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Chapter 1: Introduction to Chinese

To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 1


Welcome to Chapter 1 of the textbook Chinese with Mike: Mandarin Chinese Made Fun and Easy!

In this chapter, I will break down Mandarin Chinese and provide you with a brief introduction to the
language. First, call me Mike Lǎoshī! That means Mike Teacher, literally, but we would translate that as
“Teacher Mike.” In Chinese, one’s title comes after his or her name.

What is Chinese?
Chinese is a language family. It’s a group of related languages that originated in China, and together they
have more native (first language) speakers than any other language in the world. Yes, that includes
English. Chinese has roughly 1.3 billion native speakers whereas English as around 400 million. That is
more than three times the number of speakers!

What are Chinese dialects?


A dialect is one form of a language that is usually spoken by people from a specific region of the world,
usually within a given country. The English language, for example, has several dialects: some of the
major ones include British English, American English, Canadian English, and Australian English, but there
are hundreds more, and each of these major categories can be divided into subcategories. Similarly, in
Chinese, there are hundreds, and some argue thousands, of different dialects, or forms of the Chinese
language. Let’s talk about the main ones.

Chinese Dialects that You Should Know


Mandarin (885,000,000 speakers)

Mandarin has the most native speakers of any language in the world. It is the official language of China,
Taiwan, and one of the four official languages of Singapore. Additionally, it is one of the six official
languages of the United Nations (UN). In addition to being the language of Chinese government,
education, and business, it is the language you will be learning in Chinese with Mike!

Cantonese (70,000,000 speakers)

Even though Cantonese is not nearly as widely spoken as Mandarin in China, Cantonese is particularly
interesting because it is spoken by the majority of Chinese immigrants overseas. The reason for this is
that for the past 150 years, most immigrants to the West came from the southern (Canton) region of
China; it is also spoken by the majority of people in Hong Kong and Macau.

Hakka (34,000,000 speakers)

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Spoken by the Hakka people, an ethnic group that has had significant influence in Chinese history, Hakka
is spoken predominantly in southern China.

Taiwanese (15, 000,000 speakers)

Related to another dialect of Chinese called Mínnán, Taiwanese is spoken by about 70% of the
Taiwanese population. Since Mandarin is taught in Taiwanese schools, fewer and fewer children are
learning Taiwanese, and the number of total speakers is expected to gradually decline.

All dialects are unified, however, by a common writing system, which I will cover now!

The Chinese Writing System


The Chinese writing system is the oldest continuously used writing system in the world; it has
been in place for over 2000 years and has undergone several modifications. At first glance,
many are intrigued by the complexity of the writing system, and we tend to ask the same
questions: Is each word, called a character (or logogram) a picture? Is it an idea? Would it make
a good tattoo? How do characters come to be?

When Chinese was first written on bones and turtle shells, most concepts were represented by
pictograms and ideograms (see below). Eventually these ancient characters evolved into
modern characters, which is the type we use today. In all, some linguists approximate the
number of Chinese characters to be about 50,000. Does anybody know them all? No. I have
heard that people need to be able to recognize between 2000-3000 characters to read a
newspaper, and a well-educated person knows about double that number. Keep in mind that
after you know the pīnyīn alphabet (which you will have mastered after Chapter 6) you can
read any character, as long as pīnyīn is provided. You will also be able to chat in Chinese chat
rooms!

First, there are six classifications of Chinese characters, which include:

1. Pictograms- “Form imitation” characters


Pictograms are used for words that are represented by pictures. Pictograms make up a small
percentage of Chinese characters, with some estimating that number to be about 600
characters. Notice how the ancient pictogram (left) has evolved into the modern Chinese
character (right). Here are three examples:

Mountain (shān)

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Water (shuǐ)

Horse (mǎ)

2. Ideograms- “Indication” characters

Ideograms are characters used to represent concepts, or ideas. Here are some
examples:

One (yī) Two (èr) Three(sān) Up (shàng) Below (xià)

一 二 三 上 下

3. Ideogrammatic compounds- “Joined meaning” characters


Ideogrammatic compounds are formed by combining two or more pictograms or ideograms
and are used to represent words with separate meanings. See the examples below:

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Tree (shù) + Grove (lín) = Forest (sēn)

木 + 林 = 森

OR
Person (rén) + Tree (shù) = Rest (xiū) (People rest under trees!)

人 + 木 = 休

OR
Woman (nǚ) + Child (zǐ) = Good (hǎo)

女 + 子 = 好

4. Phono-semantic compounds- “Form and sound” characters


This is the most common type of Chinese character, comprising over 90% of them. One part
provides the general category, and the other part indicates the approximate pronunciation.
Notice how each character in each group has one common component. Here are some
examples:

Characters related to water:

Ice (bīng) River (hé) Lake (hú ) Sea (hǎi) Wave (làng)

冰  河  湖  海  浪

Characters related to plants:

Grass (cǎo) Flower (huā) Berry (méi) Tea (chá) Vegetables (cài)

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草  花  莓  茶  菜

Characters related to animals:

Dog (gǒu) Pig (zhū) Monkey (hóu) Lion (shī) Wolf (láng)

狗  猪  猴  狮  狼 

5. Transformed cognate- “Reciprocal meaning” characters


This category has basically disappeared from the modern classification system, but essentially,
they are pairs of words that are historically related, but their meanings and pronunciations
have since drifted apart. The most commonly cited example is:

Old (lǎo) and To test (kǎo)

老 考

6. Rebus- “borrowed characters”


This final category indicates words that were borrowed from original characters that had
different meanings. What happened was the modern character became the default meaning
associated with the original character (which meant something else), so the original character
had to be changed to indicate its original meaning. Yes, I expect you’re completely lost. Take a
look at a few examples:

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1. 北(běi) originally meant “back (of the body)” but it currently means
“north.” Thus, the character 背(bèi) was created to mean “back (of the
body).” 

2. 要 (yào) originally meant “waist,” but it currently means “to want.” Thus,
the character 腰 (yāo) was created to mean “waist.”

3. 永 (yǒng) originally meant “to swim,” but it currently means “forever.”


Thus,泳 (yǒng) was created to mean “to swim.”

In conclusion, if you are interested in learning the Chinese writing system, you do not need to
know which category a given character belongs to, nor do you need to know the six major
classifications! Rather, the key to learning how to write Chinese characters is writing them
over and over and over and over again until they look pretty and you remember the strokes.
Trust me: I spent years doing just that, usually in front of the television with a cold beverage
at my side. Once you learn several characters, you’ll see how words that are pronounced
similarly often include similar written components, as well as other patterns that I’ve
introduced in the examples above. See Chapter 8 for more information and the guidelines for
how to write Chinese characters, and check my Website (www.chinesewithmike.com) for my
personal recommendations for character-writing dictionaries.

Traditional Versus Simplified Characters


One last point to note is that I have written the characters in this chapter using traditional
Chinese characters, which have been used for about 1500 years. Today, however, only Taiwan,
Hong Kong, Macau and Chinese communities overseas use the traditional, more “complicated”
characters. In an effort to increase literacy, the Chinese government began “simplifying” the
traditional characters in 1956, so today, mainland China uses simplified characters. Take a look:

Traditional Character Simplified Character

書 book (shū) 书 book (shū)

馬 horse (mǎ) 马 horse (mǎ)

風 wind (fēng) 风 wind (fēng)

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Note: Although I think traditional characters look prettier, I will be using simplified characters
for the remainder of this textbook and in the Chinese with Mike video series because they are
the most common style used in China. Most good character writing dictionaries contain
instructions for how to write both, so if you would prefer learning traditional characters, knock
yourself out!

Tones
Like many languages in Asia, Mandarin Chinese is a tonal language, which means that a word’s
meaning can change based on the pitch you use to pronounce it. Mandarin has four major
tones and one neutral tone. Words contain a tone mark to indicate their tone. Here is the most
common example used to illustrate the tone:

1 (“high and level”) 2 (“rising”) 3 (“falling/rising”) 4 (“falling”) Neutral (toneless)

妈 (mā) 麻 (má) 马 (mǎ) 骂 (mà) 吗


(ma)
“mom” “hemp” “horse” “to scold” “a question
particle”

It is important to understand that the tone of a word can completely change its meaning, as I’ve
shown you with the previous example. Just think: Your mom might scold you if you ask her for
hemp, when you actually want a horse! Before you panic, let me remind you of something:
Since we have contexts (or situations) to our conversations, mispronouncing a tone is not the
end of the world. Usually the other person will know which tone you were trying to pronounce,
and thus understand what you meant to say. The conversation will go on. (See Chapter 7 for a
full chapter devoted to more practice with tones.)

The End
This brings us to the end of Chapter 1 of the textbook. Overwhelmed? Mentally exhausted?
Yeah, me too. That’s the price we both pay for my deciding to call a chapter “Orientation to
Chinese,” a language with thousands of years of history. I’ll slow it down from here, okay? If
you’re still with me, move on to Chapter 2. I’ll meet you there.

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Chapter 2: Pīnyīn (The Initials)
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 2

Hello again! The next five chapters will cover every sound you need to know to
pronounce any word in Mandarin. The sounds are categorized in a Romanization
system called pīnyīn. Knowing the pronunciation of each of these sounds is the
basis for speaking Mandarin, as well as transcribing (or writing) characters using
the Latin alphabet. Sound complicated? I’m sure it might, but what is more
important is that you can pronounce the sounds, which you will be able to do
shortly.

What is a Romanization system? A Romanization, or latinization system, is a way


for us to take spoken or written words from other languages and convert them
into words using the Latin alphabet, which is the alphabet we use in English and in
several other languages around the world. Languages such as Chinese, Japanese,
Korean, Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, and many others have systems of Romanization,
thus making them easier for people who use the Latin alphabet to learn.

Romanization systems for Mandarin Chinese:

Chinese has several Romanization systems, but there are three that are worth
mentioning:

1. Pīnyīn -Developed by a government committee in 1958, pīnyīn became the


official system used to write Chinese characters in mainland China, Taiwan,
Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, and Malaysia in 1979. It is also the standard
Romanization system for teaching Chinese.

2. Wade-Giles- developed in the late 19th Century, it was the most widely used
Romanization system for much of the 20th Century.

3. Yale Romanization-developed at Yale University during World War II for


soldiers to better communicate with the Chinese, this system has not been
used for over thirty years.
Pīnyīn:

In this textbook and in the video series Chinese with Mike, we will use pīnyīn to
speak and write Chinese characters. Why? As I mentioned previously, pīnyīn is the
standard system used throughout the Chinese-speaking world, and it was
adopted by the International Organization for Standardization as the international
standard in 1982. Pīn means “to spell” and yīn means “sound.” Think of using
pīnyīn as spelling (in the Latin alphabet) the sound of a Chinese character so that
you can read it using letters and sounds with which you’re more familiar.

How does pīnyīn work?

Simple. There are two categories to pinyin sounds—Initials (21 total) and finals
(37-39 total, depending how much you want to argue about it). Basically, an initial
is combined with a final to create a word. For example, the initial “n” combines
with “i” to make “ni” and “h” combines with “ao” to make “hao.” Then you have
Ni hao, which means hi, or hello.

Pinyin: The Initials

In Chapter 2 in this textbook, as well as Lesson 2 in Chinese with Mike, pīnyīn


initials are introduced. Since I am a native (my first language) English speaker, and
I assume most of my readers speak English proficiently, I will use English
words/sounds as examples for how to pronounce the initials in pinyin. Here we
go:

The Initials: (21 total)

The first 11 initials sound just like the English sounds. I will provide a word with
the sound highlighted in red as examples:

b p m f
(ball) (pat) (map) (fall)
d t n L
(dog) (tag) (nut) (love)
g k h
(get) (kick) (hut)

Here is a more difficult set. These are not perfect equivalents, (especially “c”) but
it’s the best I can do. Listening to my pronunciation in the video Chinese with
Mike: Lesson 2 should help supplement this practice. Also, notice the “ee” sound
at the end of j, q, and x, and the “r” sound at the end of zh, ch, and sh. That is
because if these initials stand alone with just an “i” (see parentheses), that is the
sound they would make. This will make a lot more sense later, so for now, just
practice the sounds using the example words below!

j(i) q(i) x(i) zh(i)

(jeep) (cheap) (sheep) (germ)


ch(i) sh(i) r(i) z(i)

(chirp) (sure) (Grrr!) (pizza)


c(i) s(i)

(cats) (sip)

In the next few chapters, I will introduce to you the pīnyīn finals, using an order I
think is most logical for beginners. For now, think of the 21 sounds you’ve just
learned as similar to consonants in English—as opposed to vowels. Another
important point to consider is that these 21 sounds can only begin words! They
can never appear at the end, which also makes Chinese less difficult than you may
have previously thought. Great work so far, and if you’re ready for Chapter 3,
move along. See you there.
Chapter 3: Pinyin (The Finals I)
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 3

In Chapter 2, we covered the pīnyīn initials, which form the first part of a Chinese
word written using the Latin alphabet. In this chapter, I am going to introduce you
to the first (and easiest) sets of finals that you will combine with initials to
construct Chinese words.

With no further ado, let’s check out this first set of finals. Once again, I will
provide a word with the approximate sound highlighted in red:

The Finals (First Set)


a o e
(father) (low) (up)
i u ü
(teeth) (food) (beauty)

Let’s bring back some initials to combine with these new finals. Shall we?

OK. Initials are in red and finals are in black, and I have omitted tone marks. Right
now, I’m more concerned with your practicing the basic sounds. (For practice
with tones, see Chapter 7).

a o e i u ü (see *)
fa bo le bi nu nü
sha mo che di lu lü
ba fo se xi tu ju
ma po me qi ku qu
la X (no others) ke mi bu xu
*Notice that for the ü column, the initials j, q, and x do not need an umlaut. You will still
pronounce them as though an umlaut is there, but since these three finals cannot combine with
the regular “u” final (see column to left), there is no ambiguity, and thus, an umlaut is not
needed.

Here is our next set of finals. (See Chinese with Mike: Lesson 3 for more exact
pronunciation).

The Finals (Second Set)


ai ei ao ou

(eye) (heyyy!) (cow) (blow)


an en ang eng

(on) (under) (mongrel) (hung)

Let’s practice with some initials. Initials will be in red and finals in
black.

ai ei ao ou an en ang eng
bai lei bao tou san sen mang feng
chai bei mao lou dan men lang meng
zai fei zao zou kan ben zhang leng
sai mei chao chou shan hen zang deng
zhai nei shao zhou nan zen shang zheng
tai shei sao fou zhan zhen chang sheng
cai hei lao hou can shen fang neng
Great work! Before moving on to Chapter 4 (Pīnyīn Review), make sure you are
familiar with all 21 initials and these first sets of finals. Trust me—the review will
make a lot more sense if you are. On your mark, get set…
Chapter 4: Pīnyīn (Review)
To be used with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 4

…Let’s go! Is it ever too early for a review? I don’t think so, especially when what
we’re studying in these first few chapters is the foundation for speaking great
Chinese. Below I’ve made a comprehensive chart of all of the initials and all of the
finals that we know after Chapter 3. You want to know what’s even better? I’ve
provided every possible combination that these initials and finals can produce!
Once again, I’ve omitted tones (See Chapter 7). Get the pronunciation down first
—or else!

Before the review, let me introduce one more final. It’s seldom used, so there are
not a lot of initial-final combinations we can use for practice. Notice that I did
include one in the review.

er
(are)

This final “er,” when made fourth tone (èr), means number 2, and the sound is
almost equivalent to the English word “are.” Note, too, that the “e” gets dropped
from the “r” when it combines with an initial. (See example “nar” in the table
below).

Here’s the master review. Drum roll please…

Pīnyīn Review Table (Initials in red, finals in black)


ba bang bo bei ben bao ban bi bai bu X X

pa pai po pan pen pang peng pu pi pao X X


ma mo me mai mang mu men mei mao man meng mi

fa fei fan fang fen fu feng fou X X X X

da deng di dan de dao dou dai du dang X X

ta tou ti tang tao tai tan X X X X X

ni na ne nu nü nan nai nei nao neng nar X

la li le lai lei lu lü lan leng lou X X

ga ge gei gen gao gu gou gai gan gang X X

ke ka kai ken kang ku kou kao keng X X X

ha he hai han hang heng hou hao hei hu X X

ji ju X X X X X X X X X X

qi qu X X X X X X X X X X

xi xu X X X X X X X X X X

zhi zhe zhu zhan zhang zhen zheng zhou zha zhai zhao X

chi cha chu chai chang chan chen chou chao cheng X X

shi sha she shu shan shang sheng shen shou shao shei X

ri ru ran rou ren reng rao X X X X X

zi za ze zao zang zen zeng zu zou zai zei X


ci ce can ca cang ceng cou cao cai cu cen X

si sa se sai sao san sen sou su seng sang X

The Pīnyīn speaking exercises you’ve just completed are an extension of the
pronunciation review in Chinese with Mike: Lesson 4. Every sound in the table is
covered in the video, so this should be a test of your ability to take different
sounds you’re familiar with and mix and match them with different initials and
finals. Like I said, these are all of the sound combinations you can ever have
with the initials and these sets of finals. Way to go!

I believe we’re comfortable enough with these early sets of finals to move to
some more difficult ones in Chapter 5. Put on your seatbelt, turn up the radio,
and come along for the ride. Shotgun!
Chapter 5: Pīnyīn (The Finals II)
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 5
I’m happy to announce that this is our penultimate (second to last) chapter covering the pīnyīn
romanization system. I’m sure you would like to learn how to say “Pass the soy sauce” as much
as I’d like to teach you, but for now, we are still in the trenches. Don’t give up now!

Here are more sets of finals. These are different from our first sets because these finals require
adding together finals we’ve already learned to construct new, more difficult ones. Who’s ready
for some pīnyīn math?

Here are the old finals (Final 1 and Final 2) that we are adding together, followed by the new
final (with approximate pronunciation). Notice that the new finals have an equivalent word in
parentheses—the two are exactly the same sound! The difference is that if the particular final
does not require an initial, and thus, can stand by itself, a “y” or “w” must replace the “i” or “u”
to eliminate confusion of syllables. Take a look at the first one “-ia (ya).” The -ia could be
combined with the initial “j” to make the word “jiā,” which means family/home. On the other
hand, if this final stands alone as “yá,” it means duck (the quacking bird). Once again,
remember that the pronunciation is identical! You’ll catch on when you know some more
vocabulary. Until then, chill out and be patient. Here we go:

The Finals (Third Set)


Final 1 Final 2 New final

i a -ia (ya)
(teeth) (father) (yonder)

i e -ie (ye)
(teeth) (up) (yeah)
i ou (o will drop) -iu (you)
(teeth) (blow) (yogurt)

i ao -iao (yao)
(teeth) (cow) (yowl)

i an -ian (yan)
(teeth) (on) (yen)

i en (e will drop) -in (yin)


(teeth) (under) (bean)

u a -ua (wa)
(food) (father) (wobble)

u o -uo (wo)
(food) (low) (woah!)

u ai -uai (wai)
(food) (eye) (why?)

u ei (e will drop) -ui (wei)


(food) (heyyy!) (way)
u an -uan(wan)
(food) (on) (wander)

u en (e will drop) -un (wen)


(food) (under) (one)

Notice above that some letters drop when the first final is added to the second. Don’t look too far into
it; pay attention to the sound of the new final in the third column. I’m just giving you the background of
how the new finals originated, and yes, a few do drop a letter.

With that said, let’s get on to some practice. Notice the final column is the finals standing alone; the “i”
changes to a “y,” even though the sounds are identical.

jia xia qia X X ya

bie xie pie die mie ye

liu jiu qiu xiu niu you

miao biao xiao qiao jiao yao

pian xian mian jian qian yan

pin bin xin jin min yin

Here’s the other set. In this section, the final column shows the finals standing alone, but in this case,
the “u” is replaced by a “w.”

hua shua zhua gua kua wa

duo huo nuo shuo zhuo wo


huai shuai guai kuai chuai wai

hui dui gui zhui chui wei

huan zhuan chuan suan kuan wan

hun dun tun chun zhun wen

We only have a few finals left, and then pīnyīn will be finished! I’ll save you a seat at the Chapter 6 tea
party. Sharpen your pencil, and turn the page!
Chapter 6: Pīnyīn (The Finals III and Review)
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 6

If I told you that this is the final chapter on the pīnyīn romanization system, would you believe me? Didn’t think
so. Well, I’d like to move beyond pīnyīn instruction as much as you would, so we are going to finish all of pīnyīn in
this chapter and do cartwheels into Chapter 7, which will cover the four major tones. So refill your teacups, and
let’s get started on our last set of finals!

The Finals (Fourth Set)


Final 1 Final 2 New final

i ang -iang (yang)


(teeth) (mongrel)

u ang -uang (wang)


(food) (mongrel)
u eng -ong (weng)
(food) (hung)

ü ie -ue (yue)
(beauty) (yeah)

ü an -uan (yuan)
(beauty) (on)

ü en -un(yun)
(beauty) (under)

ü ong/eng -iong (yong)


(beauty) (hung)

Once again, pay attention only to the actual sounds of the new finals that were formed by combining our old
finals (Final 1 and Final 2). Since there are no sounds in English that are even close to the sounds for these new
finals, I have not included any pronunciation tips. Watch me pronounce them in Chinese with Mike: Lesson 6, and
do your best to replicate the sounds. For finals –uan and –un, an umlaut is not necessary because these
umlauted finals can only combine with the initials j, q, and x, and therefore the umlauted pronunciation is
understood. Again, as you learn vocabulary words (very soon), all will make a lot more sense. Take the basic
sounds from the 26 letters in the English alphabet, and you quickly begin discovering patterns and your intuition
should lead you to the correct pronunciation. The same will happen when you’re building words in Chinese!

Here is some practice combining initials with our new finals Notice the final column are the finals standing alone
with the “i” and “ü “ (with umlaut) changing to “y” and “u” (without umlaut) changing to “w.”

jiang qiang xiang liang niang yang

huang zhuang chuang shuang kuang wang

hong rong dong tong nong weng

nüe jue que xue lüe yue

juan quan xuan X X yuan

jun qun xun X X yun

jiong qiong xiong X X yong


Below is a complete pīnyīn review table that contains every initial and final we have learned. The initials run
horizontally across the top, and the finals run vertically on the left. Example combinations are provided. Note
that the initials j, q, and x are unique in that only they can combine with certain finals.

Pīnyīn Review Table (Stand-alone finals in black in second column on left)


Initials
X b p m f d t n l g k h j q x zh ch sh r z c s
a a ba pa ma fa da ta na la ga ka ha X X X zha cha sha X za ca sa

ai ai bai pai mai X dai tai nai lai gai kai hai X X X zhai chai shai X zai cai sai

an an ban pan man fan dan tan nan lan gan kan han X X X zhan chan shan ran zan can san
ang ang bang pang mang fang dang tang nang lang gang kang hang X X X zhang chang shang rang zang cang sang
ao ao bao pao mao X dao tao nao lao gao kao hao X X X zhao chao shao rao zao cao sao
e e X X me X de te ne le ge ke he X X X zhe che she re ze ce se
ei ei bei pei mei fei dei X nei lei gei X hei X X X X X shei X zei X X
en en ben pen men fen den X nen X gen ken hen X X X zhen chen shen ren zen cen sen
eng beng peng meng feng deng teng neng leng geng keng heng X X X zheng cheng sheng reng zeng ceng seng
Finals

er er X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
i yi bi pi mi X di ti ni li X X X ji qi xi zhi chi shi ri zi ci si
ia ya X X X X dia X X lia X X X jia qia xia X X X X X X X
ian yan bian pian mian X dian tian nian lian X X X jian qian xian X X X X X X X
iang yang X X X X X X niang liang X X X jiang qiang xiang X X X X X X X
iao yao biao piao miao X diao tiao niao liao X X X jiao qiao xiao X X X X X X X
ie ye bie pie mie X die tie nie lie X X X jie qie xie X X X X X X X
in yin bin pin min X X X nin lin X X X jin qin xin X X X X X X X
ing ying bing ping ming X ding ting ning ling X X X jing qing xing X X X X X X X
io yo X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X
iong yong X X X X X X X X X X X jiong qiong xiong X X X X X X X
iu you X X miu X diu X niu liu X X X jiu qiu xiu X X X X X X X
o o bo po mo fo X X X lo X X X X X X X X X X X X X
ong weng X X X X dong tong nong long gong kong hong X X X zhong chong X rong zong cong song
ou ou X pou mou fou dou tou nou lou gou kou hou X X X zhou chou shou rou zou cou sou
u wu bu pu mu fu du tu nu lu gu ku hu X X X zhu chu shu ru zu cu su
ua wa X X X X X X X X gua kua hua X X X zhua X shua X X X X
uai wai X X X X X X X X guai kuai huai X X X X chuai shuai X X X X
uan wan X X X X duan tuan nuan luan guan kuan huan X X X zhuan chuan shuan ruan zuan cuan suan
uang wang X X X X X X X X guang kuang huang X X X zhuang chuang shuang X X X X
ue yue X X X X X X nüe lüe X X X jue que xue X X X X X X X
ui wei X X X X dui tui X X gui kui hui X X X zhui chui shui rui zui cui sui
un wen X X X X dun tun X lun gun kun hun X X X zhun chun shun run zun cun sun
uo wo X X X X duo tuo nuo luo guo kuo huo X X X zhuo chuo shuo ruo zuo cuo suo
ü yu X X X X X X nü lü X X X ju qu xu X X X X X X X
üan yuan X X X X X X X X X X X juan quan xuan X X X X X X X
ün yun X X X X X X X X X X X jun qun xun X X X X X X X

In conclusion, I hope you have a solid—maybe not perfect, but solid—grasp of the pīnyīn romanization system.
You can iron out the wrinkles in the next several lessons, and in the meantime, you can see these how these
sounds are put into practice when you begin building your Chinese vocabulary. So congratulations! Get out the
bottle of champagne (or sparkling grape juice if you are underage) and toast to the wonderful journey you are
beginning—learning Chinese with Mike! Cheers!
Chapter 7: Tones
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 7

What are tones (shēng) ?


