Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Yinru: Hi everyone, I’m Yinru.
Brandon: And I’m Brandon. Welcome back to ChineseClass101.com. This is lower intermediate, season 2 lesson 12 - Taking a Taxi in China, Part 2.
Brandon: In this lesson, we'll learn about giving a taxi driver directions.
Yinru: Yes, and we’ll introduce two usages of 了(Le), a change of situation and the completion of an action.
Brandon: The conversation takes place in a taxi, and is between Tom and the taxi driver. They’re using formal language.
Yinru: Let’s listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Tom: 师傅,请在前面的路口左转。(shīfu, qǐng zài qiánmiàn de lùkǒu zuǒzhuǎn.)
司机: 不去和平饭店了吗?(SĪJĪ: bú qù hépíng fàndiàn le ma?)
Tom: 对,他们换地方了。(duì, tāmen huàn dìfang le.)
司机: 左转后直走吗?(SĪJĪ: zuǒzhuǎn hòu zhí zǒu ma?)
Tom: 直走,然后在下一个红绿灯右转。(zhí zǒu, ránhòu zài xiàyíge hónglǜdēng yòu zhuǎn.)
司机: 那边不能右转,是单行道。(SĪJĪ: nàbiān bùnéng yòuzhuǎn, shì dānxíngdào.)
Tom: 好吧,就在这停。(hǎo ba, jiù zài zhè tíng.)
Brandon: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Tom: 师傅,请在前面的路口左转。(shīfu, qǐng zài qiánmiàn de lùkǒu zuǒzhuǎn.)
司机: 不去和平饭店了吗?(SĪJĪ: bú qù hépíng fàndiàn le ma?)
Tom: 对,他们换地方了。(duì, tāmen huàn dìfang le.)
司机: 左转后直走吗?(SĪJĪ: zuǒzhuǎn hòu zhí zǒu ma?)
Tom: 直走,然后在下一个红绿灯右转。(zhí zǒu, ránhòu zài xiàyíge hónglǜdēng yòu zhuǎn.)
司机: 那边不能右转,是单行道。(SĪJĪ: nàbiān bùnéng yòuzhuǎn, shì dānxíngdào.)
Tom: 好吧,就在这停。(hǎo ba, jiù zài zhè tíng.)
Brandon: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
Tom: 师傅,请在前面的路口左转。(shīfu, qǐng zài qiánmiàn de lùkǒu zuǒzhuǎn.)
Brandon: Sir, please take a left at the intersection ahead.
司机: 不去和平饭店了吗?(SĪJĪ: bú qù hépíng fàndiàn le ma?)
Brandon: We're not going to Peace Hotel now?
Tom: 对,他们换地方了。(duì, tāmen huàn dìfang le.)
Brandon: Correct. They changed the place.
司机: 左转后直走吗?(SĪJĪ: zuǒzhuǎn hòu zhí zǒu ma?)
Brandon: Go straight after turning left?
Tom: 直走,然后在下一个红绿灯右转。(zhí zǒu, ránhòu zài xiàyíge hónglǜdēng yòu zhuǎn.)
Brandon: Keep straight, then take a right at the next traffic light.
司机: 那边不能右转,是单行道。(SĪJĪ: nàbiān bùnéng yòuzhuǎn, shì dānxíngdào.)
Brandon: We can't take a right there, it's a one-way street.
Tom: 好吧,就在这停。(hǎo ba, jiù zài zhè tíng.)
Brandon: All right. Let's stop right here then.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Yinru: Even though public transportation in big cities in China is very convenient, taking a taxi to travel around is still fun and easy.
Brandon: And the taxi fare is not as expensive as other big cities like Tokyo or London.
Yinru: Taxi fares differ from city to city, with the most expensive starting at 14 yuan in Shanghai, followed by 13 yuan in Beijing.
Brandon: What do you mean by starting price for taxi?
Yinru: It is the minimum fare you have to pay for the first three kilometers.
Brandon: And how about the rides longer than 3 kilometers?
Yinru: In Beijing, it’s an additional 2.3 yuan per kilometer after the initial 3 kilometers during the day time, while at night, the fare rises 20%.
Brandon: Low-speed traveling and waiting time also change the cost, right?
Yinru: Yes. And in some cities, you may be charged an additional fee for fuel. 燃油附加费(Rányóufùjiā fèi).
Brandon: Why is that?
Yinru: Because when the cost of gas rises, the taxi fares rise accordingly, and that’s how some cities put more costs on the passengers.
Brandon: So how much does it increase?
Yinru: It usually varies from 1 to 3 yuan.
Brandon: But not all cities do that. So how do I know if I'll be charged for fuel?
Yinru: The best way is to ask your taxi driver if you'll be charged the 燃油附加费 (Rányóu fùjiā fèi)before you pay. So you can say, 请问有燃油附加费吗?(Qǐngwèn yǒu rányóu fùjiā fèi ma?)this means “Is there a fuel charge?”
Brandon: OK, got it. Now let's take a look at the vocabulary.
VOCAB LIST
Brandon: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
: The first word we shall see is:
Yinru: 路口 (Lùkǒu)[natural native speed]
