Learn Chinese for Free - Lesson 248

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Today's Chinese characters:

入己土及义反计代节处左红众论各场讲托许或表变底受建金奇响虽洛派总背草指统保特顿料脚黑量解

This is step 3 of 5 of our review process. All characters are ordered according to their strokes number. Please, review all grammar points as explained in the Sentence Structure tables below.

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Description and Examples

Sentence Structure 1
Verbal Predicate Sentence

A sentence with a verb as the main element of its predicate is called a verbal predicate sentence. If the verb takes an object, the object usually follows the verb.

Subject
Verb
Object
医生
Subject
老师
Verb
Object

Sentence Structure 2
The Declarative “是” Sentence - Part 1

The "" sentence is a sentence with its predicate composed by the verb together with its object. Its declarative basic form is "AB".

Example

医生


Sentence Structure 3
“是” For Emphasis

, stressed, may be used as an adverb to indicate certainty. For example, in a verbal predicate sentence it may be put before the verb.

Example


meaning: I really love her.


Sentence Structure 4
Surnames

is also a Chinese surname, even if not at all common. Surnames must be put before titles. So let's say we find a teacher whose surname is . We would call her 老师 (that is SURNAME + TITLE) and would cacophonically say "老师".


Sentence Structure 5
The Attributive Genitive

When a personal pronoun or a noun is used as an attributive genitive to show a relationship of belonging, possession, etc., it generally takes the structural particle .

Let's take the phrase "my teacher" as example. Since "my" is the possessive genitive of "I", we would literally say "Iteacher".

"My teacher" is literally: I teacher

that is:

老师

Pronouns And Nouns Used As An Attributive Genitive:

Chinese
English
my
Chinese
English
your (singular)
Chinese
English
his
Chinese
English
her
Chinese
English
its
Chinese
我们
English
our
Chinese
你们
English
your (plural)
Chinese
他们
English
their (of males, or males and females)
Chinese
她们
English
their (of females)
Chinese
它们
English
their (of animals or things)
Chinese
老师
English
teacher's
Chinese
医生
English
doctor's

Sentence Structure 6
In​flec​tion in Chinese?

The concept of in​flec​tion, that is the change of form that nouns, verbs and adjectives undergo in English to mark such distinctions as those number, tense, or person is foreign to Chinese language, so that the phrase 老师 might be translated both as "my teacher" and "my teachers".

So the good news is that all English rules about inflection can just be ignored!


Sentence Structure 7
The Negative “是” Sentence

The negative form of the "" sentence is formed by putting the negative adverb before .

Example

你们医生


Sentence Structure 8
Questions With “吗”

An interrogative sentence is formed by adding the modal particle at the end of a declarative sentence, either affirmative or negative.

Example

Declarative sentence: 医生

Interrogative sentence: 医生

This is the most frequently used way of asking a question, to which the answer is rather unpredictable.


Sentence Structure 9
The Affirmative-Negative Question - Part 1

The affirmative-negative question, or alternative question, is formed by juxtaposing the verb or adjective of the predicate and its negative form.

Examples


Sentence Structure 10
Adjectival Predicate Sentence

The adjectival predicate sentence is a sentence with an adjective as the main element of its predicate. This type of sentence describes the state which a person or thing is in. No is used to join the predicate with the subject. In an affirmative sentence the adjectival predicate is usually preceded by , which is a weakened adverb here without much significance of an adverb of degree.

Examples

老师

Without , comparison or contrast is often implied.

Example

老师

However, in answering an alternative question, may be left out.

Example

A:
医生
B:
医生

is used before the predicate for negation.

Example

A:
医生
B:
医生

Sentence Structure 11
Adverb “也”

The adverb must be placed after the subject and before the predicate.

Example

老师


Sentence Structure 12
The Elliptical Question With “呢”

Elliptical questions may be formed by adding the modal particle to a noun, pronoun or nominal construction. The meaning of this kind of question is determined by the context.

Example

医生

meaning: "What about you? What's your profession?"

If asked without any context, it concerns the whereabouts of somebody or something. For example, if you meet Mary and just ask her "Lucy", it would mean "Where is Lucy?"


Sentence Structure 13
Adverb “都”

The adverb must be placed after the subject and before the predicate verb or adjective. As a rule, it indicates all of the persons or things referred to by the preceding noun (phrase).

