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. This is Canaan.
Jane: 嗨,大家好,我是Jane。(Hāi, dàjiā hǎo, wǒ shì Jane.) And thanks again for being here with us for this Absolute Beginner series, season 3, lesson 24.
Canaan: Find out whether the weather is good in Chinese.
Jane: This should be a very useful lesson for our listeners.
Canaan: Yeah I find that the weather actually really is the most common topic for small talk all around the world.
Jane: Plus with global warming, the weather is getting more and more unpredictable.
Canaan: That’s true but in today’s lesson, you will learn how to talk about the weather casually
Jane: And this conversation takes place inside a house between two friends.
Canaan: Yeah speaking in casual Mandarin of course. Now before we take you to the dialogue, we are almost done with the series now and if you’ve been following us all the way from day 1 and you are still not registered for your free lifetime account
Jane: Then you should really do it today.
Canaan: Because within ten seconds, you will have access to all sorts of really great learning tools for improving your Chinese.
Jane: 没错。(Méicuò.)
Canaan: All right. Now let’s go to the dialogue.
今天天气怎么样?(Jīntiān tiānqì zěnmeyàng?)
挺好的。(Tǐng hǎo de.)
冷不冷? (Lěng bu lěng?)
不冷,挺暖和的!(Bù lěng, tǐng nuǎnhuo de!)
Canaan: One more time, a little more slowly.
今天天气怎么样?(Jīntiān tiānqì zěnmeyàng?)
挺好的。(Tǐng hǎo de.)
冷不冷? (Lěng bu lěng?)
不冷,挺暖和的!(Bù lěng, tǐng nuǎnhuo de!)
Canaan: And with the English translation.
今天天气怎么样?(Jīntiān tiānqì zěnmeyàng?)
What is the weather like today?
挺好的。(Tǐng hǎo de.)
Pretty good.
冷不冷? (Lěng bu lěng?)
不冷,挺暖和的!(Bù lěng, tǐng nuǎnhuo de!)
No, pretty warm.
Canaan: Now I hear Jane that China is one of the only countries to have attempted weather modification to prevent rains and storms during important national events. Is that true?
Jane: Umm I have heard something like that as well. On the day when Chairman Mao announced that the founding of Republic of China in 1949 and there was scientists who were responsible for a good weather to not to cause any trouble for the important events.
Canaan: Pretty serious job that is, controlling the weather. Now here, they are trying to do the same thing during the 2008 Olympic opening ceremony too.
Jane: Umm interesting but I can’t understand that.
Canaan: Now today we’ve put together vocabulary that consists of some basic words to help you describe the weather.
Jane: We hope you will find it useful.
Canaan: Let’s take a look.
Jane: 天气 (tiānqì)
Canaan: Weather.
Jane: 天气,天气。冷 (lěng)
Canaan: Cold.
Jane: 冷,冷。凉快 (liángkuai)
Canaan: Cool.
Jane: 凉快,凉快。挺 (tǐng)
Canaan: Very.
Jane: 挺,挺。晴 (qíng)
Canaan: Sunny.
Jane: 晴,晴。阴 (yīn)
Canaan: Overcast.
Jane: 阴,阴。暖和 (nuǎnhuo)
Canaan: Warm.
Jane: 暖和,暖和。气温 (qìwēn)
Canaan: Air temperature.
Jane: 气温,气温。
Canaan: All right. There are your vocabulary words. Let’s see how to use them.
Jane: And the first word is 天气 (tiānqì).
Canaan: Weather.
Jane: 天气 (tiānqì)。今天天气真好。(Jīntiān tiānqì zhēn hǎo.)
Canaan: The weather is really nice today.
Jane: 今天天气真好。(Jīntiān tiānqì zhēn hǎo.)
Canaan: And if we are speaking of good weather, it’s probably a
Jane: 晴天 (Qíngtiān)
Canaan: Sunny day.
