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Lesson Transcript

David: Welcome to chineseclass101.com. I am David.
Echo: Hi, 大家好, 我是(Dàjiā hǎo, wǒ shì) Echo。
David: And our lesson today is lower beginner, season 1, lesson 5.
Echo: A Chinese Apology.
David: And strange sounds.
Echo: Well, you added that one.
David: On the one hand, we have someone apologizing and on the other hand, we have someone making strange Chinese sounds.
Echo: Probably.
David: But if you are in China, you know these sounds. You are going to hear them. Echo, we’ve got an apology in the dialogue. What else is happening?
Echo: Well there are two people. They are kind of fighting.
David: They are not getting along.
Echo: Yeah.
David: But they are speaking casual Mandarin. So things have not escalated to…
Echo: Yeah and some strange sounds.
David: Okay. Anyway that’s our dialogue, let’s get to it now.
A: 真对不起!(Zhēn duìbùqǐ!)
B: 知道你错了?(Zhīdào nǐcuò le?)
A: 都是我的错。(Dōu shì wǒde cuò.)
B: 哼。(Heng.)
A: 你别生气了,我跟你道歉。(Nǐbié shēngqì le, wǒgēn nǐdàoqiàn.)
B: 算了。(Suàn le.)
David: Once more, a bit slower.
A: 真对不起!(Zhēn duìbùqǐ!)
B: 知道你错了?(Zhīdào nǐcuò le?)
A: 都是我的错。(Dōu shì wǒde cuò.)
B: 哼。(Heng.)
A: 你别生气了,我跟你道歉。(Nǐbié shēngqì le, wǒgēn nǐdàoqiàn.)
B: 算了。(Suàn le.)
David: And now with the English translation.
Echo: 真对不起!(Zhēn duìbùqǐ!)
David: I am so sorry.
Echo: 知道你错了?(Zhīdào nǐcuò le?)
David: You know you were wrong now.
Echo: 都是我的错。(Dōu shì wǒde cuò.)
David: It’s all my fault.
Echo: 哼。(Heng.)
David: Huh!
Echo: 你别生气了,我跟你道歉。(Nǐbié shēngqì le, wǒgēn nǐdàoqiàn.)
David: Don’t be angry. I am apologizing.
Echo: 算了。(Suàn le.)
David: Forget it.
David: Do you think the apology is accepted?
Echo: Yes.
David: Really?
Echo: Uhoo!
David: I hear the sound and I was like oh, you know, I kind of accept but I don’t really accept.
Echo: Well…
David: You are going to hear about this for the next 10 years.
Echo: Well if you say that, I mean yes it’s always going to you know bring it…
David: It’s never, it’s never….
Echo: Bring it back.
David: Things are never forgotten in China.
Echo: Yeah.
David: Anyway our dialogue, it’s about apologies, it’s about anger. So this is some really useful stuff.
Echo: Let’s get to it. 对不起。(duìbùqǐ)
David: Sorry.
Echo: 对不起, 对不起, 知道。(duìbùqǐ , duìbùqǐ , zhīdào.)
David: To know.
Echo: 知道,知道,错。(Zhīdào, zhīdào, cuò.)
David: To be mistaken.
Echo: 错, 错,都。(Cuò, cuò, dōu.)
David: All.
Echo: 都,都,别。(Dōu, dōu, bié.)
David: Don’t.
Echo: 别,别,生气。(Bié, bié, shēngqì.)
David: To be angry.
Echo: 生气, 生气, 跟。(Shēngqì, shēngqì, gēn.)
David: With.
Echo: 跟,跟, 道歉。(Gēn, gēn, dàoqiàn.)
David: To apologize.
Echo: 道歉,道歉,算了。(Dàoqiàn, dàoqiàn, suànle.)
David: Forget it.
Echo: 算了, 算了。(Suànle, suànle.)
David: So a lot of the stuff is review. Let’s take a closer look at some of these words still. The one I want to highlight, there are couple. The first is
Echo: 错。(Cuò.)
David: To be mistaken.
Echo: 错。(Cuò.)
David: Here it’s a verb right and you will hear people say like oh, I was wrong.
Echo: 我错了! (Wǒ cuòle!)
David: Or if you are on the other end of the argument, you will hear someone say, do you know you are wrong.
Echo: 你知道 你错了吗?(Nǐ zhīdào nǐ cuòle ma?)
David: Do you know you are wrong?
Echo: 你知道 你错了吗? (Nǐ zhīdào nǐ cuòle ma?)
