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Lesson Transcript

Frank: Hey, everyone.
Echo: Da jia hao.
Frank: Welcome back to ChineseClass101.com Season 1, Lesson 12 in our Beginner Series. I'm your host, Frank Fradella and I'm joined in the studio today by the beautiful and talented Echo.
Echo: 谢谢(Xièxiè), 我是(Wǒ shì) Echo.
Frank: Today, we're going to learn how to ask what time it is and how to answer that question as well.
Echo: Yes. And today's dialogue takes place in a café also.
Frank: Between two friends. And what they're using here is casual speech.
Echo: Yes.
Frank: So we're going to go ahead and get started, but before we do, it's time to remind you to head up to ChineseClass101.com.
Echo: Yeah and get your free life time account.
Frank: It just takes a couple of seconds and you will be right back here with us.
Echo: Yes, very easy.
Frank: Let's go ahead and listen to that dialogue.

Lesson conversation

马丽:几点了?(MǍ LÌ: Jǐ diǎn le?)
李芳:现在9点。(LǏ FĀNG: Xiànzài jiǔ diǎn.)
马丽:已经9点了?(MǍ LÌ: Yǐjīng jiǔ diǎn le?)
李芳:对。(LǏ FĀNG: Duì.)
马丽:啊?我迟到了!(MǍ LÌ: á? Wǒ chídào le!)
English host: And now again, just a little slower.
马丽:几点了?(MǍ LÌ: Jǐ diǎn le?)
李芳:现在9点。(LǏ FĀNG: Xiànzài jiǔ diǎn.)
马丽:已经9点了?(MǍ LÌ: Yǐjīng jiǔ diǎn le?)
李芳:对。(LǏ FĀNG: Duì.)
马丽:啊?我迟到了!(MǍ LÌ: á? Wǒ chídào le!)
Frank: Okay, great dialogue.
Echo: Yeah, it's very useful.
Frank: Now, is this something you can identify with?
Echo: Well actually yes, but I don't want to admit it.
Frank: So you ask for the time and you find that you're already late. And I think we're already late to give the line-by-line translation of this dialogue. So let's go ahead and do it.
马丽:几点了?(MǍ LÌ: Jǐ diǎn le?)
Frank: What time is it?
李芳:现在9点。(LǏ FĀNG: Xiànzài jiǔ diǎn.)
Frank: It's nine o'clock now.
马丽:已经9点了?(MǍ LÌ: Yǐjīng jiǔ diǎn le?)
Frank: It's already nine?
李芳:对。(LǏ FĀNG: Duì.)
Frank: Right.
马丽:啊?我迟到了!(MǍ LÌ: á? Wǒ chídào le!)
Frank: Ah! I'm late!
Echo: That's so bad.
Frank: I know.
Echo: It happened in my real life too.
Frank: I used to be so late to my Chinese classes back in the days, so I used this sentence when I walked in.
Echo: Yeah, 我迟到了(Wǒ chídàole). I'm sorry.
Frank: Exactly, yes. Let's go ahead and do the vocab now.
Echo: 几点了(jǐdiǎn le) [natural native speed]
Frank: What time.
Echo: 几点了(jǐdiǎn le) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 几点了(jǐdiǎn le) [natural native speed]. 现在(xiànzài) [natural native speed]
Frank: Now.
Echo: 现在(xiànzài) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 现在(xiànzài) [natural native speed]. 点(diǎn) [natural native speed]
Frank: O'clock.
Echo: 点(diǎn) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 点(diǎn) [natural native speed]. 已经(yǐjīng) [natural native speed]
