Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Jane: Absolute Beginner series, season 3, lesson 18. A stressful subway experience in China.
Canaan: Hello and welcome to chineseclass101.com where we study modern Chinese in a fun and educational format.
Jane: Brush up your Chinese or start learning today.
Canaan: Now thanks for being with us for this lesson. Jane, what are we looking at today?
Jane: Well in this lesson, we are going to take you to a very crowded place in Beijing.
Canaan: Whoa! That’s not much of a clue. I mean I am pretty sure everywhere it’s crowded in Beijing.
Jane: Well it is a place where a lot of people literally have to fight their ways in and out every day during the rush hours.
Canaan: Oh subway.
Jane: 是的。(shì de .)
Canaan: Now in this lesson, you will learn to talk to other people in order to get your way in and out of the subway in one piece which let me tell you what is a challenge.
Jane: Of course, this conversation takes place inside a subway train.
Canaan: And it’s between two strangers who are trying to get off the train.
Jane: Although being strangers, they are speaking to each other casually.
Canaan: Now before we take you to the dialogue, I would like to remind you once again of our online premium PDF files where you can find the whole transcript including the vocabulary and sample sentences everything we talked about in the podcast.
Jane: It’s going to be a great tool for reviews.
Canaan: So just log on to www.chineseclass.com where everything is at your fingertips.
Jane: Now let’s go to the dialogue.
DIALOGUE
对不起,请让一下。(Duìbuqǐ, qǐng ràng yīxià.)
我也下车。(Wǒ yě xiàchē.)
小心点儿!(Xiǎoxīn diǎnr!)
怎么啦?(Zěnme la?)
你踩了我的脚。(Nǐ cǎi le wǒ de jiǎo.)
Canaan: And now with the English translation.
对不起,请让一下。(Duìbùqǐ, qǐng ràng yīxià.)
Excuse me, please let me through.
我也下车。(Wǒ yě xià chē.)
I am getting off too.
小心点儿! (Xiǎoxīn diǎn er!)
Be careful!
怎么啦?(Zěnme la?)
What's wrong?
你踩了我的脚。(Nǐ cǎile wǒ de jiǎo.)
You stepped on my feet.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Canaan: So this is a scene that you will witness pretty much every day several million times in the Beijing subway.
Jane: I can’t believe the number of people taking the subways every day.
Canaan: Yeah and what surprises me even more is that the development of the subway system is not proceeding too slow to accommodate the crowd or at least you would [0:01:40] think so. In the last month, the government just added five new routes to the subway system which makes the subway a total of 336 kilometers long with a total of 14 routes.
Jane: And I remember when I was growing up, for a long time, there were only two routes in operation.
Canaan: Yeah pretty much everything has happened in the last decade.
Jane: Yeah but that didn’t seem to catch up with the growth of population in Beijing.
Canaan: Yeah jeez! Next step they are going to have to figure out what to do with the highways. Anyway we have put together some basic vocabulary today that are to come in handy to you if you ever find yourself trapped in the Beijing subway.
Jane: Let’s take a look at them.
VOCAB LIST
Jane: 对不起 (duìbuqǐ)
Canaan: Sorry.
Jane: 对不起 对不起 (Duìbùqǐ duìbùqǐ)
Jane: 让一下 (ràng yíxià)
Canaan: Let me through.
Jane: 让一下 让一下 (Ràng yīxià ràng yīxià)
Jane: 脚 (jiǎo)
Canaan: Foot.
Jane: 脚 脚 (Jiǎo jiǎo)
Jane: 下车 (xiàchē)
Canaan: To get off or get out as in off a train or car.
Jane: 下车 下车 (Xià chē xià chē)
Jane: 小心 (xiǎoxīn)
Canaan: To be careful.
Jane: 小心 小心 (Xiǎoxīn xiǎoxīn)
Jane: 踩 (cǎi)
Canaan: To step on.
Jane: 踩 踩 (Cǎi cǎi)
Jane: 怎么啦 (zěnme la)
Canaan: What’s wrong.
Jane: 怎么啦 怎么啦 (Zěnme la zěnme la)
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
Canaan: All right. Now let’s figure out how to use this brand new vocabulary we have.
Jane: And the first phrase we will look at is 让一下 (ràng yíxià)
Canaan: Make way or let me through.
Jane: 让一下 (ràng yíxià)
Canaan: Very common phrase that you would use when you find yourself in a large crowd and you need to get out.
Jane: Such as 对不起,让一下 (duìbuqǐ ràng yíxià)
Canaan: Excuse me, let me through.
Jane: 对不起,让一下 (duìbuqǐ ràng yíxià)
Canaan: Excuse me, let me through.
Jane: Or if you want to be extra polite, you can say 对不起,请让一下。(duìbuqǐ , qǐng ràng yíxià .)
Canaan: Right. So 请 (qǐng) here means please and you can add it in front of many verbs to make your request sound much, much more polite.
Jane: 是的。(shì de .)
Canaan: So if you are on a bus or subway and you are asking for people to get out of your way, it’s probably because you are about to
Jane: 下车 (xiàchē)
Canaan: Get off the train or the bus.
Jane: 下车 (xiàchē)
Canaan: To get off the train or the bus. Now here the word 下 (xià) and its antonym 上 (shàng) are quite versatile words in Chinese. Simple position words, they are often used as verbs in a lot of common verb phrases. So for instance,
Jane: 上车 (shàngchē)
Canaan: Means to get on.
Jane: 上车 (shàngchē)
Canaan: To get on a bus train.
