add the suffix 们 (men) to the pronoun.

Learn Chinese Direct from Beijing with ChineseClass101.com

Dear Chinese Students,

Today we’re pleased to announce the launch of ChineseClass101.com. This is a joint project between Popup Chinese and the folks at Innovative Language Learning.

If you’re familiar with the Innovative Language approach to teaching, you’ll know the strength of their materials has always been tight, step-by-step progressive lessons for beginners. At Popup Chinese, we’ve historically geared our materials towards more advanced students, so when we had the chance to cooperate with the Innovative team and work together to build something that could take advantage of the powerful system they’ve already built we leapt at the chance, and began work designing a focused and stepwise program for Mandarin instruction.

Although a few hints leaked out (*ahem*), for the past few months we’ve worked somewhat stealthily to build the best team possible for the task. You’ll find our progressive beginner lessons hosted by none other than the famous Frank Fradella. Other big names on our roster are Amber Scorah and of course everyone on our existing team like Echo Yao and Brendan O’Kane. This is a great team and I can say with confidence I’ve never worked with a stronger one. With more than 100 lessons on the new site, our content is off to a good start too. As Frank said once after a marathon recording session, “our first twenty lessons here teach more than I learned in a whole year studying elsewhere.”

We think this is a great step forward and look forward to hearing your feedback and thoughts as well. It is definitely a major step forward for Chinese language education online. There’s never been a better time to learn Chinese, or a better way to learn it online. Regardless of whether you’re an advanced independent learner or a total newbie, we hope you’ll enjoy the work we’ll be doing both here and at ChineseClass101. Thanks for your support, and 加油 everyone!

Best from Beijing,

David Lancashire

Best from New York,

Amber Scorah