- Learn the pinyin and correct stroke order for the 5 characters introduced in lesson 2 using your writing workbook, Cyberchinese-Online, or right here on this page. Click the Chinese characters listed at the top of the page.
- Learn the new vocabulary introduced in lesson 2. You can practice with the online Table Building Activity.
- You should be able to say the following sentences now:
- I am fine.
- How are you?
- How about you?
- (I) am also fine.
- Be conversant with, and be able to write in pinyin the vocabulary items from the list of classroom vocabulary. You are not expected to be able to read or write the Chinese characters on the list--with the exception of those we have learned in class.
You can use this online activity to practice for the vocabulary quiz.
- Understand the information about the Chinese language on page 13 and 14 of the textbook.
- Listen to this audio selection from ChinesePod's Dear Amber series for more on getting a Chinese name. The Chinese name segment begins about ten minutes into the 25 minute show.
- Check out Lost in Translation from the Sexy Beijing online series for a humorous look at foreigners with Chinese names and Chinese with foreign names.
- Using Modifiers with Stative Verbs:[Subject] + 很 + Stative Verb
If a stative verb consists of only one syllable, it should be preceded by a modifier. In affirmative sentences this modifier is often the intensifier 很 [hěn]. An affirmative statement without 很, while technically correct, sounds unnatural. We will learn in the next lesson the modifier for negative sentences, 不 [bù], but for now here is a list of single-syllable stative verbs. You don't have to memorize these...yet!
English Grammar Note: Adjectives are descriptive words that modify a noun or pronoun.好 [hǎo] good; fine; okay
忙 [máng] busy
貴 [guì] expensive; honorable
大 [dà] big; large; great
小 [xiǎo] small; little
高 [gāo] high; tall
矮 [ǎi] short (height)
胖 [pàng] fat; stout
瘦 [shòu] skinny; lean
累 [lèi] tired; weary
快 [kuài] fast; quick
慢 [màn] slow
- Basic Question Structure:
- The 嗎 [ma] Question:Statement + 嗎
One of the most straightforward ways to form a question in Chinese is to add 嗎 to the end of a statement. We can take the statement we learned in lesson 1, 你好。, and add 嗎 to make the question 你好嗎？, How are you? (lit., Are you good?).
- The 呢 [ne] Question:[Statement,] Noun/Pronoun + 呢
To use the 呢 question structure a statement should be either mentioned or understood within the context of a conversation. If the statement "I am fine." (我很好。) is understood in a conversation, I can use 呢 to ask "How about you?" (你呢？). The 呢 question form is used this way to ask about the noun or pronoun directly preceding the 呢.我很好，你呢？ : I'm fine, and you?
你很好，我呢？ : You're okay, what about me?
我很忙[máng: busy], 你呢？ : I'm busy, what about you?
My cell phone sucks, yours 呢？ : My cell phone sucks, how about yours?
- The 嗎 [ma] Question:
Adverbs generally come after the subject and before the verb in Chinese. Since 也 means also, or too don't be tempted to put it at the beginning or end of a sentence. When more than one adverb is used in a statement there is often a set order. In this lesson we learn than 也 comes before 很.
We learned earlier that a character can change tones depending on the tone of the syllable it precedes, and when two third tones are together in a sentence the first third tone changes to a second like in 你好. So what about a sentence like: 我也很好。 Four third tones in a row! In this case the first three third tones are pronounced as second tones [Wó yé hén hǎo]. While the pronunciation of these third tones changes, pinyin rules dictate that the tone markers remain third tone.
Actually, in normal speech you rarely use a full third tone. Third tones not changed to second are often pronounced with what is called a half-third tone--just the first falling part of the third tone is spoken.
When the subject of a sentence is understood within the context of a conversation the subject can be left unstated. Omitting the understood subject is more common in Chinese than English.