Jane: 让一下。我要下车。(ràng yíxià . Wǒ yào xiàchē .)
Canaan: Make way. I am getting off.
Jane: 让一下。我要下车。(ràng yíxià . Wǒ yào xiàchē .)
Canaan: I wonder what happened to him.
Jane: 怎么啦 (zěnme la)
Canaan: What’s wrong or what’s the matter.
Jane: 怎么啦 (zěnme la)
Canaan: What’s wrong or what’s the matter.
Jane: 怎么啦 (zěnme la)
Canaan: Is a very common sentence that you hear a lot here in China but most of the time when people say this to you, what they really mean is, are you okay and they are being friendly.
Jane: 是的。(shì de .) 你怎么啦?(nǐ zěnme la ?)
Canaan: Means are you okay but
Jane: 怎么啦 (zěnme la)
Canaan: Alone just means what’s the matter. Now the next word is a good one.
Jane: 小心 (xiǎoxīn)
Canaan: Watch out or be careful.
Jane: 小心 (xiǎoxīn)
Canaan: Watch out or be careful. Literally means little heart. So before you go off on a road trip, you often hear people say
Jane: 开车要小心。(kāichē yào xiǎoxīn .)
Canaan: Be careful while driving.
Jane: 开车要小心。(kāichē yào xiǎoxīn .)
Canaan: Be careful while driving yeah especially when driving in China. Now our next verb from our dialogue
Jane: 踩 (cǎi)
Canaan: Step on.
Jane: 他不小心踩了我。(tā bùxiǎoxīn cǎile Wǒ .)
Canaan: He stepped on me accidentally.
Jane: 他不小心踩了我。(tā bùxiǎoxīn cǎile Wǒ .)
Canaan: He stepped on me accidentally. Now here不小心 (bùxiǎoxīn) as the negative form of 小心 (xiǎoxīn) is also very common in itself. Now the last word
Jane: 脚 (jiǎo)
Canaan: Foot.
Jane: 脚 (jiǎo)
Canaan: So the last sentence we just heard could be
Jane: 他踩了我的脚。(tā cǎile Wǒ de jiǎo .)
Canaan: He stepped on my foot.
Jane: 他踩了我的脚。(tā cǎile Wǒ de jiǎo .)
Canaan: Now next in today’s grammar section, we are going to go into a little bit more detail regarding the phrase 让一下 (ràng yíxià .) So let’s take a look at that.
It’s grammar time.
LESSON FOCUS
Canaan: All right, in today’s grammar section, we are going to talk about the phrase
Jane: 一下 (yíxià)
Canaan: As in
Jane: 让一下 (ràng yíxià)
Canaan: And it’s different from another commonly used phrase
Jane: 一点儿 (yìdiǎnr)
Canaan: Right. So when you translate either of these sentences into English, they often come out as a little bit but in Chinese there are some significant differences between them that are worth paying attention to.
Jane: 是的。(shì de .) 一下 (yíxià) used after a verb and it gives an impression that the action is going to be short and quick.
Canaan: Okay. Can you give us an example?
Jane: 我去一下。(Wǒ qù yíxià .)
Canaan: I will be back soon.
Jane: 我去一下。(Wǒ qù yíxià .)
Canaan: So here the verb 去 (qù) is to go and 一下 (yíxià) after the verb makes the action sound casual and suggests that the speaker is only leaving for short time and will be back soon.
Jane: 看一下 (kàn yíxià)
Canaan: Take a look.
Jane: 看一下 (kàn yíxià)
Canaan: Again the speaker is asking someone to take a look at something which will probably not take a whole lot of time to look at or to read. Now what about the other phrase 一点儿 (yìdiǎnr)
Jane: 一点儿 (yìdiǎnr) is often followed after adjectives and it emphasizes on the amount and degree of things and characteristics.
Canaan: Okay. Can we have an example?
Jane: 你应该诚实一点儿。(nǐ yīnggāi chéngshí yìdiǎnr .)
Canaan: You should be a little bit more honest.
Jane: 你应该诚实一点儿。(nǐ yīnggāi chéngshí yìdiǎnr .)
Canaan: Hope you still remember the adjective
Jane: 诚实 (chéngshí)
Canaan: Honest which we’ve learned a while ago. Now 一点儿 (yìdiǎnr) here after the adjective means more as in in degree.
Jane: 没错 (méicuò) One more sentence 明天他要晚一点儿来。(míngtiān tā yào wǎn yìdiǎnr lái .)
Canaan: Tomorrow, he will be here a bit late.
Jane: 明天他要晚一点儿来。(míngtiān tā yào wǎn yìdiǎnr lái .)
Canaan: Again 一点儿 (yìdiǎnr) after the adjective 晚 (wǎn) means a bit more, that is say a little bit more time or a little bit later. Now sometimes you will hear people simply shorten
Jane: 一点儿 (yìdiǎnr)
Canaan: To
Jane: 点儿 (diǎnr)
Canaan: Right such as
Jane: 让我吃点儿。(ràng wǒ chī diǎnr .)
Canaan: Let me eat a little bit.
Jane: 让我吃点儿。(ràng wǒ chī diǎnr .)
Canaan: Now here we have 点儿 (diǎnr) following a verb, to eat.
Jane: So 一点儿 (yìdiǎnr) sometimes can also be added after action verb as well. In this case, 吃点儿 (chī diǎnr) emphasized on the quantity or the amount of what’s being eaten.
Canaan: While 吃一下 (chī yíxià) emphasizes the action of eating itself being quick. Okay I hope by now, we’ve gotten a better idea of the difference between
Jane: 一下 (yíxià) and 一点儿 (yìdiǎnr) or 点儿 (diǎnr)
Canaan: Right. Namely that 一下 (yíxià) emphasizes an action being short and brief while 一点儿 (yìdiǎnr) emphasizes a little bit more in terms of degree or amounts of things and characteristics.
OUTRO
Jane: And that’s the lesson for today.
Canaan: Yep and if you’ve got any questions or feedback that you’d like to give us
Jane: Write to us at contactus@chineseclass101.com
Canaan: And we will get right back to you. Now for now,
Jane: This is Jane
Canaan: And my name is Canaan and we are here in Beijing saying Goodbye to you.
Jane: 下次见。(xiàcì jiàn .)