David: Yeah and it’s frequently paired with that 了(Le) right because it means you are wrong now or you made a mistake in the past.
Echo: Right 你错了。(Nǐ cuòle.)
David: Yeah so it’s change of state. It’s been completed somehow, this mistake of yours.
Echo: Right and while you say other people 你错了!(Nǐ cuòle!) you can also say 我对了!(Wǒ duìle!)
David: Yes the opposite of 错 (Cuò) is 对。(Duì.)
Echo: 对, 我对了! (Duì, wǒ duìle!)
David: Right and if you were to fight with Echo, you will often hear her say, I am right, you are wrong.
Echo: 我对啦! 你错了! (Wǒ duì la! Nǐ cuòle!)
David: Right. The next word we want to highlight is
Echo: 都。(Dōu.)
David: Now previously we’ve seen this go in front of verbs right and it means everything or it means all. And it kind of provides extra emphasis.
Echo: Yes.
David: For instance,
Echo: 我们都好! (Wǒmen dōu hǎo!)
David: We are all good or
Echo: 他未来, 他们都很生气! (Tā wèilái, tāmen dōu hěn shēngqì!)
David: He hasn’t come and they are all upset. What’s interesting here is we see it at the start of the sentence.
Echo: 都是我的错! (Dōu shì wǒ de cuò!)
David: Right. Everything could be my mistake.
Echo: 都是我的错! (Dōu shì wǒ de cuò!)
David: Right and actually though this isn’t a noun, it’s easy to get confused. We are just leaving out a word.
Echo: Right.
David: We are leaving out this.
Echo: 这。(Zhè.)
David: Right. So technically what they are saying is
Echo: 这都是我的错!(Zhè dōu shì wǒ de cuò!)
David: Right. This, all of it’s my mistake.
Echo: Yeah but everyone knows what he is talking about.
David: Yes. They both know very clearly what he is talking about right. The question of course is will it be forgotten.
Echo: 唔, 算了。(Wú, suànle.)
David: Forget it.
Echo: 算了。(Suànle.) Yes actually a phrase.
David: Yeah you don’t want to – well you can use 算了 (Suànle) as a verb. It means to count.
Echo: Yeah.
David: So….
Echo: And when you say 算了(Suànle), it’s kind of like forget it, but it’s like I am not happy with it.
David: Oh you know, they are not happy at all.
Echo: Yeah.
David: I mean this is the word you use when you are – you are telling someone forget it, but I know I haven’t forgotten it. You are going to hear this again.
Echo: Yeah.
David: All right.
Echo: 算了。(Suànle.)
David: For instance, forget it, we will go to the action movie.
Echo: 算了, 我们去看动作片。(Suànle, wǒmen qù kàn dòngzuò piàn.)
David: Right or Echo
Echo: 算了, 我们去食泰国菜。(Suànle, wǒmen qù shí tàiguó cài.)
David: Right. You will hear that on nights when Echo wants to eat a hot pot. You know, everyone else wants Thai food.
Echo: And I will be like…
David: And Echo would be like…
Echo: 算了。(Suànle.)
David: Yeah. We can have Thai food.
Echo: But I will remember.
David: I will remember your betrayal on the restaurant question. So yeah, I mean the language here, it’s relatively simple.
Echo: Yeah.
David: We’ve run into a lot of this stuff before. Just a few things to remember. Again,
Echo: 错。(Cuò.)
David: As a verb.
Echo: 都。(Dōu.)
David: Can sometimes placed in the front of a sentence, and
Echo: 算了。(Suànle.)
David: Forget it.
Echo: Well you are not forgetting anything.
David: No not at all and with that, let’s get to the grammar section. It’s grammar time. Okay since we are taking a break from anything really difficult today, we wanted to take the chance to kind of step back and review some stuff.

