Learn Chinese for Free—Lesson 249

Lesson 249 of 360

Today's Chinese characters:

世严义乱代任众优佛例供入养总列制副势压及反受各响善土坚型姑审宣岛底怀态怪恶或户托执抓投抗指控推效敢料施族束构某案款武派炸特犯皇神立产章管红终绝统续背脚致敌航节草著解计讲许论读谋责资超足追逃量金防阵阶革顿香验黑

This is step 4 of 5 of our review process. All characters are ordered according to their radicals. Below you find the interesting "The Meaning Of" and "How To" tables!

Characters' Essentials

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shì
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yán
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luàn
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dài
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rèn
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zhòng
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yōu
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gōng
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yǎng
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zǒng
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liè
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zhì
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shì
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fǎn
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shòu
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xiǎng
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shàn
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jiān
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xíng
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shěn
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xuān
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dǎo
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de
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huái
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tài
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guài
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è
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huò
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tuō
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zhí
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zhuā
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tóu
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kàng
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zhǐ
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kòng
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tuī
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xiào
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gǎn
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liào
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shī
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shù
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gòu
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mǒu
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àn
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kuǎn
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pài
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zhà
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fàn
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huáng
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shén
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chǎn
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zhāng
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guǎn
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hóng
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zhōng
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jué
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tǒng
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bèi
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jiǎo
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zhì
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háng
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jié
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cǎo
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zhāo
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jiě
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jiǎng
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lùn
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móu
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chāo
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zhuī
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táo
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liàng
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jīn
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fáng
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zhèn
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jiē
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dùn
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xiāng
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yàn
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hēi
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Description and Examples

The meaning of: 你好!(Ni hao!)
Lesson 3

It means "Hi!", "How do you do?", "Hello!" It is an everyday greeting and is used at any time, on any occasion and by a person of any social status. The reply should also be "! (Ni hao!)".


The meaning of: and —Part 1
Lesson 4

and both mean "you". is used as an honorific appellation or respectful title instead of . It is normally reserved for old people or elders. To show politeness, you may extend its use to people of your own generation, especially at the first meeting.

Anyway, the usage of is not limited to informal speech. You can use it addressing your close friend as well as the President of the People's Republic of China.


The meaning of: 请问⋯
Lesson 4

It's a polite expression used to ask questions. It might correspond to "May I ask...", "Excuse me...", etc. followed by a question. For example:

  • (where is the hospital)?
  • (what's the time)?


The meaning of: —Part 1
Lesson 11

is used to form the negative of verbs, adjectives or other Chinese adverbial words. Its place is just before them.

Change of tone: normally is pronounced in the fourth tone, but when it precedes a syllable of the fourth tone, it is pronounced in the second tone.

For example, before it is pronounced in the fourth tone, but before the tone must be changed into second.


Attention: this rule about the change of the tone is limited to the character .


The meaning of: 明早见!
Lesson 30

再见 (literally: again-see) means "see you again". Similarly, 明早 (literally: tomorrow morning-see) means "see you tomorrow morning".


The meaning of: 不太好 and 太不好
Lesson 33

Note the different degree of goodness - or badness - that is expressed by the following phrases:

: extremely good.

: very good.

: good.

: not very good.

: bad.

: very bad.

: extremely bad.


The meaning of: 他姓什么?
Lesson 35

It is used for asking another person's name. One shouldn't say: "?"


The meaning of: 你叫什么名字?
Lesson 37

It is used by elders when they want to know the names of young people or between young people. One may also say "什么?"

One shouldn't use it, therefore, when he wants to know an elder's name or when he needs to show respect and politeness to his hearer. Use "?" instead.


The meaning of: 张家和王家
Lesson 42

after a surname indicates all the members of that family. So, we would translate as "the Zhangs and the Wangs".


The meaning of: “您是⋯⋯”
Lesson 58

It means "Who are you?" (literally "You are...") The hearer should respond with her name or social status. Such a sentence is used only when a stranger has started to speak to you.

Caution: "?" is a rather impolite inquiry. So normally one avoids asking a stranger "?"


The meaning of: 请问,您哪位?
Lesson 66

This is another polite way to ask about the identity of a stranger who has started to speak to us, or call us.

Like what we said about "⋯⋯", the meaning is "Who are you?" and the answer should be the name or social status.


The meaning of: 几个人?
Lesson 68

At the restaurant is a very common inquiry and often is the very first thing they ask you, not even giving you the time to say

? means "How many people?"


How to say: How are you?—Part 1
Lesson 3

Just add (ma) to the greeting formula "!" (Ni hao!) changing it into a question!

How are you? ? (Ni hao ma?)

literally: You good

"?" (Ni hao ma?) actually differs from the English greeting "How are you?" in the way it is used. While the English "How are you?" is also an everyday greeting, in Chinese you should ask "?" (Ni hao ma?) only if you really want to ask about the state of health or condition of a friend.

If you just want to greet a person, in this free Chinese course we will study how to do that the Chinese way. In the meantime, it's fine if you just say ! (Ni hao!)

A little preview: In Chinese, a very common expression used to greet someone is "Did you eat?" (你吃了吗?Nǐ chī le ma?) that, I know, would sound strange if asked in English. The answer, in the English speaking world, maybe would be a surprised "Why?"