Since Chinese is a “tonal language,” speakers must change their vocal pitch to pronounce words
correctly. Mandarin Chinese has four main tones—first tone, second tone, third tone, and
fourth tone--and one neutral tone, which I will cover later. The four major tones are very
important because they allow us to distinguish pīnyīn words that are spelled the same. Below is
a tone chart to illustrate the where your vocal pitch should be when pronouncing each of the
four tones:

Look at the following sets of words. Each word in each group has the same pīnyīn spelling, so
the assigned tone lets us know the precise meaning:

First tone Second tone Third tone Fourth tone

妈 麻 马 骂

mā (mom) má (hemp) mǎ (horse) mà (to scold)

OR

猪 竹 煮 住
zhū (pig) zhú (bamboo) zhǔ (to cook) zhù (to live)

*It is also important to note that sometimes there is more than one word that can correspond
with a specific pīnyīn spelling AND tone. Take a look at the following examples:

洞 动 冻

dòng (a hole) dòng (to move) dòng (to freeze)

All three pīnyīn words are spelled the same and are pronounced the same because all are
fourth tone. Therefore, unless you know the specific character that corresponds with each—all
are different—you must rely on the context of the conversation to know which one is being
used.

The Neutral Tone (


The neutral tone is called the “neutral tone” because it has never waged war with any of the other
tones. Alright, I lied. It’s really called the neutral tone because it has no assigned tone and thus has no
tone mark. It is short and light. Here are a few examples:

吗 的 呢

ma de ne

These characters can be used to indicate possession, questions, etc. For now, I only want you to note
that they have no tone mark.

Additional Rules of Tones


There are a few rules regarding changes in tones. If there are two third-tone words side-by-side, you
should change the first (third tone) word to a second tone. You are then able to pronounce them more
smoothly. See the examples:

Nǐ hǎo.  Ní hǎo

Hěn hǎo  Hén hǎo

If there are more than two third tone words strung together, change them according to the
context. Both of the following examples are acceptable:

Wǒ hěn hǎo  Wó hén hǎo OR Wǒ hén hǎo

Nǐ hěn lǎo  Ní hén lǎo OR Nǐ hén lǎo


**While this may frighten you at moment, let me assure you that in my experience, not changing
third tones to second tones in accordance to this rule won’t kill a conversation. Instead, given
the context of the conversation, the majority of people will understand exactly what you are
saying. The purists will fight me on this one, but like I said, you’ll be fine. Do your best to shift
your tones according to the aforementioned rules, but if you mess it up, context usually saves
you.

I hope you understand the basics about tones and their rules. There are a few small technical
aspects that I’ll save for later so that you’re not overwhelmed. For now, you’re good to go!

So now what? I’m in the mood to chill out and write some Chinese characters. If this is
something you’re interested in, join me in Chapter 8, and I promise that by the end of it, you’ll be
able to write your first ten Chinese characters. Sweet!

Warning: For those of you who have addictive personalities, you might want to skip
Chapter 8. You may soon find that you are devoting every spare minute you have to
practicing them. How do you think I wound up living in a garage?
Chapter 8: Chinese Characters
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 8

Introduction to the Chinese Writing System (Borrowed from Chapter 1)


The Chinese writing system is the oldest continuously used writing system in the world; it has
been in place for over 2000 years and has undergone several modifications. At first glance,
many are intrigued by the complexity of the writing system, and we tend to ask the same
questions: Is each word, called a character (or logogram) a picture? Is it an idea? Would it make
a good tattoo? How do characters come to be?

When Chinese was first written on bones and turtle shells, most concepts were represented by
pictograms and ideograms (see below). Eventually these ancient characters evolved into
modern characters, which is the type we use today. In all, some linguists approximate the
number of Chinese characters to be about 50,000. Does anybody know them all? No. I have
heard that people need to be able to recognize between 2000-3000 characters to read a
newspaper, and a well-educated person knows about double that number. Keep in mind that
after you know the pīnyīn alphabet (which you will have mastered after Chapter 6) you can
read any character, as long as pīnyīn is provided. You will also be able to chat in Chinese chat
rooms!

First, there are six classifications of Chinese characters, which include:

1. Pictograms- “Form imitation” characters


Pictograms are used for words that are represented by pictures. Pictograms make up a small
percentage of Chinese characters, with some estimating that number to be about 600
characters. Notice how the ancient pictogram (left) has evolved into the modern Chinese
character (right). Here are three examples:

Mountain (shān)
Water (shuǐ)

Horse (mǎ)

2. Ideograms- “Indication” characters

Ideograms are characters used to represent concepts, or ideas. Here are some
examples:

One (yī) Two (èr) Three(sān) Up (shàng) Below (xià)

一 二 三 上 下

3. Ideogrammatic compounds- “Joined meaning” characters


Ideogrammatic compounds are formed by combining two or more pictograms or ideograms
and are used to represent words with separate meanings. See the examples below:
Tree (shù) + Grove (lín) = Forest (sēn)

木 + 林 = 森

OR
Person (rén) + Tree (shù) = Rest (xiū) (People rest under trees!)

人 + 木 = 休

OR
Woman (nǚ) + Child (zǐ) = Good (hǎo)

女 + 子 = 好

4. Phono-semantic compounds- “Form and sound” characters


This is the most common type of Chinese character, comprising over 90% of them. One part
provides the general category, and the other part indicates the approximate pronunciation.
Notice how each character in each group has one common component. Here are some
examples:

Characters related to water:

Ice (bīng) River (hé) Lake (hú ) Sea (hǎi) Wave (làng)

冰  河  湖  海  浪

Characters related to plants:

Grass (cǎo) Flower (huā) Berry (méi) Tea (chá) Vegetables (cài)

草  花  莓  茶  菜
Characters related to animals:

Dog (gǒu) Pig (zhū) Monkey (hóu) Lion (shī) Wolf (láng)

狗  猪  猴  狮  狼 

5. Transformed cognate- “Reciprocal meaning” characters


This category has basically disappeared from the modern classification system, but essentially,
they are pairs of words that are historically related, but their meanings and pronunciations
have since drifted apart. The most commonly cited example is:

Old (lǎo) and To test (kǎo)

老 考

6. Rebus- “borrowed characters”


This final category indicates words that were borrowed from original characters that had
different meanings. What happened was the modern character became the default meaning
associated with the original character (which meant something else), so the original character
had to be changed to indicate its original meaning. Yes, I expect you’re completely lost. Take a
look at a few examples:
1. 北(běi) originally meant “back (of the body)” but it currently means
“north.” Thus, the character 背(bèi) was later created to mean “back (of
the body).” 

2. 要 (yào) originally meant “waist,” but it currently means “to want.” Thus,
the character 腰 (yāo) was later created to mean “waist.”

3. 永 (yǒng) originally meant “to swim,” but it currently means “forever.”


Thus,泳 (yǒng) was later created to mean “to swim.”

In conclusion, if you are interested in learning the Chinese writing system, you do not need to
know which category a given character belongs to, nor do you need to know the six major
classifications! Rather, the key to learning how to write Chinese characters is writing them
over and over and over and over again until they look pretty and you remember the strokes.
Trust me: I spent years doing just that, usually in front of the television with a cold beverage
at my side. Once you learn several characters, you’ll see how words that are pronounced
similarly often include similar written components, as well as other patterns that I’ve
introduced in the examples above. See Chapter 8 for more information and the guidelines for
how to write Chinese characters, and check my Website (www.chinesewithmike.com) for my
personal recommendations for character-writing dictionaries.

Traditional Versus Simplified Characters


One last point to note is that I have written the characters in this chapter using traditional
Chinese characters, which have been used for about 1500 years. Today, however, only Taiwan,
Hong Kong, Macau and Chinese communities overseas use the traditional, more “complicated”
characters. In an effort to increase literacy, the Chinese government began “simplifying” the
traditional characters in 1956, so today, mainland China uses simplified characters. Take a look:

Traditional Character Simplified Character

書 book (shū) 书 book (shū)

馬 horse (mǎ) 马 horse (mǎ)

風 wind (fēng) 风 wind (fēng)


Note: Although I think traditional characters look prettier, I will be using simplified characters
for the remainder of this textbook and in the Chinese with Mike video series because they are
the most common style used in China. Most good character writing dictionaries contain
instructions for how to write both, so if you would prefer learning traditional characters, knock
yourself out!

The Major Strokes to Write Chinese Characters


Some have argued that there are over thirty different strokes to writing Chinese character, and
perhaps there are. Here are the nine that I believe are the more important to know:

点 diǎn
“dot”

横 héng “horizontal”

竖 shù “vertical”

提 tí “rising left to right”

捺 nà “falling left to right”

撇 piě “falling right to left”


钩 gōu “hook attached to other
strokes”

弯 wān “concave on left”

斜 xié “concave on right”

Below, see the character for the word yǒ ng, which means “always” or “eternal.”
It illustrates the use of 8 of our basic strokes.
**Do not fear. You do not need to know the specific names of each stroke.
Rather, you have to devote a lot of time to practicing. As I promised, here are ten
easy characters you can begin practicing. Follow the strokes!
yī èr sān liù qī shí
“one” “two” “three” “six” “seven” “ten”
Here’s another set:

rén dà kǒu rì shān mù


“person” “big” “mouth” “sun; a day” “mountain” “wood; tree”
You’re on your way with your first ten Chinese characters! Congratulations, and
try to limit your practice so that you don’t end up forsaking your other
responsibilities. You may eventually find yourself teaching Chinese in your garage.
See you with Lesson 9, and this time I’m serious—we will begin speaking! Catch
you later.
Chapter 9: Nǐ hǎo!
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 9
Congratulations! You have mastered pīnyīn, the four tones, the basic strokes to write Chinese
characters, and hopefully you’re catching on to how I run things around here—my garage, that is. Some
of you have been surprised by the fact that you’re learning the world’s most fascinating language from a
guy living and teaching in a one-car garage. Well, let me assure you that when it was my turn to tell my
kindergarten class what I wanted to be when I grew up, this wasn’t my response—I wanted at least a
two-car garage!

Enough about me. Let’s talk about your first words in Chinese!

New Vocabulary
wǒ (我) I; me

nǐ (你 or 妳) You

hǎ o (好) Good/Well/Fine

hěn (很) Very

ma (吗) A question particle


(makes a statement a question)
yě (也) Also; too

xièxie (谢谢 ) Thank you

ne (呢) A question particle


(means roughly “and you?”)
The most basic greetings and phrases in Chinese:

Literal Actual Meaning


Pīnyīn Translation
Nǐ hǎo! You good Hello; hi

Nǐ hǎo ma? You good? How are you?

Wǒ hěn hao. I very good/well/fine I am fine/good/well.

Nǐ ne? You? And you?

Wǒ yě hěn hǎo. I also very good/well/fine. I’m good/well/fine, too.

Xièxie! X Thank you

You may be confused why there is no “be” verb (e.g., “am, “is,” or “are”) in some of the sentences
above. Don’t worry about that for now. I’ll explain it in a future lesson. For now, just memorize and
practice.

Sample Conversation:
Mike Lǎoshī: Nǐ hǎo!

Student: Nǐ hǎo!

Mike Lǎoshī: Nǐ hǎo ma?

Student: Wǒ hěn hǎo. Nǐ ne?

Mike Lǎoshī: Wǒ yě hěn hǎo! Xièxie.

Sadly, that’s all the conversation we have through Chapter 9, but I promise there will be more soon!
Exercises:
Translate the following into English (or your native language):

1. Nǐ hǎo.

2. Nǐ hǎo ma?

3. Wǒ hěn hǎo. Nǐ ne?

4. Wǒ yě hěn hǎo. Xièxie.

**Answers at the end of the chapter following the character writing practice.
Character Writing Practice


nǐ wǒ hǎo hěn yě
“you” “very”
“you” “good; “too; also”
Masculine Feminine “I; me” well; fine”
More character practice on next page…
ANSWERS TO EXERCISES:

1. Hello!

2. How are you?

3. I’m fine. And you?

4. I’m fine, too. Thank you.

Well, I’m off for a bike ride. I’ll see you with Chapter 10 on the next page. Now get to work on your
character practice!
Chapter 10: More Basic Greetings
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson10
In this chapter, we will learn more basic greetings. Instead of using “Nǐ hǎo,” you can use one of
the following greetings:

Greetings
zǎoshàng hǎo Good morning
(早上 好)
xiàwǔ hǎo Good afternoon
(下午 好)
wǎnshàng hǎo Good evening
(晚上 好)
wǎn ān Goodnight
(晚 安)

More New Vocabulary


shì (verb) To be (am, is, are)

lǎoshī teacher

xuéshēng student

The “Be” Verb: Shì

The “be” verb is most commonly used verb in English, Chinese, and I imagine every other language as
well. The forms of “be” are much more recognizable than the word “be” itself. Here are the basic forms
in the present tense: am, is, and are

Here are a couple of basic sentences using forms of the “be” verb, or Shì in Chinese.
Wǒ shì lǎoshī. (I am a teacher.)
我 是 老 师

Nǐ shì xuéshēng. (You are a student.)


你 是 学 生

Articles
In English, we have three articles: the, a, and an. In the two sentences above, we need to add “the” or
“a” or “the” before the words teacher and student to word them correctly in English. (I am a/the
teacher) and (I am a student.)

However, in Chinese, there are no articles! Therefore, you do not have to put a word to mean “a,” “an,”
or “the” in sentences. The sentences above would be literally translated as “I am teacher” and “I am
student.” That is correct grammar in Chinese.

Exercise 1:
Translate the following conversation into English.

Mike Lǎoshī: Zǎoshàng hǎo ! Nǐ hǎo ma?

Student: Wǒ hěn hǎo. nǐ ne?

Mike Lǎoshī: Wǒ yě hěn hǎo. Xièxie, nǐ


**See answers following the character writing practice.
zǎoshàng xiàwǔ wǎn ān
“morning” “afternoon” “good night”
Answers to Exercise 1:

Teacher Mike: Good morning! How are you?

Student: I am well. And you?

Teacher Mike: I am well, too. Thank you.


Chapter 11: Pronouns
To be read with Chinese with Mike: Lesson 11

What are pronouns?


Pronouns are words that replace nouns. We can break down the word “pro” to mean “for,” and
“noun,” which is a word that names a person, place, thing, or idea. Therefore, the word pronoun means
“for a noun.” Instead of saying “the man” we can say “he” or “him.” Instead of saying “the woman,” we
can say “she” or “her.” Instead of saying “the tree,” we can say “it.” Our two main forms are called
subject pronouns and object pronouns. Take the example “I love you” in English. I is the subject here, or
the person doing the action of the sentence. Therefore, I is a subject pronoun. “You” is receiving the
loving, so you is the object pronoun in this example. Turning it around, we can say “You love me.” You
remains the same word, but here it is the subject and therefore a subject pronoun. Me, replaces “I”
because “me” is receiving the loving, and is therefore the object pronoun.

What are the basic Chinese pronouns?


Before I give you the list of Chinese subject/object pronouns, let me give you some good news. In
Chinese, we do not have to differentiate between subject and object pronouns (I, me; he, him; she,
her; we, us; they, them) like we do in English. For example, the word wǒ means both “I “and “me.”

Table of Chinese Subject/Object Pronouns

Wǒ I; me

Nǐ you
你( masculine) 妳 (feminine)
Tā He, him; She, her; it
他(He, him); 她 (She, her);它 (It)
Wǒmen We; us
我们
Nǐmen You (plural) “You guys”
你们
Tāmen They, them
他们
Example sentences:

我是老师
Wǒ shì lǎoshī (I am a teacher.)

你是老师吗?

Nǐ shì lǎoshī ma? (Are you a teacher?)

他是学生

Tā shì xuéshēng. (He/She is a student.)

我们是老师

Wǒmen shì lǎoshī. (We are teachers.)

他们是学生

Tāmen shì xuéshēng. (They are students.)

你们好

Nǐmen hǎo! (Hello, you guys!)

你们好吗?

Nǐmen hǎo ma? (How are you guys?)

我们很好

Wǒmen hěn hǎo. (We are fine/well.)


**Notice that the examples that have an adjective (a word to describe a noun) at the end do not
require the verb shì. The only adjective we know right now is “hǎo,” meaning fine, good, or
well.
Exercises:
(Answers following the character writing practice)

Translate the following sentences into English (or your native language).

1. Mike Lǎoshī hěn hǎo.

2. Tāmen hǎo ma?

3. Wǒmen shì xuéshēng.

4. Tāmen shì lǎoshī ma?

5. Tā (He) shì xuéshēng.

6. Nǐmen shì xuéshēng ma?

7. Wǒ hěn hǎo. Xièxie.

Character Writing Exercises:


Answers for exercises:

1. Teacher Mike is very good.

2. How are they (doing)?

3. We are students.

4. Are they teachers?

5. He is a student.

6. Are you (guys) students?

7. I’m fine. Thank you.

I hope this has been a pleasant introduction to the basic pronouns in Chinese. I
have to change a light bulb, so I have to run for now. Check in with me for
Lesson 12, and I’ll tell what your nationality is. Talk to you then, friends! Oh
yeah, if you have any questions, e-mail me at mike@chinesewithmike.com.
Chapter 12: Nationalities
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 12

Nationalities
In this chapter, we will discuss nationalities. You will be able to say “I am
Chinese” or “I am an American.” Since we know the basic subject pronouns in
Chinese and the “be” verb (shì), there should not be much confusion. You simply
have to state the pronoun (Wǒ, Nǐ, Tā, Wǒmen, Nǐmen, Tāmen) + shì + the
nationality. To ask about one’s nationality, just add “ma” at the end!

List of countries:

中国 China
zhōngguó
台湾 Taiwan
táiwān
美国 America
méiguó
法国 France
fàguó
德国 Germany
déguó
英国 England
yīngguó
日本 Japan
rìběn
韩国 Korea
hánguó
新加坡 Singapore
xīnjiāpō
西班牙 Spain
xībānyá
荷兰 The Netherlands
hélán
俄国 Russia
éguó
加拿大 Canada
jiānádà
墨西哥 Mexico
mòxīgē
马来西亚 Malaysia
mǎláixīyà
越南 Vietnam
yuènán
爱尔兰 Ireland
àiěrlán
波兰 Poland
bōlán
巴西 Brazil
bāxī
葡萄牙 Portugal
pútáoyá
澳洲 Australia
àozhōu
新西兰 New Zealand
xīnxīlán
意大利 Italy
yìdàlì
印度 India
yìndù
阿拉伯 Arabic
ālābó
挪威 Norway
nuówēi
芬兰 Finland
fēnlán
冰岛 Iceland
bīngdǎo
泰国 Thailand
tàiguó
罗马尼亚 Romania
luómǎníyà
阿根廷 Argentina
āgēntíng
非洲 (南非) Africa (South Africa)
fēizhōu (nánfēi)
希腊 Greece
xīlà

To give the nationality of a person (e.g. I am American, or I am an American),


simply add rén (person) to the end of the country name.

Here are some examples:

Wǒ shì zhōngguórén. (I am Chinese; I am a Chinese person.)

Nǐ shì ribenrén. (You are Japanese; You are a Japanese person.)

Tā shì yidalirén. (He/She is Italian; He/She is an Italian.)

Tāmen shì mòxīgērén ma? (Are they Mexican?)

Nǐ shì āgēntíngrén ma? (Are you Argentinian?)

Exercises: (Answers after character writing practice)

Translate the following into English or your native language.

1. Wǒ shì yìndùrén

2. Nǐ shì luómǎníyàrén.

3. Tā shì bāxīrén ma?

4. Laoshi shì àiěrlánrén.

5. Nǐmen shì xīlàrén ma?


Character Writing Practice
(Note: I have included only some of the characters listed above because it is too difficult to
provide them all. I will soon have character writing dictionaries I recommend on the
Website!)
Answers to Exercises:

1. I am Indian.

2. You are Romanian.

3. Is he/she Brazilian?

4. The teacher is Irish.

5. Are you guys Greek?

That brings Chapter 12 on nationalities to a close. I’m sorry I could not include every one, but if you e-
mail me one you want to know, I’ll write back with the answer. I have a better idea, though: Buy a
Chinese dictionary and figure it out on your own. If you haven’t noticed, I’m a busy man, and I need to
get working on Lesson 13. We’ll be covering more adjectives than you can handle! Ciao!
Chapter 13: Adjectives (xíngróngcí)
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 13

What is an adjective?
An adjective is a word that describes a noun, which is a person, place, thing, or
idea. In Chinese it is very important for us to identify adjectives to determine our
sentence structure. Take a look at the following sentences in English.

I am a teacher.

I am tall.

In the first example, there is no adjective because teacher is a noun. In the second
example, the word tall is an adjective, but we still use the same “be” verb form
(am) to write each sentence. However, this changes in Chinese! See the sentences
translated into Chinese:

Wǒ shì lǎoshī.

Wǒ hěn gāo.

We know that shì is the “be” verb in Chinese, and notice in the first example with a
noun (teacher) at the end, we need shì in our sentence. However, in the second
example the shì is not spoken. You could say that it is implied. Instead, we use the
adverb hěn (very) to replace it.

Master List of Adjectives

xíngróngcí Adjectives xíngróngcí Adjectives

hǎo good; well; bàng great


好 fine 棒
gāo tall; high měi beautiful
高 美
ǎi short piàoliàng pretty;
矮 漂亮 beautiful
zhuàng strong shuài handsome
壮 帅
ruò weak chǒu ugly
弱 醜
gāoxìng happy zuì drunk
高兴 醉
nánguò sad xiāng fragrant
难过 香
kāixīn happy lǎo old
开心 老
shāngxīn sad; niánqīng young
伤心 heartbroken 年轻
pàng fat chòu stinky
胖 臭
shòu thin kuài fast
瘦 快
cōngmíng intelligent; màn slow
聪明 smart 慢
bèn stupid tàng hot (for
笨 烫 objects)
è hungry dī low
饿 低
kě thirsty shēngqì angry
渴 生气
cháng long wúliáo bored
长 无聊
duǎn short (length) xìngfèn excited
短 兴奋
kūnhuò confused liàng bright
困惑 亮
rènzhēn To have a good àn dark
认真 attitude 暗
jiǎ fake máng busy
假 忙
fēng crazy xìnkǔ hard-working
疯 辛苦
yǒuqián rich lǎnduò lazy
有钱 懒惰
qióng poor hǎowán fun
穷 好玩
dàfāng generous tǎoyàn disagreeable
大方 讨厌
tānxīn greedy dà big
贪心 大
qínláo hard-working xiǎo small; little
勤劳 小
lèi tired wánpí naughty
累 顽皮
wángù stubborn zǎo early
顽固 早
wǎn late xīn new
晚 新
jiǎndān easy jiù old
简单 旧
nán difficult yǒuqù interesting
难 有趣
kěài cute rè hot (weather;
可爱 热 atmosphere)
wēnnuǎn warm lěng cold
温暖 冷
bīng cold (for shī wet
冰 objects) 湿
gān dry shūfú comfortable
干 舒服
guì expensive piányí cheap
贵 便宜

Sample sentences:

Wǒ hěn shēngqì . (I am (very) angry.)


Nǐ hěn wánpí. (You are (very) naughty.)
Tāmen hěn yǒuqián. (They are (very) rich.)
Zhōngguó hěn dà. (China is (very) big.)
Táiwān hěn xiǎo. (Taiwan is (very) small.)
Lǎoshī hěn xìnkǔ (The teacher is (very) hardworking.
Xuéshēng hěn lǎnduò (The student(s) are (very) lazy.)
Měiguórén hěn cōngmíng. (Americans are (very) intelligent.)