Lesson focus

Echo: Yes.
David: That is really important and it’s about like degrees of emotion.
Echo: Yes.
David: Okay you know, one of the ways I like teaching Chinese is I like to focus on adjective sentences first. You know, for instance
Echo: 我很好。(Wǒ hěn hǎo.)
David: Right. You know, I am very good or
Echo: 他很忙。(Tā hěn máng.)
David: He is really busy. Now we do this at chineseclass101 and then over the course of the series, we’ve kind of given you a lot of what are called Chinese adverbs of degree and these are the adverbs that you can put in front of adjectives to make these sentences.
Echo: That’s right. Like in the previous lesson, we learned 挺 的。(Tǐng de.)
David: Right or
Echo: 太....了。(Tài....Le.)
David: Right and sometimes we see them used in patterns like
Echo: 挺的。(Tǐng de.)
David: Or
Echo: 太....了。(Tài....Le.)
David: And sometimes they can just replace 很 (Hěn) as with 真(Zhēn) and 非常.(Fēicháng.)
Echo: Right.
David: Right and there are a lot of them and what we wanted to do today is we just wanted to kind of review them stepping up in intensity from the least intense to you are really kind of upset.
Echo: Yes.
David: Okay.
Echo: Okay.
David: So Echo, what is the most laidback, you don’t really care that much.
Echo: Okay we can say 有一点儿。(Yǒu yīdiǎn er.)
David: Right. You can say, to be a bit.
Echo: Yeah or for example like 我有一点儿生气。(Wǒ yǒu yīdiǎn er shēngqì.)
David: Yeah. I am a little bit angry.
Echo: Yeah.
David: In Echo’s case, that means she is actually very, very angry.
Echo: No. Come on.
David: Really warning but stepping up, if we go to Chinese adverbs of degree, it’s the pattern that we taught you earlier this season.
Echo: 挺 的。(Tǐng de.)
David: Pretty or quite.
Echo: Yeah 你去道歉吧, 他挺生气的。(Nǐ qù dàoqiàn ba, tā tǐng shēngqì de.)
David: You don’t apologize, he is quite angry.
Echo: 你去道歉吧, 他挺生气的。(Nǐ qù dàoqiàn ba, tā tǐng shēngqì de.)
David: 生气 (Shēngqì) makes that sound a lot more angry than it really is actually. You know, it’s like he is pretty angry. It’s not extremely angry but he is…
Echo: Well, wait for other sentences.
David: Yeah okay.
Echo: Okay.
David: Stepping up, we get to the hand that we know in love.
Echo: 唔唔, 很生气, 你快去道歉, 他很生气。(Wú wú, hěn shēngqì, nǐ kuài qù dàoqiàn, tā hěn shēngqì.)
David: Ah you better go quickly because he is 很生气。(Hěn shēngqì.)
Echo: Hmm he is very angry.
David: Yeah although even this, I mean this is kind of – it’s the normal emotion.
Echo: Yes.
David: You know he is angry but he is at the normal level of angry right? We can step it up a bit and we see that in this dialogue with
Echo: 真。(Zhēn.)
David: Really.
Echo: 他真生气, 我看着很害怕。(Tā zhēn shēngqì, wǒ kànzhe hěn hàipà.)
David: He is really angry. It makes me scared just to see it.
Echo: Right 他真生气, 我看着很害怕。(Tā zhēn shēngqì, wǒ kànzhe hěn hàipà.)
David: Right. I feel that way but the cat hasn’t been fed if it claws out.
Echo: 毛都是竖的。(Máo dōu shì shù de.)
David: Yes. So we have 真 (Zhēn). Then comes
Echo: 非常。(Fēicháng.)
David: Yeah which is unusually or extremely.
Echo: Right so 他非常生气, 你快走吧!(Tā fēicháng shēngqì, nǐ kuàizǒu ba!)
David: Yeah he is unordinarily angry, you better go.
Echo: 他非常生气, 你快走吧! 别道歉了! (Tā fēicháng shēngqì, nǐ kuàizǒu ba! Bié dàoqiànle!)
David: Don’t apologize.
Echo: Don’t bother.
David: Don’t go and you are only going to make it worse. He’s got to set this off.
Echo: Good.
David: Right and then last but not least, we have another pattern.
Echo: 太....了, 他太生气了, 把桌子都掷坏了。(Tài....Le, tā tài shēngqìle, bǎ zhuōzi dōu zhì huàile.)
David: He is too angry. He took the desk in and 掷坏了 (Zhì huàile). He smashed it into pieces really.
Echo: Broken yeah. 他太生气了, 把桌子都掷坏了。(Tā tài shēngqìle, bǎ zhuōzi dōu zhì huàile.)
David: Right. So we’ve got a spectrum here and once again Echo, let’s just walk through it.
Echo: Okay 挺的,很, 真, 非常, 太....了。(Tǐng de, hěn, zhēn, fēicháng, tài....Le.)
David: Yeah knowing where you are in the spectrum obviously – you know it’s emotional stuff. Make sure you are communicating the right emotion.
Echo: Yes.
David: Do you really care or is it just a bit irritating.
Echo: Umm…


