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Lesson Transcript

David: Welcome to chineseclass101. I am David.
Echo: 大家好,我是Echo.(Dàjiā hǎo, wǒ shì Echo.)
David: And Echo, we are here with lesson #37 in our first elementary series.
Echo: 第三十七课。(Dì sānshíqī kè.)
David: And you know what we’ve got today?
Echo: We got a interesting lesson, as usual.
David: We have a cautionary tale of what happens when you come to China and leave your house in the hands of
Echo: Some friends.
David: Some of your friends. The dialogue we’ve got for you is casual. Before we get to it, we want to remind you. In the elementary series, we are getting into more and more difficult content and one of the easiest ways to make sure you remember this stuff, sign up, get the premium PDFs, and then the day after you listen to a lesson, review it for 5 minutes.
Echo: 对。(Duì.)
David: This is really going to help the stuff stick and it’s going to get you to fluency much, much faster.
Echo: 没错。(Méi cuò.)
David: Now, we are going to play the dialogue for you one time fast, one time slow and then line by line with a translation.
A:谢谢你帮我照顾家。(Xièxie nǐ bāng wǒ zhàogu jiā.)
B:没事,应该的。(Méishì, yīnggāi de.)
A:家里一切都好吧?(Jiālǐ yīqiè dōuhǎo ba?)
B:挺好的,只是,花都死了。(Tǐng hǎo de, zhǐshì, huā dōu sǐ le.)
B:实在不好意思,我忘了浇水。(Shízài bùhǎoyìsi, wǒ wàng le jiāoshuǐ.)
A:没事。猫呢?(Méishìr. Māo ne?)
B:啊?你有猫?(A? Nǐ yǒu māo?)
Once more slowly.
A:谢谢你帮我照顾家。(Xièxie nǐ bāng wǒ zhàogu jiā.)
B:没事,应该的。(Méishì, yīnggāi de.)
A:家里一切都好吧?(Jiālǐ yīqiè dōuhǎo ba?)
B:挺好的,只是,花都死了。(Tǐng hǎo de, zhǐshì, huā dōu sǐ le.)
B:实在不好意思,我忘了浇水。(Shízài bùhǎoyìsi, wǒ wàng le jiāoshuǐ.)
A:没事。猫呢?(Méishìr. Māo ne?)
B:啊?你有猫?(A? Nǐ yǒu māo?)
Echo: 谢谢你帮我照顾家。(Xièxie nǐ bāng wǒ zhàogu jiā.)
David: Thank you for helping me look after the home.
Echo: 没事,应该的。(Méishì, yīnggāi de.)
David: No problem. Anyone should have done it.
Echo: 家里一切都好吧?(Jiālǐ yīqiè dōuhǎo ba?)
David: Is everything at home okay.
Echo: 挺好的,只是,花都死了。(Tǐng hǎo de, zhǐshì, huā dōu sǐ le.)
David: Really good. It’s just that the plants all died.
Echo: 什么?(Shénme?)
David: What!
Echo: 实在不好意思,我忘了浇水。(Shízài bùhǎoyìsi, wǒ wàng le jiāoshuǐ.)
David: I am really sorry. I forgot to water them.
Echo: 没事。猫呢?(Méishìr. Māo ne?)
David: No problem. What about the cat?
Echo: 啊?你有猫?(A? Nǐ yǒu māo?)
David: Ah you’ve got a cat? Okay we are back. We’ve got some good vocab for you. It’s all about taking care of the house as well as some interesting adverbs. Now that we’ve tempted you with grammar, let’s drag you into the vocab section. And now the vocab section.
Echo: 照顾 (zhàogu)
David: To take care of
Echo: 植物 (zhíwù)
David: Plants.
Echo: 宠物 (chǒngwù)
David: Pets.
Echo: 家务 (jiāwù)
David: Housework.
Echo: 应该的 (yīnggāi de)
David: It should be that way.
Echo: 一切 (yīqiè)
David: Everything.
Echo: 只是 (zhǐshì)
David: It’s just that.
Echo: 实在 (shízài)
David: Actually.
Echo: 浇水 (jiāoshuǐ)
David: To water plants.
Echo: 浇水 (jiāoshuǐ)
David: The first word that leaps out of me actually is this last one.
Echo: 浇水 (jiāoshuǐ)
David: Yeah.
Echo: Why?
David: Because in English, we’d say to water plants.
Echo: Oh!
