Lesson Transcript

Welcome to Fun &Easy Chinese by ChineseClass101.com!
嗨大家好,我是李殷如.
(Hài dà jiā hǎo, Wǒ shì Lǐ Yīnrú.)
Hi everyone, Yinru Li here.
Do you know any interjections in Chinese?
Interjections are words and phrases that are used to express comprehension and to show emotions and feelings.
Interjections in English include "wow," "eww," “oops,” “gosh,” and so on.
In Chinese, there are quite a few words like these as well.
These words are very expressive, and you don’t need to be totally fluent in Chinese to be able to use these words, but they sure do make you sound very native!
In this lesson, you’ll learn the most commonly used interjections that are basically noises!
啊 (á / à)
哎呀 (āi yā)
嗯 (ǹg / ńg)
哦 (ò / ó)
哇 (wā)
咦 (yí)
耶 (yè)
First one, which is the most frequently used interjection is 啊(á / à).
啊(á / à), as an interjection is used at the beginning of a sentence or used alone, depending on the situations, it has different tones.
啊 (á) can express surprise, especially at something that’s hard to believe.
It this case, it is often pronounced as the second rising tone. 啊 (á).
啊 (á)
For example, you’re meeting someone for the first time from a dating app.
When the person shows up, it turns out to be your friend from high school! In this case, you can say...
啊?怎么是你? (á? Zěn me shì nǐ?)
“What? How come it’s you?”
啊?怎么是你? (á? Zěn me shì nǐ?)
啊 (á) in the second rising tone á is also used as a response when you didn’t hear someone and want them to repeat.
Note that 啊 (á) as a response to have someone repeat, is only used in very casual situations. Because it may be considered impolite in formal settings.
For example, your roommate was talking to you but you had your headphones on, so you would like to hear her, by saying:
啊?你说什么?(á? Nǐ shuō shén me?)
”Huh? What did you say?”
啊?你说什么?(á? Nǐ shuō shén me?)
啊 (à) is also something you say when you finally figure something out, and it is set in the fourth falling tone. 啊 (à).
啊 (à)
For instance, your phone wasn’t ringing like it’s supposed to.
You asked your friend and your friend showed you a button in the settings that fixed this problem.
When you have an “ah-ha” moment, in Chinese it often goes like this...
啊,原来是这样! (à, yuán lái shì zhè yàng!)
“Ah, that’s how it works!”
啊,原来是这样! (à, yuán lái shì zhè yàng!)
Finally, 啊 could be the sound you make when crying out in pain.
Say, you cut your finger with a knife when you're cooking, you can say 啊! (À!)
啊! (À!)
哦 (ò / ó)
哦 (ò / ó) as another frequently used interjection, has a few different connotations and tones as well.
First, when using 哦 (ó) to respond, it implies that I heard you, but I don’t have more to say or I don’t really care. So be careful when using (ò / ó) to respond because it could be offensive in some settings.
Other than showing indifference, it can actually be used to show interest as well.
In this case, say it with the second rising tone, 哦 (ó).
Someone told you they heard some gossip about the new boss that headquarters sent to your office. You’re interested in learning about the gossip, so you say:
哦?说来听听。(ó? shuō lái tīng ting.)
“Oh yeah? Do tell.”
哦?说来听听。(ó? shuō lái tīng ting.)
The third usage of 哦 is to show understanding and realization.
The tone is marked as the fourth falling tone, but in real life, people often say it with a twist, like a combination of tone, like, 哦~ (ó ò~)
For example, you are really confused by the usages of the word 哦 (ò), after I explain it, you finally figured it out, and you say...
哦,我终于明白了. (ò, Wǒ zhōng yú míng bai le.)
“Ah, I finally get it now.”
哦,我终于明白了. (ò, Wǒ zhōng yú míng bai le.)
Imagine your colleague receives a large bouquet of roses, and everybody in the office see the flowers and says...
哦,你有男朋友了! (ò, nǐ yǒu nán péng you le!)
“Ooooo, you have a boyfriend now!”
哦,你有男朋友了! (ò, nǐ yǒu nán péng you le!)
The next commonly used interjection is something I personally like to use a lot, 哎呀 (āi yā).
哎呀 (āi yā) can be used to show surprise.
A typical scenario for this expression is that some friends or relatives of your parents hasn’t seen you for years and you have grown from a tiny baby to a tall and big teenager.
In this case, they would probably say...
哎呀,长这么高啦! (Aī yā, zhǎng zhè me gāo la!)
“Wow, you are so tall now!”
哎呀,长这么高啦! (Aī yā, zhǎng zhè me gāo la!)
哎呀 (āi yā) is also used to show frustration.
For example, your girlfriend knows that you cut yourself, with that 啊! (À!) sound, right? She may say to you...