Examples

correct: 他们认识

wrong: 认识他们


Sentence Structure 14
Adverbs “也” And “都” Used Together

When both the adverbs and are used to modify the same predicate, comes before .

Example

她们医生


Sentence Structure 15
The Conjunction “和”

The conjunction is generally used to connect only nouns or pronouns. Don't use it to connect phrases.

Example


Sentence Structure 16
Attributive Genitive Without 的

When a personal pronoun is used as an attributive and the headword is a word for relatives, parts of the body or units or collectives to which the pronoun belongs, the structural particle may be omitted.

Examples

Both are correct:

妈妈

妈妈


Sentence Structure 17
The Subject-Predicate Construction - Part 1
Used as the Predicate of a Sentence

A subject-predicate construction can be used as the subject, the object or the predicate of a sentence. Here we pay special attention to its use as the predicate of a sentence.

When a sentence has a subject-predicate construction as its predicate, the person or thing denoted by the subject of this subject-predicate construction is often related to the subject of the whole sentence.

Example

身体

:
Subject of the sentence
身体
:
Subject-predicate construction (used as the predicate of the sentence)
身体
:
Subject of the subject-predicate construction
:
Predicate of the subject-predicate construction

Sentence Structure 18
Adverbial Adjuncts

An adverbial adjunct is used to modify a verb or an adjective. Adverbs, adjectives, time words and prepositional constructions can all be used as an adverbial adjunct. They usually precede the part which is being modified.

Examples of adverbs used as an adverbial adjunct

他们

他们
:
Subject
:
Adverbial adjunct
:
Verb

:
Subject
:
Adverbial adjunct
:
Adjective

Example of time word used as an adverbial adjunct

他们今天

他们
:
Subject
今天
:
Adverbial adjunct
:
Verb

Sentence Structure 19
Time Words Used As An Adverbial Adjunct

Time words are nouns or numeral-measure compounds indicating time.

They may be used as subjects, objects, predicates, attributives, complements, or adverbial adjuncts. Here we pay special attention to their use as an adverbial adjunct.

When used as an adverbial adjunct, time words generally come before the main element of the predicate.

Example

他们今天

Anyway, when special emphasis is laid on the time words, they may be shifted before the subject to the beginning of the sentence.

Example

今天他们

(emphasis on 今天)


Sentence Structure 20
Nominal Predicate Sentence - Part 1

The sentence with a nominal predicate is a sentence in which the main element of the predicate is a noun, a nominal construction or a compound consisting of a numeral and a measure word.

In the affirmative sentence, is not used ( is used in the sentence with a verbal predicate).

This type of sentence is mainly used to show time, age, one's birthplace, and quantity.

Example

今年2001

今年
:
Subject
2001
:
Nominal Predicate

Sentence Structure 21
The TTT Rule

The TimeTimeTime rule can be applied to the way dates are shown in Chinese:

The word showing a longer period of time comes first.


Sentence Structure 22
Time Words Used As A Subject

Time words may be used as subjects, objects, predicates, attributives, complements, or adverbial adjuncts. Here we pay special attention to their use as a subject.

Example

今天三月

今天
:
Subject

Sentence Structure 23
Time Words Used As A Predicate

Here we pay special attention to the use of time words as a predicate.

Example

今天三月

三月
:
Nominal Predicate

Sentence Structure 24
Nominal Predicate Sentence - Part 2

The negative form of a nominal predicate sentence is made by using between the subject and the predicate, resulting in a sentence with a verbal predicate at the same time.

Examples

十二月星期五

今天


Sentence Structure 25
The Affirmative-Negative Question - Part 2

When is put between the subject and the predicate, an affirmative-negative question, or alternative question, is formed.

Example

A:
明天星期四
B:
明天星期五

Sentence Structure 26
Numeral-Measure Compounds Acting As Attributives

In modern Chinese, numerals are generally not used to modify nouns directly. One needs to put specific measure words between them.

Examples

技师

律师


Sentence Structure 27
Measure Words Omission - Part 1

Under certain circumstances, the measure word between a numeral and a noun is often omitted. Here we pay special attention to one specific situation.

When the numeral is a big number and the noun refers to people, then the measure word can be (and usually is) omitted.

Examples

朋友

医生

亿


Exercise

For each grammar point, please give at least one more example.


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