Jane: 晴天 (Qíngtiān)
Canaan: Now the word 晴 (Qíng) is something you will often see in a weather forecast but in conversation, if we want to say it’s a sunny day, we often say
Jane: 今天天(儿)真好 (jīntiān tiānr zhēn hǎo) or 今天天(儿)真不错 (jīntiān tiānr zhēn bùcuò)。
Canaan: Right and you don’t even say 天气 (tiānqì), you say 天(tiān) with an R sound at the end. Can we hear that again?
Jane: 天(儿) (tiānr). But this is maybe just Beijing dialect.
Canaan: Yeah. It’s Beijing dialect. Now the next word is the opposite of 晴 (Qíng).
Jane: 阴 (Yīn)
Canaan: Overcast.
Jane: 阴 (Yīn)
Canaan: Again you will see this word often in weather forecast.
Jane: And we use this word in a conversation as well especially when it looks like it’s going to rain 这天真阴,是不是要下雨啦?(Zhè tiānzhēn yīn, shì bùshì yào xià yǔ la?)
Canaan: The weather is so overcast, is it going to rain?
Jane: 这天真阴,是不是要下雨啦?(Zhè tiānzhēn yīn, shì bùshì yào xià yǔ la?)
Canaan: Interestingly, this word can also be used to describe a person, somebody who is evil and dark or sinister.
Jane: 是的。 (Shì de.) But not a very good word to describe someone. 他这人真阴。(Tā zhè rén zhēn yīn.)
Canaan: He is very sinister person.
Jane: 他这人真阴。(Tā zhè rén zhēn yīn.)
Canaan: Now when we talk about the weather, of course it’s usually natural to talk about temperature as well.
Jane: 气温 (qìwēn)
Canaan: Air temperature.
Jane: 气温 (qìwēn)
Canaan: Now here 温 (wēn) is short for
Jane: 温度 (wēndù)
Canaan: Which means temperature.
Jane: 温度 (wēndù)
Canaan: Temperature. Therefore air temperature is
Jane: 气温 (qìwēn)
Canaan: Right. Now by the way if it’s water temperature, it should be
Jane: 水温 (Shuǐ wēn)
Canaan: Water temperature.
Jane: 水温 (Shuǐ wēn)
Canaan: All right. Now let’s go back to our air temperature here.
Jane: 今天气温真高。(Jīntiān qìwēn hěn gāo.)
Canaan: Today’s temperature is very high.
Jane: 今天气温真高。(Jīntiān qìwēn hěn gāo.)
Canaan: And when the temperature is high, you might feel
Jane: 暖和 (nuǎnhuo)
Canaan: Warm.
Jane: 暖和 (nuǎnhuo)
Canaan: Which is a very colloquial word used not only to describe weather being warm.
Jane: 是的。(Shì de.) 这屋里真暖和。(Zhè wū lǐ hěn nuǎnhuo.)
Canaan: It’s really warm in this room.
Jane: 这屋里真暖和。(Zhè wū lǐ hěn nuǎnhuo.)
Canaan: It’s really warm in this room or this room is really warm. Now our next two words should be review to our listeners.
Jane: 冷 (lěng)
Canaan: Cold.
Jane: 冷 (lěng)
Canaan: And if you still remember, we once compared this word to its other similar partner
Jane: 凉 (liáng)
Canaan: Cool.
Jane: 凉 (liáng)
Canaan: Now the latter is often associated with pleasant feelings such as
Jane: 涼快 (liángkuai)
Canaan: Cool.
Jane: 涼快 (liángkuai) 。今天晚上真凉快。(Jīntiān wǎnshàng zhēn liángkuai.)
Canaan: This evening is really cool.
Jane: 今天晚上真凉快。(Jīntiān wǎnshàng zhēn liángkuai.)
Canaan: It’s really cool this evening. Right, so a whole lot of useful words related to talking about the weather.
Jane: 是的。(Shì de.) But next in our grammar section, we are going to introduce another adverb of degree that is often used in colloquial conversation.
Canaan: Particularly here in Beijing. Let’s take a look.

