Chinese (Mandarin)/Lesson 2

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Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order

Lesson 2: 今天你忙不忙?[edit | edit source]

Lesson 2 contains a dialogue of two students discussing their classes for the day.

Dialogues[edit | edit source]

Dialogue 1

Simplified Characters Traditional Characters
东尼: 艾美,早上好(早安)。 東尼: 艾美,早上好(早安)。
艾美: 早。你好吗? 艾美: 早。你好嗎?
东尼: 我很好,谢谢。你呢? 東尼: 我很好,謝謝。你呢?
艾美: 我也很好。你今天忙吗? 艾美: 我也很好。你今天有空嗎?
东尼: 今天我很忙。我有五门课。 東尼: 今天我很忙。我有五門課。
艾美: 五门?太多了!我今天只有一门。 艾美: 五門?太多了!我今天只有一門。
东尼: 一门?太少了! 東尼: 一門?太少了!
Pīnyīn English
Dōngní: Àiměi, zăoshang hǎo (zǎo'ān). Tony: Good morning, Amy.
Àiměi: Zăo. Nǐ hǎo ma? Amy: Good morning. How are you?
Dōngní: hěn hǎo, xièxie. ne? Tony: I'm fine, thanks. And you?
Àiměi: hěn hǎo. jīntiān (máng ma?) (yǒukòng ma?) Amy: I'm also fine. Are you busy today?
Dōngní: Jīntiān hěn máng. yǒu -mén . Tony: I'm very busy today. I have five classes.
Àiměi: -mén? Tài duō le! jīntiān zhĭyǒu -mén. Amy: Five? That's too many! Today I only have one.
Dōngní: -mén? Tài shǎo le! Tony: One? That's too few!

Dialogue 2

Simplified Characters Traditional Characters
东尼: 艾美,下午好。 東尼: 艾美,下午好。
艾美: 下午好。你那五门课上完了吗? 艾美: 下午好。你那五門課上完了嗎?
东尼: 上了三节,你呢? 東尼: 上了三節。你呢?
艾美: 上完了,下午想去公园。 艾美: 上完了,下午想去公園。
东尼: 哦。这个计划不错。 東尼: 哦。這個計劃不錯。
艾美: 谢谢夸奖。那么,明天见! 艾美: 謝謝誇獎。那麼,明天見!
东尼: 明天见。 東尼: 明天見。
Pīnyīn English
Dōngní: Àiměi, xiàwǔ hǎo. Tony: Good afternoon, Amy.
Àiměi: Xiàwǔ hǎo. Nǐ nà wǔ-mén kè shàng-wánle ma? Amy: Good afternoon. Did you finish your five classes?
Dōngní: Shàng-le sān-jié, nǐ ne? Tony: I finished 3 of them. And you?
Àiměi: Shàng-wánle, xiàwǔ xiǎng qù gōngyuán. Amy: I'm free now. I am going to the park.
Dōngní: O. Zhègè jìhuà bùcuò. Tony: Oh. That's a good plan.
Àiměi: Xièxiè kuājiǎng. Nàme, míngtiān jiàn! Amy: Thanks a lot. Hey, see you tomorrow!
Dōngní: Míngtiān jiàn! Tony: See you tomorrow!

Vocabulary[edit | edit source]

Note: Visit this lesson's Stroke Order subpage to see images and animations detailing how to write the following characters. Audio files of the words are linked from the pīnyīn when available. Problems listening? See media help.

Simplified (traditional in parentheses) Pīnyīn Part of speech English [‍m.‍]
1. (adj) one
2. èr (adj) two
3. sān (adj) three
4. (adj) four
5. (adj) five
6. liù (adj) six
7. (adj) seven
8. (adj) eight
9. jiǔ (adj) nine
10. shí (adj) ten
11. zăo (n) morning (often spoken alone as a shortened form to mean "good morning" just like with English)
12. ān (adj) peaceful
13. 早安 zăo'ān (phrase) good morning
14. hěn (adv) very
15. 谢谢 (謝謝) xièxie (v) thanks
16. tiān (n) day/sky
17. 今天 jīntiān (n) today
18. máng (adj) busy
19. yǒu (v) to have, possess
20. () méi (adv) negates yǒu
21. () mén (m) (measure word for school courses)
22. () (n) class [ ‹jié› is the measure word for class]
23. tài (adv) too, extremely
24. le (part) (combines with 太 - see grammar)
25. duō (adj) many
26. shăo (adj) few
27. zhĭ (adv) only, merely
28. dōu (adv) all,both
29. 早上好 zǎoshàng hǎo (phrase) good morning
30. 下午好 xiàwǔhǎo (phrase) good afternoon

Grammar[edit | edit source]

The adverb Hěn [很][edit | edit source]

Though translated as "very", Hěn [很] has a weaker meaning than it does in English. It is often added before a single-syllable adjective just to enhance the rhythmic flow of the sentence. Hěn is used before the adjective in affirmative sentences, but not in negative sentences or questions. A common mistake of beginners is to insert shì [是] into adjectival sentences, but this usage is incorrect as shì can only be used to equate combinations of nouns, noun phrases and pronouns.

1. 我很忙。

Wǒ hěn máng
I am (very) busy.

Le [了] as emphasizer[edit | edit source]

The particle le [了] has many different functions in Chinese, but in this case, it serves to add emphasis to the verb or adjective of the sentence. It can be seen paired with tài [太] to express excessiveness.

1. 太多了。

Tài duō le.
(That's) too many.

2. 太少了。

Tài shăo le.
(That's) too few.

Affirmative-negative questions[edit | edit source]

A sentence can be made into a question by having both affirmative and negative options together. To answer in the affirmative, the verb or adjective is repeated. (An affirmative adjective in this case is usually preceded by hěn [很] to avoid a comparative tone.) Responding in the negative is simply saying "not verb" or "not adjective".

S + V 不 V + O?


Because the in affirmative-negative questions is often said quickly, marking the tone on is not strictly necessary in their case.

Q: 他是不是东尼?

Tā shì bu shì Dōngní?
Is he Tony?
literally, "he is/is not Tony?"

A: 是的。(是,他是/嗯,他是。)or 不是。 (不,他不是。)

The de is not necessary. You can simply answer (shì).
Shì de. (Shì tā shì) or Bú shì (Bù tā bú shì).
Yes (he is). or No (he isn't).

S + adj. 不 adj.? (The second adjective can be omitted.)


Àiměi jīntiān máng bù (máng)?
Is Amy busy today?
literally, "Today, Amy busy/not busy"

A: 她很忙。or 她不忙。

Tā hěn máng. or Tā bù máng.
Yes, she's (very) busy. or No, she's not busy.

Sentences using yǒu [有][edit | edit source]

Yǒu [有] means to have and indicates possession.

S + 有 + O


Wǒ yǒu sān mén kè.
I have three classes.
Yǒu is negated when preceded by méi [没].

S + 没 + 有 + O


Jīntiān tāmen méi yǒu kè.
Today, they don't have any classes.
Yǒu is negated when preceded by méi [没].

S + 一 + O + 都没有


The adverb (dōu) is required here in front of 没有 to emphasize the lack of a single one of the object. Also, be sure to remember to place the proper measure word between 一 and the object.


Jīntiān tāmen yì mén kè dōu méi yǒu.
Today, they don't have a single class.

Lessons: Pron. - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 Search inside this book using Google
Subpages: Examples - Exercises - Stroke Order