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Lesson Transcript

Jane: Hello everyone, 大家好。我是 Jane。(dàjiā hǎo. Wǒ shì Jane.) and welcome to chineseclass101.com
Canaan: And this is Canaan here with Jane in the studio. With us, you will learn to speak Chinese with fun and effective lessons.
Jane: And we also provide you with cultural insights.
Canaan: And tips you won’t find in a textbook. Now today, we are going to come at you with Absolute Beginner series, season 3, lesson 17.
Jane: Shopping for a new Chinese Computer.
Canaan: Another lesson on shopping, Jane’s favorite topic.
Jane: But not for computers, I am afraid. That’s too technical for me, what about you?
Canaan: God! I mean if I were to tell you that shopping for a computer in China is even worse than shopping for clothes with your girlfriend, you probably think that I am insane but listen, it’s either a paradise or a nightmare. I mean you go over to the Northwestern corner of the city 中关村 (Zhōngguāncūn) and there are the several blocks of skyscrapers devoted entirely to selling computers, computers and anything else that might possibly be related to computers and oftentimes, even when you find and when you like, you have to bargain for it. I mean, a computer. Bargaining for a computer! How could you not go insane in such a situation?
Jane: I think I agree with you on that.
Canaan: Anyway, in today’s lesson, you will learn how to sound like a native using shortened sentences.
Jane: And this conversation takes place in a school.
Canaan: And our speakers are two classmates.
Jane: Therefore they are speaking casually.
Canaan: Right and we will take you to the dialogue in just a second but before we do, I would like to remind you of our one-on-one tutoring service for premium members. We have the highly qualified native Chinese teachers waiting to talk to you.
Jane: There is no better way to improve your spoken Chinese than by doing that.
你的笔记本不错。(Nǐ de bǐjìběn búcuò.)
新买的。(Xīn mǎi de.)
苹果的?(Píngguǒ de?)
山寨的。(Shānzhài de.)
Canaan: And now with the English translation.
你的笔记本不错。(Nǐ de bǐjìběn bùcuò.)
Your laptop isn't bad.
新买的。(Xīn mǎi de.)
I just bought it.
苹果的?(Píngguǒ de?)
Is it an Apple?
山寨的。(Shānzhài de.)
It's a knockoff version.
Canaan: Yeah. Now let’s go to the dialogue. Okay now if this is the first time that you are hearing the word 山寨 (shānzhài) that was just mentioned in the dialogue, then you really are to come over to China.
Jane: It has become such a phenomena now.
Canaan: Yeah I know but the word originally meant fortified mountain village out of the reach of the government. Now 山寨 (shānzhài) goods refer to those cheap copies of well known brands particularly in the cell phone industry.
Jane: Yeah and they come out really fast and so they really fit in with the style. So a lot of young people in China who always want to be the most fashionable ones but are lack of money to do so.
Canaan: So for instance, you might have a mobile phone that’s called Nokier as opposed to a Nokia. Now today, our vocabulary list is going to give you the slightest hint of a taste of what the Chinese computer market is like.
Jane: Let’s take a look.
Jane: 笔记本儿 (bǐjìběnr)
Canaan: Laptop.
Jane: 笔记本儿 笔记本儿 (Bǐjìběn er bǐjìběn er)
Jane: 二手 (èrshǒu)
Canaan: Secondhand.
Jane: 二手 二手 (Èrshǒu èrshǒu)
Jane: 不错 (búcuò)
Canaan: Not bad.
Jane: 不错 不错 (Bùcuò bùcuò)
Jane: 苹果 (Píngguǒ)
Canaan: Apple.
Jane: 苹果 苹果 (Píngguǒ píngguǒ)
Jane: 山寨 (shānzhài)
Canaan: Knock off brand.
Jane: 山寨 山寨 (Shānzhài shānzhài)
Jane: 台式电脑 (tái shì diànnǎo)
Canaan: Desktop computer.
Jane: 台式电脑 台式电脑 (Táishì diànnǎo táishì diànnǎo)
Jane: 新 (xīn)
Canaan: New.
