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Lesson Transcript

Victor: ChineseClass101.
Victor: 大家好(Dàjiā hǎo),我是(Wǒ shì) Victor.
Amber: And I'm Amber. Welcome back to ChineseClass101.com. This is our Absolute Beginner Series, Season 1, Lesson 3, all about meeting people, which is of course the first thing you want to do when you start learning a language.
Victor: Right.
Amber: And this one is about a conversation about China.
Victor: Oh, okay. I think that happen a lot.
Amber: Yes, I think so. Today also involves a visit to Victor’s favorite topic of all.
Victor: Oh, okay.
Amber: I have to say, which is Chinese food.
Victor: Oh, yeah, of course.
Amber: Yes.
Victor: And we’ll learn about how to say, “We like Chinese food”.
Amber: Right, which is also a very important sentence to learn if you want to make Chinese friends.
Victor: Definitely. Yeah.
Amber: Friends happen around the dinner table.
Victor: The dinner table. The dinner table is an all-powerful place in China.
Amber: Yes. So in this lesson you will learn how to talk about things you like and also how to talk about China and Chinese food.
Victor: Right. The conversation takes place between two people getting to know each other.
Amber: That’s right. So let’s listen to the conversation.
Amber: 你喜欢中国吗?(Nǐ xǐhuān Zhōngguó ma?)
Victor: 喜欢。(Xǐhuān.)
Amber: 你喜欢中国菜吗?(Nǐ xǐhuān Zhōngguó cài ma?)
Victor: 也喜欢。(Yě xǐhuān.)
Amber: One more time, a little slower.
Amber: 你喜欢中国吗?(Nǐ xǐhuān Zhōngguó ma?)
Victor: 喜欢。(Xǐhuān.)
Amber: 你喜欢中国菜吗?(Nǐ xǐhuān Zhōngguó cài ma?)
Victor: 也喜欢。(Yě xǐhuān.)
Amber: One more time, with the English.
Amber: 你喜欢中国吗?(Nǐ xǐhuān Zhōngguó ma?)
Amber: Do you like China?
Victor: 喜欢。(Xǐhuān.)
Amber: Yes, I like it.
Amber: 你喜欢中国菜吗?(Nǐ xǐhuān Zhōngguó cài ma?)
Amber: Do you like Chinese food?
Victor: 也喜欢。(Yě xǐhuān.)
Amber: Yes, I like it too.
Amber: So, okay, did they even have to ask this question?
Victor: Yeah. I mean of course, right? Everyone likes Chinese food.
Amber: And, I mean, if you didn’t...
Victor: At least I think.
Amber: You can’t really say you don’t. It would be kind of, like, rude. Okay. Well, I think...
Victor: It’s okay.
Amber: I mean I like a lot of Chinese food, Victor, but there is some scary stuff too.
Victor: No, I understand. I mean, I like it a lot, but I don’t need everyone else to like it, you know. I know there are some stuff that...
Amber: You’re not insecure about the Chinese food.
Victor: Exactly. Yeah.
Amber: Okay. Well, let’s learn a little bit more by looking at the vocabulary we learned in the dialogue.
Victor: Okay. And now the vocab section.
Victor: 喜欢(Xǐhuān.)
Amber: To like.
Victor: 中國菜(Zhōngguócài)
Amber: Chinese food.
Victor: 嗎(ma)
Amber: Question marker.
Victor: 也(yě)
Amber: Also, too.
Victor: 中國(Zhōngguó)
Amber: China.
Amber: Okay. Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases in this lesson.
Victor: Of course, we need to know the word for “to like”, and that is 喜欢。(Xǐhuān.) 喜(xǐ) is a third tone and 欢(huān) is a first tone.
Amber: Right. And what things is it that the person in the dialogue likes?
Victor: 中国(Zhōngguó) and 中国菜(Zhōngguó cài)
Amber: Ah, I sense a pattern here.
Victor: Yeah. Well, remember in lesson two, we learned the word for Chinese person which was the word for China plus the word for person and it’s 中国人.(Zhōngguórén.)
Amber: Right. And so in this dialogue today, China makes a reappearance. We hear China 中国(Zhōngguó) but we also hear China plus something else, plus...
Victor: 菜(Cài)
Amber: Ah. And what in the world is 菜?!(Cài?!)
Victor: Well, 菜(Cài) is fourth tone and it means "dish" or "food" in general.
Amber: As in dishes of food in general.
Victor: Right. Yeah.
Amber: So put it together with 中国(Zhōngguó) and I bit you can guess what you get.
Victor: I have 中国菜(Zhōngguó cài) and it’s "Chinese food".
Amber: Yeah, Chinese food. So, that is the food and now we have some grammar to digest.
Victor: It’s grammar time.
Victor: So we are going to talk about how to form yes and no question in Chinese.
Amber: That’s right. It’s very easy. Basically, what it is, is there’s a little magical word in Chinese.
Victor: Yeah. And that word is ‘吗’(ma)
Amber: Yeah, neutral tone.
Victor: Neutral tone.
Amber: A very tiny word with even no tone on it.
Victor: Right.
Amber: And basically what this ‘吗’(ma) is, it’s like a verbal question mark. What you can do is take any old statement and then just add this 吗(ma) on the end of it, and there you have it, a “yes, no” question. It changes a statement into a “yes, no” answer question.
Victor: Very powerful. Very good to know. And as demonstrated in our dialogue, 你喜欢中国吗(Nǐ xǐhuān Zhōngguó ma)
Amber: Yeah, that’s right. If you just said, 你喜欢中国 (Nǐ xǐhuān zhōngguó) , that means you like China.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Just like we learned in our vocab section. But you throw on this 吗(ma) at the end and you suddenly get...