David: In Chinese though, we leave off the word for plants.
Echo: 对。(Duì.)
David: Right?
Echo: Uhoo…
David: And in the dialogue actually, they didn’t even say plants. What did they say?
Echo:花儿。(Huā er.)
David: Right. They said flowers. So what’s the..
Echo: 这是很口语的 (Zhè shì hěn kǒuyǔ de) It’s very colloquial.
David: So we’ve got two words then. We’ve got the formal word for plants.
Echo: 植物。(Zhíwù.)
David: And then we’ve got the word for flowers.
Echo: 花儿。(Huā er.)
David: And everyone says flowers.
Echo: 对。(Duì.)
David: Right?
Echo: Because of the spoken language.
David: So is there any circumstance where you’d say plants?
Echo: You can say plants too. We can say 植物 (Zhíwù) but it sounds a little bit formal.
David: Okay let’s start our vocab list with the word to look after.
Echo: 照顾 (Zhàogù)
David: Now there are lots of things that you might be asked to look after. You are going to look after the house.
Echo: 照顾家。(Zhàogù jiā.)
David: You could look after the pets.
Echo: 照顾宠物。(Zhàogù chǒngwù.)
David: Like look after the dog.
Echo: 照顾狗。(Zhàogù gǒu.)
David: Look after the cat.
Echo: 照顾猫。(Zhàogù māo.)
David: Look after the snake.
Echo: Ah I don’t want to take that job.
David: Right. You can be asked to look after the plants.
Echo: 照顾植物。(Zhàogù zhíwù.)
David: Or as Chinese people like to say
Echo: 照顾花儿。(Zhàogù huā er.)
David: Yeah. There is not that much of a distinction between flowers and other kind of house plants.
Echo: Uhoo…
David: We’ve also got – you can look after the kids.
Echo: 照顾孩子。照顾小孩。 (Zhàogù háizi. Zhàogù xiǎohái.)
David: In addition to this, you’ve got housework.
Echo: 家务。(Jiāwù.)
David: Now there are lots of different kinds of housework. We’ve already touched on some of them in earlier lessons like doing the laundry.
Echo: 洗衣服。(Xǐ yīfú.)
David: What other kinds of housework do we have Echo?
Echo: 倒垃圾。(Dào lèsè.)
David: Taking out the garbage, fourth tone, first tone, first tone.
Echo: 倒垃圾。(Dào lèsè.)
David: He hates taking out the garbage.
Echo: 他讨厌倒垃圾。(Tā tǎoyàn dào lèsè.)
David: We’ve got an interesting word here. I think that’s useful to point out. It’s the word actually.
Echo: 实在。(Shízài.)
David: Right. This actually means, this means in fact. Can you give us an example sentence?
Echo: 我实在讨厌做家务。(Wǒ shízài tǎoyàn zuò jiāwù.)
David: In fact I hate doing housework. And I think the rest of our stuff is pretty easy. There is one phrase we should highlight here though.
Echo: 应该的。(Yīnggāi de.)
David: And this is tough to translate. Echo, it’s kind of like oh…
Echo: Yeah I should.
David: I should or anyone would have done it. It’s self-deprecatory. Like someone says thank you and you want to say, no, no, no it’s not a big deal. 应该的。(Yīnggāi de.)
Echo: 没事儿没事儿,应该的。(Méishì er méishì er, yīnggāi de.)
David: Yeah and it literally means…
Echo: It’s very useful.
David: Literally means, it’s something that I should have done. So you don’t need to thank me.
Echo: Right.
David: Okay. So let’s practice that again. Echo
Echo: 应该的。(Yīnggāi de.)
David: Awesome and with that, let’s move on to the grammar section. It’s grammar time. In our grammar section today, we are going to be focusing all on