Why do all adjectives include hěn (very) before them?


I am 6’1” (188 cm) tall, and I would say “I am tall” in English, but I would not say
I am very tall. However, in Chinese, just about every adjective is modified by hěn
(very) so using it sometimes makes the statement seem exaggerated. Therefore,
when you hear “hěn,” don’t think too much of it; hěn is not nearly as strong as the
word “very” in English. I will teach you some adverbs stronger than hěn in the
future.
Exercises: Translate the following into English (or your native language).

See answers below.

1. Wǒ hěn shūfú.

2. Nǐ hěn shāngxīn.

3. Tā hěn kěài.

4. Wǒmen hěn tānxīn.

5. Nǐmen hěn fēng.

6. Tāmen hěn xìngfèn.

7. Lǎoshī hěn kě.

8. Xuéshēng hěn niánqīng.

9. Déguórén hěn zhuàng.

10. Xīnjiāpōrén hěn shòu.

Answers:
1. I am (very) comfortable.
2. You are (very) sad.
3. He/She/It is (very) cute.
4. We are (very) greedy.
5. You guys are (very) crazy.
6. They are (very) excited.
7. The teacher is (very) thirsty.
8. The student(s) are (very) young.
9. Germans are (very) strong.
10. Singaporeans are (very) thin.

Note: I have not included any character writing practice in this lesson,
nor will I include them in the coming chapters. Instead, I will include
another link on the www.chinesewithmike.com website for character
practice. I will post it soon.

Conclusion:
You should know enough adjectives to compliment or insult everybody
you know. Use them to your advantage, and start memorizing your new
vocabulary! If anything isn’t clear, send me an e-mail. I have to go find a
good pair of chopsticks. You’ll see why soon.
Chapter 14: Review of Shì and Hěn
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 14
Hello! If you’ve been keeping up with all of my video lessons up until now, you should know the material
of this lesson. Since we will be getting into possessives next time, it’s very important that we understand
the basic grammar of our two most commonly used sentence structures.

Wǒ hěn _________. (Fill in the blank with an adjective)

我很

Wǒ shì __________. (Fill in the blank with a noun)

我是

As long as you know the difference between an adjective and a noun, you will be fine. If you have read
Chapter 13, you know plenty of important adjectives. I do realize that aside from teacher, student, and
nationalities, we do not know many nouns yet. Don’t worry—we will soon!

Here are some examples of sentences using adjectives.

Wǒ hěn gāoxìng. (I am happy.)

我很高兴

Nǐ hěn shuài. (You are (very) handsome.)

你很帅

Sarah hěn piàoliàng. (Sarah is (very) pretty/beautiful.)

Sarah 很漂亮

Wǒmen hěn gāo. (We are (very) tall.)

我们很高

Nǐmen hěn lèi. (You guys are (very) tired.)

你们很累
Tāmen hěn zhuàng. (They are (very) strong.)

他们很壮

Táiwān hěn piàoliàng. (Taiwan is (very) beautiful.)

Taiwan 很漂亮

Here are some examples using nouns:

Wǒ shì yìdàlìrén. (I am Italian.) Lit. I am an Italy person.

我是意大利人

Nǐ shì lǎoshī. (You are a teacher.)

你是老师

Lǎoshī shì yīngguórén. (The teacher is English.)

老师是英国人

Xuéshēng shì zhōngguórén. (The student(s) is/are Chinese.)

学生是中国人

John shì xuéshēng. (John is a student.)

John 是学生

Tāmen shì éguórén. (They are Russian.)

他们是俄国人

Making Questions using “ma”


Zhōngguó hěn dà ma? (Is China (very) big?)

中国很大吗?

Mary hěn cōngmíng ma? (Is Mary (very) intelligent?)

Mary 很聪明吗?
Lǎoshī hěn niánqīng ma? (Is the teacher (very) young?)

老师很年轻吗?

Nǐ hěn è ma? (Are you (very) hungry?)

你很饿吗?

Tāmen hěn kě ma? (Are they (very) thirsty?)

他们很渴吗?

Nǐmen shì xībānyárén ma? (Are you guys Spanish?) Lit. Spain people

你们是西班牙人吗?

Lǎoshī shì měiguórén ma? (Is the teacher American?)

老师是美国人吗?

Joseph shì xuéshēng ma? (Is Joseph a student?)

Joseph 是学生吗?

Nǐ shì lǎoshī ma? (Are you a/the teacher?)

你是老师吗?

Tāmen shì jiānádàrén ma? (Are they Canadian?)

他们是加拿大人吗?
TRIVIA CHALLENGE!

I am going to try something new in this lesson. I will provide you with a series of
sentences in pinyin. Please translate it into English, and send your translation to
mike@chinesewithmike.com with your name and home town. Anyone who
responds correctly will have his or her name, home town, and a congratulatory
notice posted on the Website the following week. Here it is:

Nǐ hǎo! Wǒ shì déguórén. Wǒ shì xuèshēng. Wǒ hěn lǎo. Wǒ yě hěn chǒu.


Mike lǎoshī hěn bàng!
Chapter 15: Possessives
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 15
Possessives

Possessives are words that show possession, or ownership. In English we have two categories:
possessive adjectives and possessive pronouns. See the following examples:

Possessive Adjectives (a noun must follow):

My book

Your mom

His/Her dog

Our cat

Your (plural) dad

Their teacher

Possessive Pronouns (a noun does not follow):

The book is mine.

The cat is yours.

The book is his/hers.

The dog is ours.

The water is yours (plural).

The car is theirs.

Possessives in Chinese

I have good news! Possessive adjectives and possessive pronouns in Chinese are exactly the same!
There is no difference between saying “My book” and “The book is mine.” The same word is used for
my/mine, your/yours, his/his, her/hers, our/ours, your/yours, and their/theirs. Get the point? Good.
Now how do we do it? Check it out.

We simply add the particle “de” (neutral tone) to the original pronoun. Instead of wǒ, meaning “I” or
“me,” I now have (wǒde) to mean “my” or “mine”; instead of nǐ, I have nǐde; instead of tā, I have tāde,
and so on.
Take a look at the following examples:

Possessive Adjectives in Chinese


Wǒde lǎoshī (My teacher)

我的老师

Nǐde shū (Your book)

你的书

Tāde māo (His/Her cat)

他的猫

Wǒmende gǒu (Our dog)

我们的狗

Nǐmende bàba (Your (pl.) dad)

你们的爸爸

Tāmende māma (Their mom)

他们的妈妈

Lǎoshīde xuéshēng (The teacher’s student(s))

老师的学生

Possessive Pronouns in Chinese


Shuǐ shì wǒde. (The water is mine.)

水是我的

Chē(zi)shì nǐde. (The car is yours.)

车(子)是你的

Shū shì tāde. (The book is his/hers.)

书是他的

Lǎoshī shì wǒmende. (The teacher is ours.)

老师是我们的
Māo shì nǐmende. (The cat is yours (pl.).)

猫是你们的

Gǒu shì tāmende. (The dog is theirs.)

狗是他们的

Māo shì lǎoshīde. (The cat is the teacher’s.)

猫是老师的

New Vocabulary

Wǒde My; mine érzi son


我的 儿子
Nǐde Your; yours nǚ ér daughter
你的 女儿
Tāde His; her; hers; its Péngyǒu friend
他的 朋友
Wǒmende Our; ours Shū book
我们的 书
Nǐmende Your (pl.); yours Māo cat
你们的 猫
Tāmende Their; theirs Gǒu dog
他们的 狗
Māma mom Shuǐ water
妈妈 水
Bàba dad Chē(zi) car
爸爸 车(子)

TRANSLATION CHALLENGE!
Please translate the following sentences into English, and if you include your name (how you would like
it to appear) and home town, Jennifer, the CWM Webmaster, will kindly post your name in lights on the
CWM Website for the coming week. Send your translations to mike@chinesewithmike.com.

Zǎoshàng hǎo! Wǒmende lǎoshī shì měiguǒrén. Lǎoshīde gǒu hěn xiǎo, yě hěn shòu. Lǎoshīde māma
hěn lǎo. Tāde bàba shì yìdàlìrén. Lǎoshīde érzi hěn cōngmíng. Tāde nǚér hěn niánqīng. Tāmende māma
shì táiwānrén.
Conclusion
We should be on our way to understanding possessives in Chinese. For now, I have to get ready for the
Illinois State Competition for Inline Skating. I’ll be back next week with Lesson 16. Wish me luck!
Chapter 16: More Practice with
Possessives and Family Members
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 16

Background
In Chapter 15, I discussed possessives, differentiating between possessive adjectives and possessive
pronouns. Check that out first if you haven’t read it. The main point is that unlike English, Chinese uses
the same word for possessive adjectives and possessive pronouns, which makes it easier than English.

New Vocabulary: Family Members (Part I)


IMMEDIATE FAMILY

māma/ mǔqīn mom/mother


妈妈/母亲
bàba/ fùqīn dad/father
爸爸/父亲
bàba māma / fùmǔ mom and dad/parents (collectively)
爸爸妈妈/父母
xiōngdì brothers (collectively)
兄弟
jiěmèi sisters (collectively)
姐妹
xiōngdì jiěmèi brothers and sisters (collectively)
兄弟姐妹
gēge older brother
哥哥
dìdi younger brother
弟弟
jiějie older sister
姐姐
mèimei younger sister
妹妹
ér zi son
儿子
nǚ ér daughter
女儿
xiānshēng/ lǎogōng husband (formal/informal)
先生/老公
tàitai/ lǎo pó wife (formal/informal)
太太/老婆
nánpéngyǒu boyfriend
男朋友
nǚpéngyǒu girlfriend
女朋友

**Before you start memorizing your extended family members, read this: There is no sense is
rote-memorizing these terms because you will get confused and frustrated. Instead, think of
the members of your own family who have these relationships with you, and pair the words
with specific family members. Also, look for patterns. For example, gē (older male), dì (younger
male), jiě (older female), and mèi (younger female) should give you a hint about the word you
need. I will focus on the older generation in this lesson (e.g., grandparents, cousins, aunts and
uncles); I will include the younger generation (nephews, nieces, grandchildren) in the next
lesson.

EXTENDED FAMILY (FATHER’S SIDE)

yéye grandpa
爷爷
nǎinai grandma
奶奶
bóbo uncle (father’s older brother)
伯伯
shūshu uncle (father’s younger brother)
叔叔
gūgu aunt (father’s sister)
姑姑
tánggē older male cousin
堂哥
tángdì younger male cousin
堂弟
tángjiě older female cousin
堂姐
tángmèi younger female cousin
堂妹

EXTENDED FAMILY (MOTHER’S SIDE)

wàigōng grandpa
外公
wàipó grandma
外婆
jiùjiu uncle (mother’s brother)
舅舅
ā yí aunt (mother’s sister)
阿姨
biǎogē older male cousin
表哥
biǎodì younger male cousin
表弟
biǎojiě older female cousin
表姐
biǎomèi younger female cousin
表妹

Practice Sentences (See master adjective list in the download for Chapter 15)

我的妹妹是学生

Wǒde mèimei shì xuéshēng. (My younger sister is a student.)

你的哥哥很勤劳

Nǐde gēge hěn qínláo. (Your older brother is hardworking.)

他们的弟弟很懒惰,也很笨
Tāmende dìdi hěn lǎnduò, yě hěn bèn. (Their younger brother is lazy and stupid.)

我们的母亲是英国人

Wǒmende mǔqīn shì yīngguórén. (Our mother is English.)

老师的姐姐很漂亮

Lǎoshīde jiějie hěn piàoliàng. (The teacher’s older sister is pretty.)

我的老婆是台湾人

Wǒde lǎopó shì táiwānrén. (My life is Taiwanese.)

他的爷爷很老

Tāde yéye hěn lǎo. (His/Her grandpa is old.)

学生的老师很矮

Xuéshēngde lǎoshī hěn ǎi. (The students’ teacher is short.)

Questions
你们的狗很可爱吗?

Nǐmende gǒu hěn kě ài ma? (Is your (pl.) dog cute?)

他们的书很难吗?

Tāmende shū hěn nán ma? (Is their book difficult?)

你的女朋友是中国人吗?

Nǐde nǚpéngyǒu shì zhōngguórén ma? (Is your girlfriend Chinese?)

他们的表哥很聪明吗?

Tāmende biǎogē hěn cōngmíng ma? (Is their cousin intelligent?)

他的爸爸妈妈很有钱吗?

Tāde bàbamāma hěn yǒuqián ma? (Are his/her mom and dad rich?)

你的外公是老师吗?
Nǐde wàigōng shì lǎoshī ma? (Is your grandpa a teacher?)

他们的父母是巴西人吗?

Tāmende fùmǔ shì bāxīrén ma? (Are their parents Brazilian?)

TRANSLATION CHALLENGE
Please translate the following sentences into English, and if you include your name
(how you would like it to appear) and home town, Jennifer, the CWM Webmaster,
will kindly post your name in lights on the CWM Website for the coming week.
Send your translations to mike@chinesewithmike.com.

Nǐ hǎo! Nǐ hǎo ma? Wǒ hěn hǎo. Wǒ shì nǐde lǎoshī. Wǒde jiěmèi hěn è.
Tāmen shì xuéshēng. Wǒde bàbamāma hěn qióng. Tāmen shì
měiguórén. Nǐde nǎinai hěn zhuàng ma? Wǒde nǎinai hěn cōngmíng, yě
hěn lǎo. Wǒde nǎinaide gǒu hěn chòu, yě hěn chǒu. Nǐde māo hěn
niánqīng ma?
Chapter 17: Yes and No and More
Possessives Practice and Family
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 17

Background

In the previous chapters, we’ve covered how to properly make statements and ask
questions using shì, the most commonly used verb, and hěn, the most common
adverb in Chinese. In this chapter, we are going to learn how to provide affirmative
“yes” and negative “no” answers to questions using shì, the “be” verb in Chinese.

In Chinese, there isn’t a word that exclusively means “yes” or “no” Instead, your
answer depends on the main verb used in the question!

Take a look:

你是中国人吗?

Nǐ shì zhōngguórén ma? (Are you a Chinese person?)

To answer, you need to look at the verb used in the question. The verb in this
question is shì. To answer “Yes, (I am)” simply state the verb. In this case, you
would say “shì.” If you want to answer “No, (I am not)”, you have to add the word
bú before it. You then have “bú shì.” to mean “no.”

你是中国人吗?

Nǐ shì zhōngguórén ma? (Are you a Chinese person?)

是,我是中国人

Shì. (Yes, I am.) Wǒ shì zhōngguórén.

不是,我不是中国人

Bú shì. (No, I am not.) Wǒ bú shì zhōngguórén.


他是老师吗?

Tā shì lǎoshī ma? (Is he/she a teacher?)

是, 他是老师

Shì. (Yes, he/she is.) Tā shì lǎoshī.

不是, 他不是老师

Bú shì. (No, he/she is not.) Tā bú shì lǎoshī.

他们是日本人吗?

Tāmen shì rìběnrén ma? (Are they Japanese people?)

是,他们是日本人

Shì. (Yes, they are.) Tāmen shì rìběnrén.

不是,他们不是日本人

Bú shì. (No, they are not.) Tāmen bú shì rìběnrén.

你的外婆是学生吗?

Nǐde wàipó shì xúeshēng ma? (Is your grandmother a student?)

是,我的外婆是学生

Shì. (Yes, she is.) Wǒde wàipó shì xuéshēng.

不是,我的外婆不是学生

Bú shì. (No, she is not.) Wǒde wàipó bú shì xuéshēng.

我的妈妈的老公是我的爸爸吗?

Nǐde māmade lǎogōng shì nǐde bàba ma? (Is your mom’s husband your dad?)

是,他是我的爸爸.

Shì. (Yes, he is.) Tā shì wǒde bàba.

不是,他不是我的爸爸
Bú shì. (No, he is not.) Tā bú shì wǒde bàba.

你的狗是你的朋友吗?

Nǐde gǒu shì nǐde péngyǒu ma? (Is your dog your friend?)

是,他是我的朋友

Shì. (Yes, it is.) Tā shì wǒde péngyǒu.

不是,他不是我的朋友

Bú shì. (No, it is not.) Tā bú shì wǒde péngyǒu.

Additional Family Members Vocabulary


Yuèfù Father-in-law (wife’s father)
岳父
yuèmǔ Mother-in-law (wife’s mother)
岳母
Gōnggong Father-in-law (husband’s father)
公公
Pópo Mother-in-law (husband’s mom)
婆婆
Jiěfu Brother-in-law (older sister’s
姐夫 husband)
Mèixù Brother in-law (younger sister’s
妹婿 husband)
Sǎosao Sister-in-law (older brother’s wife)
嫂嫂
Dìxí Sister-in-law (younger brother’s
弟媳 wife)
Zhízi Nephew (brother’s son)
侄子侄子
Zhínǚ Niece (brother’s daughter)
侄女
Wàishēng Nephew (sister’s son)
外甥
Wàishēngnǚ Niece (sister’s daughter)
外甥女
Wàisūn Grandson (daughter’s son)
外孙
Wàisūnnǚ Granddaughter (daughter’s
外孙女 daughter)
Sūnzi Grandson (son’s son)
孙子
Sūnnǚ Granddaughter (son’s daughter)
孙女
Wèihūnfū Fiance (male)
未婚夫
Wèihūnqī Fiancee (female)
未婚妻

TRANSLATION CHALLENGE
Please translate the following sentences into English, and if you include your name
(how you would like it to appear) and home town, Jennifer, the CWM Webmaster,
will kindly post your name in lights on the CWM Website for the coming week.
Send your translations to mike@chinesewithmike.com.

Wǒde wàisūn hěn zhuàng. Tāde māma shì yìdàlìrén. Tāde bàba shì měiguórén.
Nǐde nǚ ér shì hánguórén ma? Bú shì. Wǒde nǚ ér shì rìběnrén. Tā hěn piàoliàng,
yě hěn cōngmíng. Tāmende lǎoshī bú shì wǒde péngyǒu. Tāmende lǎoshī hěn bèn.
Chapter 18: Yes or No Questions with Hěn
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 18

Review

In Chapter 17 we discussed how to answer “Yes” or “No” in Chinese, and we


concluded that the answer of “Yes” or “No” changes, depending on the verb.
We practiced using the “be” verb shì, which means “am,” “are,” or “is.”

What about questions that do not have a verb?

Sometimes we have questions that have no verb. Let’s look at the following:

你很高吗?

Nǐ hěn gāo ma? (Are you (very) tall?)

Literally, the question translates as “You very tall?” You must think of the verb
that you would use in English, which is “are,” or one form of the “be” verb. In
English, we would ask “Are you tall?” The answer would be “Yes, I am” or “No, I
am not.” Therefore, to answer, we would use shì, the “be” verb.

More examples:

他很聪明吗?

1. Tā hěn cōngmíng ma? (Is he/she intelligent?)

你们很无聊吗?

2. Nǐmen hěn wúliáo ma? (Are you bored?)

他们很有钱吗?

3. Tāmen hěn yǒuqián ma? (Are they rich?)

老师很好吗?

4. Lǎoshī hěn hǎo ma? (Is the teacher good?)


To answer “yes” for any of these questions, you will answer with shì, and to
answer “no,” you will answer with bú shì. See the following dialogue:

你很壮吗?

1. Nǐ hěn zhuàng ma? (Are you strong?)

Shì. (Yes, I am.)

不是

Bú shì (No, I am not.)

他们的狗很瘦吗?

2. Tāmende gǒu hěn shòu ma? (Is their dog thin?)

Shì. (Yes, it is.)

不是

Bú shì (No, it is not.)

你的儿子很年轻吗?

3. Nǐde érzi hěn niánqīng ma? (Is your son young?)

Shì. (Yes, he is.)

不是

Bú shì (No, he is not.)

Let’s take this one step further. Not only will you answer the question with “Yes”
or “No,” but you will also repeat the statement.
Maria 的男朋友很帅吗?

1. Mariade nánpéngyǒu hěn shuài ma? (Is Maria’s boyfriend handsome?)

是,他很帅。

Shì. Tā hěn shuài. (Yes, he is. He is handsome.)

不是,他不帅。

Bú shì. Tā bú shuài. (No, he is not. He is not handsome.)

OR

不是,他很丑。

Bú shì. Tā hěn chǒu. (No, he is not. He is ugly.)

加拿大很大吗?

2. Jiānádà hěn dà ma? (Is Canada big?)

是,加拿大很大。

Shì. Jiānádà hěn dà. (Yes, it is. Canada is big.)

不是,加拿大不大。

Bú shì. Jiānádà bú dà. (No, it is not. Canada is not big.)

OR

不是,加拿大很小。

Bú shì . Jiānádà hěn xiǎo. (No, it is not. Canada is small.)

**NOTE: The word bú has always been second tone up until now. However,
the only time bú is second tone is when it comes before a fourth tone
word, like shì, shuài, and dà, as in the examples above. Otherwise, bú is a
fourth-tone word. See how bú/ bù change in the following:
你们很忙吗?

3. Nǐmen hěn máng ma? (Are you (pl.) busy?)

是,我们很忙。

Shì. Wǒmen hěn máng.

不是,我们不忙。

Bú shì. Wǒmen bù máng.

你的女儿很矮吗?

4. Nǐde nǚ ér hěn ǎi ma? (Is your daughter short?)

是,他很矮。

Shì. Tā hěn ǎi.

不是,他不矮。

Bú shì. Tā bù ǎi.

老师的外婆很老吗?

5. Lǎoshīde wàipó hěn lǎo ma? (Is the teacher’s grandma old?)

是,他很老。

Shì. Tā hěn lǎo.

不是,他不老。

Bú shì. Tā bù lǎo.
Conclusion

We should know how to answer questions that have shìas the main verb, and we
should also know how to answer questions using hěn, when the translation into
English would require the “be” verb shì.

TRANSLATION CHALLENGE

Please translate the following sentences into English, and if you include your name
(how you would like it to appear) and home town, Jennifer, the CWM Webmaster,
will kindly post your name in lights on the CWM Website for the coming week.
Send your translations to mike@chinesewithmike.com.

Xiàwǔ hǎo! Lǎoshīde nǚpéngyǒu hěn piàoliàng ma? Shì. Tā hěn piàoliàng, yě hěn
cōngmíng. Lǎoshīde nǚpéngyǒude mǔqīn hěn máng. Tāde māo hěn wánpí, yě hěn
chòu. Nǐde shū hěn zhòng ma? Bú shì. Wǒde shū bú zhòng. Wǒde shū hěn qīng.
Chapter 19: This and That
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 19

Introduction

In this lesson, I introduce two very important words: this (zhè) and that (nà). We
will use the “be” verb shì again, and the sentence structure is very similar to past
sentence structures we have studied. Remember that we do not need articles (a, an,
or the) in Chinese, so the literal translation is different from English.

New Vocabulary (Random list)

shū book zhuōzi table

zhū pig yángwáwa doll

fángzi house diànnǎo computer

chēzi car yú fish

yǐzi chair chuáng bed

shuǐ water diànhuà telephone

qiú ball shù tree

píngguǒ apple wánjù toy

qiānyǔbǐng fortune cookie yīfú clothes


Here are some example sentences using zhè and nà:

这是书

Zhè shì shū. (This is a book.)

这是苹果

Zhè shì píngguǒ.(This is an apple.)

这是洋娃娃

Zhè shì yángwáwa. (This is a doll.)

那是诸

Nà shì zhū. (That is a pig.)

那是水

Nà shì shuǐ. (That is water.)

那是狗

Nà shì gǒu. (That is a dog.)

Making Questions

As you have learned in several past lessons, we can add the question particle “ma”
to the end to turn these statements into questions.

Here are some example sentences:

这是椅子吗?

Zhè shì yǐzi ma? (Is this a chair?)

这是桌子吗?

Zhè shì zhuōzi ma? (Is this a table?)

这是猫吗?

Zhè shì māo ma? (Is this a cat?)


那是你的朋友吗?

Nà shì nǐde péngyǒu ma? (Is that your friend?)

那是他们的老师吗?

Nà shì tāmende lǎoshī ma? (Is that their teacher?)

那是你的车子吗?

Nà shì nǐde chēzi ma? (Is that your car?)

Let’s answer some questions now. Here are some examples:

这是球吗?

Zhè shì qiú ma? (Is this a ball?)

是,这是球

Shì. Zhè shì qiú. (Yes. This is a ball.)

那是你的房子吗?

Nà shì nǐde fángzi ma? (Is that your house?)

是,那是我的房子

Shì. Nà shì wǒde fángzi. (Yes, that is my house.)

那是你的男朋友的狗吗?

