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Chinese Grammar

Some people might try to tell you that there is no such thing as Chinese grammar. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. However, it is true that the grammar rules in Chinese are far simpler than those of many other languages. For example, you aren’t going to have to worry about verb conjugation, and you also aren’t going to have to worry about which words have which genders. Therefore, learning the grammar in Chinese isn’t going to be nearly as difficult as learning the other aspects of this language, and for that you can be thankful. Just because the grammar is simple, doesn’t mean we couldn’t go into more detail, but our main purpose here is to tell you the most important facts first. That way, you can learn the language as quickly as possible.

We mentioned a moment ago that Chinese grammar has no verb conjugation, and that’s true. As hard as this may be to believe, regardless of the tense of any given verb in Chinese, its form doesn’t change. Of course, without conjugation, you may be wondering how the Chinese language communicates the timing of the action in any given sentence. The solution here is that Chinese uses word order to communicate the information that would normally be communicated by conjugation in English.

Another way that Chinese grammar lets us know the timing of a particular action is by adding time words. For example, the literal translation of a Chinese sentence might be, “I go park.” When did the person go to the park? If this sentence had been uttered with no additional words, then the answer would be that the speaker was intending to go to the park presently. Had they intended to communicate that they had gone to the park the day before, they would have said, “I go park yesterday.” Had they intended to communicate that they would be going to the park in the future, they would have said, “I go park tomorrow.”

There are also some interesting facts about nouns and pronouns in Chinese grammar. For instance, when nouns become plural in Chinese, they usually remain unchanged. Pronouns, however, are just as complicated in Chinese as they are in English (but thankfully, not more so). There are both singular and plural pronouns in Chinese, and they exist in first, second, or third persons. As you can see, with a little persistence, you will find that Chinese grammar isn’t as difficult to master as that of some other languages.