Dialogue

Vocabulary

Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
David: Welcome to ChineseClass101. I'm David.
Echo: Hi, I’m Echo.
David: And we are here with Absolute Beginner, Season 1, Lesson 23.
Echo: Uh-hmm.
David: Finding a phone card in China. You'll notice, I'm not Echo, Echo is not Victor. We're filling in for them today.
Echo: Yeah.
David: But we've got a great lesson for you that's going to teach you how to ask where you can buy something like a phone card.
Echo: Right.
David: In case you've lost your mobile phone, you need to use it. So, we've a conversation that takes place on the street.
Echo: Uh-hmm. And the conversation is between two strangers.
David: Right, but they are still speaking casual Mandarin.
Echo: Yes.
David: This is the stuff that you're going to be using every day.
Echo: Uh-hmm.
David: So, we're going to take you to the dialogue in a sec. Before we do, we want to remind you if you have any questions...
Echo: Come to the site and leave us a comment.
David: Right. We're going to answer your questions. Other uses will, too.
Echo: Uh-hmm.
David: With that though, let's get to the dialogue.
DIALOGUES
David: 我在哪儿可以买电话卡?(Wǒ zài nǎr kěyǐ mǎi diànhuà kǎ?)
Echo: 在便利店。(Zài biànlì diàn.)
David: 对不起,我听不董。(Duìbùqǐ, wǒ tīng bù dǒng.)
Echo: 小商店。在那边。(Xiǎo shāngdiàn. Zài nàbiān.)
David: One more time, a bit slower.
David: 我在哪儿可以买电话卡?(Wǒ zài nǎr kěyǐ mǎi diànhuà kǎ?)
Echo: 在便利店。(Zài biànlì diàn.)
David: 对不起,我听不董。(Duìbùqǐ, wǒ tīng bù dǒng.)
Echo: 小商店。在那边。(Xiǎo shāngdiàn. Zài nàbiān.)
David: And now, with the English translation.
Echo: 我在哪儿可以买电话卡?(Wǒ zài nǎr kěyǐ mǎi diànhuà kǎ?)
David: Where can I buy a telephone card?
Echo: 在便利店。(Zài biànlì diàn.)
David: At a convenience store.
Echo: 对不起,我听不董。(Duìbùqǐ, wǒ tīng bù dǒng.)
David: I'm sorry. I don’t understand.
Echo: 小商店。在那边。(Xiǎo shāngdiàn. Zài nàbiān.)
David: A small shop, over there.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
David: So this is the ever important convenience store. If you can find one of these, you're going to survive.
Echo: Yeah.
David: You may not live as well as if you can find the supermarket but they've got the basics there.
Echo: Yeah, they always have, like, the very, very important things there.
David: Yeah. They've got drinks, they've got instant noodles. You can survive.
Echo: Uh-hmm.
David: And we've got a lot of vocab here, which is going to help you deal with them.
Echo: Yeah.
David: So, let's get to that now.
Echo: Okay.
VOCAB LIST
David: And now, the vocab section.
Echo: 買(mǎi)
David: To buy.
Echo: 便利店(biànlìdiàn)
David: Convenience store.
Echo: 聽不懂(tīng bù dǒng)
David: Not to understand.
Echo: 商店(shāngdiàn)
David: Shop.
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
David: So there are couple of really useful words here.
Echo: Uh-hmm.
David: The first is, of course, convenience store.
Echo: 便利店(biànlìdiàn)
David: Let's hear that again.
Echo: 便利店(biànlìdiàn)
David: Right. Now, if you say this, you're going to be talking about 7-Eleven or one of these more expensive stores.
Echo: Yeah.
David: If you come up to Northern China though, a lot of the convenience stores are just kind of holes in the wall where they serve drinks, noodles and stuff. And there's a different word people will use for that.
Echo: 小商店(Xiǎo shāngdiàn)
David: So if you want the big 7-Eleven, you're going to say...
Echo: 便利店(Biànlì diàn)
David: And if you want the hole in the wall, you say...
Echo: 小商店(Xiǎo shāngdiàn)
David: Right. Now, there's a word in that word for a convenience store that means shop.
Echo: 店(Diàn)
David: Right. It's that last character and it comes from another word we learn today, which is...
Echo: 商店(Shāngdiàn)
David: Or shop.
Echo: 商店(Shāngdiàn)
David: Right. And a convenience store is not just any shop. It's a small shop.
Echo: Uh-hmm.
David: So, how do we say small in Chinese?
Echo: 小(Xiǎo)
David: And while we're at it, we can learn how to say big as well.
Echo: 大(Dà)
David: So already today we've learned convenience store.
Echo: 便利店。(Biànlì diàn.)
David: Little convenience store.
Echo: 小商店(Xiǎo shāngdiàn)
David: Right. We've learned the word for shop.
Echo: 商店(Shāngdiàn)
David: And the word small.
Echo: 小(Xiǎo)
David: And large.
Echo: 大(Dà)
David: Now, to describe something small or large, all we do is put these characters in front of our noun.
Echo: Yeah, like, 小商店(Xiǎo shāngdiàn).
David: A little store.
Echo: 大商店(Dà shāngdiàn).
David: Now, in the dialogue, our friend goes into the store and he wants to buy a phone card. How do we say phone?
Echo: 电话(Diànhuà).
David: This is the word for telephone.
Echo: 电话(Diànhuà)