Nà shì nǐde nánpéngyǒude gǒu ma? (Is that your boyfriend’s dog?)

不是,那不是我的男朋友的狗

Bú shì. Nà bú shì wǒde nánpéngyǒude gǒu. (No. That is not my boyfriend’s dog.)
TRANSLATION CHALLENGE

Please translate the following sentences into English, and if you include your name
(how you would like it to appear) and home town, Jennifer, the CWM Webmaster,
will kindly post your name in lights on the CWM Website for the coming week.
Send your translations to mike@chinesewithmike.com.

Xiàwǔ hǎo! Zhè shì wǒde diànnǎo. Wǒde diànnǎo hěn guì. Nà shì nǐde diànhuà
ma? Shì. Nà shì wǒde diànhuà. Wǒde diànhuà bú guì. Wǒde diànhuà hěn piányí.
Nà shì wǒde bàbamāmade fángzi. Tāmende fángzi hěn dà, yě hěn guì. Zhè shì
lǎoshīde píngguǒ ma? Bú shì. Nà shì xuéshēngde píngguǒ.
Chapter 20: WHAT? and Review of This
and That
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 20

Review of This and That


Let’s look at some sample sentences (question and answer) using this (zhè) and
that (nà).

这是球吗?

Zhè shì qiú ma? (Is this a ball?)

是,这是球。

Shì. Zhè shì qiú. (Yes, it is. This is a ball.)

那是狗吗?

Nà shì gǒu ma? (Is that a dog?)

不是,那不是狗.那是猫。

Bú shì. Nà bú shì gǒu. Nà shì māo. (No, it is not. That is not a dog. That is a cat.)

这是你的玩具吗?

Zhè shì nǐde wánjù ma? (Is this your toy?)

是,这是我的玩具。

Shì. Zhè shì wǒde wánjù. (Yes, it is. This is my toy.)

那是他们的房子吗?

Nà shì tāmende fángzi ma? (Is that their house?)


是,那是他们的房子。

Shì. Nà shì tāmende fángzi. (Yes, it is. That is their house.)

The word for what: shénme

So far in Chinese with Mike, we have discussed how to make questions using the
question particle ma, but we have not learned any question words, such as who,
what, where, when, why and how. Now it’s time to learn our first one: what.
Hooray!

Instead of asking “What is this?” like we do in English, we ask, literally, “This is


what?” Instead of asking “What is that?” we ask, literally, “That is what?”

See the following examples:

这是什么?

Zhè shì shénme? (What is this?)

那是什么?

Nà shì shénme? (What is that?)

Now let’s answer these questions:

这是什么?

Zhè shì shénme? (What is this?)

这是书。

Zhè shì shū. (This is a book.)

这是什么?

Zhè shì shénme? (What is this?)

这是球.

Zhè shì qiú。(This is a ball.)


那是什么?

Nà shì shénme? (What is that?)

那是苹果。

Nà shì píngguǒ. (That is an apple.)

那是什么?

Nà shì shénme? (What is that?)

那是洋娃娃。

Nà shì yángwáwa. (That is a doll.)

Let’s take this one step further. We will add possessive adjectives before the
objects.

这是什么?

Zhè shì shénme? (What is this?)

这是他的水。

Zhè shì tāde shuǐ. (This is his/her water.)

这是什么?

Zhè shì shénme? (What is this?)

这是你们的车子。

Zhè shì nǐmende chēzi. (This is your (pl.) car.)

那是什么?

Nà shì shénme? (What is that?)

那是我的床。

Nà shì wǒde chuáng. (That is my bed.)


那是什么?

Nà shì shénme? (What is that?)

那是他们的桌子。

Nà shì tāmende zhuōzi. (That is their table.)

Translation Challenge

Please translate the following sentences into English, and if you include your
name (how you would like it to appear) and home town, Jennifer, the CWM
Webmaster, will kindly post your name in lights on the CWM Website for the
coming week. Send your translations to mike@chinesewithmike.com

Zǎoshàng hǎo! Wǒ shì Mike lǎoshī. Wǒ hěn gāoxìng. Nǐ ne? Nǐ hěn gāoxìng ma?
Nǐde péngyǒu hěn cōngmíng ma? Mike lǎoshī hěn cōngmíng, yě hěn shuài! Zhè
shì shénme? Zhè shì wǒde yǐzi. Wǒde yǐzi hěn shūfú. Nǐde chuáng hěn shūfú ma?
Wǒde chuáng bù shūfú. Wǒde chuáng hěn yìng. Wǒde chuáng bù ruǎn. Zàijiàn!
Chapter 21: These and Those
To be read with video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 21
Background

We have learned how to say “This” and “That.” Now it’s time to learn how to say “These” and
“Those.” We can accomplish this by simply attaching the word xiē to zhè (this) and nà (that).

First, here are some new vocabulary lists:

Fruits (shuǐguǒ)
píngguǒ apple táozi peach
苹果 桃子
xiāngjiāo banana yīngtáo cherry
香蕉 樱桃
chéngzi orange mángguǒ mango
橙 芒果
pútáo grape lízi pear
葡萄 梨子
cǎoméi strawberry lìzhī lychee
草莓 荔枝
lánméi blueberry pútáogān raisin
蓝莓 葡萄干
fānqié tomato qiézi eggplant
番茄 茄子
níngméng lemon liúlián durian
柠檬 留连

míhóutáo (qíyìguǒ) kiwi huángguā cucumber


猕猴桃.奇異果 黄瓜
fènglí pineapple xīguā watermelon
凤梨 西瓜
Animals (dòngwù)
shīzi lion lǎoshǔ mouse
狮子 老鼠
lǎohǔ tiger tùzi rabbit
老虎 兔子
dàxiàng elephant hémǎ hippopotamus
大象 河马
hóuzi monkey yú fish
猴子 鱼
mǎ horse niǎo bird
马 鸟
bānmǎ zebra chòuyòu skunk
斑马 臭鼬
xióng bear wūguī turtle
熊 乌龟
kǒnglóng dinosaur qīngwā frog
恐龙 青蛙
gǒu dog lù deer
狗 鹿
māo cat shùdàixióng koala bear
猫 (wúwéixióng)
树袋熊 .無尾熊

niú cow jī chicken


牛 鸡

Here are some review sentences:

这是什么?

Zhè shì shénme? (What is this?)

这是香蕉。

Zhè shì xiāngjiāo. (This is a banana.)


这是水吗?

Zhè shì shuǐ ma? (Is this water?)

是,这是水。

Shì. Zhè shì shuǐ. (Yes, it is. This is water.)

那是什么?

Nà shì shénme? (What is that?)

那是书。

Nà shì shū. (That is a book.)

那是苹果吗?

Nà shì píngguǒ ma? (Is that an apple?)

不是,那不是苹果。

Bú shì. Nà bú shì píngguǒ. (No, it is not. That is not an apple.)

Now let’s add xiē to change “this” to “these” and “that” to “those.”

这些是鞋子。

Zhèxiē shì xiézi. (These are shoes.)

这些是香蕉。

Zhèxiē shì xiāngjiāo. (These are bananas.)

这些是苹果吗?

Zhèxiē shì píngguǒ ma? (Are these apples?)

是,这些是苹果。

Shì. Zhèxiē shì píngguǒ. (Yes, they are. These are apples.)
这些是你的玩具吗?

Zhèxiē shì nǐde wánjù ma? (Are these your toys?)

不是,这些不是我的玩具。

Bú shì. Zhèxiē bú shì wǒde wánjù. (No, they are not. These are not my toys.)

那些是狮子。

Nàxiē shì shīzi. (Those are lions.)

那些是床。

Nàxiē shì chuáng. (Those are beds.)

那些是葡萄吗?

Nàxiē shì pútáo ma? (Are those grapes?)

是,那些是葡萄。

Shì. Nàxiē shì pútáo. (Yes, they are. Those are grapes.)

那些是老虎吗?

Nàxiē shì lǎohú ma? (Are those tigers?)

不是,那些不是老虎。

Bú shì. Nàxiē bú shì lǎohú. (No, they are not. Those are not tigers.)

这些是什么?

Zhèxiē shì shénme? (What are these?)

这些是狗。

Zhèxiē shì gǒu. (These are dogs.)

那些是什么?

Nàxiē shì shénme? (What are those?)

那些是猫。

Nàxiē shì māo. (Those are cats.)


Translation Challenge
E-mail your correct translations to me at mike@chinesewithmike.com and Jennifer, the CWM
Webmaster, will post your name on the Website for the following week!

Wǎnshàng hǎo! Wǒde mèimei shì xuéshēng. Tā shì yīngguórén. Zhèxiē shì shénme? Zhèxiē shì
liúlián. Liúlián hěn chòu! Nàxiē shì shénme? Nàxiē shì bānmǎ ma? Bú shì. Nàxiē shì lǎohǔ. Zhè
shì wǒde nánpéngyǒu. Tā hěn gāo, yě hěn shuài. Zàijiàn!
Chapter 22: Who? And Review of These
and Those
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 22
Background

We have learned how to say this, that, these and those. In this chapter, we will review sentences
using these four words. In the second half of the chapter, I will teach the question word for
“Who” and the possessive “Whose.” Are you ready? Let’s rock ‘n’ roll!

Review sentences

这是西瓜吗?

Zhè shì xīguā ma? (Is this (a) watermelon?)

是,这是西瓜。

Shì. Zhè shì xīguā. (Yes, it is. This is (a) watermelon.)

那是熊吗?

Nà shì xióng ma? (Is that a bear?)

不是,那是牛。

Bú shì. Nà shì niú. (No, it is not. That is a cow.)

这些是鸡吗?

Zhèxiē shì jī ma? (Are these chickens?)

不是,这些不是鸡。

Bú shì. Zhèxiē bú shì jī. (No, they are not. These are not chickens.)

那些是草莓吗?

Nàxiē shì cǎoméi ma? (Are those strawberries?)

是,那些是草莓。

Shì. Nàxiē shì cǎoméi. (Yes, they are. Those are strawberries.)
Let’s add some possessives.

这是我的爸爸的青蛙。

Zhè shì wǒde bàbade qīngwā. (This is my dad’s frog.)

那是我的太太的狗。

Nà shì wǒde tàitaide gǒu. (That is my wife’s dog.)

这些是我的老师的葡萄。

Zhèxiē shì wǒde lǎoshīde pútáo. (These are my teacher’s grapes.)

那些是我的外婆的蓝莓。

Nàxiē shì wǒde wàipóde lánméi. (Those are my grandma’s blueberries.)

这是你的妈妈的房子吗?

Zhè shì nǐde māmade fángzi ma? (Is this your mom’s house?)

是,这是我的妈妈的房子。

Shì. Zhè shì wǒde māmade fángzi. (Yes, it is. This is my mom’s house.)

那是他们的兔子吗?

Nà shì tāmende tùzi ma? (Is that their rabbit?)

是,那是他们的兔子。

Shì. Nà shì tāmende tùzi. (Yes, it is. That is their rabbit.)

那些是我们的猫。

Nàxiē shì wǒmende māo. (Those are our cats.)

那些不是我们的老鼠。

Nàxiē bú shì wǒmende lǎoshǔ. (Those are not our mice.)


Who? (Shei)

We learned how to say “What is this?” and “What is that?” in Lesson 20. Even though the
literal translation of “Zhè shì shénme?” is “This is what?,” in English we translate it to
mean “What is this?” Similarly, “Nà shì shénme?” literally translates as “That is what?”
but we translate it as “What is that?” in English. Asking “What are these?” and “What are
those?” follows the same grammatical structure.

First, let’s review questions using “shénme.”

这是什么?

Zhè shì shénme? (What is this?)

这是猴子。

Zhè shì hóuzi. (This is a monkey.)

那是什么?

Nà shì shénme? (What is that?)

那是臭鼬。

Nà shì chòuyòu. (That is a skunk.)

这些是什么?

Zhèxiē shì shénme? (What are these?)

这些是椅子。

Zhèxiē shì yǐzi. (These are chairs.)

那些是什么?

Nàxiē shì shénme? (What are those?)

那些是鱼。

Nàxiē shì yú. (Those are fish.)


Now, let’s use “who” to ask “Who is this?” and “Who is that?”

这是谁?

Zhè shì shéi? (Who is this?)

这是我的女朋友。

Zhè shì wǒde nǚpéngyǒu. (This is my girlfriend.)

那是谁?

Nà shì shéi? (Who is that?)

那是他们的姐姐。

Nà shì tāmende jiějie. (That is their older sister.)

他是谁?

Tā shì shéi? (Who is he/she?)

他是我们的老师。

Tā shì wǒmende lǎoshī. (He/She is our teacher.)

他们是谁?

Tāmen shì shéi? (Who are they?)

他们是我的父母。

Tāmen shì wǒde fùmǔ. (They are my parents.)

你是谁?

Nǐ shì shéi? (Who are you?)

我是 Joe.你呢?

Wǒ shì Joe. Nǐ ne? (I am Joe. And you?)


By adding the possessive particle “de” to shéi, we create the possessive word “whose.” By
adding it to any other word, we give that word possession. In most cases, it is like adding an
apostrophe and s (‘s) to words in English.

See the difference:

这是谁?

Zhè shì shéi? (Who is this?)

这是谁的?

Zhè shì shéide? (Whose is this?)

这些是谁的?

Zhèxiē shì shéide? (Whose are these?)

那是谁?

Nà shì shéi? (Who is that?)

那是谁的?

Nà shì shéide? (Whose is that?)

那些是谁的?

Nàxiē shì shéide? (Whose are those?)

Here are some examples:

这是谁的?

Zhè shì shéide? (Whose is this?)

这是老师的。

Zhè shì lǎoshīde. (This is the teacher’s.)

这些是谁的?

Zhèxiē shì shéide zhū? (Whose pigs are these?)

这些是我的哥哥的猪。

Zhèxiē shì wǒde gēgede. (These are my older brother’s.)

那些是谁的?
Nàxiē shì shéide níngméng? (Whose lemons are those?)

那些是你的朋友的 柠檬。

Nàxiē shì nǐde péngyǒude. (Those are your friend’s.)

TRANSLATION CHALLENGE

E-mail your correct translations to me at mike@chinesewithmike.com and Jennifer, the CWM


Webmaster, will post your name on the Website for the following week!

Nǐ hǎo! Nǐ shì shéi? Wǒ shì Mike lǎoshī. Nǐ ne? Nǐ shì shéi? Wǒ shì nǐde xuéshēng. Zhè shì
wǒde péngyǒu. Tā shì Geoff. Tā hěn gāo, yě hěn cōngmíng. Zhèxiē shì shéide xīguā? Zhèxiē shì
wǒde xiānshēngde xīguā. Xīguā hěn tián. Zàijiàn!
Chapter 23: Numbers and Days of the
Week
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 23

Introduction

In Chinese, people use both Chinese characters ( and Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.)
to write numbers. However, in this lesson, we will learn how to correctly
pronounce numbers one through ten. We will then use numbers one through six to
learn how to say the days of the week.

New Vocabulary: Numbers (shùzì)

一 one 六 six
yī liù
二 two 七 seven
èr qī
三 three 八 eight
sān bā
四 four 九 nine
sì jiǔ
五 five 十 ten
wǔ shí

Days of the Week

Days of the week, like months of the year (see next chapter), use numbers to form
the words. First, let’s learn how to say “week” in Chinese. There are three ways,
but we will focus on the most common:

xīngqí or xīngqī (depending on the region of China)= a week


In China, the first day of the week is Monday. Therefore, we attach yī (one) to the
word xīngqí (week) to indicate that Monday is the first day of the week. We do this
for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The same is done if you
choose to use lǐbài or zhōu to mean week, but as I said, we will focus on using
xīngqí (xīngqī) in Chinese with Mike.

New Vocabulary

星期 a week 星期六 Saturday


xīngqí or xīngqī xīngqíliù (xīngqīliù)
礼拜 a week 星期日(星期天) Sunday
lǐbài xīngqírì or
(xīngqítiān)
周 a week 今天 Today
zhōu jīntiān
星期一 Monday 昨天 Yesterday
xīngqíyī (xīngqīyī) zuótiān
星期二 Tuesday 前天 The day before
xīngqí èr (xīngqī èr) qiántiān yesterday

星期三 Wednesday 明天 Tomorrow


xīngqísān (xīngqīsān) míngtiān
星期四 Thursday 后天 The day after
xīngqísì (xīngqīsì) hòutiān tomorrow

星期五 Friday 拜拜 Goodbye (informal—


xīngqíwǔ (xīngqīwǔ) bàibài from the English)
Example Sentences:

今天是星期三。 

Jīntiān shì xīngqísān. (Today is Wednesday.)

明天是星期四。

Míngtiān shì xīngqìsì. (Tomorrow is Thursday.)

后天是星期五。

Hòutiàn shì xīngqíwǔ. (The day after tomorrow is Friday.)

昨天是星期二。

Zuótiān shì xīngqí èr. (Yesterday was Tuesday.)

前天是星期一。

Qiántiān shì xīngqíyī. (The day before yesterday was Monday.)

今天我很难过。

Jīntiān wǒ hěn nánguò. (Today I am (very) sad.)

昨天我的姐姐很高兴。

Zuótiān wǒde jiějie hěn gāoxìng. (Yesterday my older sister was (very) happy.)

昨天你很无聊吗?

Zuótiān nǐ hěn wúliáo ma? (Were you bored yesterday?)

是,昨天我很无聊。

Shì. Zuótiān wǒ hěn wúliáo. (Yes, I was. I was bored yesterday.)


Translation Challenge
Please translate the following sentences into English, and if you include your name
(how you would like it to appear) and home town, Jennifer, the CWM Webmaster,
will kindly post your name in lights on the CWM Website for the coming week.
Send your translations to mike@chinesewithmike.com.

Nǐmen hǎo! Jīntiān nǐmen hǎo ma? Jīntiān wǒmen hěn hǎo. Xièxie! Jīntiān shì xīngqíwǔ.
Wǒmen hěn xìngfèn. Míngtiān shì xīngqíliù. Nǐde mèimei hǎo ma? Shì. Jīntiān tā hěn hǎo.
Zuótiān tā hěn nánguò. Wǒ shì Mike lǎoshīde péngyǒu. Wǒ hěn gāoxìng.
Chapter 24: Months of the Year
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 24
Background

In the last chapter, we learned that knowing numbers 1-6 is necessary to learn the days of the week. In
this lesson, we will learn numbers 1-12 to learn the months of the year. First, a quick review of the days
of the week, remembering that the first day of the week in China is Monday:

星期一 Monday
xīngqíyī (xīngqīyī)
星期二 Tuesday
xīngqí èr (xīngqī èr)
星期三 Wednesday
xīngqísān (xīngqīsān)
星期四 Thursday
xīngqísì (xīngqīsì)
星期五 Friday
xīngqíwǔ (xīngqīwǔ)
星期六 Saturday
xīngqíliù (xīngqīliù)
星期日(星期天) Sunday
xīngqírì or
(xīngqítiān)

Next Step

The months of the year use numbers as well, but instead of placing the number at the end of the word,
as in weeks, the number comes first, indicating the month of the year. The word is created by saying the
number (1-12) of the month, followed by the word for month (yuè). See the new vocabulary below.
The Months (yuè)

yīyuè January qīyuè July


一月 七月
èryuè February bāyuè August
二月 八月
sānyuè March jiǔyuè September
三月 九月
sìyuè April shíyuè October
四月 十月
wǔyuè May shíyīyuè November
五月 十一月
liùyuè June shí èryuè December
六月 十二月

Supplementary vocabulary

yuè A month

xiànzài Now; at the present
现在
shēngrì birthday
生日
jǐ How much; how
几 many

Example sentences

Xiànzài shì jǐyuè? (What month is it (now)?)

现在是几月?

Xiànzài shì sìyuè. (It is April.)

现在是四月。
Wǒde shēngrì shì yīyuè. (My birthday is in January.)

我的生日是一月。

Nǐde shēngrì shì jǐyuè? (What month is your birthday?)

你的生日是几月?

Wǒde shēngrì shì qīyuè. (My birthday is in July.)

我的生日是七月。

Nǐde gēgede shēngrì shì jǐyuè? (What month is your older brother’s birthday?)

你的哥哥的生日是几月?

Wǒde gēgede shēngrì shì èryuè. (My older brother’s birthday is in February.)

我的哥哥的生日是二月。

Nǐde dìdide shēngrì shì wǔyuè ma? (Is your younger brother’s birthday in May?)

你的弟弟的生日是五月吗?

Shì. Wǒde dìdide shēngrì shì wǔyuè. (Yes, it is. My younger brother’s birthday is in May.)

是,我的弟弟的生日是五月。

Wǒmende māmade shēngrì shì jiǔyuè ma? (Is our mom’s birthday in September?)

我们的妈妈的生日是九月吗?

Bú shì. Wǒmende māmade shēngrì bú shì jiǔyuè. Wǒmende māmade shēngrì shì shíyīyuè. (No,
our mom’s birthday is not in September. Our mom’s birthday is in November.)

不是,我们的妈妈的生日不是九月。我们的妈妈的生日是十一月。
Translation Challenge

Please translate the following sentences into English, and if you include your name
(how you would like it to appear) and home town, Jennifer, the CWM Webmaster,
will kindly post your name in lights on the CWM Website for the coming week.
Send your translations to mike@chinesewithmike.com.
Nǐmen hǎo! Xiànzài shì jǐyuè? Xiànzài shì èryuè. Mike lǎoshī shì měiguórén. Mike lǎoshīde
shēngrì shì jǐyuè. Mike lǎoshīde shēngrì shì sìyuè. Jīntiān Mike lǎoshī hěn è, yě hěn kě. Nǐde
shēngrì shì shíyuè ma? Bú shì. Wǒde shēngrì shì qīyuè.
Chapter 25: What Time Is It?
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 25
Background

We have learned an important new question word (jǐ), which can mean “how many” or “how
much.” In the last chapter, we learned to ask what month it is. In this chapter, we will use the
same word (jǐ) to ask what time it is.

New Vocabulary

yī diǎn(zhōng) 1:00; One o’clock jiǔ diǎn(zhōng) 9:00; Nine o’clock


一点(钟) 九点(钟)
liǎng diǎn(zhōng) 2:00; Two o’clock shí diǎn(zhōng) 10:00; Ten o’clock
两点(钟) 十点(钟)
sān diǎn(zhōng) 3:00; Three o’clock shíyī diǎn(zhōng) 11:00; Eleven o’clock
三点(钟) 十一点(钟)
sì diǎn(zhōng) 4:00; Four o’clock shí èr diǎn(zhōng) 12:00; Twelve o’clock
四点(钟) 十二点(钟)
wǔ diǎn(zhōng) 5:00; Five o’clock jǐ How much; how
五点(钟) 几 many
liù diǎn(zhōng) 6:00; Six o’clock liǎng Two (for everything
六点(钟) 两 except counting)
qī diǎn(zhōng) 7:00; Seven o’clock bàn Half; (half-past an
七点(钟) 半 hour)
bā diǎn(zhōng) 8:00; Eight o’clock shízhōng a clock
八点(钟) 时钟

What Time Is It? Q and A: Note: Parentheses indicate that using shì and zhōng is optional.

Xiànzài (shì) jǐ diǎn(zhōng)? (What time is it (now)?)

现在(是)几点(钟)?

Xiànzài (shì) ___ diǎn(zhōng).

现在(是)-----点(钟)。
Example Sentences

Xiànzài (shì) jǐ diǎn(zhōng)? (What time is it?)

现在(是)几点(钟)?

Xiànzài (shì) qī diǎn(zhōng). (It is 7:00.)

现在(是)七点(钟)。

Xiànzài (shì) jǐ diǎn(zhōng)? (What time is it?)

现在(是)几点(钟)?

Xiànzài (shì) wǔ diǎn(zhōng). (It is 5:00.)

现在(是)五点(钟)。

Xiànzài (shì) jǐ diǎn(zhōng)? (What time is it?)

现在(是)几点(钟)?

Xiànzài (shì) bā diǎn bàn. (It is half-past eight; it is 8:30)

现在(是)八点半。

Other Sentence Patterns

Xiànzài shì liǎng diǎn ma? (Is it 2:00?)

现在(是)两点吗?

Shì. Xiànzài shì liǎng diǎn. (Yes, it is 2:00.)

是,现在 是 两点。

Xiànzài shì shíyī diǎn ma? (Is it 11:00?)

现在 是 十一点吗?

Bú shì. Xiànzài shì jiǔ diǎn. (No, it isn’t. It is 9:00)

不是,现在 是 九点。
Questions Using jǐ (Review)

Xiànzài shì jǐyuè? (What month is it?)

现在是几月?

Xiànzai shì yīyuè. (It is January.)

现在是一月。

Xiànzài (shì) jǐ diǎn(zhōng)? (What time is it?)

