Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Yinru: Hi everyone, I’m Yinru.
Yuriy: And I’m Yuriy. Welcome back to ChineseClass101.com. This is lower intermediate, season 2 lesson 20 - A Day to Celebrate Single Sticks in China. In this lesson, Tom and Liu are hanging out at Liu’s apartment, and they realize tomorrow will be November 11th. Yinru, what’s so special about November 11?
Yinru: You’ll find out soon! Also, in this lesson, you’ll learn how to use the particle 呢 at the end of a sentence.
Yuriy: Tom and Liu are speaking casual Chinese. Let’s listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

刘: 时间过得真快!今天就十号了。(LIÚ : shíjiān guòde zhēn kuài! jīntiān jiù shí hào le.)
Tom: 我以为明天是十号呢。去年的今天,我还在学校准备考
试呢。(wǒ yǐwéi míngtiān shì shí hào ne. qùnián de jīntiān, wǒ hái zàixuéxiào zhǔnbèi kǎoshì ne.)
刘: 对了,十一号是我表姐的生日。(LIÚ : duìle, shí yī hào shì wǒ biǎojiě de shēngrì.)
Tom: 十一月十一号,光棍节?(shíyī yuè shí yī hào, guāng gùn jié?)
刘:没错,她的生日就在光棍节,哈哈。(LIÚ : méicuò, tā de shēngrì jiù zài guāng gùn jié, hāha.)
Tom: 去买个生日蛋糕,给她一个生日惊喜吧。(qù mǎi ge shēngrì dàngāo, gěi tā yí ge shēngrì jīngxǐ ba.)
刘:好主意!(hǎo zhúyi!)
Yuriy: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
刘: 时间过得真快!今天就十号了。(LIÚ : shíjiān guòde zhēn kuài! jīntiān jiù shí hào le.)
Tom: 我以为明天是十号呢。去年的今天,我还在学校准备考
试呢。(wǒ yǐwéi míngtiān shì shí hào ne. qùnián de jīntiān, wǒ hái zàixuéxiào zhǔnbèi kǎoshì ne.)
刘: 对了,十一号是我表姐的生日。(LIÚ : duìle, shí yī hào shì wǒ biǎojiě de shēngrì.)
Tom: 十一月十一号,光棍节?(shíyī yuè shí yī hào, guāng gùn jié?)
刘:没错,她的生日就在光棍节,哈哈。(LIÚ : méicuò, tā de shēngrì jiù zài guāng gùn jié, hāha.6.)
Tom: 去买个生日蛋糕,给她一个生日惊喜吧。(qù mǎi ge shēngrì dàngāo, gěi tā yí ge shēngrì jīngxǐ ba.)
刘:好主意!(hǎo zhúyi!)
Yuriy: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
刘:时间过得真快!今天就十号了。(LIÚ : shíjiān guòde zhēn kuài! jīntiān jiù shí hào le.)
Yuriy: Time goes by so quickly! It's the 10th already.
Tom:我以为明天是十号呢。去年的今天,我还在学校准备考试呢。(wǒ yǐwéi míngtiān shì shí hào ne. qùnián de jīntiān, wǒ hái zài
xuéxiào zhǔnbèi kǎoshì ne.)
Yuriy: I thought tomorrow was the 10th. I was preparing for my exams at school the same day last year.
刘:对了,十一号是我表姐的生日。(LIÚ : duìle, shí yī hào shì wǒ biǎojiě de shēngrì.)
Yuriy: Oh, the 11th is my cousin's birthday.
Tom: 十一月十一号,光棍节?(shíyī yuè shí yī hào, guāng gùn jié?)
Yuriy: November 11th? Bachelor's Day?
刘:没错,她的生日就在光棍节,哈哈。(LIÚ : méicuò, tā de shēngrì jiù zài guāng gùn jié, hāha.6.)
Yuriy: Yeah, her birthday is on the Bachelor's Day, ha, ha.
Tom: 去买个生日蛋糕,给她一个生日惊喜吧。(qù mǎi ge shēngrì dàngāo, gěi tā yí ge shēngrì jīngxǐ ba.)
