Vocabulary

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嗨大家好,我是殷如。
(Hài dà jiā hǎo, wǒ shì Yīnrú.)
“Hi everyone, I’m Yinru.”
In this lesson, we’ll talk about the 10 most commonly used Chinese verbs in everyday life.
Our first verb is 吃 (chī).
吃 (chī) [enunciated]
吃 (chī) means “eat.”
Eating and food is such a big part of the Chinese culture, of course, 吃 (chī) has to be the first one in our list.
吃 (chī) “eat”
And you can say…
吃披萨 (chī pīsà) “eat pizza”
Or 吃饺子 (chī jiǎozi) “eat dumplings”
Just like in English, 吃 (chī) is to consume or take in anything solid.
If you’re taking in liquid, you would use 喝 (hē).
喝 (hē) “drink”
喝 (hē)
喝咖啡 (hē kāfēi) “drink coffee”
Or 喝茶 (hē chá) “drink tea”
吃 (chī) and 喝 (hē), right.
Next one on our list is 看 (kàn).
看 (kàn)
看 (kàn) means “look, see, watch.”
All of the above, anything, any activity or action you use your eyes with is 看 (kàn). Okay. And such as when you’re window shopping and someone asks, “Can I help you?” and you can just say, “I’m just looking,” 看看 (kàn kàn), okay.
看看 (kàn kàn)
But if you’re not just window shopping, you’re really serious about buying something, you would use this verb, 买 (mǎi).
买 (mǎi)
买 (mǎi) is “to buy.”
So, are you just looking, or are you buying?
是看还是买? (Shì kàn háishì mǎi?)
看 (kàn) and 买 (mǎi).
Okay. Next, 去 (qù).
去 (qù)
去 (qù) means “to go.”
Go, either go some place or go do something.
So in Chinese, we often have to put something after 去 (qù).
For example:
去 (qù)...
去机场 (qù jīchǎng) “go to the airport”
去买东西 (qù mǎi dōngxī) “go buy things / buy something / go shopping”
Or 去吃东西 (qù chī dōngxī) “go eat something”
So remember, always put, you need something after 去 (qù) in a complete sentence. You would say 去 (qù) + [a place] or 去 (qù) + [an activity].
Okay.
For example, you can use this verb after 去 (qù), 玩 (wán), or in northern part of China, people will often put 儿 (r) after the 玩 (wán) so making it 玩儿 (wánr), either 玩 (wán) and 玩儿 (wánr), they both mean “play.” Okay. You can say, 去玩儿 (qù wánr) “go play.”
And unlike in English, you could put an instrument or sports after “play.”
In Chinese, 玩儿 (wánr) is simply just to have fun, for entertaining purposes. So, for example, hanging out with friends is 玩儿 (wánr) and 去玩儿 (qù wánr) just simply means “go play, go have fun.”
去 (qù) and 玩儿 (wánr)
Okay, next.
听 (tīng)
听 (tīng) [enunciated]
听 (tīng) means “listen” or “hear.”
Anything you use your ear for is 听 (tīng).
And next is…
说 (shuō)
说 (shuō) [enunciated]
说 (shuō) means “to say, talk, speak.” All of the above is 说 (shuō).
说 (shuō), 听 (tīng), and 说 (shuō). Okay.
Next...
读 (dú)
读 (dú) [enunciated]
读 (dú) means “read.”
Either read out loud or read silently, quietly, they’re both 读 (dú).
And after 读 (dú) is…
写 (xiě) [enunciated]
写 (xiě) means “write.”
You can say 写信 (xiě xìn) “to write a letter,” or 写邮件 (xiě yóujiàn) “to write an email”
Actually, the last four verbs; 听 (tīng), 说 (shuō), 读 (dú), 写 (xiě), are often use as a set phrase to describe the four important aspects of language learning, not just Chinese learning, language learning, the four linguistic abilities.
听 (tīng) “listening”
说 (shuō) “speaking”
读 (dú) “reading”
写 (xiě) “writing”
听 (tīng)
说 (shuō)
读 (dú)
写 (xiě)
All right! Now, let’s go over the 10 verbs one more time.
吃 (chī)
吃 (chī) [enunciated]
“eat”
喝 (hē)
喝 (hē) [enunciated]
“drink”
看 (kàn)
看 (kàn)
“look”
买 (mǎi)
买 (mǎi) [enunciated]
“buy”
去 (qù)
去 (qù) [enunciated]
“go”
玩 (wán)
玩 (wán) [enunciated]
“play”
听 (tīng)
听 (tīng) [enunciated]
“listen”
说 (shuō)
说 (shuō) [enunciated]
“speak”
读 (dú)
读 (dú) [enunciated]
“read”
写 (xiě)
写 (xiě) [enunciated]
“write”
Okay. Next, you’re going to hear a dialogue between two friends over the phone, okay. I’m going to read it, but while I’m reading, I want you to take note of the verb, where the verb is, and how it is used in a sentence.
