Vocabulary (Review)

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Lesson Transcript

Canaan: Hello and welcome back to chineseclass101.com, the fastest, easiest and most enjoyable way to learn Chinese.
Jane: 嗨,大家好 (hài , dàjiā hǎo.) This is Jane, and thanks again for being with us here today for this Absolute Beginner series, season 3, lesson 16.
Canaan: Time, precious time in China. Now, what’s today’s lesson about?
Jane: Today’s lesson would be in particularly benefit to the ladies more and you will learn how to turn down unwanted invitations with a sound excuse.
Canaan: Or at least with a firm excuse even if it isn’t that sound. The conversation takes place in an office.
Jane: It is between two colleagues.
Canaan: Right, and who know each other and you might say they are friends, although the guy doesn’t seem to have much luck, but the speakers will be speaking in casual Chinese, of course.
Jane: But before we find out what happened between them, is there anything you would like to say to our listeners Canaan?
Canaan: Well no, that is what I want to say but I should say that if you haven’t already, go to the website and sign up for your free lifetime account.
Jane: And it takes less than 30 seconds.
Canaan: And you get a whole bunch of cool stuff that will really help your Chinese study. All right, let’s go to the dialogue.
莉莉,咱们晚上吃饭吧。(Lìlì, zánmen wǎnshang chīfàn ba.)
不行,我有事。(Bù xíng, wǒ yǒushì.)
那明天晚上?(Nà míngtiān wǎnshang?)
明天我也有事。(Míngtiān wǒ yě yǒushì.)
那后天?大后天?(Nā Hòutiān? Dà hòutiān?)
Canaan: And now with the English translation.
莉莉,咱们晚上吃饭吧。(Lìlì, zánmen wǎnshàng chīfàn ba.)
Lily, let's have dinner tonight.
不行,我有事。(Bùxíng, wǒ yǒushì.)
Sorry, I am busy.
那明天晚上?(Nà míngtiān wǎnshàng?)
Then how about tomorrow night?
明天我也有事。(Míngtiān wǒ yěyǒu shì.)
I am also busy tomorrow night.
那后天?大后天?(Nà hòutiān? Dàhòutiān?)
Then the day after tomorrow? Or the following day?
Jane: Talking about going out for dinner in China, I don’t think many of our listeners really understand the dinner table culture in China.
Canaan: Most likely not. The Chinese love to eat and what’s more. They like to bring a lot of important topics up at the dinner table.
Jane: So for Friends Reunion, going out for a big new friend is probably too common.
Canaan: Right and it’s also common for a lot of serious business to be done on dinner table if it’s a dinner between you know business partners or prospective business partners. Two businesses might agree over a large contract based on a single glass of alcohol.
Jane: And also the holiday meals and end of the year celebration meals.
Canaan: Yeah, you name it. I mean, all special occasions can be celebrated with a big dinner in China.
Jane: But it is important to make a booking in advance for any of these special occasions.
Canaan: So today in our vocabulary we have a lot of words related to different kinds of dates.
Jane: Let’s have a look.
Jane: 晚上 (wǎnshang)
Canaan: Evening.
Jane: 晚上 晚上 (Wǎnshàng wǎnshàng)
Jane: 有事 (yǒushì)
Canaan: To be busy.
Jane: 有事 有事 (Yǒushì yǒushì)
Jane: 咱们 (zánmen)
Canaan: We, us.
Jane: 咱们 咱们 (Zánmen zánmen)
Jane: 明天 (míngtiān)
Canaan: Tomorrow.
Jane: 明天 明天 (Míngtiān míngtiān)
Jane: 下星期 (xiàxīngqī)
Canaan: Next week.
Jane: 下星期 下星期 (Xià xīngqí xià xīngqí)
Jane: 下个月 (xià gè yuè )
Canaan: Next month.
Jane: 下个月 下个月 (Xià gè yuè xià gè yuè)
Jane: 后天 (hòutiān)
Canaan: The day after tomorrow.
Jane: 后天 后天 (Hòutiān hòutiān)
Canaan: All right. We’ve heard a bunch of vocabulary words. Let’s look a little more closely at how to use them.
Jane: The first word is 咱们 (zánmen)
Canaan: We or us.
Jane: 咱们 (zánmen)
Canaan: Now I hear this a lot in Beijing compared to other places in China. Now, what’s the difference between 咱们 (zánmen) and 我们 (wǒmen) which also means "we."
Jane: When you use 咱们 (zánmen) in a sentence, it includes the speaker and the one who is or are listening but 我们 (wǒmen) not necessarily do so.
Canaan: Right. So 咱们 (zánmen) is inclusive and 我们 (wǒmen) is often exclusive. Now let’s make this clear with some sample sentences.
Jane: 咱们走吧。(zánmen zǒu ba .)
Canaan: Let’s go.
Jane: 咱们走吧。(zánmen zǒu ba .)
Canaan: So if you and a friend said that to me, it would also include me. It includes all three of us.
Jane: 是的。(shì de .)
Canaan: But can you use 我们 (wǒmen) in this sentence?
Jane: In this case, yes and the meaning will be pretty much the same.
Canaan: Okay. Can you give us another sentence using 我们 (wǒmen)
Jane: 我们没去。(wǒmen méi qù .)
Canaan: We did not go.
Jane: 我们没去。(wǒmen méi qù .)
Canaan: So in this sentence, 我们 (wǒmen) does not include those who are listening to the speaker.
Jane: 是的。(shì de .)
Canaan: Got you. Now our next word is another very Chinese expression.
Jane: 有事 (yǒushì)
Canaan: To be busy or to be engaged in something.
Jane: 有事 (yǒushì) 我现在有事 (wǒ xiànzài yǒushì)
Canaan: I am busy now.
Jane: 我现在有事 (wǒ xiànzài yǒushì)
Canaan: And the convenient thing about it is that when you say it to someone, you don’t necessarily have to keep talking and explain exactly what it is you are doing.
Jane: 没错儿 (méicuòr) People generally understand that either you are indeed very busy or you just don’t want to talk to them.
Canaan: Right. So it’s often used as an excuse for not doing something you are asked to do. It’s like a parent telling the child, if anybody calls, I am not home.
Jane: Just like the girl in our dialogue.
Canaan: Exactly. Now our next word is a time indicator with which I expect many of you are familiar.
Jane: 明天 (míngtiān)
Canaan: Tomorrow.
Jane: 明天 (míngtiān)
Canaan: Okay but what about the day after tomorrow.
Jane: 后天 (hòutiān)
Canaan: The day after tomorrow.
Jane: 后天 (hòutiān) 后天是我的生日。(hòutiān shì Wǒ de shēngrì .)
Canaan: The day after tomorrow is my birthday.
Jane: 后天是我的生日。(hòutiān shì Wǒ de shēngrì .)
Canaan: Our next word is
Jane: 下星期 (xiàxīngqī)
Canaan: Next week.
Jane: 下星期 (xiàxīngqī)
Canaan: So the first character 下 (xià) means down. So like further down the line also meaning next. So how about last week?
Jane: 上星期 (shàng xīngqī)
Canaan: Right and we are using 上 (shàng) which means up to refer to previous times.
Jane: And also there is another word for week 礼拜 (lǐbài)
Canaan: Again.
Jane: 礼拜 (lǐbài)
Canaan: Okay. So you can say
Jane: 下礼拜 (xià lǐbài) for 下星期 下星期 (xiàxīngqī)
Canaan: Right and as with the seven days a week, you can say 星期一 (xīngqī yī)
or you can say 礼拜一 (lǐbài yī)
Jane: Exactly. It’s just 礼拜一 (lǐbài yī) but it sounds a little bit more casual.
Canaan: Oh okay. Now let’s get one more word relating to dates.
Jane: 下个月 (xià gè yuè)
Canaan: Next month.
Jane: 下个月 (xià gè yuè)
Canaan: So here obviously 下 (xià) means next.
Jane: 是的。(shì de .) And last month should be 上个月 (shàng ge yuè)
Canaan: Right. Now we notice there is a measure word here in front of the word for month 月 (yuè)
Jane: And sometimes you can also stick 个 (gè) in the next week 星期 (xīngqī)
Canaan: Right.
Jane: 下个月他应该回来了。(xià ge yuè tā yīnggāi huílai le .)
Canaan: He should be back next month.
Jane: 下个月他应该回来了。(xià ge yuè tā yīnggāi huílai le .)
Canaan: Hope you still remember the word 应该 (yīnggāi) from last lesson. Now we just threw a lot of different words for time and for dates at you. Hope you haven’t gotten too confused. Let’s move on to the grammar section now.
Jane: 好吧 (hǎo ba)

