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Lesson Transcript

Jane: Hello everyone, I am Jane and welcome to chineseclass101.com
Canaan: And this is Canaan. With us, you will learn to speak Chinese with fun and effective lessons.
Jane: We also provide you with cultural insights.
Canaan: And tips you won’t find in a textbook.
Jane: 没错 (méicuò)
Canaan: Now today is Absolute Beginner series, season 3, lesson 11.
Jane: Tell them what you really think in Chinese.
Canaan: That’s right. Today’s lesson is all about telling your friends what you really think of them which in some situations could be dangerous.
Jane: It could be really sweet too just like this guy in our dialogue today.
Canaan: Yeah he is a real smooth talker. All right, now the conversation takes place in a shop between two young people.
Jane: And of course they are speaking in casual Mandarin.
Canaan: But before we find out what they say, we’d like to remind our listeners once again that if you haven’t already done it
Jane: Stop by chineseclass101.com
Canaan: And sign up to get your free lifetime account.
Jane: It takes less than 30 seconds
Canaan: And you will get access to a lot of cool stuff that will help you with your Chinese study.
Jane: Let’s go to the dialogue.
你喜欢这个吗?(Nǐ xǐhuān zhège ma?)
喜欢,你呢?(Xǐhuān, nǐ ne?)
我...喜欢你。(Wǒ ...xǐhuān nǐ.)
你太可爱了。(Nǐ tài kěài le.)
Canaan: And now with the English translation.
你喜欢这个吗?(Nǐ xǐhuān zhège ma?)
Do you like this?
喜欢,你呢?(Xǐhuān, nǐ ne?)
Yes, I do. And you?
我...喜欢你。(Wǒ... Xǐhuān nǐ.)
I...I like you.
你太可爱了。(Nǐ tài kě'àile.)
You are so cute.
Canaan: All right, now talking honestly, I didn’t really think this guy is a huge suck up and you know I suppose you know it can be hard to say what you think to people that you like. It’s hard to tell people that you like them.
Jane: I know. Do you think Chinese people are little reserved in expressing themselves?
Canaan: Do I? No definitely. Often when you are conversing with Chinese people be they friends or be they strangers, it can be very, very hard to figure out what they actually mean.
Jane: Because we don’t want to sound too demanding.
Canaan: Right, now for example if a guest comes to your house, you often offer them something to drink as soon as they get in but a Chinese guest will always begin by saying, oh no, no, no, no….but never take that refusal seriously.
Jane: Because the guest is just what we call being polite, not to trouble the host too much.
Canaan: Right but go ahead and make him some tea anyway.
Jane: You get used to it.
Canaan: Anyway we have a fantastic vocabulary for you today with some very useful words that you can use to describe the characteristics of your friends.
Jane: 没错儿 (méicuòr)
Canaan: Let’s take a look.
Jane: 可爱 (kěài)
Canaan: Cute, lovely.
Jane: 可爱 可爱 (Kě'ài kě'ài)
Jane: 聪明 (cōngmíng)
Canaan: Intelligent, smart.
Jane: 聪明 聪明 (Cōngmíng cōngmíng)
Jane: 讨厌 (tǎoyàn)
Canaan: Annoying.
Jane: 讨厌 讨厌 (Tǎoyàn tǎoyàn)
Jane: 坏 (huài)
Canaan: Bad, evil.
Jane: 坏 坏 (Huài huài)
Jane: 幽默 (yōumò)
Canaan: Humorous, funny.
Jane: 幽默 幽默 (Yōumò yōumò)
Jane: 诚实 (chéngshí)
Canaan: Honest.
Jane: 诚实 诚实 (Chéngshí chéngshí)
Jane: 有才 (yǒu cái)
Canaan: Talented.
Jane: 有才 有才 (Yǒu cái yǒu cái)
Canaan: Now let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases of this lesson.
Jane: And the first word is 幽默 (yōumò)
Canaan: Funny, humorous which has always been used to describe me.
Jane: 幽默 (yōumò)
Canaan: It’s interesting. The word sounds a little bit like the English word humor, doesn’t it?