哎呀,怎么这么不小心? (Aī yā, zěn me zhè me bù xiǎo xīn?)
”Oh my, why weren’t you being careful?”
哎呀,怎么这么不小心? (Aī yā, zěn me zhè me bù xiǎo xīn?)
Another scenario. When you learn that your favorite basketball team lost in the finals by just one point, you may say...
哎呀,太可惜了。 (Aī yā, tài kě xī le.)
“Man, that was so close.”
哎呀,太可惜了。 (Aī yā, tài kě xī le.)
Say you have an important interview in 20 minutes but your bus isn't here yet, which makes you very impatient and frustrated and anxious. In this case, you may mumble to yourself, "Oh gosh, why isn’t the bus here yet?"
哎呀,车怎么还不来? (Aī yā, chē zěnme hái bù lái?)
嗯 (ǹg/ ńg)
This interjection is mostly used in everyday language to note other people that you heard them, or to show that you agree with them.
Try to avoid using this in response to your elders or people of higher social status, such as your superiors at work, use more respectful phrases such as 好 (hǎo) , 好的 (hǎo de), which means “Okay.” Or, 我知道了 (Wǒ zhī dao le) “I got it.”
The other pronunciation of 嗯 (ńg) is the second rising tone, when it is used to show doubt.
嗯?你确定吗? (ńg? Nǐ què dìng ma?)
”Hmm... Are you sure?
嗯?你确定吗? (ńg? Nǐ què dìng ma?)
嗯?这不对吧? (ńg?zhè bú duì ba?)
”Hmm?..This doesn’t look right, does it?”
嗯?这不对吧? (ńg?zhè bú duì ba?)
Next interjection, 哇 (wā).
This is the equivalent of “wow” in English.
Therefore, it is used to when you’re amazed by and impressed with someone or something.
哇,你家好漂亮. (Wā, nǐ jiā hǎo piào liang.)
“Wow, your place is so pretty.”
哇,你家好漂亮. (Wā, nǐ jiā hǎo piào liang.)
哇,你的中文说得真好。 (Wā, nǐ de Zhōng wén shuō de zhēn hǎo.)
“Wow, your Chinese is so good.”
哇,你的中文说得真好。 (Wā, nǐ de Zhōng wén shuō de zhēn hǎo.)
Next, 咦 (yí).
咦 (yí) is used when you feel puzzled or confused. For example, you thought today was Thursday, but it’s actually Wednesday, in this case, you can say...
咦? 今天不是星期四吗? (Yí? Jīn tiān bú shì Xīng qī sì ma?)
“What? Isn’t today Thursday?”
咦? 今天不是星期四吗? (Yí? Jīn tiān bú shì Xīng qī sì ma?)
You thought you just put your bag on the desk
a second ago, but now you can’t find it anywhere; you may say...
咦?我的包哪儿去了? (Yí? Wǒ de bāo nǎr qù le?)
“Huh? Where did my bag go?”
咦?我的包哪儿去了? (Yí? Wǒ de bāo nǎr qù le?)
The last interjection we’re going to talk about in 耶 (yè).
耶(yè) is used to express excitement.
This interjection actually comes from the
English “yay”.
Chinese localized it to the pronunciation
耶(yè).
It is often used by young people.
For example, you found out you passed the
course that you weren’t sure if you were
gonna pass, you may say...
耶,我过了! (Yè, wǒ guò le!) “Yay, I passed!”
耶,我过了! (Yè, wǒ guò le!)
Since this is a happy word, it is often used when taking pictures, along with this hand gesture...
If you pay attention, you may see a lot of Chinese people, especially young girls, like to take pictures saying 耶(yè), 耶(yè), 耶(yè).
Before we do a review of this lesson, I’d like to remind you that all the words we mentioned in this lesson can be used as interjections, in this case they're used at the beginning of a sentence, or used alone.
In the meantime, most of these words are also used as a sentence-end particles to show emotions.
The difference is, as sentence-end particles, apparently, they are at the end of a sentence or a phrase.
But if they're interjections, they're usually in the beginning of a sentence or a phrase.
Pop Quiz Time!
Now, which interjection would you use when something happened that you didn’t expect, 啊(á) or 嗯(ǹg)?
啊? (á?)
Which interjection would you use when you are puzzled, 咦 (yí) or 哇 (wā)?
咦? (yí?)
Which interjection would you use when you feel frustrated, 哎呀 (āi yā) or 耶 (yè)?
Apparently... 哎呀! (āi yā!)
And hich interjection would you use when you’re interested in learning more about something, 哦(ó) or 嗯(ǹg)?
哦? (ó?)
Well, this is the end of the lesson. I'll see you next time! 下次再见!(Xiàcì zàijiàn!)
Bye-bye!

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