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  Chapter 1 - At Home


  Vocabulary


     書
   狗
   紙
   報紙
   鐘
   畫
   椅子
   桌子
   蘋果
   電話
   電視
   電腦
   玩具
   手錶
   沙發
   帘
   地毯
   蠟筆
   門
   窗子
   桌椅
   電鐘
   鬧鐘
   花
   姐姐
   妹妹
   哥哥
   弟弟
shū
gǒu
zhǐ
bàozhì
zhōng
huà
yízi
zhuōzi
píngguǒ
dìanhuà
dìanshì
diannǎo
wánjù
shǒubǐao
shāfa
lían
dìtǎn
làbǐ
mén
chūangzi
zhuōyí
dìanzhōng
nàozhōng
huā
jǐejie
mèimei
gēge
dìdi
book
dog
paper
newspaper
clock
painting
chair
table
apple
telephone
television
computer
toy
wristwatch
sofa
curtain
carpet
crayon
door
window
furniture
electric clock
alarm clock
flower
elder sister
younger sister
elder brother
younger brother

 Look at the Characters





zhǐ
zhuō
mén
huā
paper
table
door
flower

New Combinations

氣門
後門
前面
門房
門把
電門
門齒
門口
校門

桌布
桌+燈
飯桌
桌椅
書桌

紙張
紙牌
紙老虎
紙板
紙花
報紙
蠟紙

花瓶
花圈
花炮
花園
花籃
花花綠綠
(air + door)
(behind + door)
(front + door)
(door + house)
(door + handle)
(electric + door)
(door + tooth)
(door + mouth)
(school door)

(table + cloth)
(table + lamp)
(food + table)
(table + chair)
(book + table)

(paper + paper)
(paper + card)
(paper + tiger)
(paper + plank)
(paper + flower)
(paper + report)
(wax + paper)

(flower + bottle)
(flower + ring)
(flower + gun)
(flower + garden)
(flower + basket)
(flower + green)
air valve
back door
front door
gatehouse
door knob, doorknob
switch
front tooth, incisor
doorway
school gate

tablecloth
desklamp, desk lamp
dining table
furniture
writing desk

stationary
playing cards
paper tiger
cardboard
paper flower
newspaper
waxed paper, wax paper

vase
wreath
firecrackers
flower garden
flower basket
colorful
gìmén
hòumén
gíanmén
ménfáng
ménbà
dìanmén
ménchǐ
ménkǒu
xìaomén

zhuōbù
zhuōdēng
fànzhuō
zhuōyí
shūzhuō

zhǐzhāng
zhǐpái
zhǐlǎohǔ
zhǐbǎn
zhǐhuā
bàozhǐ
làzhǐ

huāpíng
huāquán
huāpào
huāyuán
huālán
huāhuālǜlǜ


Look at the Language

1. Articles

 Nouns take no adjectival articles in Chinese.


山丘
Wǒ chī píngguǒ
(literally) I eat apple.

can also mean:

 

(or)
(or)

I eat an apple
I eat the apple
I eat the apples.

 

山丘
Tā yǒu gíanbǐ (literally) She has a pencil.

can also mean:

 


She has pencils
(or) She has the pencil
(or) She has the pencils.

 

2. Plurals

  Nouns are pronounced and sound the same whether singular or plural and there is no change in characters to indicate how many of an object is being referred to.


陽光光束
日出
日落
山谷
波浪
Huā
Shū
Zhuōzi
Xǐao gǒu
Wǒ chī píngguǒ.

flower (or) flowers
book (or) books
table (or) tables
a small dog (or) small dogs
I am eating an apple (or) I am eating apples.

 

3. Simple Sentence Structure

  Studying a foreign language like Chinese may seem like a formidable task at first, but a student is spared having to learn page after page of rules of grammar and exceptions, as in a European language. In fact, many say there is no such thing as "Chinese grammar".

  The process of building a Chinese sentence can be compared to the task of a brickbuilder. It doesn't matter which brick (word) is placed in what position, the end result - a sturdy wall (sentence), is the same. While this description may not be a complete and accurate picture, if in fact there is such a thing as Chinese grammar, it is a very flexible structure.

  A simple sentence in Chinese consists of a topic, and some description, condiition or action concerning the topic:


陽光光束
Tā gāo.
Tā shì lǎoshì.
Dìdi chī pínggu03.
Mèimei hē shuǐ.
He is tall. (Topic = he)
She is a teacher. (Topic = she)
Little brother eats an apple.
Little sister drinks water.

Chinese sentences can often be literally tanslated, character-by-character into some sort of pidgin English:

山丘
叢林
草地
Tā gāo.
Wǒ māma bùgāo.
Nǐ míngtīan zuò shénme?
He tall.
I (my) mother not tall.
You tomorrow do what?

A single Chinese sentence, taken out of context, can be ambiguously interpreted:

牧草地


Tā yǒu bǐ.

 

He has a pen.
(or) He had a pen.
(or) He will have a pen.

牧草地


Wǒ kàn shū.


I am reading a book.
(or) I have been reading a book.
(or) I will read a book.

Through the placement of adverbs and consideration of the surrounding context, the Chinese conversationalist is
able to make sense of sentences such as the above.