Ready?
你在干嘛?(Nǐ zài gàn ma?)
我在听歌。(Wǒ zài tīng gē.)
One more time, a bit slower.
你在干嘛?(Nǐ zài gàn ma?) [enunciated]
我在听歌。(Wǒ zài tīng gē.) [enunciated]
Did you find it? Did you find the verb? Right, it’s right here, 听 (tīng), which means “listen.”
听 (tīng)
And what is after 听 (tīng)?
歌 (gē)
歌 (gē) means “song.”
So, 听歌 (tīng gē) together, it’s a verb phrase meaning listening, “listen to songs” or “listen to music.” Actually, 听歌 (tīng gē) is a very native way to say “listen to music” because most of the time, most of the time, when we listen to music, we listen to songs with a lyric.
So, 我听歌 (wǒ tīng gē) means “to listen to music.”
And the whole sentence goes…
我在听歌 (wǒ zài tīng gē), which means “I’m listening to music.”
我在听歌。(Wǒ zài tīng gē.) [enunciated]
Okay.
So what is the first line? What’s the question?
你在干嘛?(Nǐ zài gàn ma?) [enunciated]
你在干嘛?(Nǐ zài gàn ma?) means “What are you doing?”
你在干嘛?(Nǐ zài gàn ma?)
你在干嘛?(Nǐ zài gàn ma?) is very common, a very colloquial way to ask, “What are you doing?” And 你在干嘛?(Nǐ zài gàn ma?) is often used as a small talk between close friends and people who know each other very well.
你在干嘛?(Nǐ zài gàn ma?)
我在听歌。(Wǒ zài tīng gē.)
So, if you’re not listening to music, let’s say you’re watching TV, okay, do you remember how to say “watch” or “look” and “see”? Yes, 看 (kàn).
看 (kàn)
Okay, and TV in Chinese is 电视 (diànshì), okay.
电视 (diànshì)
So, 看电视 (kàn diànshì) means “to watch TV.”
So, “I’m watching TV” is 我在看电视。(Wǒ zài kàn diànshì.)
我在看电视。(Wǒ zài kàn diànshì.)
Now, how about you are eating, you’re having dinner?
Remember how to say “eat”?
吃 (chī)
So, 吃什么呢? (chī shénme ne?), 吃 (chī) what?
Dinner in Chinese is 晚饭 (wǎnfàn).
晚饭 (wǎnfàn) literally is “late meal” or “evening meal” or “dinner.”
吃晚饭 (chī wǎnfàn) “eat dinner” or “have dinner.”
So, “I’m eating dinner” is 我在吃晚饭。(Wǒ zài chī wǎnfàn.)
我在吃晚饭。(Wǒ zài chī wǎnfàn.)
Now, here is our pattern.
Okay. To say you are doing something, “I’m doing something,” okay, you can use, 我 (wǒ) + 在 (zài) + a [verb] and oftentimes, a verb is followed with an [object]. Okay.
我 (wǒ) + 在 (zài) + [verb] [object]
我 (wǒ) means “I.”
And 在 (zài), 在 (zài), literally, it means “at,” but when 在 (zài) is followed by a verb, 在 (zài) does not mean “at.” You can see 在 (zài) in this case as a progressive tense marker, so whenever you see a 在 (zài) with a verb, that means something is happening right now, 在 (zài) + [verb] and + [object].
“I am doing something” or literally is “I at something that…”
“I am doing something” is our pattern here.
我 (wǒ) + 在 (zài) + [verb] [object]
For example:
我 在 (Wo zài) + [verb] 听 (tīng) + [object] 歌 (gē).
我在 (Wǒ zài) + [verb] 看 (kàn) + [object] ]电视 (diànshì).
我在 (Wǒ zài) +[verb] 吃 (chī) + [object] 晚饭 (wǎnfàn.)
Okay.
我 (wǒ) + 在 (zài) + [verb] [object]

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ChineseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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ChineseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 01:29 PM
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Hello Angela Pierre,


Bù kèqi! We hope you enjoyed the lesson!


If you have any questions, please let us know.


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Angela Pierre
Monday at 11:49 PM
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👍xiè xiè

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 08:43 AM
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你好 Sandya,


Thank you so much for your positive message! 😇❤️️

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

We wish you good luck with your language studies.


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Sandya
Wednesday at 07:56 PM
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It's amazing thank you