Lesson focus

Canaan: It’s grammar time. So what’s on the grammar menu today Jane?
Jane: Today, we are going to talk about the word 那 (nà)
Canaan: As in that.
Jane: 是的。(shì de .)
Canaan: But it’s a pronoun, isn’t it?
Jane: 没错 (méicuò) But today, we are going to talk about how to use 那 (nà) to start a sentence.
Canaan: Okay. Let’s look at a couple of sentences to see what you mean by that.
Jane: 那好吧。(Nā hǎo ba .)
Canaan: Oh, you just used the word na to begin a sentence. Can we hear that again?
Jane: 那好吧。(Nā hǎo ba .)
Canaan: All right then. A very common phrase to agree with the suggestion put forward by others and in this case, na can be broadly translated as then or as in that case.
Jane: One more sentence 那咱们走吧。(nà zánmen zǒu ba .)
Canaan: Let’s go then.
Jane: 那咱们走吧。(nà zánmen zǒu ba .)
Canaan: So here, the word na is a natural way to start a sentence when you are finishing off a train of reasoning.
Jane: 是的。(shì de .)
Canaan: Now what about the na sentence in our dialogue?
Jane: In our dialogue, the complete sentence should be 那后天怎么样?(nà hòutiān zěnmeyàng ?)
Canaan: In that case, how about the day after tomorrow?
Jane: 那后天怎么样?(nà hòutiān zěnmeyàng ?)
Canaan: Using na at the beginning of the sentence sounds a little bit more polite, doesn’t it?
Jane: 是的。(shì de .) And it often softens the tone of the speaker when he or she is trying to give some suggestions.
Canaan: Now one more sentence.
Jane: 那你先来吧。(nà nǐ xiān lái ba .)
Canaan: Then why don’t you start first?
Jane: 那你先来吧。(nà nǐ xiān lái ba .)
Canaan: This is a pretty easy grammar point right using na to start a sentence this way makes you sound more native, more polite and not pushy when you are making a suggestion.
Jane: 是的。(shì de .)
Canaan: How about we just leave it here today?
Jane: 那怎么今天就到这吧。(nà zěnme jīntiān jiù dào zhè ba .)
Canaan: How about we just leave it here today? 那好吧。(Nā hǎo ba .) But before we go, don’t forget that we have all these vocabulary words and grammar points, everything we’ve talked about written down in our online premium PDF files. For now, though, it’s Canaan here in Beijing.
Jane: And Jane.
Canaan: Waiting to see you next time.
Jane: 那下次见吧。(nà xiàcì jiàn ba .)