现在(是)几点(钟)?

Xiànzài (shì) shí èr diǎn(zhōng). (It is 12:00.)

现在(是)十二点(钟)。

Here is something new, though. We learned in Lesson 23 how to say “Today is Monday,
Tomorrow is Tuesday, Yesterday was Sunday, etc.” However, I did not teach how to ask “What
day (of the week) is today?” The grammar is slightly different from asking about months and
time of day. Notice ji comes after the word week instead of before it like the other two questions.
See below:

Jīntiān shì xīngqíjǐ? (What day is today?)

今天是星期几?

Jīntiān shì xīngqísān. (Today is Wednesday.)

今天是星期三。

Zuótiān shì xīngqíjǐ? (What day was yesterday?)

昨天是星期几?

Zuótiān shì xīngqíèr. (Yesterday was Tuesday.)

昨天是星期二。

Míngtiān shì xīngqíjǐ? (What day is tomorrow?)

明天是星期几?

Míngtiān shì xīngqísì. (Tomorrow is Thursday.)

明天是星期四。
Translation Challenge
E-mail your correct translations to mike@chinesewithmike.com and our Webmaster, Jennifer,
will make you famous by putting your name on our Website! Do not delay!

Zǎoshàng hǎo! Wǒ shì Mike lǎoshī. Nǐ shì shéi? Nǐ shì wǒde xuéshēng ma? Jīntiān shì xīngqíjǐ?
Jīntiān shì xīngqírì. Xiànzài shì jǐyuè? Xiànzài shì èryuè ma? Shì. Xiànzài shì èryuè. Xiànzài shì
jǐdiǎn. Xiànzài shì qī diǎn bàn. Zàijiàn!
Chapter 26: More Review of Shi and
Hen
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 26
Background

So far in Chinese with Mike, we’ve learned only one verb: shì. There is a reason for this. We are
learning multiple sentence structures that use this verb so that when we learn more verbs, you
will have an easier time understanding the grammar.

Example Sentences

Wǒ shì xuéshēng. (I am a student)

Tā shì lǎoshī. (He/She is a teacher.)

Wǒde māma shì wǒde bàbade tàitai. (My mom is my dad’s wife)

Nǐde jiějie shì měiguórén. (Your older sister is (an) American.)

Tāmende dìdi shì wǒde péngyǒu. (Their younger brother is my friend.)

Nǐ shì shéi? (Who are you?)

Wǒ shì Mike lǎoshī. (I am Teacher Mike.)

Tā shì shéi? (Who is she?)

Tā shì wǒde nǚpéngyǒu. (She is my girlfriend.)

Zhè shì shénme? (What is this?)

Zhè shì qiú. (This is a ball.)

Nà shì shēnme? (What is that?)

Nà shì shū. (That is a book.)

Yǐzi shì shéide? (Whose chair is it?)

Yǐzi shì wǒde. (The chair is mine.)

Xiànzài shì jǐyuè? (What month is it?)

Xiànzài shì wǔyuè. (It is May (now).)


Jīntiān shì xīngqírì ma? (Is today Sunday?)

Shì. Jīntiān shì xīngqírì. (Yes, today is Sunday.)

Míngtiān shì nǐde shēngrì ma? (Is tomorrow your birthday?)

Bú shì. Wǒde shēngrì shì shíyuè. (No, it’s not. My birthday is in October.)

Xiànzài shì sāndiǎn ma? (Is it three o’clock?)

Shì. Xiànzài shì sāndiǎn. (Yes, it is three o’clock)

Xiànzài shì jǐdiǎn? (What time is it?)

Xiànzài shì jiǔdiǎn bàn. (It is half-past nine (9:30))

Zhèxiē shì nǐde xiāngjiāo ma? (Are these your bananas?)

Bú shì. Zhèxiē shì wǒde gēgede. (No, they aren’t. These are my older brother’s.)

Nàxiē shì tāde cǎoméi ma? (Are those his/her strawberries?)

Wǒ bú shì zhōngguórén. (I am not Chinese/a Chinese person.)

Nǐ bú shì wǒde lǎoshī. (You are not my teacher.)

Wǒmen bú shì péngyǒu. (We are not friends.)

Wǒde nǎinai bú shì xuéshēng. Tā shì lǎoshī. (My grandma is not a student. She is a teacher)

Bàba bú shì táiwānrén. Tā shì rìběnrén. (Dad is not Taiwanese. He is Japanese.)

Nǐ bú shì lǎoshī ma? (Are you not a teacher?)

Bú shì. Wǒ shì xuéshēng. (No, I am not. I am a student.)

Tā bú shì jiānádàrén ma? (Is he/she not Canadian?)

Bú shì. Tā shì déguórén. (No, he/she isn’t. He/She is German.)

Notice that all of these sentences have a noun after the verb shì. Shi must be used in
sentences that follow this pattern.

However, as you know, sentences that do NOT have a noun at the end do NOT need the
verb shì. The verb shì is implied, meaning you can pretend it’s really in there, but you don’t
say it. Kind of like in English when we say “Stop!” It’s a shorter way of saying “You stop!”
but we don’t need to put the word “you” in front of stop because it’s implied.
See that there is an adjective (a word that describes a noun) when we use the word “hěn” to
describe somebody.

Example sentences

Wǒ hěn è. (I am hungry.)

Nǐ hěn kě. (You are thirsty)

Tā hěn pāng. (He/She is fat.)

Tāmen hěn shòu. (They are thin.)

Nǐde péngyǒu hěn gāo, ye hěn shuài. (Your friend is tall and handsome.)

Wǒmende māma hěn lǎo. (Our mom is very old.)

Tāde fùqīn hěn yǒuqián. (His/Her father is very rich.)

Píngguǒ hěn tián. (Apples are very sweet.)

Wǒde shuǐ hěn bīng. (My water is cold.)

Nǐde kāfēi hěn tàng. (Your coffee is hot.)

Now, to make these statements negative, you take out “hěn” and replace it with “bù.”
Here’s the tricky part. You must look at the word after “bù” to decide whether “bù” will be
second tone (like bú shi) or fourth tone, if bù comes before a first, second, or third tone
word.

Example sentences

Wǒ bù máng. (I am not busy.)

Nǐ bù cōngmíng. (You are not smart.)

Tā bú è.(He/She is not hungry.)

Tāmen bú lèi. (They are not tired.)

Mike lǎoshī bú chòu. (Teacher Mike is not stinky.)

Jīntiān Geoff bù hǎo. (Today Jeff is not well.)

Zuótiān Jennifer bù gāoxìng. (Yesterday Jennifer was not happy.)

Wǒde bàbamāma bù kě. (My mom and dad are not thirsty.)
Sample Questions and Answers with hěn

Nǐ hěn máng ma? (Are you busy?)

Shì. Wǒ hěn máng. (Yes, I am. I am busy.)

Ni hěn ǎi ma? (Are you short?)

Bú shì. Wo bù ǎi. Wǒ hěn gāo. (No, I am not. I am not short. I am tall.)

Nǐde mèimei hěn piàoliàng ma? (Is your sister pretty?)

Bú shì. Tā hěn chǒu. (No, she is not. She is ugly.)

Tāde jiějie hěn lǎnduò ma? (Is his/her older sister lazy?)

Bú shì. Tā shì xuéshēng. Tā hěn máng. (No, she is not. She is a student. She is very busy.)

Jiānádà hěn xiǎo ma? (Is Canada small?)

Bú shì. Jiānádà hěn dà. (No, it is not. Canada is big.)

Táiwān hěn dà ma? (Is Taiwan big?)

Bú shì. Táiwān bú dà. (No, it is not. Taiwan is not big.)

Nǐde gǒu hěn kě'ài ma? (Is your dog cute?)

Shì. Tā hěn kě'ài. (Yes, it is. It is cute.)

TRANSLATION CHALLENGE

Send your translations to mike@chinesewithmike.com with your name and location, and we’ll
put you on our Website! It’s a great way to pick up chicks!

Zuótiān wǒ hěn lèi. Wǒ yě hěn nánguò. Wǒde péngyǒu bù hǎo. Tā hěn huài. Mike lǎoshī bú shì
mòxīgērén. Tā yě bú shì jiānádàrén. Tā shì měiguórén. Měiguó hěn dà yě hěn měi. Měiguórén
hěn bèn ma? Shì měiguórén hěn bèn. Nǐ shì shéi? Wǒ shì Mike lǎoshīde wàipó. Wǒ bù gāo. Wǒ
hěn ǎi. Nǐ ne? Jīntiān shì shéide shēngrì? Jīntiān shì wǒde xiānshēngde shēngrì. Tā hěn lǎo.
Chapter 27: Big Numbers and Phone
Numbers
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 27
Background

We know numbers 1-12, but after this lesson you will know numbers 0-100. You will also know
how to say what your phone number is. I threw in a few new vocabulary words as well. You’re
welcome.

New Vocabulary (for additional vocab by theme see link under “Chinese Links” on the Website)

dàjiā Everybody; everyone Diànhuà hàomǎ Telephone number


míngzi name wéi Hello (for phone only)
diànhuà telephone líng zero

Sample sentences

Dàjiā hǎo! (Hello, everyone!)

Compare with:

Nǐ hǎo (Hello, you!)

Nǐmen hǎo (Hello, you guys!)

Lǎoshī hǎo (Hello, Teacher!)

Zǎoshàng hǎo (Good morning!)

Xiàwǔ hǎo (Good afternoon!)

Wǎnshàng hǎo (Good evening!)

We already know this question:

Nǐ shì shéi? (Who are you?)

Wǒ shì Mike. (I am Mike.)

Now, let’s add in a new vocabulary word (míngzi)

Nǐde míngzi shì shénme? (What is your name?)


Wǒde míngzi shì Mike. (My name is Mike.)

Tāde míngzi shì Geoff. (His name is Geoff.)

Tāde míngzi shì shénme? (What is her name?)

Tāde míngzi shì Jennifer. (Her name is Jennifer.)

Zhè shì diànhuà. (This is a telephone.)

Zhè shì nǐde diànhuà. (This is your telephone.)

Zhè shì nǐde diànhuà ma? (Is this your telephone?)

Shì. Zhè shì wǒde diànhuà. (Yes. This is my telephone.)

Nǐde diànhuà hàomǎ shì shénme? (What is your telephone number?)

Wǒde diànhuà hàomǎ shì 3976283 . (My telephone number is 3976283)

Nǐde lǎoshīde diànhuà hàomǎ shì shénme? (What is your teacher’s telephone number?)

Wǒde lǎoshīde diànhuà hàomǎ shì 4029533. (My teacher’s telephone number is 4029533.)

To answer the phone, use the word “Wei”

Sample conversation

Wéi. Nǐ hǎo. Nǐ shì shéi? (Hello #1 (to answer phone.) Hello #2 (to greet). Who are you?)

Wǒ shì Mike lǎoshī. (I am Teacher Mike.)

Nǐde míngzi shì Mike ma? (Your name is Mike?)

Shì. Wǒde míngzi shì Mike. Nǐ hǎo. (Yes, it is. My name is Mike. Hello.)

Nǐ shì yīngguórén ma? (Are you English?)

Bú shì. Wǒ shì měiguórén. Nǐ ne? (No, I am not. I am American. And you?)

Wǒ shì zhōngguórén. Wǒde míngzi shì Āměi. Wǒ hěn lèi. (I am Chinese. My name is Amy. I am
very tired.

Wǒ yě hěn lèi. Nǐ hěn máng ma? (I am tired, too. Are you busy?)

Wǒ bù máng. Nǐ ne? (I’m not busy. Are you?)

Wǒ yě bù máng. (I’m not busy either.)


Big Numbers!

Let’s start with counting by tens, beginning at number 10, which you already know. All you
have to do is multiply the first number by ten to create the number you want. So if you
want twenty, you multiple 2x10; for thirty, 3x10; for forty, 4x10, and so on. Place the
number you want before shí.

10 shí 60 liùshí
20 èrshí 70 qīshí
30 sānshí 80 bāshí
40 sìshí 90 jiǔshí
50 wǔshí 100 yìbǎi

If we now add a number in the ones column, we simply say the number after we say the
“group of ten” to which it belongs. For example, 43 would be 4-10-3 (sìshísān) or like
saying “40-3” together. Number 100 has a different name altogether.

(16) shíliù

(64) liùshísì

(75) qīshíwǔ

(97) jiǔshíqī

Translation Challenge

Do the challenge and e-mail it to mike@chinesewithmike.com and receive your own


personal congratulatory e-mail from Mike! And better yet, Jennifer will post your name on
the CWM Website! It doesn’t get any better than this, folks.

Lǎoshī hǎo! Wǒ shì nǐde xuéshēng. Wǒ shì Joe. Wǒ shì yìdàlìrén. Nǐ ne? Wǒ shì xībānyárén. Nǐ
hěn cōngmíng, yě hěn rènzhēn.Xièxie, lǎoshī. Nǐ hěn bàng! Nǐ yě hěn cōngmíng. Nǐde diànhuà
hàomǎ shì shénme? Wǒde diànhuà hàomǎ shì 8451200. Wǒde shēngrì shì yīyuè. Nǐde ne? Wǒde
shēngrì shì hòutiān.
Chapter 28: How Old Are You?
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 28
Background

We have used the question word jǐ (how much or how many) to ask: what day of the week it is;
what month it is; and, what time it is. Today we’re going to use our knowledge of bigger
numbers (0-100) to give specific dates (March 10) and specific times (6:34) and finally, to ask
about somebody’s age.

New Vocabulary (See more vocabulary lists under Chinese Links on the CWM Webpage)

jǐ How much; how qíngrénjié Valentine’s Day


many
diǎn(zhōng) An hour of the day fùqīnjié Father’s Day
fēn(zhōng) A minute mǔqīnjié Mother’s Day
suì year of age (years old) shèngdànjié Christmas
hào(mǎ) A number zhāiyuè Ramadan
chūnjié Chinese New Year guāngmíngjié Hanukkah
jiérì A holiday; festival gǎnēnjié Thanksgiving

DAYS OF THE WEEK

Jīntiān shì xīngqíjǐ? (What day is today?)

Jīntiān shì xīngqíwǔ. (Today is Friday.)

Zuótiān shì xīngqíjǐ? (What day was it yesterday?)

Zuótiān shì xīngqísì. (Yesterday was Thursday.)

Míngtiān shì xīngqíjǐ? (What day is tomorrow?)

Míngtiān shì xīngqíliù. (Tomorrow is Saturday.)

Qiántiān shì xīngqíjǐ? (What day was the day before yesterday?)

Qiántiān shì xīngqísān. (The day before yesterday was Wednesday.)

Hòutiān shì xīngqíjǐ? (What day is the day after tomorrow?)

Hòutiān shì xīngqírì. (The day after tomorrow is Sunday.)


MONTHS OF THE YEAR

Xiànzài shì jǐyuè? (What month is it?)

Xiànzài shì bāyuè. (It is August.)

Now, let's take this question one step further.

Jīntiān shì jǐyuè jǐhào? (What is the date today?)

Jīntiān shì bāyuè shìqīhào. (Today is August 17th.)

TIME OF DAY

Xiànzài (shì) jǐdiǎn(zhōng)? (What time is it?) Note: It is not necessary to say “shì”or “zhōng”

Xiànzài (shì) liùdiǎn(zhōng). Note: It is not necessary to say “shì” or “zhōng” (It’s more formal)

Xiànzài (shì ) jǐdiǎn jǐfēn? (What time is it?) Literally: “How many hours, how many minutes”

Xiànzài (shì ) liùdiǎn sìshísānfēn. (It is 6:43.) Literally: There are 6 hours and 43 minutes.

YEARS OF AGE

Nǐ jǐ suì? (How old are you?)

Wǒ jiǔ suì. (I am 9 years old.)

Tā jǐ suì? (How old is he/she?)

Tā sìshíbā suì. (He/She is 48 years old.)

Nǐde mèimei jǐ suì? (How old is your younger sister?)

Wǒde mèimei shísān suì. (My younger sister is 13 years old.)

Tāmende nüér jǐ suì? (How old is their daughter?)

Tāmende nüér liáng suì. (Their daughter is two years old.)


HOLIDAYS

Chūnjié shì jǐyuè jǐhào?

Chūnjié shì èryuè sìhào.

Shèngdànjié shì jǐyuè jǐhào?

Shèngdànjié shì shí'èryuè èrshíwǔhào.

Qíngrénjié shì jǐyuè jǐhào?

Qíngrénjié shì èryuè shísìhào.

TRANSLATION CHALLENGE

Send your responses to mike@chinesewithmike.com and Jennifer the Webmaster will post your
name and location on the CWM Website! What could be better than that?

Dàjiā hǎo! Wǒde míngzi shì Mike. Wǒ shì lǎoshī. Jīntiān wǒ hěn wúliáo, yě hěn nánguò. Jīntiān
shì xīngqíyī. Míngtiān shì xīngqíjǐ? Míngtiān shì xīngqí'èr. Hòutiān shì wǒde péngyǒude shēngrì.
Wǒde péngyǒu èrshíqī suì. Tā hěn niánqīng. Wǒ jiǔshíbā suì. Wǒ hěn lǎo. Nǐde diànhuà hàomǎ
shì shénme? Wǒde diànhuà hàomǎ shì 9349291. Jīntiān shì jǐyuè jǐhào? Jīntiān shì qīyuè sānhào.
Xiànzài jǐdiǎn? Xiànzài wǔdiǎn wǔshíwǔfēn. Qíngrénjié shì jǐyuè jǐhào? Qíngrénjié shì èryuè
shísìhào. Zàijiàn!
Chapter 29: Here, There, and Where
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 29
Background

We know how to say days, months, and dates. First, we’ll learn how to say a year in Chinese.
Then, we’ll learn another important question word (where) and how to answer using the words
here and there. Sound easy? It is.

New Vocabulary (Years)

nián a year qiánnián Two years ago


jīnnián This year hòunián The year after the next
qùnián Last year 2011 nián 2011 (the year 2011)
míngnián Next year shēngrì Birthday (birth year)

Example sentences

Jīnnián shì 2011 nián. (This year is 2011.)

Qùnián shì 2010 nián. (Last year was 2010.)

Qiánnián shì 2009 nián. (The year before last was 2009.)

Míngnián shì 2012 nián. (Next year is 2012.)

Hòunián shì 2013 nián. (The year after next is 2013.)

Wǒde shēngrì shì 1980 nián. (My birth year is 1980.) (I was born in 1980.)

Jínnián wǒ 30 suì. (This year I am 30 years old.)

Míngnián wǒde tàitai 55 suì. (Next year my wife will be 55 years old.)

Qúnián wǒde érzi 4 suì. (Last year my son was 4 years old.)

New Vocabulary

zài in, at, on zhè lǐ here


nǎ lǐ (nǎr) where nà lǐ there

We are learning the most important preposition in Chinese (zài) which will give us a way to
show location. We are also learning another question word (nǎ lǐ) which means where. Please
note that the word for where “nǎ lǐ” is third tone, and the word for there “nà lǐ” is fourth tone.
Example Sentences

Nǐ zài nǎ lǐ? (Where are you?) (Literally: You at where?)

Wǒ zài zhè lǐ. (I am here.)

Tā zài nǎ lǐ? (Where is he/she?)

Tā zài nà lǐ. (He/She is (over) there.)

Nǐde gēge zài nǎ lǐ? (Where is your older brother?)

Tā zài táiwān. (He is in Taiwan.)

Tāmende fùmǔ zài nǎ lǐ? (Where are their parents?)

Tāmen zài bāxī. (They are in Brazil.)

Wǒde píngguǒ zài nǎ lǐ? (Where is my apple?)

Nǐde píngguǒ zài zhè lǐ. (Your apple is here.)

Nǐde cǎoméi zài nǎ lǐ? (Where are your strawberries?)

Wǒde cǎoméi zài nà lǐ. (My strawberries are (over) there.)

New Vocabulary (Vegetables)

shūcài vegetable(s)
bōcài spinach
yángcōng onion(s)
qīngjiāo green pepper(s)
yùmǐ corn
shēngcài lettuce
mógū mushroom(s)
tǔdòu (mǎlíngshǔ) potato(es)
dòuzi bean(s)

Example Sentences

Wǒde bōcài zài nǎ lǐ? (Where is my spinach?)

Nǐde bōcài zài zhè lǐ. (Your spinach is here.)

Tāde mógū zài nǎ lǐ? (Where are his/her mushrooms?)

Tāde mógū zài nà lǐ. (His/Her mushrooms are (over) there.)


Yùmǐ hěn tián, yě hěn piányí. (The corn is sweet and also cheap.)

Tǔdòu hěn dà, yě hěn yìng. (The potato is big and also hard.)

Dòuzi hěn xiǎo. (The beans are very small.)

Qīngjiāo hěn dà. (The green pepper is big.)

TRANSLATION CHALLENGE

Please send your correct translations to Mike at mike@chinesewithmike.com and Jennifer the
Webmaster will post your name on the site.

**A word to the single men out there: Chicks dig dudes who complete the translation challenge.

Dàjiā hǎo! Jīntiān shì xīngqísì. Xiànzài wǒ bù hǎo. Wǒ hěn lèi, yě hěn shēngqì. Wǒde píngguǒ
bù tián, yě bù piányí. Wǒde píngguǒ hěn guì. Nǐ zài nǎ lǐ? Wǒ zài zhōngguó. Zhōngguó hěn
piàoliàng, yě hěn dà. Zhōngguórén yě hěn hǎo. Nǐde shēngrì shì 1955 nián ma? Bú shì. Wǒde
shēngrì shì 1965 nián.
Chapter 30: Places
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 30
Background

We know how to say “Where” (nǎ lǐ). In this lesson, you will learn the names of everyday places
you may go.

New Vocabulary (Places)

Diànyǐngyuàn 电影院 movie theater


Túshūguǎn 图书馆 library
Bówùguǎn 博物馆 museum
Měishùguǎn 美术馆 art gallery/museum
Gōngyuán 公园 park
Dòngwùyuán 动物园 zoo
Cāntīng 餐厅 restaurant
Yóulèchǎng 游乐场 amusement park
Dǔchǎng 赌场 casino
Jiǔbā 酒吧 bar
Hǎitān 海滩 beach

Let’s use the sentence patterns we know to do some questions and answers. Sound good?
Let’s rock.

Nǐ zài nǎ lǐ? (Where are you?)

你在哪里?

Wǒ zài hǎitān. (I’m at the beach.)

我在海滩。

Tā zài nǎ lǐ? (Where is he/she?)

他在哪里?

Tā zài gōngyuán. (He/She is at the park.)

他在公园。
Tāmen zài nǎ lǐ? (Where are they?)

他们在哪里?

Tāmen zài dǔchǎng. (They are at the casino.)

他们在赌场。

Nǐde péngyǒu zài nǎ lǐ? (Where is your friend?)

你的朋友在哪里?

Wǒde péngyǒu zài bówùguǎn. (My friend is at the museum.)

我的朋友在博物馆。

Tāmende gēge zài nǎ lǐ? (Where is our older brother?)

他们的哥哥在哪里?

Tā zài diànyǐngyuàn. (He is at the movie theater.)

他在电影院。

To answer a question with “yes” or “no,” use the implied verb shì or bú shì.

Nǐ zài cāntīng ma? (Are you at the restaurant?)

你在餐厅吗?

Shì. Wǒ zài cāntīng. (Yes, I am. I am at the restaurant.)

是,我在餐厅。

Tāmende mǔqīn zài túshūguǎn ma? (Is their mother at the library?)

他们的母亲在图书馆吗?

Bú shì. Tāmende mǔqīn zài dòngwùyuán. (No, she is not. Their mother is at the zoo.)

不是,他们的母亲在动物园。

Mike lǎoshīde nǚpéngyǒu zài měishùguǎn ma? (Is Teacher Mike’s girlfriend at the art museum?)

Mike 老师的女朋友在美术馆吗?
Shì. Tā zài měishùguǎn. (Yes, she is. She is at the art museum.)

是,他在美术馆。

More New Vocabulary (Cities)

If you don’t remember your country names, check the Vocabulary Lists under “Chinese Links”
on the CWM Website.

guójiā a nation; a country


chéngshì a city
běijīng Beijing
shànghǎi Shanghai
xiānggǎng Hong Kong
àomén Macao
táiběi Taipei
niǔyuē New York City
zhījiāgē Chicago
luòshānjī Los Angeles
mòxīgēchéng Mexico City
lǐyuērènèilú Rio de Janeiro
lúndūn London
mòsīkē Moscow
bālí Paris
bólín Berlin
luómǎ Rome
màngǔ Bangkok
duōlúnduō Toronto

More questions and answers.

Běijīng zài nǎ lǐ? (Where is Beijing?) NOTE: Beijing is Peking, but nobody says Peking now.

Běijīng zài zhōngguó. (Beijing is in China.)