Lesson focus

Canaan: All right Jane, what’s today’s grammar about?
Jane: It is about the word 挺 (tǐng) as in 挺好的 (tǐng hǎo de).
Canaan: Pretty good. Right, it’s another adverb of degree.
Jane: 是的。(Shì de.) It’s a very colloquial one.
Canaan: Now since we’ve encountered a number of these adverbs before, how about we do a quick review with our listeners today.
Jane: Sure. And the most common one that you’ve seen so far probably is 很 (hěn).
Canaan: Very but this one is rarely used in daily conversation, all right.
Jane: 是的。(Shì de.) In daily conversation, we often use 挺 (tǐng) as in 今天天气挺不错的。(Jīntiān tiānqì tǐng bùcuò de.)
Canaan: The weather today is pretty good.
Jane: 今天天气挺不错的。(Jīntiān tiānqì tǐng bùcuò de.)
Canaan: Notice that when you use 挺 (tǐng) in a sentence, you usually add the particle 的 (de) at the end to form the pattern.
Jane: 挺 (tǐng) plus adjective plus 的 (de).
Canaan: Right. Can you give us another sample sentence?
Jane: 今天挺冷的。(Jīntiān tǐng lěng de.)
Canaan: Today is pretty cold.
Jane: (Jīntiān tǐng lěng de.)
Canaan: Okay. Now what’s the next degree after that?
Jane: 真 (zhēn) as in 今天真冷。(Jīntiān zhēn lěng.)
Canaan: Today is really cold.
Jane: 今天真冷。(Jīntiān zhēn lěng.)
Canaan: So compared to 挺 (tǐng),真 (zhēn) expresses a higher degree.
Jane: 是的。(Shì de.)
Canaan: Okay now, what’s the next level after that?
Jane: But before we go into another level, there is another adverb 特 (tè) which is thought as similar to 真 (zhēn) but more colloquial.
Canaan: Right but that’s really Beijing usage, isn’t it?
Jane: 是的。(Shì de.) 今天特冷。(Jīntiān tè lěng.)
Canaan: Today is so cold.
Jane: 今天特冷。(Jīntiān tè lěng.)
Canaan: Okay. You got to tell me though. What’s the adverb to describe a greater degree than 真
Jane: It’s 太 (tài) as in 太冷 (tài lěng)
Canaan: Too cold.
Jane: 今天太冷了。(Jīntiān tài lěngle.)
Canaan: It’s too cold today.
Jane: 今天太冷了。(Jīntiān tài lěngle.)
Canaan: And I hope our listeners remember in the pattern using 太 (tài), it’s 太 (tài) plus adjective plus 了 (le); while in comparison to the pattern we just learned which is 挺 (tǐng) plus adjective plus 的 (de).
Jane: 是的。(Shì de.) They are all fixed patterns.
Canaan: Exactly. In this case, they are all statements of degree. Okay, but is there a level of intensity higher than 太 (tài)?
Jane: There is a very colloquial way to say, express this same level of degree. Our listeners should have learned before.
Canaan: Okay and what is it?
Jane: 死了 (sǐle)。今天冷死了。(Jīntiān lěng sǐle.)
Canaan: It’s too cold today.
Jane: 今天冷死了。(Jīntiān lěng sǐle.)
Canaan: It’s too cold today. Literally “today it’s cold as death”. So all these adverbs can be used to express different degrees of intensity and they are probably the most common ones that you will hear in daily life.
Jane: 是的。(Shì de.) And my favorite one is the last one 死了 (sǐle)。
Canaan: That’s really lucky. Anyway well we’ve had a fairly easily grammar section today and we hope you’ve enjoyed it.
Jane: Before we go, I’d like to say that we’d love to hear from you. So please write to us or leave something on the site.
Canaan: It might be a bit late sometimes but we will definitely write back.
Jane: 是的。(Shì de.) For now though, Jane here
Canaan: And it’s Canaan from Downtown Beijing, see you next time.
Jane: 再见。(Zàijiàn.)