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Lesson Transcript

Let's take a closer look at the conversation.
Do you remember how Zheng Zhu asks,
"Where are you from?"
First is 你 (nǐ), "you." 你. 你.
Next is 是 (shì). Here, it's like the "are" in "you are." 是. 是.
Together, 你是 (nǐ shì). "You are." 你 是.
Next is 哪里 (nǎlǐ), "where." 哪里. 哪里.
Pronunciation note: when there are two third tones in a row, the first one changes to the second tone. Listen to the pronunciation again. 哪里 (nǎlǐ). 哪里 (nǎlǐ).
The pronunciation differs from the pinyin, where you will still see two third tones.
After this, 人 (rén). "Person." 人. 人.
Together, 哪里人 (nǎlǐ rén) literally means "where person." 哪里人.
All together, it's 你是哪里人?Literally "You are where person?" But it translates as "Where are you from?" 你是哪里人?
Remember this question. You'll hear it again later in this lesson.
Now, let's take a closer look at the response.
Do you remember how Mark Lee says,
"I'm an American."
First is 我, "I." 我 (Wǒ). 我.
Next is 是 (shì). Here, it's like the "am" in "I am." 是.
Together, 我是 (Wǒ shì). "I am." 我是.
Next is 美国 (Měiguó), which literally means "beautiful country," but it translates as "the United States of America." 美国. 美国.
Last is 人 (rén), "person." 人. 人.
Together, 美国人 (Měiguó rén) literally means "United States of America person" or "an American." 美国人.
Note: 美国人 (Měiguó rén) is a noun, not an adjective.
All together, 我是美国人。 (Wǒ shì Měiguó rén) means "I'm an American." 我是美国人。
The pattern is
我是 (Wǒ shì) {home country} 人 (rén).
"I'm a {noun for person of home country}.
我是 {home country} 人.
To use this pattern, simply replace the {home country} placeholder with the name of your country.
Imagine you're from Australia. In Chinese, 澳大利亚 (Aòdàlìyà). 澳大利亚. 澳大利亚.
"I'm an Australian."
我是澳大利亚人。 (Wǒ shì Aòdàlìyà rén.)
"I'm an Australian."