Yuriy: Why don't you go get her a birthday cake and give her a surprise?
刘:好主意!(hǎo zhúyi!)
Yuriy: That's a good idea!
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Yinru: As you heard, November 11th is not only Liu’s cousin’s birthday, but also it’s a day for a special group of people to celebrate.
Yuriy: You mean all of the people who were born on November 11th?
Yinru: Well, them too. But November 11, 十一月十一日(Shíyī yuè shíyī rì), is known as Bachelor’s Day, or Single’s Day in China. It’s a day for single people to celebrate being single.
Yuriy: Why is it on November 11th?
Yinru: Well, since that day is the 11th day of the 11th month in the year, the date is written with four number ones.
Yuriy: Ah, so the number one represents being single.
Yinru: Yeah, but to be more precise, it’s because the date looks like four sticks, and 光棍(Guānggùn), meaning “sticks with no attachments,” is a slang term for single guys in Chinese.
Yuriy: So sticks and one, one, one, one…
Yinru: Exactly! It first originated in colleges in Nanjing, and later became popular and celebrated outside of colleges.
Yuriy: How do people celebrate? Do they buy sticks?
Yinru: (laughs) Not really, but some people do buy 油条(Yóutiáo), the Chinese breakfast food we talked about in the previous lesson.
Yuriy: Oh, I remember, they’re deep-fried dough sticks.
Yinru: Right. But mostly people just hang out, and do what young people like to do, like going to karaoke.
Yuriy: Karaoke is really popular in China, isn’t it?
Yinru: It is. They may also go out to eat, have a few drinks, and wish for better luck so that they won’t have to celebrate this day next year!
Yuriy: No more single sticks. Okay, now onto the vocab.
VOCAB LIST
Yuriy: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
: The first word we shall see is:
Yinru: 过 (Guò)[natural native speed]
Yuriy: to pass
Yinru: 过 (Guò)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 过 (Guò)[natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 以为 (Yǐwéi)[natural native speed]
Yuriy: to assume incorrectly
Yinru: 以为 (Yǐwéi)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 以为 (Yǐwéi)[natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 还 (Hái)[natural native speed]
Yuriy: still
Yinru: 还 (Hái)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 还 (Hái)[natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 表姐 (Biǎojiě)[natural native speed]
Yuriy: cousin
Yinru: 表姐 (Biǎojiě)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 表姐 (Biǎojiě)[natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 光棍 (Guānggùn)[natural native speed]
Yuriy: single person, bachelor
Yinru: 光棍 (Guānggùn)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 光棍 (Guānggùn)[natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 哈哈 (Hāhā)[natural native speed]
Yuriy: Ha, ha!
Yinru: 哈哈 (Hāhā)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 哈哈 (Hāhā)[natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 惊喜 (Jīngxǐ)[natural native speed]
Yuriy: surprise
Yinru: 惊喜 (Jīngxǐ)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 惊喜 (Jīngxǐ)[natural native speed]
: And Last:
Yinru: 主意 (Zhǔyì)[natural native speed]
Yuriy: idea
Yinru: 主意 (Zhǔyì)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 主意 (Zhǔyì)[natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Yuriy: Let’s take a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Yinru: First of all, we have 以为(Yǐwéi).
Yuriy: It means “thought” or “used to think,” usually when you think something but turn out later to be wrong.
Yinru: Here’s a sample sentence. 我以为你们是一家人呢, 长得真像.(Wǒ yǐwéi nǐmen shì yījiā rén ne, zhǎng dé zhēn xiàng.)
Yuriy: “I thought you were related since you look like each other.”
Yinru: 下这么大的雨, 他们以为你不会来了.(Xià zhème dà de yǔ, tāmen yǐwéi nǐ bù huì láile.)
Yuriy: “It’s raining so hard (that) they thought you wouldn’t come.”
Yinru: 我以为年终奖会有现金, 但是只有水果.(Wǒ yǐwéi niánzhōng jiǎng huì yǒu xiànjīn, dànshì zhǐyǒu shuǐguǒ.)