Táiběi zài nǎ lǐ? (Where is Taipei?)

Táiběi zài táiwān. (Taipei is in Taiwan.)


Luòshānjī zài nǎ lǐ? (Where is Los Angeles?)

Luòshānjī zài měiguó. (Los Angeles is in America.)

Dōngjīng zài yīngguó ma? (Is Tokyo in England?)

Bú shì. Dōngjīng zài rìběn. (No, it is not. Tokyo is in Japan.)

Bólín zài déguó ma? (Is Berlin in Germany?)

Shì. Bólín zài déguó. (Yes, it is. Berlin is in Germany.)

Bālí zài fǎguó (fàguó )ma? (Is Paris in France?)

Shì. Bālí zài fǎguó (fàguó). (Yes, it is. Paris is in France.)

Here is another sentence pattern using the word (shénme) and our new vocabulary word
guójiā.

Mòsīkē zài shénme guójiā? (What country is Moscow in?) Literally: Moscow in what country?

Mòsīkē zài éguó. (Moscow is in Russia.)

Màngǔ zài shénme guójiā? (What country is Bangkok in?)

Màngǔ zài tàiguó. (Bangkok is in Thailand.)


TRANSLATION CHALLENGE

Send your translations to Mike at mike@chinesewithmike.com and you will be the coolest
person in your neighborhood for at least the next 48 hours.

Dàjiā hǎo! Wǒ zài zhījiāgē. Zhījiāgē zài nǎ lǐ? Zhījiāgē zài měiguó. Zhījiāgē hěn dà, yě hěn
piàoliàng. Wǒ shì Mike lǎoshī. Wǒ bú shì Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan hěn gāo, yě hěn
yǒuqián. Mike lǎoshī hěn qióng. Nǐ zài luómǎ ma? Bú shì. Wǒ zài lúndūn. Nǐde nánpéngyǒu zài
zhè lǐ ma? Shì. Tā zài zhè lǐ. Tā hěn shuài, yě hěn cōngmíng.
Chapter 31: Rooms and Objects of the
House
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 31
Background

We are still working with our latest question word “where” (nǎ lǐ). Last time we talked about
public places, and this time we are talking about what is inside the house. How exciting !

New Vocabulary (Rooms of the House)

chúfáng kitchen
fàntīng dining room
kètīng living room
wòshì bedroom
yùshì bathroom
xǐyīfáng laundry room
shūfáng study
chēkù garage
dìxiàshì basement

Example sentences

Nǐ zài nǎ lǐ? (Where are you?)

Wǒ zài jiā. (I am at home.)

Nǐ men zài nǎ lǐ? (Where are you guys?)

Wǒmen zài chúfáng. (We are in the kitchen.)

Nǐde fùqīn zài shūfáng ma? (Is your father in the study?)

Shì. Tā zài shūfáng. (Yes, he is. He is in the study.)

Nǐde chēzi zài nǎ lǐ? (Where is your car?)

Wǒde chēzi zài chēkù. (My car is in the garage.)

Lǎoshīde shū zài nǎ lǐ? (Where is the teacher’s book?)

Lǎoshīde shū zài shūfáng. (The teacher’s book is in the study.)


Xuéshēngde māma zài nǎ lǐ? (Where is the student’s mom?)

Tā zài kètīng. (She is in the living room.)

Geoff de tàitai zài fàntīng ma? (Is Geoff’s wife in the dining room?)

Bú shì. Geoff de tàitài zài yùshì. (No, she isn’t. Geoff’s wife is in the bathroom.)

Nǐde jiā zài nǎ lǐ? (Where is your house?)

Wǒde jiā zài zhījiāgē. (My house is in Chicago.)

New Vocabulary (Objects in the House)

shāfā sofa
chuáng bed
zhuōzi table
yǐzi chair
diànshì television
shūjià bookcase
bīngxiāng refrigerator
kǎoxiāng oven
wēibōlú microwave
dēng light
xǐwǎnjī dishwasher
xǐyījī washing machine
gānyījī dryer (clothes)
jìngzi mirror
diànnǎo computer

Example Sentences

Diànnǎo zài nǎ lǐ? (Where is the computer?)

Diànnǎo zài shūfáng. (The computer is in the study.)

Bīngxiāng zài kètīng ma? (Is the refrigerator in the living room?)

Bú shì. Bīngxiāng zài chúfáng. (No, it isn’t. The refrigerator is in the kitchen.)

Shāfā zài nǎ lǐ? (Where is the sofa?)

Shāfā zài kètīng. (The sofa is in the living room.)

Diànshì zài nǐde wòshì ma? (Is the TV in your bedroom?)


Bú shì. Diànshì zài kètīng. (No, it isn’t. The TV is in the living room.)

Chuáng zài nǐde wòshì ma? (Is the bed in your bedroom?)

Shì. Chuáng zài wǒde wòshì. (Yes, it is. The bed is in my bedroom.)

Nǐde chuáng hěn ruǎn ma? (Is your bed soft?)

Shì. Wǒde chuáng hěn ruǎn. (Yes, it is. My bed is (very) soft.)

Nǐde wàipóde diànhuà hěn guì ma? (Is your grandmother’s telephone expensive?)

Shì. Wǒde wàipóde diànhuà hěn guì. (Yes, it is. My grandmother’s telephone is expensive.)

Mike Lǎoshīde jìngzi hěn gānjìng ma? (Is Teacher Mike’s mirror clean?)

Bú shì. Mike Lǎoshīde jìngzi hěn zāng, yě hěn jiù. (No, it isn’t. Teacher Mike’s mirror is dirty
and old.)

TRANSLATION CHALLENGE

Please send correct translations to Mike at mike@chinesewithmike.com and Jennifer the


Webmaster will make you the world’s newest celebrity by posting your name and hometown on
the CWM Website.

(PHONE RINGING)

Wéi? Nǐ hǎo. Wǒ shì Mike Lǎoshī. Wǒ zài wǒde bàbamāmade jiā. Tāmende jiā hěn dà, yě hěn
guì. Tāmende jiā bù piányí. Tāmende jiā zài duōlúnduō. Duōlúnduō zài jiānádà. Tāmen shì
jiānádàrén. Wǒde bàba zài shūfáng. Tāde diànnǎo yě zài shūfáng. Wǒde māma zài chúfáng. Tāde
wēibōlú yě zài nà lǐ. Wǒ zài chēkù. Wǒde chēzi yě zài zhè lǐ. Bàibài.
Chapter 32: Nationalities, Weather, and
Adjectives
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 32
Background

We will break this lesson into three parts: 1. How to ask “What are you from?”; 2. How to make
basic statements about the weather; 3. How to place adjectives before nouns.

In a previous lesson, we learned how to state our nationalities.

Example Sentences

1. Wǒ shì měiguórén. (I am American.)

2. Nǐ shì āijírén. (You are Egyptian.)

3. Tā shì àiěrlánrén. (He/She is Irish.)

4. Wǒmen shì yuènánrén. (We are Vietnamese.)

Now here is the new question. (____ shì nǎ lǐ rén?)

1. Nǐ shì nǎ lǐ rén? (Lit. You are where person?) (Where are you from/What is your
nationality?)

2. Nǐde xiānshēng shì nǎ lǐ rén? (Where is your husband’s nationality?/Where is he from?)

3. Wǒde xiānshēng shì zhōngguórén. (My husband is Chinese.)

4. Mikede péngyǒu shì nǎ lǐ rén? (What is Mike’s friend’s nationality? Where is Mike’s
friend from?)

5. Mikede péngyǒu shì jiānádàrén. (Mike’s friend is Canadian.)

6. Tāmende lǎoshī shì nǎ lǐ rén? (What is their teacher’s nationality?/Where is their


teacher from?)

7. Tāmende lǎoshī shì yìndùrén. (Their teacher is Indian.)

8. Nǐde dìdi de tàitài shì nǎ lǐ rén? (Where is your younger brother’s wife from?)
9. Tāde tàitai shì àozhōurén. (His wife is Australian.)

Part 2: The Weather (Basic Terms)

tiānqì The weather tàiyáng The sun


rè hot yuèliàng The moon
lěng cold xīngxīng star(s)
fēng wind yún cloud(s)

1. Tiānqì hěn hǎo. (The weather is good/nice.)

2. Tiānqì bù hǎo. (The weather is bad.)

3. Tiānqì hěn rè. (The weather is hot.)

4. Tiānqì hěn lěng. (The weather is cold.)

5. Jīntiān tiānqì hǎo ma? (Is the weather good/nice today?)

6. Shì. Jīntiān tiānqì hěn hǎo. (Yes, it is. The weather is good.)

7. Zuótiān tiānqì hěn hǎo. (Yesterday the weather was good.)

8. Jīntiān fēng hěn dà. (Today it is very windy.)

9. Jīntiān tàiyáng hěn dà. (Today it is very sunny.)

10. Yùeliàng hěn liàng. (The moon is bright.)


11. Xīngxīng hěn piàoliàng. (The stars are beautiful.)

Adjectives before Nouns: Let’s do some math!

1. Wǒ shì nánrén. + Wǒ hěn gāo = Wǒ shì hěn gāode nánrén. (I am a tall man.)

2. Nǐ shì nǚrén +Nǐ hěn piàoliàng. = Nǐ shì hěn piàoliàngde nǚrén. (You’re a beautiful
woman.)

3. Tā shì háizi+ Tā hěn kě'ài. = Tā shì hěn kě'àide háizi.(He/She is a cute child.)

4. Tāmen shì xuéshēng+Tāmen hěn cōngmíng= Tāmen shì hěn cōngmíngde xuéshēng.(They
are intelligent students.)

5. Wǒmen shì lǎoshī+Wǒmen hěn xiōng=Wǒmen shì hěn xiōngde lǎoshī. (We are strict
teachers.)

6. Wǒde jiějie shì nǚrén+Wǒde jiějie hěn shòu.= Wǒde jiějie shì hěn shòude nǚrén. (My
older sister is a thin woman.)

7. Mike lǎoshīde mèimei shì xuéshēng+ Mike lǎoshīde mèimei hěn lǎnduò.= Mike lǎoshīde
mèimei shì hěn lǎnduòde xuéshēng. (Teacher Mike’s younger sister is a lazy student.)

8. Nǐde māma shì hěn nǔlìde nǚrén ma? (Is your mom a hardworking woman?)
9. Shì. Wǒde māma shì hěn nǔlìde nǚrén. (Yes, she is. My mom is a hardworking woman.)

10. Tāmende bàba shì hěn yǒuqiánde rén ma? (Is their dad a rich person?)

11. Bú shì. Tāmende bàba shì hěn qióngde rén. (No, he’s not. Their dad is a poor person.)

TRANSLATION CHALLENGE

Send your translations of the following paragraph to Mike at mike@chinesewithmike.com and


Jennifer the Webmaster will admit you to the exclusive club!

Jīntiān tiānqì hěn hǎo. Tiānqì hěn rè. Tàiyáng yě hěn dà. Wǒ zài wǒde péngyǒude jiā. Wǒde
péngyǒu shì hěn pàngde nánrén. Nǐ shì nǎ lǐ rén? Wǒ shì bólánrén. Bólánde tiānqì hěn lěng.
Mike lǎoshī zài diànyǐngyuàn ma? Bú shì. Mike lǎoshī zài xuéxiào.
Chapter 33: More Adjective-Noun
Combos
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 33

Background

If you have studied Lesson 32, this lesson should make that lesson clearer. It should not be
difficult to follow. In Lesson 32, we practiced combining sentences to combine adjectives and
nouns. Reviewing the master list of adjectives under “Chinese Links” might be helpful, too. If
I’ve forgotten one that I have used up till now, please let me know. I’m too lazy to look right
now.

Example Sentences

Wǒ shì nánrén. (I am a man.)

Wǒ hěn gāo. (I am tall.)

Wǒ shì hěn gāode nánrén. (I am a tall man.)

Tā shì nǚrén. (She is a woman.)

Tā hěn bèn. (She is stupid.)

Tā shì hěn bènde nǚrén. (She is a stupid woman.)

Mike shì lǎoshī. (Mike is a teacher.)

Mike hěn bàng. (Mike is great.)

Mike shì hěn bàngde lǎoshī. (Mike is a great teacher.)

Tā shì xuéshēng.(He/She is a student.)

Tā hěn lǎnduò. (He/She is lazy.)

Tā shì hěn lǎnduòde xuéshēng. (He/She is a lazy student.)

Now let’s do the same thing using “this” and “that.”

Zhè shì bówùguǎn. (This is a museum.)

Bówùguǎn hěn yǒuqù. (The museum is very interesting.)


Zhè shì hěn yǒuqùde bówùguǎn. (This is a very interesting museum.)

Nà shì gōngyuán. (That is a park.)

Gōngyuán hěn dà. (The park is big.)

Nà shì hěn dàde gōngyuán. (That is a big park.)

Běijīng shì chéngshì. (Beijing is a city.)

Běijīng hěn yǒumíng. (Beijing is famous.)

Běijīng shì hěn yǒumíngde chéngshì. (Beijing is a famous city.)

Nà shì kāfēi. (That is coffee.)

Kāfēi hěn tàng. (The coffee is very hot.)

Nà shì hěn tàngde kāfēi. (That is hot coffee.)

Let’s make some questions now:

Tā shì hěn piàoliàngde nǚrén ma? (Is she a beautiful woman?)

Shì. Tā shì hěn piàoliàngde nǚrén. (Yes, she is. She is a beautiful woman.)

Nǐde gēge shì hěn cōngmíngde rén ma? (Is your older brother a smart person?)

Bú shì. Wǒde gēge shì hěn bènde rén. (No, he isn’t. My older brother is a stupid person.)

Zhè shì hěn tiánde chéngzi ma? (Is this a sweet orange?)

Shì. Zhè shì hěn tiánde chéngzi. (Yes, it is. This is a sweet orange.)

Nà shì hěn yǒuqùde shū ma? (Is that an interesting book?)

Shì. Nà shì hěn yǒuqùde shū. (Yes, it is. That is an interesting book.)

Tā shì shéi? (Who is he/she?)

Tā shì hěn hǎode lǎoshī. (He/She is a good teacher.)

Nǐ shì shéi? (Who are you?)

Wǒ shì hěn kě'àide xiǎohái. (I am a cute child.)


TRANSLATION CHALLENGE

Please send your correct translations to Mike at mike@chinesewithmike.com, and Jennifer, the
CWM Webmaster, will go out on a date with you.

Zhè shì nǐde wánjù. Wánjù hěn guì. Nǐde wánjù hěn guì. Wǒ zài jiā. Wǒde bàbade diànshì hěn dà,
yě hěn guì. Wǒde lǎopó zài táiwān. Tāde bàbamāma yě zài táiwān. Tāmen hěn lǎo. Zhè shì nǐde
shū ma? Shì. Zhè shì wǒde shū. Shū hěn zhòng ma? Shì. Zhè shì hěn zhòngde shū. Zàijiàn!
Chapter 34: Why and Because
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 34
Background

We should be solid on using the “be” verb (shì) and hěn to make basic statements. Let’s add a
couple important words to our vocabulary.

New Vocabulary

wèishénme Why?
yīnwèi because

Sample sentences

Tā hěn cōngmíng. Wèishénme? Yīnwèi tā shì lǎoshī.

(He/She is intelligent. Why? Because he/she is a teacher.)

Wǒde āyí zài zhōngguó. Wèishénme? Yīnwèi tā shì zhōngguórén.

(My aunt is in China. Why? Because she is Chinese (a Chinese person.))

Wǒ hěn shēngqì. Wèishénme? Yīnwèi wǒde xiǎohái hěn wánpí.

(I am angry. Why? Because my child(ren) are naughty.)

Jīntiān nǐ hǎo ma? Jīntiān wǒ bù hǎo. Wèishénme? Yīnwèi tiānqì hěn lěng.

(How are you today? I am not well today. Why? Because the weather is cold.)

Nǐde gǒu zài nǐde jiā ma? Bú shì. Wèishénme? Yīnwèi tā zài wǒde péngyǒude jiā.

(Is your dog at your house? No, it is not. Why? Because it is at my friend’s house.)

Tā zài xuéxiào. Wèishénme? Yīnwèi tā shì xuéshēng.

(He/She is at school. Why? Because he/she is a student.)

Tā hěn yǒuqián. Wèishénme? Yīnwèi tā shì lǜshī.

(He/She is rich. Why? Because he/she is a lawyer.)


Wǒde fángzi hěn xiǎo. Wèishénme? Yīnwèi wǒ hěn qióng.

(My house is small. Why? Because I am poor.)

Wǒde fángzi hěn guì. Wèishénme? Yīnwèi wǒ hěn yǒuqián.

(My house is expensive. Why? Because I am rich.)

Tā zài yīyuàn. Wèishénme? Yīnwèi tā shì hùshì.

(He/She is at the hospital. Why? Because he/she is a nurse.)

TRANSLATION CHALLENGE

Send completed translations to Mike at mike@chinesewithmike.com and Jennifer the Webmaster


will put your name on our Website and enter you in a drawing to win a lifetime supply of fortune
cookies.

Wǒ shì Mike. Wǒ zài dàxué. Wèishénme? Yīnwèi wǒ shì jiàoshòu. Wǒde xuéshēng hěn bàng, yě
hěn cōngmíng. Nǐ yě shì lǎoshī ma? Bú shì. Wǒ bú shì lǎoshī. Nǐ jǐ suì? Wǒ bāshíqī suì. Wǒ hěn
lǎo. Nǐ shì běijīngrén ma? Shì. Wǒ shì běijīngrén. Běijīng zài nǎ lǐ? Běijīng zài zhōngguó.
Zhōngguó hěn dà. Nǐ yě zài zhōngguó ma? Bú shì. Wǒ bú zài zhōngguó. Wǒ zài tàiguó.
Chapter 35: The Return to Mike’s Garage
and Body Parts
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 35
Background

This lesson is about body parts, and no, we will not be singing “Head, Shoulders, Knees and
Toes.”

New Vocabulary

tóu head
tóufǎ hair
yǎnjīng eye(s)
ěrduō ear(s)
bízi nose
zuǐba mouth
yáchǐ tooth(teeth)
shǒu hand
shǒubì arm
tuǐ leg
jiǎo foot(feet)
dùzi stomach
bózi neck
húzi beard
tòng painful (better translated in English as “hurts”)
(e.g. “My head hurts” where hurts is a verb)

Sample Sentences

Wǒde tóu hěn dà. (My head is big.)

Nǐde shǒubì hěn cháng. (Your arms are long.)

Tāde jiǎo hěn xiǎo. (His/Her feet are small.)

Wǒmende māma hěn ǎi, yě hěn lǎo. (Our mom is short and old.)
Nǐde bàbade shǒu hěn zāng. (Your dad’s hands are dirty.)

Wǒde jiějiede tóufǎ hěn duǎn. (My older sister’s hair is short.)

Nǐde nánpéngyǒude tóufǎ hěn cháng ma? (Is your boyfriend’s hair long?)

Bú shì. Tāde tóufǎ hěn duǎn. (No, it is not. His hair is short.)

Mike Lǎoshīde tuǐ hěn cháng ma? (Are Teacher Mike’s legs long?)

Shì. Tāde tuǐ hěn cháng. (Yes, they are. His legs are long.)

Wèishénme nǐde bàbade tuǐ hěn cháng? (Why are your dad’s legs long?)

Yīnwèi tā hěn gāo. (Because he is tall.)

Wǒde yáchǐ hěn tòng. (My tooth hurts.)

Nǐde dùzi hěn tòng ma? (Does your stomach hurt?)

Shì. Wǒde dùzi hěn tòng. (Yes, it does. My stomach hurts.)

Nǐde yǎnjīng zài nǎ lǐ? (Where are your eyes?)


Wǒde yǎnjīng zài zhè lǐ. (My eyes are here.)

Nǐde nǚ'érde shēntǐ hǎo ma? (Is your daughter in good health/healthy?)

Shì. Wǒde nǚ'érde shēntǐ hěn hǎo. Xièxie. (Yes, she is. My daughter is in good health/healthy.)

Nǐde shǒu hěn gānjìng ma? (Are your hands clean?)

Bú shì. Wǒde shǒu hěn zāng. (No, they are not. My hands are dirty.)

TRANSLATION CHALLENGE

Send correct translations to Mike at mike@chinesewithmike.com, or I will personally fly to your


country and egg your house.

Wǒde dìdi hěn ǎi, yě hěn shuài. Tāde nǚpéngyǒu hěn piàoliàng, yě hěn cōngmíng. Xiànzài tāmen
zài bówùguǎn. Bówùguǎn zài niǔyuē. Niǔyuē zài jiānádà ma? Bú shì. Niǔyuē zài měiguó.
Měiguó hěn dà ma? Shì. Měiguó hěn dà. Nǐde shēntǐ hǎo ma? Shì. Wǒde shēntǐ hěn hǎo. Nǐ ne?
Wǒde shēntǐ yě hěn hǎo. Xièxie. Nǐde bízi hěn bīng. Wèishénme? Yīnwèi jīntiān tiānqì hěn lěng.

*NOTE the difference between bīng and lěng. One is for objects, and one is for environments.
Chapter 36: Colors
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 36
Background

We know several adjectives, which are words that describe nouns. In this lesson we will go over
the basic colors in Chinese.

New Vocabulary

yánsè color(s) lǜsè green


hóngsè red chéngsè orange
lánsè blue huángsè yellow
hēisè black kāfēisè brown
báisè white huīsè grey
zǐsè purple fēnhóngsè pink

Example Sentences

Nà shì shénmè yánsè? (What color is that?)

Nà shì huīsè. (That is grey.)

Zhè shì shénme yánsè? (What color is this?)

Zhè shì zǐsè. (This is purple.)

Zhè shì hóngsède chēzi. (This is a red car.)

Zhè shì lánsède chēzi ma? (Is this a blue car?)

Bú shì. Zhè bú shì lánsède chēzi. (No, it is not. This is not a blue car.)

Nà shì huángsède fángzi. (That is a yellow house.)

Nà shì hēisède xiézi ma? (Is that a black shoe?)

Shì. Nà shì hēisède xiézi. (Yes, it is. That is a black shoe.)

Nàxiē shì hēisède xiézi ma? (Are those black shoes?)

Bú shì. Nàxiē bú shì hēisède xiézi. (No, they are not. Those are not black shoes.)

Nà shì hēisède diànshì. (That is a black TV.)


Zhè shì fēnhóngsède diànhuà. (This is a pink telephone.)

Nà shì huángsède qiānbǐ. (That is a yellow pencil.)

Nǐde lánsède chēzi zài nǎ lǐ? (Where is your blue car?)

Wǒde lánsède chēzi zài zhè lǐ. (My blue car is here.)

Wǒde bàbade lǜsède qiú zài nǎ lǐ? (Where is my dad’s green ball?)

Tāde lǜsède qiú zài chúfáng. (His green ball is in the kitchen.)

Zhè shì shéide lǜsède píngguǒ? (Whose green apple is this?)

Zhè shì wǒde lǜsède píngguǒ. (This is my green apple.)

TRANSLATION CHALLENGE

E-mail correct translations to Mike at mike@chinesewithmike.com and you will receive four free
passes to tour Mike’s garage.

Zhè shì shénme yánse? Zhè shì hēisè. Nǐde jiàoshòu zài nǎ lǐ? Tā zài dàxué. Wǒde dàxué hěn dà,
yě hěn yǒumíng. Nǐde chēzi hěn guì ma? Shì. Wǒde chēzi hěn guì. Wèishénme? Yīnwèi wǒde
chēzi hěn bàng! Nǐde báisède shū zài nǎ lǐ? Wǒde báisède shū zài kètīng. Jīntiān shì jǐyuè jǐhào?
Jīntiān shì wǔyuè sìhào.
Chapter 37: So
To be read with Chinese with Mike: Lesson 37
Background

First, we will talk about occupations (or jobs). Then, we will talk about the word
suǒyǐ (so), which is a very important conjunction that is used to connect two
sentences. Fasten your seatbelt and get ready to rock!

New Vocabulary

yīshēng doctor xiāofángyuán firefighter


hùshì nurse jǐngchá police officer
lǜshī lawyer chúshī chef
jiàoshòu professor gōngchéngshī engineer
lǎoshī teacher nóngmín farmer
xuéshēng student jūnrén soldier
mìshū secretary shāngrén businessman/woman

Example Sentences

Wǒ bù shūfú. Wèishénme? Yīnwèi wǒde jiā hěn lěng.

(I am uncomfortable. Why? Because my house is cold.)

Tā hěn yǒuqián. Wèishénme? Yīnwèi tā shì shāngrén.

(He/She is rich. Why? Because he/she is a businessman/woman.)

Wǒ hěn nánguò. Wèishénme? Yīnwèi wǒde tàitai bú zài zhè lǐ.