Lesson focus

Echo: 了。(Le.)
David: Now a lot of people have trouble with this and the reason we are doing this is to clarify exactly what it means when you put this in different places in the sentence.
Echo: 没错。(Méi cuò.)
David: Okay. So we are going to be focusing particularly on sentences that have a verb and then an object. In our dialogue, we heard this sentence.
Echo: 我照顾家。(Wǒ zhàogù jiā.)
David: Let’s simplify that to the sentence, he did housework.
Echo: 他做家务。(Tā zuò jiāwù.)
David: This is a really basic structure. We’ve got the subject and then the verb and then the object. He did housework.
Echo: 他做家务。(Tā zuò jiāwù.)
David: Okay. In previous podcasts, we’ve told you if you want to stick your sentence into the past tense, what do you do?
Echo: You put 了 (Le) after the verb.
David: Okay let’s hear that.
Echo: 他做了家务。(Tā zuòle jiāwù.)
David: Let’s have some other examples.
Echo: 我照顾宠物。(Wǒ zhàogù chǒngwù.)
David: I looked after the pet.
Echo: 我浇了水。(Wǒ jiāole shuǐ.)
David: I watered the plants. Let’s hear those three sentences one more time.
Echo: 他照顾了家务。我照顾了宠物。我浇了水。(Tā zhàogùle jiāwù. Wǒ zhàogùle chǒngwù. Wǒ jiāole shuǐ.)
David: Perfect. So we’ve put 了(Le) right after the verb to stick the sentence in the past tense.
Echo: Right.
David: Now we’ve also taught a second usage of 了(Le) before and that’s change of state.
Echo: 他做家务了。(Tā zuò jiāwùle.)
David: Right. We are going to put the 了(le) right at the end of the sentence.
Echo: 他做家务了。(Tā zuò jiāwùle.)
David: So that suggests a change of state. Before, the housework wasn’t done but now…
Echo: 他做家务了。(Tā zuò jiāwùle.)
David: He has done it. It’s changed. We have some other example sentences for you.
Echo: 我照顾宠物了。(Wǒ zhàogù chǒngwùle.)
David: I took care of the pets. Before, maybe no one was taking care of them.
Echo: 我浇水了。
David: I’ve watered the plants. They are watered now.
Echo: Finally…
David: Yeah. Let’s listen to those three sentences one more time.
Echo: 他做家务了。我照顾宠物了。我浇水了。(Tā zuò jiāwùle. Wǒ zhàogù chǒngwùle. Wǒ jiāo shuǐle.)
David: Right. That’s change of state. One of the things we hinted out at earlier podcasts but didn’t really touch on was what happens if you combine these two.
Echo: Yeah. There is double 了 (Le) there.
David: Is to force the 了(Le). What happens with the double 了(Le) Echo?
Echo: It’s both past tense and confirmation.
David: Okay. So we’ve got both the past tense and it’s actually kind of change of state but it adds a voice to the sentence. It adds, let’s hear some examples.
Echo: 他做了家务了。(Tā zuòle jiāwùle.)
David: He did the housework. It’s in past tense because we’ve got the 了(Le) after the verb but that extra 了(Le) at the end, what does it do?
Echo: It’s to confirm that he has already done it.
David: Yeah. The feeling here is like someone has been nagging him for days.
Echo: Yeah.
David: Has he done the housework yet? Has he done the housework yet?
Echo: Finally 他做了家务了(Tā zuòle jiāwùle) so stop nagging.
David: Yeah that’s the kind of emotion you are going to get in these sentences if you add the second 了(Le). Okay let’s give you the other examples.
Echo: 我照顾了宠物了。(Wǒ zhàogùle chǒngwùle.)
David: I finally took care of the pets.
Echo: 我浇了水了。(Wǒ jiāole shuǐle.)
David: I’ve watered the plants already.
Echo: Yeah exactly.
David: Okay. So to review, we have three kinds of sentences for these verbs and objects. The first is putting 了 (Le)after the verb.
Echo: 他做了家务。(Tā zuòle jiāwù.)
David: Puts it in the past tense. Second is putting 了 (Le) at the end of the sentence.
Echo: 他做家务了。(Tā zuò jiāwùle.)
David: Which suggests the change of state. And the third is the super combo.
Echo: 他做了家务了。(Tā zuò jiāwùle.)
David: Yes we have two 了 (Le) and its past tense and this kind of confirmation.
Echo: 好,今天我们就到这里吧。(Hǎo, jīntiān wǒmen jiù dào zhèlǐ ba.)