Jane: You are quite right. It’s indeed a borrowed word from English 他很幽默。(tā hěn yōumò )
Canaan: He is very funny.
Jane: 他很幽默。(tā hěn yōumò )
Canaan: So this is an interesting instance of a cognate, a word borrowed from English into Chinese. Now what are other words do people use to describe me?
Jane: To describe you?
Canaan: Yeah.
Jane: 聪明 (cōngmíng)
Canaan: Ey smart, intelligent.
Jane: 聪明 (cōngmíng)
Canaan: Smart, intelligent.
Jane: 你不太聪明。(nǐ bú tài cōngmíng.)
Canaan: You are not too bright.
Jane: 你不太聪明。(nǐ bú tài cōngmíng)
Canaan: Right because you know that’s what everybody says about me. Something wrong with you.
Jane: I am being a very honest person 诚实 (chéngshí)
Canaan: Honest.
Jane: 诚实 (chéngshí) 我是个非常诚实的人。(Wǒ shì ge fēicháng chéngshí de rén .)
Canaan: I am a very honest person.
Jane: 我是个非常诚实的人。(Wǒ shì ge fēicháng chéngshí de rén .)
Canaan: Now we are not trying to be nasty here but I think we should also teach our listeners a couple of not so good words that are commonly used to describe people.
Jane: Umm pretty mild ones.
Canaan: Right and more commonly used by girls than by guys.
Jane: The first one is 坏 (huài)
Canaan: Meaning bad or evil.
Jane: 坏 (huài)
Canaan: Now we met this word before in a lesson where we were talking about the pattern
Jane: 坏了 (huài le)
Canaan: Broken similar to the usage of
Jane: 死了 (sǐ le)
Canaan: Right as in I am really hungry. Here we use the adjective to describe a person.
Jane: 这个人真坏。(zhè ge rén zhēn huài .)
Canaan: This person is evil.
Jane: 这个人真坏。(zhè ge rén zhēn huài .)
Canaan: That’s pretty serious but sometimes you hear girls use it when they are talking about their boyfriends.
Jane: 你真坏。nǐ (zhēn huài .)
Canaan: You are awful.
Jane: 你真坏。nǐ (zhēn huài .)
Canaan: Now what the girl is actually saying is, I like you, so don’t panic.
Jane: Yeah. Another sentence girls like to say is 你真讨厌。(nǐ zhēn tǎoyàn .)
Canaan: You are so annoying.
Jane: 你真讨厌。(nǐ zhēn tǎoyàn .)
Canaan: Now don’t get this mixed up with
Jane: 你真麻烦。(nǐ zhēn máfan .)
Canaan: Which at that time I also translated as, you are so annoying.
Jane: Yeah but 你真讨厌。(nǐ zhēn tǎoyàn .) could may well be an affectionate joke from the girl to her boyfriend while 你真麻烦。(nǐ zhēn máfan .) is a more genuine complaint.
Canaan: Right, of course depending on the circumstance 你真讨厌。(nǐ zhēn tǎoyàn) could also be serious.
Jane: 没错儿 (méicuòr)
Canaan: Now our final word for today is an interesting one that only just became popular.
Jane: 有才 (yǒu cái)
Canaan: Talented.
Jane: 有才 (yǒu cái)
Canaan: It is actually made famous by a comedian when she said it on stage at the Chinese Annual New Year’s Gala a couple of years ago.
Jane: 你太有才了。(nǐ tài yǒu cái le .)
Canaan: You are so talented.
Jane: 你太有才了。(nǐ tài yǒu cái le .)
Canaan: It’s actually sort of a half-choking comment to somebody. All right, well today’s vocabulary list is a long one. Hope you all enjoyed it.
Jane: And we’ve got a very good grammar point coming up too.

Lesson focus

Canaan: Let’s have a look at that now. It’s grammar time. Now today’s grammar, we are going to teach you the golden rule of answering questions. We call it the verb echoing rule.
Jane: Meaning to echo the verb back that the person used in their questions.
Canaan: Right. So if the question is
Jane: 你是美国人吗?(nǐ shì Měiguórén ma ? )
Canaan: Are you an American?