Well, it's the same if we greet a Chinese person saying "?" (Ni hao ma?) The reaction would be something like "Sorry, I don't understand, I was not ill, I didn't survive any car accident, why are you asking me how I am?!?"

Anyway, again, if we really want to ask a friend about her state of health or condition, "?" (Ni hao ma?) is the proper question to ask. Maybe we just need to move this expression from the "greetings" list to the "empathy" one.


How to say: What's your name?—Part 1
Lesson 4

This is probably the most polite way to ask someone's name. It shows respect, honour, esteem.

Please note that what is actually asked is only the surname. At this level of formality, there is no need to ask for the first name.


How to greet someone—Part 1
Lesson 5

你好!

You already know the simplest way to greet someone:

And, with a simple variation, you can also say:

But there are a lot of different ways to greet people.

先生好!

Today we can learn another one. We just need to replace the pronoun with the proper titles. For example, we could greet a woman the following way:

女士

And if she is a teacher or a physician, we could say:

老师
医生

On the other hand, if we want to greet a man, we could say:

先生


How to write and read years
Lesson 8

Simply write the number followed by and read every single figure.

NOTE: Number zero () can also be written .

All the following examples are correct:

2000

The following example is wrong:

ATTENTION: Cannot read , must read er4 líng líng líng , every single figure.


How to write and read months
Lesson 8

Simply write the corresponding number (from 1 to 12) followed by and read as normal.


How to write and read days
Lesson 8

Simply write the number of the day followed by or and read as normal.

is mainly used in written Chinese, while is preferred in spoken language.


How to say: What's your name?—Part 2
Lesson 9

In Part 1 we have seen that the polite way to ask someone's name is:

It shows respect, honour, esteem.

Well, to show the same respect and at the same time modesty, you should answer:

...followed by your surname. Your answer would mean that there is no need to define your surname as precious because it is not more precious than the others, showing that way respect and modesty.


How to ask questions—Part 1
With “吗”
Lesson 11

As we have seen in the case of “?”, an interrogative sentence is formed by adding the modal particle at the end of a declarative sentence, either affirmative or negative.

Example 1

Affirmative declarative sentence:
汉语

Interrogative sentence:
汉语

Example 2

Negative declarative sentence:
汉语

Interrogative sentence:
汉语

This is the most frequently used way of asking a question.


How to ask questions—Part 2
With “AA”
Lesson 11

The affirmative-negative question, or alternative question (often referred as AA question), is formed by juxtaposing the verb or adjective of the predicate and its negative form.

Examples

老师英语
老师


How to answer: Yes or No
Lesson 11

The most common way of simply and politely answering yes in Chinese is by repeating the main element (verb or adjective) of the question's predicate, or its negative form if you want to answer no.

Example

question: 中文

answer 1: 。 (meaning: Yes, I do)
answer 2: 。 (meaning: No, I don't)


How to ask questions—Part 3
With “怎么
Lesson 13

The pronoun 怎么 is used to ask about 1) a way or manner, 2) a state of affairs, or 3) a cause or reason.

Examples of asking about a way or manner.

老师英文怎么
“three thousand and five”汉语怎么


How to and when read 儿 as 'r'
Lesson 14

This is a feature, called erhua or erization, of Standard Mandarin Chinese.

When an erization occurs, is not pronounced as "ér" (an exception might be its pronunciation in lyrics for balance or euphony). It is just a phonetic notation suffix to indicate that the pronunciation of the preceding character must be changed by adding a final "r" sound.

For example, the pronunciation of is not "diǎn ér" but "diǎnr".

How do you know when is to be read "ér" and when not? Sadly, you cannot know if you don't first memorize which words are made of the suffix .

Just for you to know, despite being a rule of Standard Mandarin, in the south of China (including Shanghai) it is definitely unknown or completely ignored. It seems that a lot of people really don't like it!


How to say: The two of you
Lesson 16

你们


How to say: How are you?—Part 2
Lesson 16

When you address two or more people, you should say: "你们?"

你们


How to greet someone—Part 2
Lesson 19

你早!

It is an everyday greeting that is used when people meet each other in the early morning (until 8-9 a.m.). You can also only say "!"


How to say: How do you spell it?
Lesson 36

"Smith, ess em i tee aitch!" The surname Smith is made up of five letters. To clear up all doubt on how to write it, we just read it letter by letter. Chinese surnames (actually all Chinese characters) are not made up of letters, but of strokes, figures, parts. How can we ask to and actually "spell" a Chinese character? Chinese people "spell" a character in two ways:

  1. refer to the character's component parts;
  2. refer to words composed by that character.

Example 1

Question:
什么 hu2
That is: Out of those characters whose pronunciation is hu2, which one?
Answer:

That is: The character, whose pronunciation is hu2, that is composed by the symbols and .

Example 2

Question:
什么 míng
That is: Out of those characters whose pronunciation is míng, which one?
Answer 1:

That is: The character, whose pronunciation is míng, that is composed by the symbols and .
Answer 2:
明天
That is: The character, whose pronunciation is míng, that is contained in the word 明天.


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Lesson 249 of 360

Thank you!

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