Brandon: intersection
Yinru: 路口 (Lùkǒu)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 路口 (Lùkǒu)[natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 左转 (Zuǒ zhuǎn)[natural native speed]
Brandon: to turn left
Yinru: 左转 (Zuǒ zhuǎn)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 左转 (Zuǒ zhuǎn)[natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 换 (Huàn)[natural native speed]
Brandon: to change
Yinru: 换 (Huàn)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 换 (Huàn)[natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 直走 (Zhí zǒu)[natural native speed]
Brandon: to go straight
Yinru: 直走 (Zhí zǒu)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 直走 (Zhí zǒu)[natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 红绿灯 (Hónglǜdēng)[natural native speed]
Brandon: traffic light
Yinru: 红绿灯 (Hónglǜdēng)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 红绿灯 (Hónglǜdēng)[natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 右转 (Yòu zhuǎn)[natural native speed]
Brandon: to turn right
Yinru: 右转 (Yòu zhuǎn)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 右转 (Yòu zhuǎn)[natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 单行道 (Dānxíng dào)[natural native speed]
Brandon: one-way street
Yinru: 单行道 (Dānxíng dào)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 单行道 (Dānxíng dào)[natural native speed]
: And Last:
Yinru: 停 (Tíng)[natural native speed]
Brandon: to stop
Yinru: 停 (Tíng)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 停 (Tíng)[natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Brandon Let’s take a look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Yinru: First up, 左转 and 右转 (Zuǒ zhuǎn and yòu zhuǎn) meaning "to turn left" and "to turn right" respectively.
Brandon: But in spoken Chinese, there are some other ways of saying it.
Yinru: Instead of saying 转(Zhuǎn), you can use another verb, 拐(Guǎi). So “to turn right” is 右拐(Yòu guǎi), “to turn left” is 左拐(Zuǒ guǎi).
Brandon: So how do we say “Turn right at the next intersection, there's a pharmacy.” ?
Yinru: We can say 下个路口右拐就有一家药店 or 下个路口右转就有一家药店 (Xià gè lùkǒu yòu guǎi jiù yǒu yījiā yàodiàn or xià gè lùkǒu yòu zhuǎn jiù yǒu yījiā yàodiàn)
Brandon: They're basically the same.
Yinru: We can also put 往 (Wǎng) before any direction, which means “to go toward.” So you can say 往右转(Wǎng yòu zhuǎn), which is the same as 右转(Yòu zhuǎn).
Brandon: How about “to go east”?
Yinru: 往东走(Wǎng dōng zǒu).
Brandon: And “to go straight ahead”?
Yinru: 往前走(Wǎngqián zǒu). Moving on to our next word, 停 (tíng), “to stop” can be used in both formal and informal Chinese.
Brandon: However, in informal Chinese when it's used alone in an imperative sentence, it carries a very strong tone, to give an order or a warning to stop. This is something police officers would use when trying to stop a criminal for example.
Yinru: To make the tone softer, we can put 一下 (Yīxià) after 停(Tíng), just like in some other phrases used in everyday Chinese, for example 等一下 děng yíxià
Brandon: meaning “to hold on”,
Yinru: 看一下 (kàn yíxià)
Brandon: meaning “to take a look”,
Yinru: 打扰一下 (dǎrǎo yíxià)
Brandon: meaning “to interrupt a bit”.
Brandon: Let’s compare the tones in the following sample sentences.
Yinru: 停! 我不想听你解释.(Tíng! Wǒ bùxiǎng tīng nǐ jiěshì.)
Brandon: "Stop! I don’t want to hear your explanations."
Yinru: 在超市停一下好吗, 我想去买点东西.(Zài chāoshì tíng yīxià hǎo ma, wǒ xiǎng qù mǎidiǎn dōngxī.)
Brandon: "Can you stop at the supermarket? I want to go get something."
Yinru: 累的时候就停一下, 休息一会儿.(Lèi de shíhòu jiù tíng yīxià, xiūxí yīhuǐ'er.)
Brandon: "When you feel tired, you should stop and take a break." By comparison, the first sentence is obviously giving an order to ask someone to stop right now, while the second and third sentences are using a softened tone to ask a question and to make a suggestion. OK, now let's move on to the grammar.

