Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Brendan: Welcome to chineseclass101.com. I am Brendan standing in for David.
Echo: Hi, 大家好(Dàjiā hǎo), 我是(Wǒ shì)Echo。
Brendan: And today we’ve got a lower beginner lesson, season 1, Lesson 18.
Echo: Offering Help in Chinese.
Brendan: Yeah. Today’s dialogue is between two strangers who’ve met on the street.
Echo: And one is offering help to the other one.
Brendan: And as always, they are speaking to each other in very casual Mandarin.
Echo: Yeah let’s have a listen.
DIALOGUE
A:用我帮忙吗?(Yòng wǒ bāngmáng ma?)
B:会不会太麻烦你了?(Huì bú huì tài máfán nǐ le?)
A:不麻烦,别客气。(Bù máfán, bié kèqì.)
B:那就谢谢了。(Nà jiù xièxiè le.)
A:我该怎么做?(Wǒ gāi zěnme zuò?)
B:拿着这儿就行。(Názhe zhèr jiù xíng.)
Brendan: Once more a little slower.
A:用我帮忙吗?(Yòng wǒ bāngmáng ma?)
B:会不会太麻烦你了?(Huì bú huì tài máfán nǐ le?)
A:不麻烦,别客气。(Bù máfán, bié kèqì.)
B:那就谢谢了。(Nà jiù xièxiè le.)
A:我该怎么做?(Wǒ gāi zěnme zuò?)
B:拿着这儿就行。(Názhe zhèr jiù xíng.)
Brendan: And now with English translation.
Echo: 用我帮忙吗?(Yòng wǒ bāngmáng ma?)
Brendan: Do you need my help?
Echo: 会不会太麻烦你了?(Huì bú huì tài máfán nǐ le?)
Brendan: Would it be any trouble?
Echo: 不麻烦,别客气。(Bù máfán, bié kèqì.)
Brendan: No trouble at all. Don’t worry.
Echo: 那就谢谢了。(Nà jiù xièxiè le.)
Brendan: Then thanks.
Echo: 我该怎么做?(Wǒ gāi zěnme zuò?)
Brendan: What should I do?
Echo: 拿着这儿就行。(Názhe zhèr jiù xíng.)
Brendan: Just hold it here.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Echo: 你觉得这个人拿了什么?(Nǐ juédé zhège rén nále shénme?)
Brendan: I assume that he is helping carry grocery bags or something like that.
Echo: That’s boring. Help a dog.
Brendan: It’s a large dog. 拿着这!(Názhe zhè!) How many handles does this…
Echo: Hold the ears.
Brendan: Yeah.
Echo: Anyway, today’s vocab is mostly about like how to offering help or what are you going to say when you offer help.
Brendan: Exactly. Its words that you can use in the same situation.
Echo: 我们听一下吧!(Wǒmen tīng yīxià ba!)
VOCAB LIST
Echo: 用。(yòng.)
Brendan: To need.
Echo: 用, 用, 会不会。(yòng, yòng, huìbúhuì.)
Brendan: Will it.
Echo: 会不会, 会不会, 太...了。(huìbúhuì, huìbúhuì, tài ... le.)
Brendan: To something.
Echo: 太...了, 太...了, 麻烦。(tài ... le, tài ... le, máfán.)
Brendan: Troublesome.
Echo: 麻烦, 麻烦, 别客气。(máfán, máfán, bié kèqì.)
Brendan: Don’t worry.
Echo: 别客气, 别客气, 那。(bié kèqì, bié kèqì, nà.)
Brendan: Then
Echo: 那, 那, 该。(nà, nà, gāi.)
Brendan: Should
Echo: 该, 该, 拿。(gāi, gāi, ná.)
Brendan: To hold
Echo: 拿, 拿。(ná, ná.)
Brendan: Now let’s take a closer look at some of these words. The first word is troublesome.