Jane: 新 新 (Xīn xīn)
Jane: 旧(jiù )
Canaan: Old.
Jane: 旧 旧 (Jiù jiù)
Canaan: All right. Now we’ve heard a bunch of words. Let’s figure out how to use them.
Jane: And the first word we’d like to talk about is 笔记本儿 (bǐjìběnr)
Canaan: Right. Notebook as in laptop computer.
Jane: 笔记本儿 (bǐjìběnr)
Canaan: Laptop computer. Now this word originally referred to the paper notebook that you used at school.
Jane: But in the last few years that word has been assigned to its new meanings as laptop computers among more and more Chinese people and sometimes you even hear people say 本儿 (běnr) to mean laptop.
Canaan: Yeah which is much simpler.
Jane: 你的笔记本儿真好看。(nǐ de bǐjìběnr zhēn hǎokàn .)
Canaan: Your laptop is really pretty.
Jane: 你的笔记本儿真好看。(nǐ de bǐjìběnr zhēn hǎokàn .)
Canaan: Now our next word is another kind of computer.
Jane: 台式电脑 (tái shì diànnǎo)
Canaan: Desktop computer.
Jane: 台式电脑 (tái shì diànnǎo)
Canaan: In fact, the last two characters
Jane: 电脑 (diànnǎo)
Canaan: Means computer literally electric brain.
Jane: 我的电脑坏了。(Wǒ de diànnǎo huài le .)
Canaan: My computer isn’t working.
Jane: 我的电脑坏了。(Wǒ de diànnǎo huài le .)
Canaan: Sometimes it might be a good idea to get a secondhand one.
Jane: 二手 (èrshǒu)
Canaan: Secondhand.
Jane: 二手 (èrshǒu)
Canaan: Secondhand literally meaning second hand if you look at the two characters individually and this word is being used more and more often in China these days.
Jane: 二手电脑很便宜。(èrshǒu diànnǎo hěn piányi .)
Canaan: Secondhand laptops are inexpensive.
Jane: 二手电脑很便宜。(èrshǒu diànnǎo hěn piányi .)
Canaan: And for obvious reasons because they are
Jane: 旧 (jiù)
Canaan: Old.
Jane: 旧 (jiù) 我的电脑很旧。(Wǒ de diànnǎo hěn jiù .)
Canaan: My computer is very old.
Jane: 我的电脑很旧。(Wǒ de diànnǎo hěn jiù .)
Canaan: So you might have a good excuse to get a new one.
Jane: 新 (xīn)
Canaan: New.
Jane: 新 (xīn)
Canaan: And in fact, this should not be a 新 (xīn) word for you if you remember how to say happy New Year from a few lessons back.
Jane: 新年快乐 (Xīnnián kuàilè)
Canaan: Happy New Year. Now our next word is a very, very colloquial one.
Jane: 不错 (búcuò)
Canaan: Not bad.
Jane: 不错 (búcuò)
Canaan: A rather standard agreeable comment or piece of praise but if you think something is pretty good like really good, you would say
Jane: 真不错 (zhēn búcuò) as in 这台电脑真不错。(zhè Tái diànnǎo zhēn búcuò.)
Canaan: This computer is really good.
Jane: 这台电脑真不错。(zhè Tái diànnǎo zhēn búcuò.)
Canaan: Now the last word here in our vocabulary is right now probably the most popular of our vocabulary words at the moment.
Jane: 苹果 (Píngguǒ)
Canaan: Apple.
Jane: 苹果 (Píngguǒ)
Canaan: Now this word literally means Apple as in the tree fruit that you pick and eat but in the context of our dialogue today, it also refers to apple as in Apple Corp. All right, that’s today’s vocabulary. Let’s go to the grammar.

Lesson focus

Canaan: In today’s grammar, we are going to focus on the ubiquitous particle.
Jane: 的 (de)
Canaan: And it really doesn’t have much meaning on its own but it’s an extremely common and very important particle within many different grammar structures.