Jane: The simplest answer could be 是 (shì) or 不是 (búshì )
depending on your situation.
Canaan: Right. Now how about a sentence with a different verb?
Jane: 他们到了吗?(tāmen dàole ma ?)
Canaan: Have they arrived?
Jane: 他们到了吗?(tāmen dàole ma ?)
Canaan: Have they arrived? Now remember our golden rule. To answer, just echo back the verb used in the question.
Jane: 到了。(dàole )
Canaan: They’ve arrived.
Jane: 到了。(dàole )
Canaan: Now what about they haven’t arrived?
Jane: 没到。(méi dào)
Canaan: They haven’t arrived.
Jane: 没到。(méi dào)
Canaan: I think actually a lot of us Chinese learners tend to get confused in the beginning with when to use 没 (méi) and when to use 不(bù) since both of them are negative particles.
Jane: Right. Let’s have a 不(bù) type sample questions 你吃吗?(nǐ chī ma ?)
Canaan: Will you eat or are you eating depending on the situation.
Jane: So according to our golden rule of verb echoing, the answer is 吃 (chī) for positive and 不吃 (bù chī) for negative.
Canaan: Right and in this case, you can’t answer back 没吃 (méi chī) right?
Jane: Well, in that case, the question would be different.
Canaan: Right and that question would be
Jane: 你吃了吗?(nǐ chī le ma ?)
Canaan: Have you eaten or did you eat?
Jane: 你吃了吗?(nǐ chī le ma ?)
Canaan: I see. So the difference lies in the tense of the question.
Jane: 是的。(shì de .)
Canaan: So when the question contains the particle 了 (le) following the verb, it’s an indication of a completed action and the negative answer should be 没 (méi) plus the verb and please do not put 了 (le) at the end again.
Jane: And for the positive answers, just the verb plus 了 (le) to indicate a completed action.
Canaan: Right. On the other hand, when the question is posed in the present indicative or in the future tense and there is no 了 (le) at the end of the sentence
Jane: And the negative answer should be 不(bù) plus the verb.
Canaan: Right and of course for positive answers, all you have to do is echo the verb back.
Jane: 是的。(Shì de .)
Canaan: All right. So can we have another sample sentence?
Jane: 你昨天来了吗?(nǐ zuótiān láile ma ?)
Canaan: Did you come yesterday?
Jane: 你昨天来了吗?(nǐ zuótiān láile ma ?)
Canaan: So here, our golden rule is to echo back the verb and since the sentence has a 了 (le) in it and the time word 昨天 (zuótiān) meaning yesterday, the negative answer should be 没 (méi) plus the verb.
Jane: 是的。(shì de .) 没来。(méilái .)
Canaan: No I didn’t
Jane: The next sentence 你明天来吗?(nǐ míngtiān lái ma ?)
Canaan: Are you coming tomorrow?
Jane: 你明天来吗?(nǐ míngtiān lái ma ?)
Canaan: So a future tense question with the time word 明天 (míngtiān)
Jane: So the negative answer would be 不来 (bù lái .)
Canaan: No I won’t. Okay that’s better. So can we have one more sample sentence.
Jane: 他走吗?(tā zǒu ma ?)
Canaan: Is he going or is he leaving.
Jane: 他走吗?(tā zǒu ma ?)
Canaan: And the negative answer is
Jane: 不走。(bù zǒu .)
Canaan: Okay I hope our listeners got why.
Jane: And if the question is 他走了吗?(tā zǒu le ma ?)
Canaan: Has he gone or did he go?
Jane: The negative answer is 没走。(méi zǒu .)
Canaan: Well that’s it for our lesson today.
Jane: And we hope you enjoyed it.


Canaan: Now before we go, let me remind you once again to write for us with any comments or feedback.
Jane: And contactus@chineseclass101.com
Canaan: We do love to hear from you but for now
Jane: 我是Jane。(Wǒ shì Jane.)
Canaan: And I am Canaan signing off here from 老北京 (lǎo Běijīng), see you next time.
Jane: 回见。(huí jiàn.)