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
Echo: 麻烦。(máfán.)
Brendan: We see that in the sentence, would it be too much trouble or would it be too troublesome.
Echo: 会不会 太麻烦你了?(Huì bú huì tài máfán nǐ le?)
Brendan: Yeah you can use it when you are making requests.
Echo: Like 麻烦你吗?(Máfan nǐ ma?)
Brendan: Yeah, can I trouble you?
Echo: Or 这样会不会太麻烦了?(Zhèyàng huì bù huì tài máfanle?)
Brendan: Would that be too much trouble?
Echo: 麻烦你 帮我一下。(Máfan nǐ bāng wǒ yīxià.)
Brendan: Can I trouble you to give me a hand. A slightly more simple word next to hold.
Echo: 拿。(Ná.)
Brendan: As in just hold here.
Echo: 拿着。(Názhe.)
Brendan: Or could you hold this for me?
Echo: 唔, 你能帮我拿一下吗?(Wú, nǐ néng bāng wǒ ná yīxià ma?)
Brendan: Or could I trouble you to hold this for me?
Echo: 唔, 我能麻烦你帮我拿一下吗?(Wú, wǒ néng máfan nǐ bāng wǒ ná yīxià ma?) That’s a little bit complex.
Brendan: A little bit.
Echo: Yeah let me repeat it one more time 我能麻烦你帮我拿一下吗?(Wǒ néng máfan nǐ bāng wǒ ná yīxià ma?)
Brendan: And that literally is, can I trouble you to hold this for me.
Echo: Yeah 我能麻烦你帮我拿一下吗?(Wǒ néng máfan nǐ bāng wǒ ná yīxià ma?)
Brendan: Slightly more simply, there is don’t worry.
Echo: 别客气。(Bié kèqì.)
Brendan: Now you might have heard this before. If you thank somebody, they will say
Echo: 别客气 or 不客气。(Bié kèqì or bù kèqì.)
Brendan: Right which really means don’t be so polite.
Echo: Yeah you are welcome but here it means don’t worry 别客气。(Bié kèqì.)
Brendan: And sometimes if somebody really wants to emphasize that you don’t have to worry, you don’t have to thank me, you don’t have to be so polite, they can say
Echo:不用客气(Bùyòng kèqì) Yeah it sounds more polite because it has more characters there.
Brendan: Well that and it’s also you know, you needn’t be so polite.
Echo: Yeah 不用客气, 不用客气.(Bùyòng kèqì, bùyòng kèqì.) You can say it more than one time.
Brendan: Indeed.
Echo: Okay and last word we would like to highlight is 那。(Nà.)
Brendan: And that really just means then.
Echo: Yeah this is different from like what we see in the absolute beginner level. It’s like that.
Brendan: Right. They are written with the same character but now it is just something you put at the start of a sentence with the start of a clause and it means then, if this, then that.
Echo: Yeah for example, 你不来, 那我去吧!(Nǐ bù lái, nà wǒ qù ba!)
Brendan: If you won’t come, then I will go.
Echo: Or 你不帮忙, 那我自己做吧!(Nǐ bù bāngmáng, nà wǒ zìjǐ zuò ba!)
Brendan: If you won’t help, then I will do it myself.
Echo: Yeah.
Brendan: All right. Now let’s move on to the grammar point. It’s grammar time.