Victor: Do you like China?
Amber: Right. So, let’s try another statement, Victor, and turn it into a question.
Victor: Sure. How about 你喜欢中国菜.(Nǐ xǐhuān zhōngguó cài.)
Amber: So he’s telling me, “You like Chinese food.”.
Victor: Yes.
Amber: He’s commanding me.
Victor: Do you like Chinese food?
Amber: No. We’re going to make it into “Do you like Chinese food?” we have to add the 吗(ma) onto the end.
Victor: Correct.
Amber: So what would it be if we make it into a question rather than a command, “You like Chinese food.”.
Victor: You can say, 你喜欢中国菜吗?(Nǐ xǐhuān Zhōngguó cài ma?)
Amber: Right. All you need is the magical 吗 at the end.
Victor: That’s it.
Amber: Okay. How about this, Victor, “You like me.” how do you say that in Chinese?
Victor: Pretty bold there, 我喜欢你!(Wǒ xǐhuān nǐ!)
Amber: Okay. Now, but what if I wanted to say, “Do you like me?”.
Victor: Yeah, that’s much better. You can say, 你喜欢我吗?(Nǐ xǐhuān wǒ ma?)
Amber: Right, you just add the 吗 into the end.
Victor: Correct.
Amber: Perfect. Now, we come to answering the “yes, no” question. It seems easy, a “yes, no” question. But very often in Chinese they don’t have sort of blanket yes or no like we use in English.
Victor: In a case like our dialogue, to answer in the affirmative, you just repeat the verb back.
Amber: That’s right. And we heard them do it in our dialogue, so it’s a perfect example because they answered the question 你喜欢中国吗?(Nǐ xǐhuān Zhōngguó ma?) with...
Victor: 喜欢(Xǐhuān) which is the verb for “to like”.
Amber: That’s right. So all you do is repeat the verb, the main verb in the sentence. If you want to answer in the affirmative, you just repeat the verb.
Victor: Right.
Amber: Basically, you’re just saying, “like”.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: Now, the question is what about, heaven forbid, that they don’t like China, then what, Victor?
Victor: We respect the differences. Well, this is where you learn one way to negate words in Chinese. All you do is to put the word ‘不’(bù) in front of 喜欢。(Xǐhuān.) All you do is to put the word ‘不’(bù) in front of the word you are negating.
Amber: So if in this case I don’t like, I would answer...
Victor: 不喜欢(Bù xǐhuān)
Amber: Well, that’s pretty easy.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: So if you didn't like China, if someone asked you 你喜欢中国吗?(Nǐ xǐhuān Zhōngguó ma?) and you don’t like it, you would just say...
Victor: 不喜欢(Bù xǐhuān)
Amber: If you do like it, you just say...
Victor: 喜欢(Xǐhuān)
Amber: That’s pretty easy.
Victor: Yeah.
Amber: Okay. So there’s one more little grammar point of note in our dialogue today that we’ll talk about.
Victor: Yeah. We hear them first talk about liking China, but then they bring up a Chinese food.
Amber: Right. Remember they said they like China but they also like Chinese food?
Victor: Yeah. And the way we say also in Chinese is ‘也’(yě), third tone 也’(yě). So the first answer yes was ‘喜欢’(Xǐhuān) or "to like". Then when further asked, they also like Chinese food ‘也喜欢’(Yě xǐhuān).
Amber: Right, which is literally "also to like". So it’s easy to say “also” in Chinese. You just put it right in front of the verb like that...
Victor: Right.
Amber: 也喜(Yě xǐ), "also like". Now this is a side point, what if it was that they also didn’t like Chinese food? They didn’t like China and they didn’t like Chinese food. This would never happen.
Victor: Hope this never happen.
Amber: However, it will teach us how to say that you also don’t like something. What would you say?
Victor: You can say 也不喜欢.(Yě bù xǐhuān.)
Amber: Okay. So if it’s a negative form with the 不(bù) the 也(yě) will come before the 不(bù).
Victor: Right.
Amber: How about this one? Just so we’d be fair and equal, not this in China. You said earlier you like me, right?
Victor: Right.
Amber: Okay. How about this one, change the subject from not liking China because we know that no one does not like China? Okay. Earlier, Victor, you said you like me 你喜欢我?(Nǐ xǐhuān wǒ?) right?
Victor: Right. Yes.
Amber: So how about if someone else also wanted to say they liked me?
Victor: Oh, okay. Well, in that case, you can also say 我也喜欢你。(Wǒ yě xǐhuān nǐ.)
Amber: Oh, so other people like me too.
Victor: I’m sure a lot of our listeners will say that. Yes.
Amber: I hope the listeners also like me. Great.
Amber: Okay. Well, that does it for our lesson today. But we also wanted to just interject and remind everybody that we have our website, ChineseClass101.com. And each lesson has a comment section. So we encourage all of you to come to the comment section and ask any questions about the lesson or to share any tips or points that you’ve had or learn in your Chinese learning process.
Victor: Right. I think it gives people opportunity to elaborate on the contents and help everyone to learn better.
Amber: Yeah. You can make some friends there, find people that you like and that we also like 喜欢.(Xǐhuān.)
Victor: Righ, 喜欢.(Xǐhuān.)
Amber: And that’s it for today’s lesson.
Victor: And we’ll see you next time.
Amber: Yep, see you next time on ChineseClass101.com. 再见(Zàijiàn)




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