(I am sad. Why? Because my wife is not here.)

Tāmende māma hěn shēngqì. Wèishénme? Yīnwèi tāmen hěn wánpí.

(Their mom is angry. Why? Because they are very naughty.)

Yīnwèi nǐ shì yīshēng, suǒyǐ nǐ hěn cōngmíng.

(Because you are a doctor, you are very intelligent.)

Yīnwèi wǒ hěn qióng, suǒyǐ wǒde fángzi hěn xiǎo.

(Because I am poor, my house is small.)


Yīnwèi tiānqì hěn rè, suǒyǐ nóngmín hěn xīnkǔ.

(Because the weather is hot, the farmer is very hard-working/tired.)

Yīnwèi nǐde lǎogōng hěn bù hǎo, suǒyǐ nǐ hěn shāngxīn.

(Because your husband is very bad, you are very sad.)

Yīnwèi tā shì jūnrén, suǒyǐ tā hěn zhuàng.

(Because he/she is a soldier, he/she is strong.)

Nǐde bàba shì jǐngchá ma? Shì. Tā shì jǐngchá.

(Is your dad a police officer? Yes, he is. He is a police officer.)

Nǐde lǎopóde māma shì mìshū ma? Bú shì. Tā shì lǎoshī.

(Is your wife’s mom a secretary? No, she is not. She is a teacher.)

Yīnwèi jīntiān shì wǒde shēngrì, suǒyǐ wǒ hěn gāoxìng.

(Because today is my birthday, I am very happy.)

Yīnwèi míngtiān shì wǒde nǚ'érde shēngrì, suǒyǐ tā hěn xīngfèn.

(Because tomorrow is my daughter’s birthday, she is very excited.)

Translation Challenge
Complete the translation challenge and send to Mike at mike@chinesewithmike.com,
and Geoff, Mike’s producer, will tattoo your name on his arm…and we’ll post your
name on the Website.

Wǒde yéye shì nóngmín. Jīnnián tā bāshíwǔ suì. Tā hěn lǎo, yě hěn cōngmíng. Yīnwèi
tiānqì hěn rè, suǒyǐ tā lèi. Hòutiān shì tāde shēngrì. Tāde tàitai zài rìběn. Rìběn shì hěn
piàoliàngde guójiā. Tā zài dōngjīng ma? Shì. Tā zài dōngjīng. Nǐ zài nǎ lǐ? Wǒ zài
hánguó. Hánguóde tiānqì hěn lěng. Xiànzài shì jǐdiǎn? Xiànzài shì liǎng diǎn bàn.
Zàijiàn!
Chapter 38: Review of So and But
To be read with Chinese with Mike: Lesson 38
Background

First, we will review the conjunction suǒyǐ, and then we will learn our next
conjunction—but (dànshì)

New Vocabulary

dànshì but (more formal) xiàtiān summer


kěshì but (less formal) qiūtiān fall; autumn
chūntiān spring dōngtiān winter

First, let’s review some sentences using yīnwèi and suǒyǐ.

Example Sentences

Yīnwèi xiànzài shì xiàtiān, suǒyǐ tiānqì hěn rè.

(Because it is summer, the weather is hot.)

Yīnwèi xiànzài shì dōngtiān, suǒyǐ tiānqì hěn lěng.

(Because it is winter, the weather is cold.)

Yīnwèi wǒde yáchǐ hěn tòng, suǒyǐ wǒ bù shūfú.

(Because my teeth hurt, I am uncomfortable.)

Yīnwèi wǒde lǎopó hěn chǒu, suǒyǐ wǒ hěn nánguò.

(Because my wife is ugly, I am sad.)

Yīnwèi wǒde lǎopó hěn piàoliàng, suǒyǐ wǒ hěn gāoxìng.

(Because my wife is beautiful, I am happy.)

Yīnwèi wǒde érzi hěn guāi, suǒyǐ wǒ hěn gāoxìng.

(Because my son is well-behaved, I am happy.)


Dànshì vs. Kěshì
Dànshì and kěshì both mean “but” in English, and there is not a big difference
between the two. Usually, they can be used interchangeably, which means you can use
one or the other, and the meaning is the same. Dànshì is a little more formal than
kěshì, and it is used more in writing. Kěshì is rarely used in written Chinese. To keep
things simple, we will use dànshì in Chinese with Mike, but it is important for you to
know that kěshì can be used when speaking as well.

Example Sentences

Wǒ hěn gāo dànshì wǒde fùmǔ bù gāo.

(I am tall, but my parents are not tall.)

Nǐ hěn shuài dànshì nǐde nǚpéngyǒu hěn chǒu.

(You are handsome, but your girlfriend is ugly.)

Wǒde érzi hěn guāi dànshì wǒde nǚ'ér hěn wánpí.

(My son is well-behaved, but my daughter is naughty.)

Yīshēng hěn yǒuqián dànshì tā hěn máng.

(The doctor is rich, but he/she is busy.)

Wǒde gǒu hěn xiǎo dànshì tā hěn zhuàng.

(My dog is very small, but it is strong.)

Wǒde lǎoshī hěn hǎo dànshì tā hěn yángé.

(My teacher is very good, but he/she is strict.)

Xiànzài shì dōngtiān ma? Shì. Xiànzài shì dōngtiān.

(Is it winter now? Yes, it is. It is winter.)

Xiànzài shì xiàtiān ma? Bú shì. Xiànzài shì qiūtiān.

(Is it summer now? No, it is not. It is fall.)

Nǐde érzi shì xiāofángyuán ma? Shì. Tā shì xiāofángyuán.

(Is your son a firefighter? Yes, he is. He is a firefighter.)

Tā sān suì dànshì tā hěn cōngmíng.

(He/She is three years old, but he/she is very smart.)


Translation Challenge
You can do it! It’s the translation challenge for lesson 38 of Chinese with Mike! Send
translations to mike@chinesewithmike.com, and we will post your name on our
Website! Jiā yóu!

Xiànzài shì jǐdiǎn? Xiànzài shì sìdiǎn èrshíwǔfēn. Yīnwèi jīntiān tiānqì hěn lěng,
suǒyǐ wǒ zài jiā. Nǐde nánpéngyǒu shì nǎ lǐ rén? Tā shì déguórén ma? Shì. Tā shì
déguórén? Zhè shì shénme? Zhè shì wǒde nánpéngyǒude chēzi. Tāde chēzi hěn guì
dànshì tā hěn xiǎo.
Chapter 39: Another Way to Ask Questions
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 39

Background

So far in CWM, we have used the question particle “ma” to form questions. In this lesson, I will teach you
another way to ask questions. Trust me. It’s easy.

New Vocabulary: We have no new vocabulary words in this lesson, but make sure you check the CWM
vocabulary lists under the Chinese Links section of the CWM Website to keep up. My personal recommendation
is to label objects around your house using your Chinese vocabulary. However, if your parents/spouses are neat
freaks, you might get kicked out, so be careful.

New Question Pattern

Instead of using “ma” at the end of the sentence to make it a question, simply use the verb (shì) + bú + the verb
again (shì), so you have (shì bú shì). This literally means “am or am not,” “are or are not,” or “is or is not” in
the present tense. Compare the following:

Nǐ shì Mike Lǎoshī ma? (Are you Teacher Mike?)

Nǐ shì bú shì Mike Lǎoshī? (Are you or are you not Teacher Mike?)

OR

Tā shì nǐde bàba ma? (Is he your dad?)

Tā shì bú shì nǐde bàba? (Is he or is he not your dad?)

OR

Tāmen shì táiwānrén ma? (Are they Taiwanese?)

Tāmen shì bú shì táiwānrén? (Are they or are they not Taiwanese?)

You can use the second pattern in English, but it’s very uncommon. The point is that both of these
question patterns are perfectly acceptable in Chinese. The first one uses “ma” and the second one uses
the affirmative and negative form of the verb (shì bú shì). Since we have studied only one verb (shì), it
should not be too difficult.
More Example Sentences

Nǐ shì bú shì zhōngguórén? (Are you Chinese?)

Shì Wǒ shì zhōngguórén. Nǐ ne? Nǐ shì bú shì zhōngguórén? (Yes, I am Chinese. And you? Are you Chinese?)

Bú shì. Wǒ bú shì zhōngguórén. Wǒ shì fǎguórén. (No, I am not. I am not Chinese. I am French.)

Tā shì bú shì lǜshī? (Is he/she a lawyer?)

Shì. Tā shì lǜshī. Yīnwèi tā shì lǜshī suǒyǐ tā hěn yǒuqián. (Yes, he/she is a lawyer. Because he/she is a lawyer,
he/she is rich.)

Nǐde nánpéngyǒu shì bú shì jiàoshòu? (Is your boyfriend a professor?)

Shì. Tā shì jiàoshòu (Yes, he is. He is a professor.)

Tāde dàxué zài nǎ lǐ? (Where is his university?)

Tāde dàxué zài měiguó. (His university is in America.)

Tāmen shì bú shì yīshēng? (Are they doctors?)

Bú shì. Tāmen shì hùshì. Xiànzài tāmen zài yīyuàn. (No, they aren’t. They are nurses. They are at the hospital
now.)

Nǐmen shì bú shì xuéshēng? (Are you students?)

Shì. Wǒmen shì xuéshēng. (Yes, we are. We are students.)

Jīntiān shì bú shì nǐde shēngrì? (Is today your birthday?)

Bú shì. Míngtiān shì wǒde shēngrì. Wǒ shísān suì. (No, it isn’t. Tomorrow is my birthday. I’m 13 years old.)

Nǐde míngzi shì bú shì Wáng Jiàn Míng? (Is your name Jian Ming Wang?) *family names come first in Chinese

Bú shì. Wǒde míngzi shì Mike Lǎoshī. (No, it is not. My name is Teacher Mike.)

Tā shì bú shì nǐde péngyǒu? (Is he/she your friend?)

Shì. Tā shì wǒde péngyǒu. Tā hěn cōngmíng. (Yes, he/she is. He/She is my friend. He/She is smart.)
TRANSLATION CHALLENGE

Submit correct translations to mike@chinesewithmike.com and receive a complimentary bottle of CWM salad
dressing. P.S. We’ve sold out of the ranch flavor.

Nǐ shì bú shì Mike Lǎoshīde xuéshēng? Shì. Wǒ shì Mike Lǎoshīde xuéshēng. Wèishénme? Yīnwèi Mike
Lǎoshī hěn bàng, yě hěn cōngmíng. Nǐde gēge shì bú shì xiāofángyuán? Bú shì. Wǒde gēge shì jǐngchá. Tā zài
nǎ lǐ? Tā zài běijīng. Nǐ ne? Nǐ zài nǎ lǐ? Wǒ zài měiguó. Wǒ shì jiàoshòu. Wǒde māma yě shì jiàoshòu. Nǐde
bàba yě shì jiàoshòu ma? Bú shì. Wǒde bàba shì yīshēng. Yīnwèi tā shì yīshēng, suǒyǐ tā hěn máng. Xiànzài shì
jǐdiǎn? Xiànzài shì liǎngdiǎn bàn. Zàijiàn.
Chapter 40: Goodbye…for now.
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 40
P.S. Don’t forget to read Mike’s farewell message at end of chapter.

Background
Last time we learned how to form questions without using a question word (who,
what, where, when, why, how) and without using our question particle “ma.” This
time we will continue the same exercise, but we will focus on adjectives instead of
nouns. Please remember that when we use an adjective, we do not need the “be” verb
shì.

Review of Chapter 39:


Notice that we use the “be” verb shì because we have a noun (police officer, secretary,
friends) at the end of the sentence.

Nǐ shì jǐngchá ma? (Are you a police officer?)


Nǐ shì bú shì jǐngchá? (Are you a police officer?) (In English, the literal translation is:
Are you or are you not a police officer?)

Tā shì mìshū ma? (Is she a secretary?)


Tā shì bú shì mìshū? (Is she a secretary?)

Nǐmen shì péngyǒu ma? (Are you friends?)


Nǐmen shì bú shì péngyǒu? (Are you friends?)

In this lesson, we will use adjectives, so we do not need the “be” verb shì. We will use
the same grammar as we did in the previous lesson, but we substitute adjectives
(words that describe nouns) for verbs.

Before we move on, you must understand the difference between a zì and a cí in
Chinese. The pronunciation of the words zì and cí is similar, but the definitions are
clearly different.

In Chinese, a word (one single character) is called a zì. A longer word (made up of
two or more words (two or more written characters) joined together) is called a cí. So,
for example, the word zhōng is a zì—a single word, and a single written character,
that means “middle”. The word guó is also a zì that means “country.” If we join them
together, we have zhōngguó, which is called a cí, because it contains two separate
words “zhōng (middle)” and guó (country), and it has an entirely different meaning:
China. The same is true for the zì (diàn “electric”) and (nǎo “brain”), which form the
cí “diànnǎo”: a computer. Cool, eh?

Example Sentences Part I (One-word adjectives)

Do NOT forget that the tone for the word bù/ bú is usually fourth tone, but it
becomes a second tone when it precedes, or comes before, another fourth tone
word. See the examples below.

Nǐ gāo bù gāo? (Are you tall?)

Tā zhuàng bú zhuàng? (Is he/she strong?)

Nǐ hǎo bù hǎo? (Are you well/good/fine/okay?)

Nǐde xiānshēng pàng bú pàng? (Is your husband fat?)

Nǐde érzi guāi bù guāi? (Is your son well-behaved?)

Tāmende fángzi dà bú dà? (Is their house big?)

Nǐmende gǒu è bú è? (Is your dog hungry?)

Nǐde chēzi guì bú guì? (Is your car expensive?)

Lǎoshīde tàitai shòu bú shòu? (Is the teacher’s wife thin?)

Nǐde péngyǒude māo chǒu bù chǒu? (Is your friend’s cat ugly?)

Example Sentences Part II (Two-word adjectives)

With two-word adjectives (cí), our question pattern changes a little bit. In the first
part, you only say the first word (zì); in the second part, you say both, or the entire
word (cí). I think you’ll figure it out unless you’re a complete idiot.
Nǐ gāo bù gāoxìng? (Are you happy?)

Tā piào bú piàoliàng? (Is she pretty/beautiful?)

Nǐde lǎoshī cōng bù cōngmíng? (Is your teacher smart/intelligent?)

Tāmende diànshì pián bù piányí? (Is their television cheap/inexpensive?)

Nǐ nán bù nánguò? (Are you sad?)

Michael Jordan yǒu bù yǒumíng? (Is Michael Jordan famous?)

TRANSLATION CHALLENGE
We will continue accepting translation challenges and updating the
winners on the CWM Website. Please send correct translations to
mike@chinesewithmike.com and Mike Lǎoshī will be your best friend.

Wǒ shì Mike Lǎoshī. Nǐ lèi bú lèi? Nǐ shì nǎ lǐ rén? Wǒ shì měiguórén.


Yīnwèi xiānzài shì xiàtiān, suǒyǐ tiānqì hěn rè. Wǒ zài xuéxiào. Wǒde
xuéxiào hěn hǎo. Wǒde lǎoshī yě hěn hǎo. Jīntiān shì xīngqījǐ? Jīntiān shì
xīngqīrì. Nǐ zài nǎ lǐ? Wǒ zài gōngyuán. Gōngyuán dà bú dà? Gōngyuán
bú dà. Gōngyuán hěn xiǎo. Nǐ hǎo bù hǎo? Wǒ hěn hǎo. Xièxie. Mike
Lǎoshī zài zhōngguó. Jiǔyuèjiàn!
Mike’s Farewell Message for Chinese with Mike: Season 1:

May 31, 2011

On behalf of my producer Geoff and Webmaster Jennifer, I’d like to


thank you for watching our videos and reading our “textbook” over the
past several months. We’ve had over 50,000 visitors to our Website since
we launched in October, and more and more students begin learning with
us every day. If you have watched our videos, read our chapters, and most
importantly, reviewed over and over again, then you should have a strong
foundation in the basic grammar of Mandarin Chinese.

However, my staff and I are taking the summer off to pursue some goals
of our own. I will be on my 2011World Tour for most the summer; Geoff
will be in Japan studying ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement,
as well as trying to locate and photograph filming locations for The
Karate Kid: Part II; and Jennifer will be cleaning my garage and Geoff’s
basement while we are away.

Don’t go too far, though, my friends. We will begin filming Chinese with
Mike: Season 2 in September, and I promise future lessons will be even
more fun (if that’s possible), as we will be filming both in my garage and
on location. To conclude, I send hugs and kisses from Taipei, Taiwan,
where I am kicking off my World Tour, which will consist of lecturing,
making guest appearances on TV shows, signing autographs, and simply
reinforcing my reputation as the coolest Chinese teacher in the world.

Thanks again, my friends, and we’ll see you in September!

All the best,


Mike Lǎoshī
Chapter 41: Yào
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 41

Background
Welcome to Season 2 of Chinese with Mike. After a busy summer that included Mike Lǎoshī's
first world tour, the coolest Chinese teacher on Earth is back in his garage doing what he
does best--making Chinese fun and easy. We kick off Season 2 with a new verb: yào. By now
you should have a good foundation in constructing basic sentences in Mandarin, so adding a
new verb should be a smooth transition.

First, yào has many definitions. Most of them are related in meaning (and I will go into a
detailed explanation of each in later chapters), but in Chapter 1, we are going to cover the
most basic definition of yào --to want.

You use the verb yào (to want) when something you want is immediately available. It is
either nearby or easily accessible. For example, if I am in a restaurant, and I want
something, I will say " Wǒ yào …"

New Vocabulary
yào to want píjiǔ beer

háishì or guǒzhī juice

shuǐ water píngguǒzhī apple juice

kāfēi coffee chéngzhī orange juice

chá tea ningmengzhi lemonade

niúnǎi milk kělè pop;soda;cola

qiǎokèlì niúnǎi chocolate milk

rè qiǎokèlì hot chocolate

Sample sentences
我要苹果.

Wǒ yào píngguǒ. (I want an apple.)

你要不要香蕉?
Nǐ yào bú yào xiāngjiāo? (Do you want a banana?)

你的姐姐要咖啡吗?

Nǐde jiějie yào kāfēi ma? (Does your older sister want coffee?)

我的妹妹不要咖啡.

Wǒde mèimei bú yào kāfēi. (My younger sister does not want coffee.)

老师的儿子要不要玩具?

Lǎoshīde érzi yào bú yào wánjù? (Does the teacher’s son want a toy?)

老师的奶奶要苹果汁吗?

Lǎoshīde nǎinai yào píngguǒzhī ma? (Does the teacher’s grandmother want apple juice?)

不要。 她要热巧克力。

Bú yào. Tā yào rè qiǎokèlì. (No, she does not. She wants hot chocolate.)

水在哪里?

Shuǐ zài nǎ lǐ? (Where is the water?)

水在那里.

Shuǐ zài nà lǐ. (The water is (over) there.)

牛奶在冰箱吗?

Niúnǎi zài bīngxiāng ma? (Is the milk in the refrigerator?)

不在。 牛奶不在冰箱。

Bú zài. Niúnǎi bú zài bīngxiāng. (No, it is not. It is not in the refrigerator.)

他要啤酒还是可乐?

Tā yào píjiǔ háishì kělè? (Does he want beer or pop?)

他要啤酒。

Tā yào píjiǔ. (He wants beer.)

你的医生要茶吗?
Nǐde yīshēng yào chá ma? (Does your doctor want tea?)

要。 我的医生要茶。

Yào. Wǒde yīshēng yào chá. (Yes. My doctor wants tea.)

他们要果汁吗?

Tāmen yào guǒzhī ma? (Do they want juice?)

要。 他们要果汁。

Yào. Tāmen yào guǒzhī. (Yes, they do. They want juice.)

你的小孩要不要巧克力牛奶?

Nǐde xiǎohái yào bú yào qiǎokèlì niúnǎi? (Do your children want chocolate milk?)

要。 他们要巧克力牛奶。

Yào. Tāmen yào qiǎokèlì niúnǎi. (Yes, they do. They want chocolate milk.)

你的老婆要水吗?

Nǐde lǎopó yào shuǐ ma? (Does your wife want water?)

不要。 我的老婆不要水。

Bú yào. Wǒde lǎopó bú yào shuǐ. (No, she does not. My wife does not want water.)

TRANSLATION CHALLENGE

Send your responses to mike@chinesewithmike.com and Jennifer the Webmaster will


post your name and location on the CWM Website! What could be better than that?

Nǐ hǎo. Nǐ shì shéi? Wǒ shi Dàwèi (David). Wǒ shì nǐde dìdide péngyǒu. Nǐ yào shénme?
Wǒ yào kāfēi. Nǐ yào rède kāfēi háishì bīngde kāfēi? Wǒ yào rède. Nǐde mèimei yě yào
kāfēi ma? Bú yào. Tā shì xiǎohái. Tā shí'èr suì. Tā yào chéngzhī.
Chapter 42: Eat and Drink
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 42

Background
Have no fear, wipe away those tears, Chapter 42 is here! Nothing much has changed since
Chapter 41. Eating and drinking are regular activities in our daily lives, so it's important we
know how to say "I want to eat…" and "I want to drink…" In this chapter, I introduce two
new verbs-- chī (to eat) and hē (to drink)--and some popular Chinese foods.

Yào is still the main verb that is used to answer questions. For example, look at this
sentence:

Wǒ yào chī píngguǒ. (I want to eat an apple.)

OR

Nǐ yào hē shuǐ. (You want to drink water.)

New Vocabulary

chī to eat ròu meat

hē to drink jīròu chicken (meat)

fàn cooked rice; a niúròu beef


meal

miàn noodles zhūròu pork

tāng soup yángròu lamb

dòufǔ tofu chǎo To fry; fried

zǎocān breakfast wǎncān dinner

wǔcān lunch bīngkuài ice; ice cubes

Sample sentences

我的哥哥要喝咖啡。

Wǒde gēge yào hē kāfēi. (My older brother wants to drink coffee.)

你的弟弟要喝茶。
Nǐde dìdi yào hē chá. (Your younger brother wants to drink tea.)

谁要吃披萨?

Shéi yào chī pīsà? (Who wants to eat pizza?)

麦克老师要吃披萨.

Mike Lǎoshī yào chī pīsà. (Teacher Mike wants to eat pizza.)

我的学生不要吃鸡肉,他们要吃鸭肉.

Wǒde xuéshēng bú yào chī jīròu. Tāmen yào chī yángròu.

(My students do not want to eat chicken. They want to eat lamb.)

我们要吃晚餐

Wǒmen yào chī wǎncān. (We want to eat dinner.)

你的男朋友要不要喝汤?

Nǐde nánpéngyǒu yào bú yào hē tāng? (Does your boyfriend want to eat soup?)

不要。我的男朋友不要喝汤。

Bú yào. Wǒde nánpéngyǒu bú yào hē tāng. (No. My boyfriend doesn’t want to eat soup.)

她要吃饭还是吃面?

Tā yào chī fàn háishī chī miàn? (Does she want to eat rice or noodles?)

他要吃炒饭还是炒面?

Tā yào chī chǎofàn háishī chǎomiàn? (Does he want to eat fried rice or fried noodles?)

你的儿子要不要喝可乐?

Nǐde érzi yào bú yào hē kělè? (Does your son want to drink pop?)

警察要喝咖啡吗?

Jǐngchá yào hē kāfēi ma? (Does the police officer want to drink coffee?)

要。警察要喝咖啡。

Yào. Jǐngchá yào hē kāfēi. (Yes, he does. The police officer wants to drink coffee.)
你要吃什么?

Nǐ yào chī shénme? (What do you want to eat?)

我要吃牛肉炒饭

Wǒ yào chī niúròu chǎofàn. (I want to eat beef fried rice.)

麦克老师要喝冰的啤酒。

Mike Lǎoshī yào hē bīngde píjiǔ. (Teacher Mike wants to drink cold beer.)

你的妹妹要吃鸡肉还是猪肉?

Nǐde mèimei yào chī jīròu háishì zhūròu? (Does your younger sister want to eat chicken
or pork?)

她要吃鸡肉

Tā yào chī jīròu. (She wants to eat chicken.)

TRANSLATION CHALLENGE

Wǒmen zài nǎ lǐ? Wǒmen zài cāntīng. Nǐ yào chī shénme? Wǒ yào chī zhūròu chǎofàn.
Nǐ yào hē shénme? Wǒ yào hē shuǐ. Nǐ yào bú yào bīngkuài? Yào. Wǒ yào bīngkuài.
Wǒmende fúwùyuán hěn piàoliàng. Tāde míngzi shì shénme? Tāde míngzi shì Zhēnní
(Jenny). Tā shì wǒde péngyǒu.
Chapter 43: Kàn
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 43

Background
By now we should have a solid understanding of how to use the verbs shì, yào, chī, and hē. In
this lesson we will add another one: kàn.

