We’ve learned not to confuse “soup” for “sugar” or “church” for “caramel” in Chinese from last time’s fayin messups post. From a lot of our language learner interviews, we know that pronunciation is important. Here are some more entertaining stories related to food (since we aren’t done eating despite the Thanksgiving feast) of why! [...]
Tag Archives | Newbie
Continuing our No Nonsense Newbie Tips series, today we look at alternatives to 一点 (yī diǎn). 一点 is a great little word meaning “a little bit” or “somewhat“, and is very flexible in usage. It can be used before or after the object to indicate degrees either positive or negative. Its simple utility is enticing. [...]
In this installment of No Nonsense Newbie Tips, we want to help our readers escape the 喜欢 (xǐ huan) rut. Found in chapter 1 of all beginner textbooks, 喜欢 is an easy catch all for anything and everything. 中国菜？ 喜欢。 王老师？ 喜欢。 骑自行车？ 喜欢。 在沙滩上散步？ 也喜欢。 Surely, your favorite hobbies, foods, people, and ideas deserve [...]
One of the pure joys and enduring charms of spoken Chinese is the prevalence of “exclamatory particles”. These are one syllable, neutral tone words which slip off your tongue at the end of a sentence to add emphasis, soften or stiffen the tone, or indicate a question or command. They range from grammatically necessary to playful additions [...]
The mother of all Newbie conundrums: 了 This is one of the simplest of all Chinese particles, one which you probably encountered in Chapter 1 of your textbook. However, after the initial “new word glow” wears off and you get deeper into its usage, you’ll start encountering all these confusing phrases like “resultative complement” and [...]
After tackling 知道 vs 认识 and 觉得 vs 想, lets continue with a distinction a few readers have written inquiring about: 会 vs. 能. Like “to know” and “to think” before it, “can” or “able” is an English word where translating into Chinese can be tricky depending on the situation. The differences between the two [...]
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