Learn Chinese for Free—Lesson 18

Lesson 18 of 360

Today's Chinese character:

Today, at last, I have the pleasure to introduce the number one most frequently used Chinese character! In order to be able to write in Chinese the sentence "She's my teacher", you don't need any other character.

Character Knowledge Meter
26.7%
Today with this lesson your knowledge of Chinese characters will reach 26.7% of all the Chinese language usage!

Characters' Essentials

Character Help
Pronunciation Help
de
Meaning Help
[particle] Used between a modifier and a noun

Description and Examples

Word
Pronunciation Help
ài   ren   
Meaning Help
Husband or wife, spouse; sweetheart
Word
Pronunciation Help
   rén   
Meaning Help
Woman, womenfolk
Word
Pronunciation Help
   ren   
Meaning Help
Wife


A modifier is a word or phrase which modifies or qualify a noun. The modified noun is called headword or central word. Sometimes, the structural particle is needed between the modifier and the noun; at other times, however, it is not required.

sometimes: MODIFIER + NOUN

at other times: MODIFIER + + NOUN

Gradually you'll learn when is to be used and when it is not. Here we are going to see how to use it.

Sentence Structure 9
Modifier+的+Noun

A modifier (i.e. any word, phrase, or clause, except conjunctions, grammatical particles, interjections, and exclamations) is used in this structure to qualify or modify a noun (headword). is placed between modifier and headword.

MODIFIER + + HEADWORD

To make learning easier, the examples will be divided as follows:

  • Pronoun+的+Noun
  • Noun+的+Noun
  • Substantive+的+Noun
  • Time word+的+Noun
  • Place+的+Noun
  • Verb+的+Noun
  • Adjective+的+Noun
  • Adverb+的+Noun
  • Prepositional phrase+的+Noun
  • Onomatopoeia+的+Noun
  • Phrase+的+Noun

IMPORTANT: remember that the noun (headword) is always placed AFTER .


Sentence Structure 10
Pronoun+的+Noun

This structure is used to indicate a relationship of belonging, possession, etc.

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

"My teacher" is literally: I teacher

that is:

老师

:
modifier
老师:
headword

Pronouns used as modifiers:

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

Sentence Structure 11
In​flec​tion in Chinese?

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

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


Sentence Structure 12
Noun+的+Noun

This structure is used to indicate a relationship of belonging, possession, etc.

Examples of proper names or titles used as modifiers:

Chinese
Mary
Italian
Mary's
Chinese
老师
Italian
teacher's
Chinese
医生
Italian
doctor's

Examples

Mary 爱人
Antony 爱人
Antony 女人
老师爱人
老师女人
老师医生
医生老师


And, at last, we are able now to write in Chinese the sentence "She's my teacher."

老师


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Lesson 18 of 360

Thank you!

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