Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
David: This is about when you are sitting at work, you are about to save that report and everything shuts off. Not that uncommon here. So we’ve got a dialogue that takes place at home probably later in the evening.
Sylvia: Right.
David: Work is just done. He is just about to save it. Let’s see what happens.
DIALOGUE
A: 咦?灯怎么不亮了?(Yí? Dēng zěnme bú liàng le?)
B: 好像停电了。(Hǎoxiàng tíngdiàn le.)
A: 去看看怎么回事。(Qù kànkàn zěnme huíshì.)
B: 奇怪,邻居有电。(Qíguài ,línjū yǒu diàn.)
David: One more time a bit slower.
A: 咦?灯怎么不亮了?(Yí? Dēng zěnme bú liàng le?)
B: 好像停电了。(Hǎoxiàng tíngdiàn le.)
A: 去看看怎么回事。(Qù kànkàn zěnme huíshì.)
B: 奇怪,邻居有电。(Qíguài ,línjū yǒu diàn.)
David: And now with the English translation.
Sylvia: 咦?灯怎么不亮了?(Yí? Dēng zěnme bú liàng le?)
David: Huh? Why did the light turn off?
Sylvia: 好像停电了。(Hǎoxiàng tíngdiàn le.)
David: It seems as if the power went out.
Sylvia: 去看看怎么回事。(Qù kànkàn zěnme huíshì.)
David: Go see what the problem is.
Sylvia: 奇怪,邻居有电。(Qíguài ,línjū yǒu diàn.)
David: That's strange, the neighbors have power.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
David: The problem is the fuse. It’s not that difficult.
VOCAB LIST
Sylvia: 怎么(zěnme) [natural native speed]
David: how
Sylvia: 怎么(zěnme) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 怎么(zěnme) [natural native speed]
Sylvia: 亮(liàng) [natural native speed]
David: bright
Sylvia: 亮(liàng) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 亮(liàng) [natural native speed]
Sylvia: 好像(hǎoxiàng) [natural native speed]
David: to seem
Sylvia: 好像(hǎoxiàng) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 好像(hǎoxiàng) [natural native speed]
Sylvia: 停电(tíngdiàn) [natural native speed]
David: to have a blackout
Sylvia: 停电(tíngdiàn) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 停电(tíngdiàn) [natural native speed]
Sylvia: 有电(yǒu diàn) [natural native speed]
David: to have (electricity) power
Sylvia: 有电(yǒu diàn) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 有电(yǒu diàn) [natural native speed]
Sylvia: 了(le) [natural native speed]
David: (change of state particle)
Sylvia: 了(le) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 了(le) [natural native speed]
Sylvia: 奇怪(qí guài) [natural native speed]
David: strange
Sylvia: 奇怪(qí guài) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 奇怪(qí guài) [natural native speed]
Sylvia: 邻居(línjū) [natural native speed]
David: neighbor
Sylvia: 邻居(línjū) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 邻居(línjū) [natural native speed]
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
David: Let’s take a closer look at some of these words and phrases. The first word is obviously blackout 停电(tíngdiàn), or to have the power outage 停电(tíngdiàn), and there is literally two words we already know. The first means to stop 停(Tíng), as in stop the car 停车(Tíngchē). In this case though, it’s not the car, it’s 电(Diàn), which means electricity or power 电(Diàn). So a power outage 停电(tíngdiàn) and this is either a verb or a noun. Now Sylvia, what’s the opposite of a power outage?
Sylvia: 有电.(yǒu diàn.)
David: Do have power.
Sylvia: Literally yes.
David: Yeah 有电.(yǒu diàn.) So you can ask if the power is on by saying 有电吗?(Yǒu diàn ma?) or 有没有电?(Yǒu méiyǒu diàn?) Right, So in Chinese, the opposite of the stop is to have
Sylvia: 有没有电?(Yǒu méiyǒu diàn?)
David: Another useful word in our dialog is the word meaning bright 亮(Liàng), bright 亮.(Liàng.)
Sylvia: So this word 亮(Liàng) literally means bright.
David: Right and things like the day can become bright. 天亮了(Tiānliàngle). Right usually it’s 6 to 7 o’ clock. It’s the opposite of 天黑了(Tiān hēile), but there are other words with this as well. My favorite is the word moon 月亮(Yuèliàng), moon 月亮.(Yuèliàng.) The moon is very bright. 月亮很亮(Yuèliàng hěn liàng). Right. The last word we want to highlight means strange 奇怪(Qíguài), strange 奇怪(Qíguài). Just like in English, this is an adjective. So you can say very strange 很奇怪(Hěn qíguài). Extremely strange 非常奇怪(Fēicháng qíguài), or excessively strange 太奇怪了(Tài qíguàile). As with English though, we can also use this standing alone at the head of a sentence. For instance, 奇怪(Qíguài),邻居有电(Línjū yǒu diàn) that’s strange, the neighbors have power.
Sylvia: 奇怪,他还没来.(Qíguài, tā hái méi lái.)
David: Strange, he still hasn’t come. So this word 奇怪(Qíguài) you can use it either as an adjective or to lead a sentence.
LESSON FOCUS
David: Our grammar point today is actually it’s not a grammar point. It’s review.
Sylvia: Right.
David: We’ve given you guys a lot of new stuff over the past couple of lessons. So we want to take a few moments here, relax and review something that’s really important.
Sylvia: So today we are going to talk about 了(Le).
David: Right. The change of state past aspect particle. 了(Le). And the fact is particle does two things is what confuses a lot of people. In previous lessons, we’ve given you the rules. So we want to see how much you still remember. Sylvia, you’ve got six sentences for us.
Sylvia: Right. Get ready.
David: Three of these are past aspect.
Sylvia: Yes.
David: And three of them are change of state. So Sylvia is going to give them to us.
Sylvia: And your job is to figure out which is which?
David: Right. Number 1…
Sylvia: 天已经黑了.(Tiān yǐjīng hēile.)
David: If you guess past tense, you are wrong. That’s change of state. We’ve got 了(Le) at the end of the sentence following an adjective 黑了(Hēile). Example 2...
Sylvia: 他下午睡了觉.(Tā xiàwǔ shuìle jué.)
David: If you guess past tense, you are right. He slept in the afternoon, 睡了觉(Shuìle jué). 了(Le) here follows the verb directly instead of coming at the end of the sentence. That’s usually a sign of the past tense. We’ve got four more. Let’s go through them a bit quicker…
Sylvia: 北京怎么又下雨了? (Běijīng zěnme yòu xià yǔle?)
David: and this is change of state.
Sylvia: Next one 他昨天打电话了.(Tā zuótiān dǎ diànhuàle.)
David: Yesterday he called and that one is a bit tricky because we’ve got 了(Le) at the end of the sentence. We’ve got two more.
Sylvia: 我们昨天看书了.(Wǒmen zuótiān kànshūle.)
David: Yesterday we read a book and again it’s the word yesterday that’s giving that a way. If we don’t have that, it might be – it might be change of state. We just read the book. Last example…
Sylvia: 刚才天亮了.(Gāngcái tiānliàngle.)
David: It’s just become day 刚才天亮了(Gāngcái tiānliàngle), and if you guess change of state, you are right. The sky has brightened just now.
Sylvia: 刚才天亮了(Gāngcái tiānliàngle). So how did you do?
David: Right. If you didn’t get perfect, don’t worry. It takes years for people to really get the nuances down.
OUTRO