David: Both fourth tone.
Echo: Uh-hmm.
David: Now, the word for card is...
Echo: 卡(Kǎ).
David: Believe it or not, this is a foreign loanword.
Echo: Yes.
David: This is what Chinese people think the English where card sounds like when you put it into Chinese.
Echo: 卡(Kǎ)
David: Right, it's third tone. So we just tuck that on the end. Telephone card.
Echo: 电话卡(Diànhuàkǎ).
David: Right. And if you're really creative, you could say tiny telephone card.
Echo: 小电话卡(Xiǎo diànhuàkǎ).
David: Or I want, I want the big one.
Echo: You find me one then. I've never seen it.
David: No big telephone cards. But that's how it works. The next word is a bit of a review. We learned this earlier, it's the word to buy.
Echo: 买(Mǎi)
David: And we hear it in the phrase to buy a phone card.
Echo: 买电话卡(Mǎi diànhuàkǎ)
David: Now, in our dialogue, a friend runs into a bit of a hitch. He hears the answer, but he doesn't understand. So he gives us a phrase, we learned back in Lesson 6.
Echo: 听不懂(Tīng bù dǒng).
David: I don’t understand.
Echo: 听不懂(Tīng bù dǒng).
David: Right. And so, the person repeats it and they tell him where the store is.
Echo: Uh-hmm.
David: And literally what they say is, "Over there."
Echo: 在那邊(Zài nà biān)
David: And that's at that side.
Echo: 在那邊(Zài nà biān)
David: So a lot of vocab, some new, some review. We've got a great point for you in the grammar section, so let's get to that now.
GRAMMAR POINT
David: Echo, what's our grammar point about today?
Echo: It's about a long sentence.
David: It's about a really long sentence. But we want to talk a bit about sentence word order, okay?
Echo: Yeah, okay.
David: So that's we're focusing on. Don’t worry too much if it's a bit different setting.
Echo: Yeah, don’t worry about it.
David: Okay. Echo, what is the sentence.
Echo: 我在哪儿可以买电话卡?(Wǒ zài nǎ'er kěyǐ mǎi diànhuàkǎ?)
David: That's the first sentence in our dialogue. Let's hear it again.
Echo: 我在哪儿可以买电话卡?(Wǒ zài nǎ'er kěyǐ mǎi diànhuàkǎ?)
David: The last four characters we already know, to buy a telephone card.
Echo: 买电话卡(Mǎi diànhuàkǎ)
David: What we want to focus on is the start of that sentence.
Echo: 我在哪儿可以(Wǒ zài nǎ'er kěyǐ)..
David: And that's literally I.
Echo: 我(Wǒ)
David: At.
Echo: 在(Zài)
David: Where.
Echo: 哪儿(Nǎ'er)
David: Can.
Echo: 可以(Kěyǐ)..
David: In earlier lessons, we've taught you the subject goes before the verb.
Echo: Uh-hmm.
David: So we could simplify this to say I can buy.
Echo: 我可以买(Wǒ kěyǐ mǎi)..
David: I can buy a telephone card.
Echo: 我可以买电话卡。(Wǒ kěyǐ mǎi diànhuàkǎ.)
David: The tricky thing about this sentence is where we have that location.
Echo: 在哪儿(Zài nǎ'er)
David: Right, which is a question. I at where.
Echo: 我在哪儿(Wǒ zài nǎ'er)
David: I at where can buy.
Echo: 我在哪儿可以买(Wǒ zài nǎ'er kěyǐ mǎi)
David: And then what you want to buy.
Echo: Yeah.
David: The key thing to notice is we're sticking this after our subject, but before our verb.
Echo: Yes.
David: Right. That's because technically, it's a prepositional phrase. And prepositional phrases in Chinese go in front of verbs.
Echo: Yes.
David: For now though, you can just remember this word order.
Echo: Uh-hmm.
David: Subject.
Echo: 我(Wǒ)
David: At where.
Echo: 在哪儿(Zài nǎ'er)
David: Can buy.
Echo: 可以买(Kěyǐ mǎi)
David: A telephone card.
Echo: 電話卡。(Diànhuàkǎ.) Okay, let's hear another example, okay?
David: Okay.
Echo: 我在哪儿可以喝咖啡?(Wǒ zài nǎ'er kěyǐ hē kāfēi?)
David: This is for the coffee deprived among you. Let's hear that again.
Echo: 我在哪儿可以喝咖啡?(Wǒ zài nǎ'er kěyǐ hē kāfēi?)
David: Where can I drink coffee? One more time.
Echo: 我在那儿可以喝咖啡?(Wǒ zài nà'er kěyǐ hē kāfēi?)
David: Right. Here's another one. Where can I buy English books?
Echo:我在那儿可以买英文书?(Wǒ zài nà'er kěyǐ mǎi yīngwén shū?)
David: One more time.
Echo: 我在那儿可以买英文书?(Wǒ zài nà'er kěyǐ mǎi yīngwén shū?)
David: Right. Where can I buy English books. So remember, the tricky thing here is the word order.
Echo: Uh-hmm.
David: Right? Subject, location and then the rest of our sentence.
Echo: Yes.
David: Now, if you have any questions, remember, write us at, contact us at ChineseClass101.com.
Echo: Uh-hmm. And we will answer your questions.
David: Right. And there's another really good reason to write us as well.
Echo: Yeah.
David: We've got free trial lessons for people who are interested in our elite program. So, if you're interested in getting one-on-one support from a teacher here in Beijing, send us an email and we'll going to set you up with a free trial.
Echo: Yes.
David: Details are on the site. With that though from Beijing, I'm David.
Echo: I’m Echo.
David: Thanks a lot for listening and we'll see you on the website.