Lesson focus

Echo: I love this grammar point today.
Brendan: Well we already kind of touched on it right?
Echo: Yeah we mentioned it in the vocab section but it’s not really a word.
Brendan: Yeah it was kind of hidden.
Echo: It’s this one 用。(Yòng.)
Brendan: Right. Now you may have seen this used elsewhere. Sometimes
Echo: 用。(Yòng.)
Brendan: Means to use.
Echo: Yeah most of the times I would say it means…
Brendan: Sometimes 用(Yòng) means to use.
Echo: Right like 用钥匙开门。(Yòng yàoshi kāimén.)
Brendan: Right use the key to open the door.
Echo: Or 用我的车吧!(Yòng wǒ de chē ba!)
Brendan: Use my car but in those cases, what you are 用(Yòng) ing is a noun.
Echo: Yeah. Right like to use a tool word to use something.
Brendan: Right. If you are putting it before a verb as we do in this. So you may have seen 用(Yòng) being used in that way before but in this dialogue, we see it being used in a different way.
Echo: Yeah it’s in this sentence 用我帮忙吗?(Yòng wǒ bāngmáng ma?)
Brendan: That is 用(Yòng) me to help. Well use doesn’t make sense there.
Echo: No, no.
Brendan: And in fact, when you see 用(Yòng) being used in this way, it means to need.
Echo: Yeah 用我帮忙吗?(Yòng wǒ bāngmáng ma?). Yeah it’s like 用(Yòng) someone and then the main verb.
Brendan: Right. In our examples, we also said, you don’t have to be so polite.
Echo: 你不用这么客气。(Nǐ bùyòng zhème kèqì.)
Brendan: Right or just
Echo: 不用客气。(Bùyòng kèqì.)
Brendan: Yeah.
Echo: Let’s have some other examples. 用我换灯泡吗?(Yòng wǒ huàn dēngpào ma?)
Brendan: Do you need me to change the light bulb?
Echo: 用我换灯泡吗? 用我们过来帮忙吗?(Yòng wǒ huàn dēngpào ma? Yòng wǒmen guòlái bāngmáng ma?)
Brendan: Do you need us to come over and help?
Echo: 用我们过来帮忙吗? 用我告诉她吗?(Yòng wǒmen guòlái bāngmáng ma? Yòng wǒ gàosù tā ma?)
Brendan: Do you need me to tell her?
Echo: 用我告诉她吗? 不用过来了, 我自己能成。(Yòng wǒ gàosù tā ma? Bùyòng guòláile, wǒ zìjǐ néngchéng.)
Brendan: You don’t have to come over, I can do it myself.
Echo: 不用过来了, 我自己能成, 我们用不用叫外卖?(Bùyòng guòláile, wǒ zìjǐ néngchéng, wǒmen yòng bùyòng jiào wàimài?)
Brendan: Do we need to order delivery?
Echo: 我们用不用叫外卖?(Wǒmen yòng bùyòng jiào wàimài?)
Brendan: So the rule of thumb is, if 用(Yòng) is coming before a tool, before an object…
Echo: Yeah.
Brendan: Then it means to use but if it’s coming before a verb or a verb phrase..
Echo: Yeah.
Brendan: Then it means to need.
Echo: Yeah or the people who are like going to need something or going to offer help.
Brendan: Right.
Echo: So it’s not that difficult and you can actually replace 用(Yòng) with 需要。(Xūyào.)
Brendan: Right. And 需要(Xūyào) is a word that more literally means to need or to require.
Echo: Right like 需要(Xūyào) is more like the formal form of to need but 用(Yòng) is like the colloquial way.
Brendan: Yeah. People tend to use 用(Yòng) a little bit more in speech, 需要(Xūyào) a little bit more in right, either formal context or in writing.
Echo: Yeah.

Outro

Brendan: Now that’s all we’ve got time for today. Before we go, a quick reminder.
Echo: Yeah. If you have any questions about today’s lesson, you can always leave a comment on our site or you can write to us at contactus@chineseclass101.com
Brendan: We look forward to hearing from you.
Echo: 没错。(Méi cuò.)
Brendan: From Beijing, I am Brendan.
Echo: 我是(Wǒ shì) Echo。
Brendan: Thanks for listening.
Echo: 网上见。(Wǎngshàng jiàn.) Bye bye.

7 Comments

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ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Whenever you want to offer a helping hand, just say 用我帮忙吗?

Team ChineseClass101.com
Saturday at 10:44 AM
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你好,卫力,

It will be very interesting to know the nuance of Chinese, it shows the personality and his/her thought.


If you have any question, please contact us.

Cho

Team ChineseClass101.com

卫力 (aka Alexis)
Saturday at 01:54 PM
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多谢!


This really shows how important distance and relationships are in China; the way these distinctions are reflected in the language. Interesting.


卫力

Team ChineseClass101.com
Saturday at 12:51 PM
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Hi 卫力,


The meaning of 不客气 and 别客气 is the same, "It's my pleasure."

不客气 is usually used to strangers.

别客气 is usually used to friends,or acquaintances.


Cho

Team ChineseClass101.com

卫力 (aka Alexis)
Friday at 01:42 PM
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大家好!


这个课帮了我。


So changing the negative prefix, changes the meaning of the phrase with 不客气 meaning don’t be polite but 别客气 meaning don’t worry. 对吗?


卫力

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 05:44 PM
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Hi Jonathan,


We use 要. It can mean both to want and to need. For example, 你还好吗?要水吗? Are you OK? Do you need water?


Echo

Team ChineseClass101.com

jonathan
Thursday at 05:23 AM
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大家好!我有一个问题:


what I got out of the lesson was: use "yong" for "need" in more colloquial situations, but only with other verbs, right?


用我帮忙吗?


How would you say "need" in colloquial situations, but with a noun? Would you use "xu yao" there?