David: Right. That’s it for today but before we go Echo, you wanted to say something.
Echo: 给我们留言吧。(Gěi wǒmen liúyán ba.)
David: Yes.
Echo: Leave us comments.
David: If you haven’t come to site, come to the site, give us a visit, sign in and leave some comments. Let us know how we are doing and how we can improve.
Echo: 我最喜欢看大家的留言。(Wǒ zuì xǐhuān kàn dàjiā de liúyán.)
David: Yeah otherwise Echo gets angry. And with that, thanks for listening. I am David.
Echo: 我是 (Wǒ shì)Echo.
David: And we will see you next week.
Echo: 下次见。(Xià cì jiàn.)
David: Bye.


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

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 06:30 PM
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Have you ever regretting doing a favor for a Chinese friend? Have they ever regretted asking you to do one? Share the dirt with us in today's lesson.

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 07:19 PM
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你好 robert groulx,

You are very welcome. 😇

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Good luck with your language studies.

Kind regards,


Team ChineseClass101.com

robert groulx
Thursday at 11:03 PM
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thanks for the lesson

my favorite phrase is 我照顾宠物。


Thursday at 12:24 PM
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Hi 杰米

Thank you for your comment.

We appreciate your feedback and we will keep it in mind while working on new content and material for the site.



Team ChineseClass101.com

Monday at 02:00 PM
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These lessons are helpful, but all of the mistakes/inaccuracies/inconsistencies I find in just about every lesson drive me crazy.

At around the 8:30 mark, Echo is given the sentence "He did housework" to translate, but she doesn't use 了. So, she translates "He did housework" as "他做家务."

And she does the same thing for the other example sentences; David gives her sentences that are using the past tense, but she doesn't use 了 in any of her translations.

Then, the lesson goes on to explain that if you want to express something using the past tense, that we need to use 了. Echo then translates the sentence "He did housework" as "他做了家务," which is obviously different from the way she just translated it less than a minute ago.

Why would you do this? I can't wrap my head around it. Why doesn't someone who makes decisions around there raise their hand and say, "Maybe, David, you should say, 'He takes care of the house,' and keep it in the present tense, to help illustrate the difference between present and past tense, and not confuse people by given two different translations for the same sentence."

I understand that Chinese works that way, and you could very easily say, "昨天他做家务" and it would be the past tense with no need to use 了, but this is a beginner lesson and that aspect of the language isn't being explained here.

I notice that David has posted a little 'help wanted' message below, and while I doubt that the message is still in effect, please consider hiring me to simply look over the lesson materials to point out all of the things that are wrong or should simply be changed before recording the audio or releasing it for people to download.

Team ChineseClass101.com
Wednesday at 06:52 PM
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Hi Aaron,

Thank you for your comment.

Hope you enjoy other lessons as well:smile:


Team ChineseClass101.com

Wednesday at 02:59 AM
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At 46 seconds of the review dialog it asks for the meaning of "to water plants" and it says shizai.

Other than that, i love this service. I've improved so much over the last few months. Much more than the classes i was taking at a nearby college.



Sunday at 12:07 PM
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Such a good explanation for 了usage. I usually am very confused about it and now its getting more clear. 謝謝

Friday at 07:35 AM
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关于这种“v + object”的结构,标准的用法有两种:




Friday at 01:27 AM
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这是你们的例子。 我看书看了一个小时了。我也不明白这个语法点。





Monday at 10:48 AM
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Hi guys,

Thanks for the feedback both positive and negative. On a bit of a related note, it may be worth mentioning that we're expanding and interested in hiring some extra help on the podcasting front. We're especially interested in hearing from native English speakers with good Chinese who are living in Beijing. If this sounds like you or someone you know, we'd encourage you to get in touch with us via email at contactus@ChineseClass101.com.