Lesson focus

Yinru: In this lesson, we're introducing two of the most important functions of “le”. The first one we’re introducing here is using 了(Le) to indicate a change of situation. 了(Le) usually appears at the end of a sentence in this case.
Brandon: It means “to no longer be something”. As in…
Yinru: 我不抽烟了.(Wǒ bù chōuyānle.)
Brandon: "I’m not smoking any more."
Yinru: 她开始喜欢这里的气候了.(Tā kāishǐ xǐhuān zhèlǐ de qìhòule.)
Brandon: "She's starting to like the climate here."
Yinru: The second usage of 了((Le)) is to indicate the completion of an action. It's usually inserted after a verb or a verb phrase.
Brandon: In some ways, it equals the English past tense. How about some examples?
Yinru: 你打电话给她了吗? (Nǐ dǎ diànhuà gěi tāle ma?)
Brandon: "Did you call her?"
Yinru: 他买了两瓶矿泉水.(Tā mǎile liǎng píng kuàngquán shuǐ.)
Brandon: "He bought two bottles of mineral water."
Yinru: 周总去出差了, 不在办公室.(Zhōu zǒng qù chūchāile, bùzài bàngōngshì.)
Brandon: "Mr. Zhou went on a business trip, he’s not at the office."
Yinru: 了 (Le) is used in our conversation twice with two different usages.
Brandon: First, when the driver realizes they might not be going to the Peace Hotel any more.
Yinru: He replies 不去和平饭店了吗(Bù qù hépíng fàndiànle ma). Here 了(Le) is used to indicate the change of a situation.
Brandon: Then Tom answered…
Yinru: 对,他们换地方了(Duì,tāmenhuàn dìfāngle). What he means is that his friends changed the venue they’re going to already, which is the second use—completion of an action.
Brandon: Listeners, it's important to remember that the completed-action version is attached to the end of a verb phrase, while the change-of-situation version of this particle usually comes at the end of a sentence to emphasize the newness of the situation.

Outro

Brandon: Well, that’s all for this lesson. Please check the lesson notes to reinforce what you’ve learned in this lesson. And if you have any questions or comments, please leave us a message at ChineseClass101.com.
Yinru: We’re here to help!
Brandon: Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time. Bye!
Yinru: 再见 (Zàijiàn)

7 Comments

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ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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Hi Listeners! How do you say "to the airport" in Chinese? 

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 01:17 PM
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Hello Masaya,


Thank you for your positive comment, we're glad to hear that!


If you have any questions, please let us know.


Ngai

Team ChineseClass101.com

Masaya
Saturday at 09:14 PM
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Hello, Yinru and Brandon,


Thank you for the easy-to-understand lesson about the usage of 了. The understanding of the completed-action version and the change-of-situation version help me clearly understand the usage of 了. Thank you again.

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 03:09 PM
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Hello robert groulx,


Thank you for your comment, we hope you enjoyed the lesson!


Let us know if you have any questions.


Ngai Lam

Team ChineseClass101.com

robert groulx
Wednesday at 09:31 AM
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thank you for the lesson


my favorite words are : 我不抽烟了


机场


robert

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 08:10 PM
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你好 杰米


There is no grammatical difference between "对,他们换地方了。" and "对,他们换了地方。" However, these is some minor difference in usage.

In this lesson's context, the changing/moving (换地方了)is the service the passenger'd like to go to,and the taxi driver wasn't aware of the fact, and was told by the passenger. When informing some situation is changed, ‘Suject+action+了’ is clearer, and emphasizing the changing, especially for directing a driver.

In case after the ride, the passenger calls his friend that he've checked in 和平饭店(but initially he told his friend he'd stay in another hotel), and he may go on to explain "我换了一个宾馆。"(Something is changed, but no bother to this friend).

Or, he may go on to say "我换宾馆了。"(The location is changed, and this may/might affect this friend).


I think you can see how minor the difference is, and many native Chinese people may not notice it.


Amy

Team ChineseClass101.com

杰米
Sunday at 01:07 PM
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What would the difference be between " 对,他们换地方了" and " 对,他们换了地方"?