PCR Lesson 15 Grammar
  • Numbers:

    • Numbers in Chinese:
      Chinese enumeration is based on a simple decimal system using the numerals 1-10 to identify all numbers under 100.

      We already know 1-10 is 一, 二, 三, 四, 五, 六, 七, 八, 九, 十. 11-19 is 十 and the one place digit: 十一, 十二, 十三, 十四, 十五, 十六, 十七, 十八, 十九.

      From 20 onwards use the ten place digit, ten and the one place digit:
      二十, 二十一, 二十二, 二十三, 二十四, 二十五, 二十六, 二十七, 二十八, 二十九
      三十, 三十一, 三十二, 三十三, 三十四, 三十五, 三十六, 三十七, 三十八, 三十九
      四十, 四十一, 四十二, 四十三, 四十四, 四十五, 四十六, 四十七, 四十八, 四十九
      五十, 五十一, 五十二, 五十三, 五十四, 五十五, 五十六, 五十七, 五十八, 五十九
      六十, 六十一, 六十二, 六十三, 六十四, 六十五, 六十六, 六十七, 六十八, 六十九
      七十, 七十一, 七十二, 七十三, 七十四, 七十五, 七十六, 七十七, 七十八, 七十九
      八十, 八十一, 八十二, 八十三, 八十四, 八十五, 八十六, 八十七, 八十八, 八十九
      九十, 九十一, 九十二, 九十三, 九十四, 九十五, 九十六, 九十七, 九十八, 九十九
    • More About 一 [yī]:

      yī: When 一 is used in counting, is by itself, or at the end of a phrase it is pronounced with a first tone as we learned previously.

      yì + 1st, 2nd, or 3rd tones: When followed by a first, second, or third tone 一 is pronounced as a fourth tone.

      yí + 4th tone: When followed by a fourth tone 一 is pronounced as a second tone.

  • Measure Words:

    • Measure Words:

      Most noun objects in English do not require measure words, but sometimes the omission of a measure word would sound awkward. For example we say "piece of paper," "two cups of coffee," "three pairs of socks," and the like.

      Counting objects in Chinese always requires the use of an object specific measure word between the number and the object.

      In this lesson we learn our first two measure words 個 [gè], a general measure word for a variety of nouns, and 本 [běn], the measure word for books and other book-like objects.

      [Numeral + Measure Word] + Noun

    • Measure Words in Questions:

      There are two word choices when asking "how much?" Use 幾 [jǐ] when the expected amount is going to be less than 10, and 多少 [duōshǎo] for any quantity. While a measure word is not necessary when using the question word 多少, it is required with 幾.

      幾 + Measure Word + [Object]

      多少 + [Measure Word] + [Object] The measure word is optional with 多少, but not used when the expected response is a large number.


    • More on Measure Words:

      In a noun phrase the Number + Measure Word combination is always before the noun it modifies. Since the measure word carries the general connotation of the noun it precedes the noun can be omitted where the reference is clear.

      Measure Word + [Object]

  • There is - The Existence 有:

    As learned previously 有 [yǒu] means "to have." In Chinese 有 is not only used to indicate personal possession, but also extends to the possessions of inanimate objects. That is to say the existence of something somewhere.

    In English we say, "There are Chinese books in the library." In Chinese the same sentence would read, "The library has Chinese books." So when you want to say "there is" or "there are" use 有.

  • 還 [hái] as an Adverb:

    We covered the character 還 [huán], to return, as a verb in lesson 11. When 還 is used as an adverb the same character is pronounced hái and carries the meaning "still," "additionally," "on top of that." It is similar to 也 but is used to add extra emphasis or surprise.

    [Subject] + 還 + Verb + [Object]

    老師給我們介紹北京[Běijīng]和上海[Shànghǎi],給我們介紹西安[Xī' ān]。