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ChineseClass101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
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If you ever going to take a ride in the Beijing subways, be sure to avoid the rush hours.

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ChineseClass101.com
Tuesday at 2:48 am
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Hello Lex,


Thank you very much for your positive feedback :smile:

Please let us know if you have any questions.


Sincerely,


Albert

Team ChineseClass101.com

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Lex
Wednesday at 2:18 pm
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Thank you, Cho, for clarification and for giving excellent examples - it is very helpful!

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ChineseClass101.com
Sunday at 10:57 pm
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Hi, Lex,


现在的时间早点儿。means it's early before an agreed upon time.

That is just the example you want.:smile:


(现在)还早(xiànzài hái zǎo) or (现在)还没到时间(hái méi dào shíjiān)

E.g. A:今天几点的飞机?(Jīntiān jǐ diǎn de fēijī ?)When is your flight today?

B:晚上九点,还早呢。(Wǎn shàng jiǔ diǎn , hái zǎo ne .)

or B:晚上九点,还没到时间呢。(Wǎn shàng jiǔ diǎn ,hái méi dào shíjiān ne .)


Cho

Team ChineseClass101.com

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Lex
Monday at 2:14 pm
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in this lesson, there is one example that needs a little bit of clarification:


现在的时间早点儿。 Xiànzài de shíjiān zǎo diǎnr. "The time now is a bit early."


Does it mean that the time is a bit early in a day or is the time a bit early to start something, or early before an agreed upon time, as in "we supposed to meet at 5 pm, but it is 4:50 pm now so the time is a bit early"

Can you please clarify?

Also, can you please give an example how to best express the idea of "it is early (or late) in comparison to agreed upon time for the meeting, event, etc


Thanks!

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ChineseClass101.com
Sunday at 5:54 pm
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Hi, christopher lord,


Thank you for your summary!:smile:


怎么样?(zěnmeyàng ? ) is exactly equal to "how",

你怎么样?(nǐ zěnmeyàng ? ) means "are you OK?"

你怎么样? can be used in greeting,

also you can use 最近(recently)怎么样?(zuìjìn zěnmeyàng ?), which means "How is you doing recently?"


Cho

Team ChineseClass101.com

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christopher lord
Thursday at 7:35 pm
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It would be good to be able to make your own flashcards and/or add phrases to word lists. For instance, I didn't know the difference between zenmeyang (what's up?) and ni zenmeyang (are you OK?). By the way, I think these 'absolute beginner' lessons are really great, with the real everyday expressions and good explanations. Think of all the people who have spent years and years learning English and can't manage the most basic normal conversations.