David: Right. Okay so that’s our lesson for today and Echo, there is something you wanted to say.
Echo: That’s right. If you have problems following us, please go to our premium learning center and download our PDFs.
David: They have a copy of the transcript, they’ve got a copy of the vocab list. They’ve even got a cultural insight where we shared some small tips, stuff that we’ve learned living in Beijing.
Echo: Right.
David: Right. So it’s useful stuff and it’s not very expensive. It will make studying easier and faster for you.
Echo: That’s right. For now though,
David: It’s all the time that we have.
Echo: From Beijing, 我是 Echo.(Wǒ shì Echo.)
David: And I am David.
Echo: Thanks for listening.
David: 网上见吧。(Wǎngshàng jiàn ba.)
Echo: Bye bye.


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Please to leave a comment.
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ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Did you find yourself apologizing a lot in Chinese?

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 01:30 PM
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Hello robert groulx,

Thank you for your comment, we hope you enjoyed it!

If you have any questions, please let us know.

Ngai Lam

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robert groulx
Tuesday at 10:09 PM
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thanks for the lesson

my favorite words are 他非常生气, 你快走吧! 别道歉了!


ChineseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 06:32 AM
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你好, 卫力 (aka Alexis) ,



Team ChineseClass101.com

卫力 (aka Alexis)
Saturday at 12:00 PM
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你好, Cho!




Team ChineseClass101.com
Saturday at 09:56 AM
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你好, 卫力

The grammer of not using 吗 is just used in a dialogue. He raised the tone that the listener could hear clearly that was a question.

If you hear the English translation of this sentence, you will notice it is "You know you were wrong now?"

It is a familiar grammer of Chinese and English, like why they don't say "Do you know ~"

Thank you.


Team ChineseClass101.com

卫力 (aka Alexis)
Saturday at 01:06 PM
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In the dialogue, we heard the sentence. 知道你错了?but I wonder how the other person would know he's saying "Do you know you were wrong?" and not "I know you were wrong!" or the statement "You know you were wrong!" Seems ambiguous to me. Did he not use the 吗 because he wasn't looking for a yes or no answer, although the 吗 would have made the question clearer. 知道你错了吗?



ChineseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 03:27 PM
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Hi alejandro,

It's 他太生气了,桌子都砸坏了 (Tā tài shēngqì le , zhuōzi dōu zá huài le) .


Team ChineseClass101.com

Saturday at 07:58 AM
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I loved what you did in the grammar time with the adverbs, thanks a lot... btw what was the last part of the phrase with tai..le, zhuozi dou zai huai le ?