Outro

Echo:再见!(Zàijiàn!)
Victor:Zaijian!(Zàijiàn!)

Grammar

Chinese Grammar Made Easy - Unlock This Lesson’s Grammar Guide

Easily master this lesson’s grammar points with in-depth explanations and examples. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

13 Comments

Hide
Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍
Sorry, please keep your comment under 800 characters. Got a complicated question? Try asking your teacher using My Teacher Messenger.
Sorry, please keep your comment under 800 characters.

user profile picture
ChineseClass101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Telephone cards are one of the cheapest ways to call home from China.

user profile picture
ChineseClass101.com
Wednesday at 3:35 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Nick


You have to say:请问, 我在哪儿可以买电话卡?(Qǐngwèn, wǒ zài nǎ'er kéyǐ mǎi diànhuàkǎ?) - Excuse me. Where could I buy a telephone card?

Or: 我到哪儿能买到电话卡? Where should I go to buy a telephone card? (the first 到 means ‘to go', the second 到 is combined with 买, and this 到 serves as a complement of result for 买.)

Or: 我去哪儿能买到电话卡? Where should I go to buy a telephone card?


Thanks for learning with us. Let us know when you have any questions.


Amy

Team ChineseClass101.com

user profile picture
Nick Lee
Monday at 5:17 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Is this question ok? 请问,我到哪可以去买电话卡?

user profile picture
ChineseClass101.com
Tuesday at 3:14 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Matt


Do you mean you'd like to see more lessons by Amber and Victor?


Thanks for your post.


Amy

Team ChineseClass101.com

user profile picture
Matt
Sunday at 12:30 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

What happened to Amber and Victor?

user profile picture
Steven
Thursday at 9:02 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

I want to buy a iPhone for my friend Dehang

user profile picture
Steven
Wednesday at 9:24 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

I hate phone cards but how do you say that in Chinese?

user profile picture
ChineseClass101.com
Thursday at 6:24 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Sam,


Thank you for posting.

We hope you liked the lesson! :smile:


Let us know if you have any question.

Cheers,

Lena

Team ChineseClass101.com

user profile picture
Sam
Thursday at 6:43 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Me at the start of the clip,"Who are these people...?":flushed:


Me after learning that they're just filling in for the day = :sweat_smile:

user profile picture
Team ChineseClass101.com
Sunday at 8:45 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi 冉生浩,


You can say it Where can I drink (some) coffee. But in Chinese, we don't really say 我在哪儿可以喝一点儿咖啡,我在哪儿可以喝咖啡 is enough.


Chloe

Team ChineseClass101.com

user profile picture
冉生浩
Sunday at 3:17 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

In the grammar section on the downloadable pdf it says in Chinese 我在哪儿可以喝咖啡? Then it has it translated in English as Where can I have some coffee? Shouldn't it say Where can I drink coffee? I think 我在哪儿可以一点儿咖啡? is Where can I have some coffee?