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Lesson Transcript

David: Right and we are actually talking about the animals.
Sylvia: Fat animals.
David: And there are a lot of fat cats especially here in Beijing. So we’ve got a dialogue that takes place at home between a pet owner and a guest.
Sylvia: And her pet.
David: Yes her pet is probably there too.
A: 你的猫几岁了?(Nǐ de māo jǐsuì le?)
B: 一岁。(Yī suì.)
A: 天啊!(Tiān'ā!)
B: 怎么了?(Zěnme le?)
A: 它太胖了。(Tā tài pàng le.)
David: One more time a bit slower.
A: 你的猫几岁了?(Nǐ de māo jǐsuì le?)
B: 一岁。(Yī suì.)
A: 天啊!(Tiān'ā!)
B: 怎么了?(Zěnme le?)
A: 它太胖了。(Tā tài pàng le.)
David: And now with the English translation.
Sylvia: 你的猫几岁了?(Nǐ de māo jǐsuì le?)
David: How old is your cat?
Sylvia: 一岁。(Yī suì.)
David: One year old.
Sylvia: 天啊!(Tiān'ā!)
David: Heavens!
Sylvia: 怎么了?(Zěnme le?)
David: What's the matter?
Sylvia: 它太胖了。(Tā tài pàng le.)
David: It's so fat.
Sylvia: 猫(māo) [natural native speed]
David: cat
Sylvia: 猫(māo) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 猫(māo) [natural native speed]
Sylvia: 狗(gǒu) [natural native speed]
David: dog
Sylvia: 狗(gǒu) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 狗(gǒu) [natural native speed]
Sylvia: 几(jǐ) [natural native speed]
David: how many, how much
Sylvia: 几(jǐ) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 几(jǐ) [natural native speed]
Sylvia: 岁(suì) [natural native speed]
David: age
Sylvia: 岁(suì) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 岁(suì) [natural native speed]
Sylvia: 天啊(tiān'ā) [natural native speed]
David: for heaven's sake
Sylvia: 天啊(tiān'ā) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 天啊(tiān'ā) [natural native speed]
Sylvia: 太(tài) [natural native speed]
David: too
Sylvia: 太(tài) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 太(tài) [natural native speed]
Sylvia: 胖(pàng) [natural native speed]
David: fat
Sylvia: 胖(pàng) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 胖(pàng) [natural native speed]
Sylvia: 瘦(shòu) [natural native speed]
David: thin
Sylvia: 瘦(shòu) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Sylvia: 瘦(shòu) [natural native speed]
David: Let’s take a closer look at some of these words and phrases. Now our animal vocab should be reviewed at this point.
Sylvia: Yes we’ve already learned 猫(māo).
David: Cat, 猫(māo). Cat and that’s easy to remember because that’s also the sound that cats make, 猫(māo). And of course, we also know the word for dog 狗(gǒu), dog 狗(gǒu).
Sylvia: And speaking of cats and dogs, here in China, people like dogs better.
David: Yeah Chinese people generally like dogs a bit more. Anyway, we have some more vocab in our lesson as well. The other two key words are fat 胖(pàng) and thin 瘦(shòu), fat 胖(pàng), thin 瘦(shòu). Both of these are 4th tone.
Sylvia: 胖(pàng), 瘦(shòu). And you can also use these two adjectives to describe a person.
David: Right. For instance, if you meet Brendan and his cat, you may naturally comment, Heavens, your cat is so fat 天啊(tiān'ā),你的猫真胖(Nǐ de māo zhēn pàng). Wow, your cat is really fat.
Sylvia: 天啊(tiān'ā),你的猫真胖!(Nǐ de māo zhēn pàng!) And my parents actually have a dog and it’s really thin. So when you meet him, you probably would say, 你的狗太瘦了(Nǐ de gǒu tài shòule).
David: I noticed that you took out the heavens part. So you don’t think it’s unnatural within.
Sylvia: I guess you would say 很正常.(Hěn zhèngcháng.)
David: Very normal 很正常(Hěn zhèngcháng) and that’s the word for normal 正常(Zhèngcháng). Finally if you want to stay on the safe side with any pet owner, you can just call their animal 可爱(Kě'ài) cute, 可爱(Kě'ài) cute.
Sylvia: Right. For example, 你的猫很可爱.(Nǐ de māo hěn kě'ài.)
David: Your cat is really cute or 你的狗真可爱(Nǐ de gǒu zhēn kě'ài) your dog is really cute.

Lesson focus

David: Our grammar point today is a review. Sylvia, what are we reviewing?
Sylvia: Right, today we are going to talk about the word 太(Tài).
David: And how to say that something is excessively adjective. We’ve covered this before in earlier lessons. Our simplest examples used single character adjectives. For instance, in the dialogue, we heard this 太胖了(Tài pàngle), too fat. 太胖了(Tài pàngle), too fat. Knowing the other words in our vocab section, we could also say 太瘦了(Tài shòule) too thin, 太瘦了(Tài shòule). Or maybe you would want to say that something is too normal 太正常了(Tài zhèngchángle) Too normal, 太正常了(Tài zhèngchángle). Now the trick to remember here is that not only do we use 太(Tài) we also have to add 了(Le) after our adjective. So it’s 太...(Tài...)
Sylvia: Plus adjective plus 了.(Le.)
David: Too fat 太胖了(Tài pàngle). Your cat is too fat 你的猫太胖了(Nǐ de māo tài pàngle). Too thin, 太瘦了(Tài shòule); your dog is too thin 你的狗太瘦了(Nǐ de gǒu tài shòule). Cute 太可爱了(Tài kě'àile). You too are too cute 你们俩太可爱了(Nǐmen liǎ tài kě'àile). Now let’s contrast this for a moment with sentences containing the adverb really 真(Zhēn) let’s take that sentence and change it. You too are really cute 你们俩真可爱(Nǐmen liǎ zhēn kě'ài). Did you hear the difference?
Sylvia: 你们俩真可爱.(Nǐmen liǎ zhēn kě'ài.)
David: So Sylvia, why do we need to add this 了?(Le?)
Sylvia: Well because it’s a change of state.
David: Right. Something has reached the point of becoming too fat or too thin.
Sylvia: 太胖了, 太瘦了.(Tài pàngle, tài shòule.)
David: And sometimes it will even reach the point of becoming too cute 太可爱了.(Tài kě'àile.)