Frank: Already.
Echo: 已经(yǐjīng) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 已经(yǐjīng) [natural native speed]. 对(duì) [natural native speed]
Frank: Right or correct.
Echo: 对(duì) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 对(duì) [natural native speed]. 迟到(chídào) [natural native speed]
Frank: To be late.
Echo: 迟到(chídào) [slowly - broken down by syllable]. 迟到(chídào) [natural native speed].
Frank: Okay, Echo, I think it's time to teach people how to ask what time it is.
Echo: Yeah, 几点了?(Jǐ diǎn le?)
Frank: It's a great phrase and it's a set phrase. Let's hear it once more.
Echo: 几点了?(Jǐ diǎn le?)
Frank: It just means what time is it.
Echo: Yeah.
Frank: Now, to answer this question, you're going to say a number followed by …
Echo: 点(diǎn)
Frank: So for example, it's 8 o'clock.
Echo: 八点。(Bā diǎn.)
Frank: It is 6 o'clock.
Echo: 六点。(Liù diǎn.)
Frank: It is now 3 o'clock.
Echo: 现在三点。(Xiànzài sān diǎn.)
Frank: But it's never quite that easy, is it?
Echo: Yeah, it's not.
Frank: Now, usually when you ask somebody what time it is, they're more likely to say, it's 3:20.
Echo: 三点二十分。(Sān diǎn èrshí fēn.)
Frank: Now, the structure there is 3.
Echo: 三。(Sān.)
Frank: Followed by the word for hour.
Echo: 点。(Diǎn.)
Frank: The number of minutes.
Echo: 二十。(Èrshí.)
Frank: Followed by the word for minutes.
Echo: 分(Fēn). 三点二十分(Sān diǎn èrshí fēn). Now actually in the casual speech, we'll just say 三点二十(Sān diǎn èrshí). It's casual.
Frank: Terrific. Let's use some more examples of that. It's 4:25.
Echo: 四点二十五分 or 四点二十五.(Sì diǎn èrshíwǔ fēn or sì diǎn èrshíwǔ.)
Frank: It's 6:35.
Echo: 六点三十五分 or 六点三十五(Liù diǎn sānshíwǔ fēn or liù diǎn sānshíwǔ)
Frank: Great. Let's introduce just one more thing here, how do you say its half past? Let's say its 10:30?
Echo: 十点半.(Shí diǎn bàn.)
Frank: So the word for half here is?
Echo: 半.(Bàn)
Frank: And this doesn't just relate to time. You can use this anywhere.
Echo: Yeah.
Frank: Terrific. Now our last example is a question. Is it already 1:30?
Echo: 已经一点半了吗?(Yǐjīng yīdiǎn bànle ma?)
Frank: Of course if you were supposed to be somewhere by 1 o'clock, you're already late.
Echo: 迟到了.(Chídàole.)
Frank: Exactly, that's our next vocab word. Let's hear it one more time?
Echo: 迟到了.(Chídàole.)
Frank: It means to be late. Let's hear some examples of this. You are late.
Echo: 你迟到了.(Nǐ chídàole.)
Frank: She is late.
Echo: 她迟到了.(Tā chídàole)
Frank: Am I late?
Echo: 我迟到了吗?(Wǒ chídàole ma?)
Frank: Exactly. And if you want to say, yes, you are late.
Echo: 对,你迟到了.(Duì, nǐ chídàole.)
Frank: So the word here for correct or right is?
Echo: 对(Duì). So, Frank, do you know what time it is now?
Frank: I do indeed, its grammar time.