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ChineseClass101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
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ChineseClass101.com
Sunday at 1:55 pm
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Hi, Jason,

Thank you for the question.

睡 and 睡觉 both mean "sleep", the different is that 睡 is a verb and 睡觉 is verb+noun.

So, 睡了 = sleeped, 睡了觉 = had a sleep.


Cho

Team ChineseClass101.com

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Jason
Sunday at 7:57 am
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In the lesson notes, there is an example sentence that reads, 她下午睡了觉。Does 睡 and 觉 always have to go together when talking about sleep? Or can 睡 and 觉 be used as separate words? Both words appear to have the same meaning when I looked it up in a Chinese dictionary.

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ChineseClass101.com
Saturday at 11:13 am
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Hi 为力,

Glad I can help you.

Thank you.

Cho

Team ChineseClass101.com

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为力 (aka Alexis)
Thursday at 2:14 pm
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谢谢你! I understand the difference now.

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Team ChineseClass101.com
Saturday at 10:27 am
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Hi Alexis,

Thank you for your question.

In 灯怎么不亮了, 怎么 is used to express a tone with complaining more than just ask the reason.


In the case 去看看怎么回事(to see what happened by meaning), 怎么 is used to ask the situation, and 什么 is used to ask the details.

怎么回事=发生什么事了?(什么 follows the verb"发生")


If you have further questions,please let us know.

Cho

Team ChineseClass101.com

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Alexis 亚历克西 (Yà lì kè xī)
Monday at 11:08 pm
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你好, I have a question about the question word 怎么。 The first sentence, 灯怎么不亮了 is translated as Why did the light turn off? but we use 怎么 not 为社么。 Then later we have 去看看怎么回事 translated as go see what the problem is, but we don’t have 什么, but again 怎么。 Could you help me out understanding this.

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ChineseClass101.com
Wednesday at 11:59 am
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Hi Jarad,


Yes that's right!

北京怎么又下雨了?(Běijīng zěnme yòu xià yǔle) “How is it raining in Beijing again?”


Olivia

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Jarad
Tuesday at 9:27 pm
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Thanks, but can you translate it for me? Does it mean "How is it raining in Beijing again?"

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ChineseClass101.com
Tuesday at 4:02 pm
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Hi Jarad,


北京怎么又下雨了?(Běijīng zěnme yòu xià yǔle) is a question, mainly because of the question word 怎么 (zěnme) "why; how".


Olivia

Team ChineseClass101.com

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Jarad
Tuesday at 10:43 am
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What is the translation of her third sentence? I think it was "Beijing zenme you xiayu le." Is that a question? Or did I hear it wrong?


Thanks!