Jun 15, 2020

Fix Your Chinese Grammar with 1-Minute Videos

Looking for ways to improve your Chinese reading and listening skills?

Start small – by learning short but useful grammar points that locals use in speech every day.

1-Minute Chinese: bǐ (Basic comparisons)

To compare one object to another, use (bǐ).

The structure is simple:

A + (bǐ) + B + Adj

Examples:

1. 这个苹果比那个苹果大

   Zhè ge píngguǒ bǐ nà ge píngguǒ dà

   This apple is bigger than that apple

A (this apple) + () + B (that apple) + Adj (big)

2. 这件衣服比那件衣服小

   Zhè jiàn yīfu bǐ nà jiàn yīfu xiǎo

   This dress is smaller than that dress

A (this dress) + () + B (that dress) + Adj (small)

2. 1-Minute Chinese: Measure Words

Measure words in Chinese are used to link a number (1, 2, 3) with a noun.

The structure is simple:

Numeral (1, 2, 3…) + Measure Word + Noun

The most common measure word is (ge).

For example, 一个人 (yī ge rén) means “one person”, where (ge) is a measure word.

There are many measure words in Chinese, used with different nouns. For instance, there are special measure words for flat objects, for buildings, or even for animals!

Examples:

  1. 一条裙子 yī tiáo qúnzi (a skirt)
  2. 三只猫 sān zhī māo (three cats)

3. 1-Minute Chinese: le vs. guo

If you want to talk about past actions in Chinese, it’s important to know the difference between (le) and (guo):

(le) is used to talk about completed actions in the past;

(guo) is used to talk about experiences in the past.

Examples:

他去了北京

Tā qùle Běijīng

He went to Beijing

(=He is in Beijing right now)

他去过北京

Tā qùguo Běijīng

He’ve been to Beijing

(=He is not in Beijing right now)

Pay extra attention to negative sentences::

他没去北京

Tā méi qù Běijīng

He didn’t go to Beijing

(+v, but no )

他没去过北京

Tā méi qùguo Běijīng

He hasn’t been to Beijing

(+v+)

Chinese grammar can seem difficult at first, but it’s a matter of practice. You can master it by practicing frequently – ideally, by chatting with native speakers online or in person, or by adding a simple practice of describing your day to yourself in Chinese. Constant practice is the key to success!

That’s Mandarin Chinese Language School

By That’s Mandarin Chinese Language School | A Super Chineasian

That’s Mandarin is one of the oldest private Chinese schools in China. It was founded in Beijing in 2005 and has been growing ever since, with campuses in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. That’s Mandarin has been delivering excellence in Chinese teaching for over 14 years to more than 30,000 students of different nationalities. The school has plans to open more campuses in more cities soon, to share the knowledge and enthusiasm for Mandarin to more students in China and around the world. 

Tell your Chineasy stories

Want to write for the Talk Chineasy blog? Share stories about China, its language, or its culture with those who share your passion!

Apply Now