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

Intro

Hi everybody! Yinru here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common Chinese questions.
The Question
The question for this lesson is: Why do I hear 一下 yíxià and 一点(儿)yì diǎn(ér) a lot?
Explanation
一下 yíxià and 一点 yì diǎn (or 一点儿 yì diǎnr as people from north China would pronounce it) are used in everyday language to soften the tone in imperatives. 一下 yíxià literally means “one time,” and 一点 yì diǎn literally means “a little bit.”
Just a side note: People in North China like to use 儿化音 ér huà yīn in their speech. 儿化音 refers to the phenomenon of adding the sound of 儿 (ér) at the end of a word. For example, people in the South say 没事 (méishì “it’s ok”). People from the North would say 没事儿 (méishìr). People in the South say 好玩 (hǎowán “fun”), while people in North China like to say 好玩儿 (hǎowánr).
Let’s compare some sentences with and without 一下 yíxià and 一点(儿)yì diǎn (ér).
你过来。Nǐ guòlai. vs. 你过来一下。Nǐ guòlai yíxià.
The first sentence sounds like an order: “Come here.” The second one sounds more like a polite request. “Come here for a second.”
你喝茶。Nǐ hē chá. vs. 你喝一点儿茶。Nǐ hē yìdiǎnr chá.
The first one sounds like a parent commanding you, “Drink your tea.” The second one, on the other hand, is more loving like saying “Have some tea, honey.”
Since nobody wants to sound mean when they don’t have to, you’ll often hear verb + 一下 or 一点儿 in spoken Chinese. Sometimes you can omit the 一 yì in 一点儿 yìdiǎnr.
You can either say, 来一点咖啡吧。(Lái yì diǎn kāfēi ba. “Let’s have some coffee.”) or 来点咖啡吧。(Lái diǎn kāfēi ba.)
Or, as people from North would say it, 儿化音 ér huà yīn: 来点儿咖啡吧。Lái diǎnr kāfēi ba.

Outro

If you have any more questions about today’s lesson, please leave a comment below!
See you next time!
我们下次再见!Wǒmen xiàcì zàijiàn!

5 Comments

Hide
Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

What Chinese learning question do you have?

 

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 08:31 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

你好 Sean Scoggins,


So sorry about that! We are continuously working on improving our site and materials, and our students' opinion is of highly value. I'll forward your feedback to our team for consideration!

Feel free to reach out to us if you have any further feedback or questions! Thank you!


Kind regards,

雷文特

Team ChineseClass101.com

Sean Scoggins
Friday at 06:10 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

the background explosions are distracting

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 08:29 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

你好 robert groulx,


谢谢 for posting and studying with us. If you have any questions, please let us know.😄


Kind regards,

雷文特 (Levente)

Team ChineseClass101.com

robert groulx
Sunday at 12:04 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

thank you for the lesson transcript


language to soften the tone in imperatives. 一下 yíxià literally means “one time,” and 一点 yì diǎn literally means “a little bit.”


robert