Kàn is a very important verb in Chinese because it has many definitions, including: to read; to
watch; to look at; and to see.

New Vocabulary

kàn To read; to watch; to kànshū (Lit.) To read a book;


look at; to see to read
diànshì TV zázhì magazine
diànyǐng movie DVD DVD
shū book bàozhǐ newspaper

Sample sentences

我要看电视.

Wǒ yào kàn diànshì. (I want to watch TV.)

你的电视在哪里?

Nǐde diànshì zài nǎ lǐ? (Where is your TV?)

我的电视在客厅.

Wǒde diànshì zài kètīng. (My TV is in the living room.)

你们要不要看电影?

Nǐmen yào bú yào kàn diànyǐng? (Do you guys want to watch a movie?)

要。电影院很近吗?

Yào. Diànyǐngyuàn hěn jìn ma? (Yes, we do. Is the movie theater nearby?)
是。电影院很近。

Shì. Diànyǐngyuàn hěn jìn. (Yes, it is. The movie theater is nearby.)

我的学生要看书.

Wǒde xuéshēng yào kànshū. (My student wants to read a book.)

爸爸要看今天的报纸.

Bàba yào kàn jīntiānde bàozhǐ. (Dad wants to read today’s newspaper.)

他的女朋友要不要看星球大战?

Tāde nǚpéngyǒu yào bú yào kàn Xīngqiú Dàzhàn? (Does his girlfriend want to watch Star
Wars?)

不要。她要看泰坦尼克。

Bú yào. Tā yào kàn Tàitánǐkè. (No. She wants to watch Titanic.)

我的哥哥要看杂志

Wǒde gēge yào kàn zázhì. (My older brother wants to read a magazine.)

你要看什么电影

Nǐ yào kàn shénme diànyǐng? (What movie do you want to watch?)

谁要看跟麦克学中文?

Shéi yào kàn Chinese with Mike? (Who wants to watch Chinese with Mike?)

TRANSLATION CHALLENGE

(Zài diànyǐngyuàn.) Xiàwǔ hǎo! Nǐ hǎo ma? Wǒ hěn hǎo. Nǐ ne? Wǒ yě hěn hǎo. Xièxie.
Wèishénme nǐde tàitai bú zài zhè lǐ? Yīnwèi tā bú yào kàn diànyǐng. Tā yào kànshū. Tā zài nǎ lǐ?
Tā zài túshūguǎn. Wèishénme tā zài túshūguǎn? Yīnwèi túshūguǎn hěn ānjìng. Wǒmende jiā hěn
chǎo. Wèishénme? Yīnwèi wǒmende xiǎohái hěn wánpí.
Chapter 44: Huì, Shuō, and Jiǎ ng
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 44

Background
Chugga-chugga-chugga-chug-a-píjiǔ! Here we are in Chapter 44 of Chinese with Mike. In this chapter, I
add three more verbs: huì, shuō, and jiǎng.

The next two chapters tackle our next verb: huì. Huì has a few different definitions as well, but we are
going to cover the most popular one in this chapter. The primary meaning of huì is "can; to be able to
do something.”

In this chapter, I introduce two verbs (shuō and jiǎ ng) that mean roughly the same thing: to say or to
speak.

In English, we usually ask people "Do you speak English?" when we are not sure if they do or do not. In
Chinese, the word "can" is used. "Can you speak English?" See the following examples:

Nǐ huì shuō Zhōngwén ma?

OR

Nǐ huì jiǎng Zhōngwén ma?

*There are many words that refer to Mandarin Chinese, but I use Zhōngwén in my lessons because it
seems to be the most widely accepted.

New Vocabulary

huì can; to be able to Fǎwén French (language)


shuō To speak; to say Déwén German (language)
jiǎng To speak; to say Xībānyáwén Spanish (language)
Zhōngwén Chinese (language) Hánwén Korean (language)
Yīngwén English (language) Éwén Russian (language)
Rìwén Japanese (language) Ālābówén Arabic (language)

Sample sentences

你会说中文吗?

Nǐ huì shuō Zhōngwén ma?


会。我会说中文。

Huì. Wǒ huì shuō Zhōngwén.

我的爸爸会讲德文。他也会讲英文.

Wǒde bàba huì jiǎng Déwén. Tā yě huì jiǎng Yīngwén.

日本人会说日文。

Rìběnrén huī shuō Rìwén.

你的学生会不会说英文.

Nǐde xiānshēng huì bú huì shuō Yīngwén?

中文很难吗?

Zhōngwén hěn nán ma?

我要看英文书.

Wǒ yào kàn Yīngwén shū.

你要看法文书吗?

Nǐ yào kàn Fǎwén shū ma?

不要。我要看西班牙文书.

Bú yào. Wǒ yào kàn Xībānyáwén shū.

那是中文报纸吗?

Nà shì Zhōngwén bàozhǐ ma?

是。那是中文报纸。

Shì. Nà shì Zhōngwén bàozhǐ.

你的小孩会不会讲韩文?

Nǐde xiǎohái huì bú huì jiǎng Hánwén?

他的中文书在哪里?
Tāde Zhōngwén shū zài nǎ lǐ?

他的中文书在这里。

Tāde Zhōngwén shū zài zhè lǐ.

你要看中文电影还是英文电影?

Nǐ yào kàn Yīngwén diànyǐng háishì Zhōngwén diànyǐng?

你的中文名字是什么?

Nǐde Zhōngwén míngzi shì shénme?

我的中文名字是林九份

Wǒde Zhōngwén míngzi shì Lín Jiǔ Fèn.

你的英文名字是什么?

Nǐde Yīngwén míngzi shì shénme?

我的英文名字是麦克.

Wǒde Yīngwén míngzi shì Mike.

TRANSLATION CHALLENGE
Wǎnshàng hǎo! Nǐ shì nǎ lǐ rén? Wǒ shì Hánguórén. Nǐ huì bú huì shuō Zhōngwén? Huì. Wǒ yě
huì shuō Hánwén. Hánwén nán bù nán? Bù nán. Hánwén hěn jiǎndān. Nǐ yě huì shuō Yīngwén
ma? Wǒ bú huì. Yīngwén hěn nán. Nǐ yào chī wǎncān ma? Bú yao. Wǒ bú è. Nǐ ne? Yào. Wǒ
hěn è. Nǐ yào chī shénme? Wǒ yào chī hànbǎo. Xiànzài shì jǐdiǎn? Xiànzài shì bā diǎn.
Chapter 45: What Can You Do?
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 45

Background
Chapter 45. Impress your friends by telling them all that you can do. Can you play the guitar? Juggle?
Swim? Fly? We use huì as our main verb used to answer "yes/no" questions.

New Vocabulary

kāi(chē) to drive (a car) tán To play (an


instrument)
tiào To jump chàng(gē) To sing (a song)

tiàowǔ To dance pǎo(bù) To run

zhǔ(fàn) To cook (rice; a zǒu(lù) To walk (the road)


meal)
yóuyǒng To swim xiě(zì) To write (words)

Sample sentences

我的外婆不会开车.

Wǒde wàipó bú huì kāichē.

我的妹妹也不会开车。

Wǒde mèimei yě bú huì kāichē.

他会写中文字。

Tā huì xiě Zhōngwén zì.

因为我的学生很聪明,所以他们会写中文字。

Yīnwèi wǒde xuéshēng hěn cōngmíng, suǒyǐ tāmen huì xiě Zhōngwén zì.

他要跳舞但是我不会跳舞.

Tā yào tiàowǔ dànshì wǒ bú huì tiàowǔ.


你的妈妈会不会游泳?

Nǐde māma huì bú huì yóuyǒng?

会。我的妈妈会游泳.

Huì. Wǒde māma huì yóuyǒng?

老师要唱歌.

Lǎoshī yào chànggē.

老师要唱什么歌?

Lǎoshī yào chàng shénme gē?

老师要唱中文歌。

Lǎoshī yào chàng Zhōngwén gē.

你要唱中文歌吗?

Nǐ yě yào chàng Zhōngwén gē ma?

不要。我不会唱中文歌.

Bú yào. Wǒ bú huì chàng Zhōngwén gē.

我不会唱歌。你会吗?

Wǒ bú huì chànggē. Nǐ huì ma?

会,我会唱歌。

Huì. Wǒ huì chànggē.

TRANSLATION CHALLENGE
Dàjiā hǎo! Wǒ huì tán jítā. Nǐ huì tán ma? Wǒ bú huì tán jítā kěshì wǒ huì tán gāngqín. Wǒ yě
huì tiàowǔ. Nǐde tàitai huì bú huì tiàowǔ? Huì. Wǒde tàitai huì tiàowǔ. Tā xǐhuān tiàowǔ, yě
xǐhuān dǎ lánqiú.
Chapter 46: More Yào, More Huì
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 46

Background
We are reviewing the important verbs yào and huì. More vocabulary is introduced as well.

New Vocabulary

yòng To use tāngchí spoon


tīng To hear; to listen to xīguǎn straw
qí To ride mótuōchē motorcycle
kuàizi chopsticks jiǎotàchē (zìxíngchē) bicycle
dāozi knife mǎ horse
chāzi fork pánzi plate
wǎn bowl bēizi cup

Sample Sentences

你要吃什么?

Nǐ yào chī shénme?

我要吃肉.

Wǒ yào chī ròu.

你要吃什么肉?

Nǐ yào chī shénme ròu?

我要吃猪肉.

Wǒ yào chī zhūròu.

你要用筷子还是叉子?

Nǐ yào yòng kuàizi háishì chāzi?

我要用筷子。

Wǒ yào yòng kuàizi.


你的姐姐会骑摩托车吗?

Nǐde jiějie huì qí mótuōchē ma?

不会。我的姐姐不会骑摩托车。

Bú huì. Wǒde jiějie bú huì qí mótuōchē.

这是你的刀子吗?

Zhè shì nǐde dāozi ma?

不是,这不是我的刀子。

Bú shì. Zhè bú shì wǒde dāozi.

你要吸管吗?

Nǐ yào xīguǎn ma?

不要. 我不要吸管。

Bú yào. Wǒ bú yào xīguǎn.

我的女儿要骑脚踏车。

Wǒde nǚ'ér yào qí jiǎotàchē.

你要不要听音乐。

Nǐ yào bú yào tīng yīnyuè?

要。我要听音乐。

Yào. Wǒ yào tīng yīnyuè.

你要听中文歌还是英文歌?

Nǐ yào tīng Zhōngwén gē háishì Yīngwén gē?

我要听英文歌。

Wǒ yào tīng Yīngwén gē.


TRANSLATION CHALLENGE

Nǐ hǎo! Nì shì nǎ lǐ rén? Wǒ shì Yīngguórén. Nǐ huì bú huì jiǎng Fǎwén. Wǒ bú huì kěshì wǒ huì
shuō Yīngwén. Jīnnián wǒ bú zài Yīngguó. Wèishénme? Yīnwèi Yīngguóde tiānqì bù hǎo. Nǐ zài
nǎ lǐ? Wǒ zài Táiwān. Táiwānde tiānqì hěn rè. Xiànzài shì jǐdiǎn? Xiànzài shì qīdiǎn bàn. Wǒ
hěn wǔliáo. Wǒ yào yòng diànnǎo.
Chapter 47: Hǎochī ma?
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 47

Background
We know how to order food and drinks. Now let’s talk about whether or not we like what we
have ordered!

New Vocabulary

hǎochī “good eat”; tasty hǎoyòng “good use”; useful


hǎo hē “good drink”
hǎokàn “good see; good
watch; good read”
hǎotīng “good sound”

Sample sentences

你的鸡肉炒饭好吃吗?

Nǐde jīròu chǎofàn hǎochī ma?

好吃。我的鸡肉炒饭很好吃.

Hǎochī! Wǒde jīròu hěn hǎochī.

我的中文书不好看.

Wǒde Zhōngwén shū bù hǎokàn.

为什么?

Wèishénme?

因为它很无聊。

Yīnwèi tā hěn wúliáo.

他的歌好不好听?

Tāde gē hǎo bù hǎotīng?


你的朋友会不会弹吉他?

Nǐde péngyǒu huì bú huì tán jítā?

会。我的朋友会弹及他.

Huì. Wǒde péngyǒu huì tán jítā.

我的果汁很好喝。你的呢?

Wǒde guǒzhī hěn hǎohē. Nǐde ne?

我的果汁也很好喝.

Wǒde guǒzhī yě hěn hǎohē.

因为今天天气很冷,所以我要喝热巧克力。

Yīnwèi jīntiān tiānqì hěn lěng, suǒyǐ wǒ yào hē rè qiǎokèlì.

TRANSLATION CHALLENGE

Nǐde jīròu hǎo bù hǎochī? Wǒ yào kàn Zhōngwén diànyǐng. Zhōngwén diànyǐng hǎokàn ma?
Hǎokàn! Zhōngwén diànyǐng hěn hǎokàn. Nǐ yào bú yào tīng yīnyuè? Yào. Wǒ yào tīng
Yīngwén gē. Cèsuǒ zài nǎ lǐ? Cèsuǒ zài nà lǐ.
Chapter 48: To Like and Love
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 48

Background
Two more important verbs are introduced in Chapter 48: xǐhuān (to like) and ài (to love). No
further explanation is necessary. Our sentence patterns are the same as always.

New Vocabulary

xǐhuān to like
ài to love

Sample sentences

我爱你。你爱我吗?

Wǒ ài nǐ. Nǐ ài wǒ ma?

爱。我也爱你。

Ài. Wǒ yě ài nǐ.

老师喜欢我吗?

Lǎoshī xǐhuān wǒ ma?

不喜欢。他不喜欢你。

Bù xǐhuān. Tā bù xǐhuān nǐ.

为什么?

Wèishénme?

因为你很笨,也很懒惰。

Yīnwèi nǐ hěn bèn, yě hěn lǎnduò.

我的妈妈喜欢煮饭但是我的爸爸不喜欢.

Wǒde māma xǐhuān zhǔfàn danshi wǒde bàba bù xǐhuān.


你的女朋友喜不喜欢弹钢琴?

Nǐde nǚpéngyǒu xǐ bù xǐhuān tán gāngqín?

喜欢。她喜欢弹钢琴。

Xǐhuān. Tā xǐhuān tán gāngqín.

我的哥哥爱吃肉。

Wǒde gēge ài chī ròu.

我也爱吃肉.

Wǒ yě ài chī ròu.

我喜欢你的车子.

Wǒ xǐhuān nǐde chēzi.

为什么?

Wèishénme?

因为你的车子很大,也很舒服。

Yīnwèi nǐde chēzi hěn dà, yě hěn shūfú.

TRANSLATION CHALLENGE

Nǐde tàitai xǐhuān chī shénme? Wǒde tàitai xǐhuān chī chǎomiàn. Nǐde tàitai ne? Wǒde tàitai
xǐhuān chī chǎofàn. Nǐde tàitai zài nǎ lǐ? Tā zài diànyǐngyuàn. Tā ài kàn xīnde diànyǐng. Nǐde
tàitai ne? Nǐde tàitai zài nǎ li? Tā zài yínháng.
Chapter 49: Sports
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 49

Background
We learn about sports in this lesson. Two important verbs are used to talk about playing sports:
dǎ (to hit) and tī (to kick).

New Vocabulary

dǎ To hit; to play a gǎnlǎnqiú American


sport football; rugby
tī To kick; to play a wǎngqiú tennis
sport
bàngqiú baseball páiqiú volleyball
zúqiú soccer pīngpāngqiú Ping pong
lánqiú basketball yǔmáoqiú badminton
qiúsài sports match gāoěrfūqiú golf

Sample sentences

你会打棒球吗?

Nǐ huì dǎ bàngqiú ma?

会。我会打棒球.

Huì. Wǒ huì dǎ bàngqiú.

我喜欢打排球.

Wǒ xǐhuān dǎ páiqiú.

我们喜欢踢足球但是我们不喜欢打羽毛球.

Wǒmen xǐhuān tī zúqiú dànshì wǒmen bù xǐhuān dǎ yǔmáoqiú

他们不喜欢打篮球,也不喜欢打橄榄球.

Tāmen bù xǐhuān dǎ lánqiú, yě bù xǐhuān dǎ gǎnlǎnqiú.


我不高可是我喜欢打篮球。

Wǒ bù gāo kěshì wǒ xǐhuān dǎ lánqiú.

我的爷爷爱打乒乓球。

Wǒde yéye ài dǎ pīngpāngqiú.

我的爸爸妈妈也爱打乒乓球。

Wǒde bàbamāma yě ài dǎ pīngpāngqiú.

我们喜欢看球赛.

Wǒmen xǐhuān kàn qiúsài.

他们喜不喜欢看演唱会。

Tāmen xǐ bù xǐhuān kàn yǎnchànghuì?

喜欢。他们喜欢看演唱会。

Xǐhuān. Tāmen xǐhuān kàn yǎnchànghuì.

麦克乔丹会不会打篮球?

Màikè Qiáodān huì bú huì dǎ lánqiú?

会。麦克乔丹会打篮球。他很棒!

Huì. Màikè Qiáodān huì dǎ lánqiú. Tā hěn bàng!

TRANSLATION CHALLENGE

Wǒ ài wǒde xiǎohái. Tāmen hěn kě'ài, yě hěn cōngmíng. Wǒde érzide míngzi shì Píngxùn. Tā
sān suì. Tā huì dǎ pīngpāngqiú, yě huì dǎ lánqiú. Tāde mèimei yě hěn bàng. Tāde míngzi shì
Yǔxuán. Tā liǎng suì. Tā huì tán gāngqín, yě huì tán jítā. Tāmen xǐhuān kàn diànshì yě xǐhuān
tīng Zhōngwén gē.

2
Chapter 50: (Mǎi and Mài)
To be read with the video Chinese with Mike: Lesson 50
Background

We learned about colors in Lesson 36 of Chinese with Mike, so you might want to review that
lesson first. I also introduce two important verbs: Mǎi (to buy) and Mài (to sell). I know they
look and sound similar, but they have different tones!

New Vocabulary

mǎi To buy
mài To sell
qìqiú A balloon

Sample Sentences

我要买可乐

Wǒ yào mǎi kělè.

你要不要买气球

Nǐ yào bú yào mǎi qìqiú?

他喜欢买玩具

Tā xǐhuān mǎi wánjù.

我的姐姐要卖她的车子

Wǒde jiějie yào mài tāde chēzi.

老师的朋友不要不要买篮球。他要买排球

Lǎoshīde péngyǒu bú yào mǎi lánqiú. Tā yào mǎi páiqiú.

你要卖什么?

Nǐ yào mài shénme?

我要卖我的椅子

Wò yào mài wǒde yǐzi.


为什么

Wèishénme?

因为我的椅子很旧

Yīnwèi wǒde yǐzi hěn jiù.

王先生要买水果,可是王太太要买蔬菜

Wang Xiānshēng yào mǎi shuǐguǒ kěshì Wang Tàitai yào mǎi shūcài.

谁要买冰淇淋?

Shèi yào mǎi bīngqílín?

他们要买冰淇淋。冰淇淋很好吃。

Tāmen yào mǎi bīngqílín. Bīngqílín hěn hǎochī.

我要买中文书。

Wǒ yào mǎi Zhōngwén shū.

你会讲中文吗?

Nǐ huì jiǎng Zhōngwén ma?

会。我会讲中文。

Huì. Wǒ huì jiǎng Zhōngwén.

我的妹妹要卖她的法文书。

Wǒde mèimei yào mài tāde Fǎwén shū.

为什么?

Wèishénme?

因为她的法文书不好看。她要买新的法文书。

Yīnwèi tāde Fǎwén shū bù hǎokàn. Tā yào mǎi xīnde Fǎwén shū.

我喜欢买东西。

Wǒ xǐhuān mǎi dōngxī.

我的女儿要买糖果。
Wǒde nü'ér yào mǎi tángguǒ.

我的儿子也要买。

Wǒde érzi yě yào mǎi.


因为我很饿,所以我要买晚餐。

Yīnwèi wǒ hěn è, suǒyǐ wǒ yào mǎi wǎncān.

因为我们很渴,所以我们要买饮料。

Yīnwèi wǒmen hěn kě, suǒyǐ wǒmen yào mǎi yǐnliào.

我要买电脑。但是电脑很贵。

Wǒ yào mǎi diànnǎo dànshì diànnǎo hěn guì.

TRANSLATION CHALLENGE

Send at least 5 translation challenges from Season 2 of Chinese with Mike to Mike Lǎoshī at
mike@chinesewithmike.com and Jennifer the Webmaster will make you rich and famous by
adding you to our Translation Challenge Hall of Fame! Rock on!

(Zài shìchǎng) Nǐ yào mài shénme? Wǒ yào mài wǒde tàitai. Tāde míngzi shì Měiyīng.
Wèishénme nǐ yào mài nǐde tàitai? Yīnwèi tā hěn lǎnduò.! Tā bù huì zhǔfàn! Tā yě bù huì xǐwǎn.
Nǐ yě yào mài nǐde xiǎohái ma? Bú yào. Wǒde xiǎohái hěn cōngmíng, yě hěn kě'ài!
Preface to Chinese with Mike: Mandarin Chinese Made Fun and Easy

Nǐ hǎo! I’d like to welcome you to my introductory level Mandarin Chinese


textbook, which is best used in conjunction with my video series Chinese with
Mike. This textbook introduces the lessons that I cover in each video: each
chapter in the textbook corresponds to a video lesson. For the best results, I
recommend previewing textbook chapters before watching the accompanying
video lessons. If you choose to print the chapters, you may find that taking notes
while watching the video is helpful, too. Following each chapter and video, you
might find it necessary to review each chapter or video lesson once or twice or
fifty times. All, of course, depends on your skills for acquiring new languages and
your motivation. In the end, I don’t care what you do--as long as you master the
material. Ha!

Let me introduce myself. My name is—guess!—Mike, and I’ve been a college


English and Chinese professor for the past six years, and I’ve made it my life’s goal
to convince other Americans (and anybody who speaks English, for that matter)
that Chinese is not as complicated as people think. My philosophy in teaching
Chinese is that this language is fun and easy to learn, and I cut through the
abstruse language and jargon of most instructors and textbooks, and I explain it
to you the way I wish it had been explained to me in the dozens of Chinese
language classes I’ve had over the years: in the easiest and most practical way
there is.

Let’s debunk the myths about learning Chinese:

1. Myth #1: I have to know how to write Chinese characters if I want to learn
how to speak Chinese.

You will soon learn that there is a nice little system called pīnyīn that you can use
to write Chinese characters using the Latin alphabet, which is the one most
languages (like English) use.

1
2. Myth #2: I am too old to begin learning a new language.

First, I was 22 years old when I learned my first-ever Chinese word, and it’s
probably not appropriate to tell you what that word was! Later, while I was living
in China, I met several retirees who learned fluent Chinese, and over the years,
I’ve had plenty of older folks succeed in my Chinese classes. You’re never too
young, never too old!

3. Myth #3: Chinese is the hardest language in the world!

With the wrong instructor, I am sure it could be. However, lucky for you, you’ve
found the right instructor who has taught hundreds—maybe thousands—of
students that Chinese can be simple and fun. Here’s a quick example of how
Chinese can be simpler than English: Ask somebody who knows the basic sounds
of the English alphabet why the word “eight” is pronounced as it is, based on its
letters. Then ask somebody who knows the Chinese (pīnyīn) alphabet how the
Chinese word for eight (bā) is pronounced, and you’ll see it is more logical. The
sounds are consistent! There are no irregularities!

4. Myth #4: Only a Chinese person can teach me Chinese!

Okay, so I admit I’m a bit biased towards this question, considering I am an


American of German-Dutch-Swiss-French ancestry, without a drop of
Chinese blood in me—that I know of. Once again, your success depends on
the teacher. I’ve had great Mandarin instructors who were Chinese, and
great Mandarin instructors who were not. It all comes down to how well
the instructor can explain the language. Since most of my audience speaks
English (and half of my professional job is teaching English), I’ll bet on
myself to get the job done.

P.S. Is my Chinese accent perfect? Usually. However, if you watch the


Chinese with Mike video series, you’ll see that here and there I will slip into
an American accent to remind you that I am human. You got a problem
with that? Sue me.

Friends and future students, I will stop here, but as the textbook and video series
moves on, you’ll realize that much of what you’ve heard about Chinese is false.
Oh yeah, and fortune cookies weren’t invented in China. Neither was ping pong.
Nooooo way! Way.

I’ve heard it said that Chinese takes five years to learn well and a lifetime to
master. Yeah? I can assure you that I’ll cut that time in half for you because I
know what you need to know to become proficient quickly. So sit back, follow my
lead, and this revolutionary textbook and video series will have you speaking
great Chinese before you can say “Chinese rocks!”