Jane: 是的。(shì de .)
Canaan: See, Jane has been using this particle all the time. Now a lot of you probably already understand that this particle can be used to indicate ownership or a possessive relationship when it follows a pronoun or a noun.
Jane: So it’s like noun or pronoun plus a particle 的 (de) and usually followed by another noun.
Canaan: And the noun or pronoun preceding 的 (de) is the possessor or the restricting element modifying the part that follows 的 (de)
Jane: For example 我的猫 (Wǒ de māo)
Canaan: My cat.
Jane: 网吧的电脑 (Wǎngbā de diànnǎo)
Canaan: The internet café’s computer. Now today we are going to come across another one of the usages of 的 (de) which is very much continuation of the one we just mentioned.
Jane: 是的。(shì de .) And today we are going to talk about how to use omission in particular omitting the part after the particle 的 (de) to make it sound more native like.
Canaan: And it really saves time in colloquial dialogue such as a sentence in our dialogue.
Jane: 苹果的?(Píngguǒ de?)
Canaan: Apple’s? meaning is it Apple’s computer? So the whole sentence should be
Jane: 这是苹果的电脑吗?(zhè shì Píngguǒ de diànnǎo ma ?)
Canaan: Is this Apple’s computer. So our version is a whole lot shorter right?
Jane: 是的。(shì de .) Here we omitted the noun after the particle 的 (de) and of course 这是 (zhè shì) at the beginning of the sentence as well.
Canaan: Yeah it’s really not that different from English, is it?
Jane: 没错儿 (méicuòr)
Canaan: Now the next one
Jane: 山寨的 (shānzhàide)
Canaan: Is a constriction of the longer sentence
Jane: 这是山寨的苹果的电脑。(zhè shì shānzhàide Píngguǒ de diànnǎo .)
Canaan: This is a knock off version of Apple’s computer. In fact the particle 的(De) can not only follow after nouns or pronouns to modify the noun after it, it can also follow adjectives or verbs and verb phrases to describe or modify the following noun.
Jane: Such as 新的手机 (xīn de shǒujī)
Canaan: New cell phone.
Jane: 新的手机 (xīn de shǒujī)
Canaan: Here the particle 的 (de) followed the adjective 新 (xīn) to modify the noun 手机 (shǒujī)
Jane: 买电脑的人 (mǎi diànnǎo de rén)
Canaan: The person who is buying or bought the computer.
Jane: 买电脑的人 (mǎi diànnǎo de rén)
Canaan: And here the particle 的 followed a verb phrase 买电脑 (mǎi diànnǎo) to modify the noun 人(rén) and of course the parts following 的 (de) can also be omitted in the same way we talked about with the noun particle de situation.
Jane: So 买电脑的人 (mǎi diànnǎo de rén) could be shortened as 买电脑的 (mǎi diànnǎo de .) 买电脑的是他的老同学。(mǎi diànnǎo de shì tā de lǎo tóngxué .)
Canaan: The person buying the computer is his former classmate.
Jane: 买电脑的是他的老同学。(mǎi diànnǎo de shì tā de lǎo tóngxué .) 这个老师是新来的。(zhège lǎoshī shì xīnláide .)
Canaan: This teacher is new as in new to the school.
Jane: 这个老师是新来的。(zhège lǎoshī shì xīnláide .)
Canaan: Or if your friend asked you, who is this teacher?
Jane: 这个老师是谁?(zhège lǎoshī shì shéi ?)
Canaan: You could just simply respond
Jane: 新来的。(xīnláide .)
Canaan: A new comer and this is how the sentence 新来的。(xīnláide .) in our dialogue came around. So this is a relatively simple breakdown of the grammar. Now remember, if you have any comments, feedback or questions, you know how to contact us.


Jane: By email or just log on to our website to leave a comment at the end of the lesson.
Canaan: Yeah and we do check them on a regular basis but for now though, from Beijing, this is Canaan.
Jane: And Jane.
Canaan: See you next time.
Jane: 下次见。(xiàcì jiàn .)