Lesson focus

Echo: 对.(Duì.)
Frank: Let's do it. Today's grammar section we're introducing time markers. This always comes at the beginning of a sentence.
Echo: Yes.
Frank: We actually heard two of them in today's dialogue. The first one was how to say now.
Echo: 现在.(Xiànzài.)
Frank: It is now 6 o'clock.
Echo: 现在六点.(Xiànzài liù diǎn.)
Frank: Or it is now 8 o'clock.
Echo: 现在八点.(Xiànzài bā diǎn.)
Frank: It is now 10:30.
Echo: 现在十点半.(Xiànzài shí diǎn bàn.)
Frank: The other time marker that we learned today is the word for already.
Echo: 已经.(Yǐjīng.)
Frank: As in, it is already 3:30.
Echo: 已经三点半了.(Yǐjīng sān diǎn bànle.)
Frank: It's already 7 o'clock.
Echo: 已经七点了.(Yǐjīng qī diǎnle.)
Frank: Is it already 11?
Echo: 已经十一点了吗?(Yǐjīng shíyī diǎnle ma?)
Frank: Now, you may have noticed an extra sound at the end of these sentences.
Echo: 了? 已经七点了。已经十一点了。了。(Le? Yǐjīng qī diǎnle. Yǐjīng shíyī diǎnle.Le.)
Frank: Echo, what does that mean?
Echo: It means the sentence is in past tense.
Frank: Exactly. Now we're going to go into greater detail about this in a future lesson, but we want to let know in care if you were curious.
Echo: Yes.
Frank: But for now, it's already time for us to say Goodbye.
Echo: Yeah, Goodbye time.
Frank: But before we do, we want to remind you to head up to ChineseClass101.com and leave us comments.
Echo: Yeah and leave comments.
Frank: We love your comments. We love to hear from you.
Echo: Comment, comment, comment.
Frank: I will see you next time, but for now, from Beijing, I'm Frank Fradella.
Echo: 我是(Wǒ shì) Echo.
Frank: I will see you next time. 再见.(Zàijiàn.)
Echo: Bye-bye.


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Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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Now you've already gotten through 12 beginner lessons -- and with this latest lesson, you'll learn how to say 'now' and 'already.' So tell us -- how do you feel now about what you've learned already? What would you like to do now? Extra points for doing it in Chinese!

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 01:34 AM
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你好 robert groulx!

不用谢。(Bú yòng xiè.) = No need for thanks. You're welcome. 😇

谢谢 (Xièxie) for studying with us, it's great to have you here!

Let us know if you have any questions.

Kind regards,

雷文特 (Levente)

Team ChineseClass101.com

robert groulx
Saturday at 10:26 PM
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thank you for the lesson

my favorite phrase is 现在六点


ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 08:39 PM
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Hi Claudia

In this lesson, one example: 你说得对。(You said the right thing.)

You cannot put 了 after 说 in this line. This is the harder part of Chinese grammar. One of the functions of 了 is to indicate the past simple or present perfect tenses, such as the lines in this lesson:



But 了 is not really functioning like '-ed' in English, and may not be used in the past actions sometimes, such as not used in comments of past actions and experiences. This lesson is still at the beginner level, so take it easy. Please learn 了 case by case for the moment. It takes quite some time for a learner to understand how Chinese is functioning - If you'd like to understand it in an European language perspective, you might feel it's harder. Still, learn it case by case, and you'll gain experience in time.



Team ChineseClass101.com

Claudia Fontana
Monday at 11:51 AM
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In lesson 12 it says:

ni shuodedui.........you spoke correctly

why does it not say ni shuoledui?.............I thought you use "le" to indicate the past.


ChineseClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 06:54 PM
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Hi Ivan,

Thank you for posting.

Should you have any questions, please let us know.



Team ChineseClass101.com

Ivan Mendez
Thursday at 07:22 AM
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ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 04:28 PM
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Hello, Dustin,




迟到了很长时间:be late for long time


晚起:get up late


要: have to, need 需要:need

他:he 她:she

才= 直到。。。才:not do something until ...


Team ChineseClass101.com

Sunday at 01:30 AM
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怎么样 Echo 和 Frank!


Just playing around, this might be 很不对!haha. Thank you for the lesson, it was funny the lesson was about being late, and right as I started the lesson my brother was super late for work!

卫力 (aka Alexis)
Saturday at 01:35 PM
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Team ChineseClass101.com
Saturday at 10:32 AM
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yīnwèi nǐ xué de hěn hǎo , Wǒ zhēnde hěn gāoxìng .

Thank you.


Team ChineseClass101.com