Yuriy: “I thought the annual bonus would be cash, but it was only fruit.”
Yinru: In ancient or written Chinese, 以为(Yǐwéi) can mean “to think” or “to regard.” Like in this sentence: 我以为, 这种理论是没有根据的.(Wǒ yǐwéi, zhè zhǒng lǐlùn shì méiyǒu gēnjù de.)
Yuriy: “I regard this theory as having no proof.”
Yinru: You’ll sound like an old professor talking like this. Okay, the next word is a title: 表姐.(Biǎojiě.)
Yuriy: In English, the closest word for this is “cousin.” In English, a cousin refers to anyone who is a son or daughter of your aunt or uncle regardless of whether they’re from your mother’s family or your father’s family.
Yinur: But in Chinese, we name each individual depending on the relationship—whether they are from your mother or father’s family, and younger or older than you.
Yuriy: Here this term means an older female who doesn’t share the same family name as you.
Yinru: Meaning that she may come from your mother’s side of the family. Your 表姐 (Biǎojiě)could be your mother’s sister’s daughter, who is older than you.
Yuriy: Right. So you must have another word for the younger female cousin from your mother’s side.
Yinru: Yes, and that’s 表妹(Biǎomèi). Let’s review all the sibling titles in Chinese. 哥 (Gē)is “older brother;” 弟 (Dì)is “younger brother;” 姐(Jiě) is “older sister;” and 妹 (Mèi)is “younger sister.”
Yuriy: Knowing that, we can just put a word in front of any one of them and that will make a different title, right?
Yinru: Yes. 表 (Biǎo)is used for those family members who don’t have the same family name as you. So we have 表哥, 表姐, 表弟, and 表妹.(Biǎo gē, biǎojiě, biǎo dì, and biǎomèi.)
Yuriy: How about those who do share the same family name, meaning they come from your father’s side?
Yinru: Then we use the word 堂. 堂哥, 堂妹, 堂姐, and 堂弟.(Táng. Táng gē, táng mèi, táng jiě, and táng dì.)
Yuriy: That sounds complicated.
Yinru: Yeah, but for people who are an only child like me, we don’t worry too much about this. We usually call our cousins as if they were our real siblings: 哥哥, 姐姐, 弟弟, and 妹妹.(Gēgē, jiějiě, dìdì, and mèimei.)
Yuriy: I guess that’s another interesting characteristic of only children in China. Okay, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Yinru: In this lesson, you’ll learn about the function of 呢 (Ne)at the end of a statement.
Yuriy: This word is used to emphasize a fact and it’s usually stated with emotion...
Yinru: ...or even exaggeration.
Yuriy: It’s often used when speaking informally.
Yinru: For example, you may hear someone say: 离下课还有十分钟呢 (Lí xiàkè hái yǒu shí fēnzhōng ne).
Yuriy: Which means, “There are still ten minutes left until class is finished.”
Yinru: Adding 呢 (Ne)to the end of this sample sentence implies that the speaker thinks it’s too soon to go. Here’s another one: 他又得了第一名, 真不容易呢.(Tā yòu déliǎo dì yī míng, zhēn bù róngyì ne.)
Yuriy: “He won first place again; it’s really not that easy.”
Yinru: In this case, it sounds like the speaker appreciates and understands the hard work.
Yuriy: Does this word sound more feminine?
Yinru: Not really, but women do tend to say it more than men do.
Yuriy: At least we should know what it means.
Yinru: 对(Duì). Ok, let’s look at another example: 我以为你再也不会和我说话了呢.(Wǒ yǐwéi nǐ zài yě bù huì hé wǒ shuōhuàle ne.)
Yuriy: “I thought you would never talk to me again.”
Yinru: In the dialogue, Tom uses this twice. First he says, 我以为明天是十号呢(Wǒ yǐwéi míngtiān shì shí hào ne).
Yuriy: He thought it was the 10th, but it’s not. He knows he made a mistake.
Yinru: And then he says, 去年的今天,我还在学校准备考试呢。(Qùnián de jīntiān, wǒ hái zài xué jiào zhǔnbèi kǎoshì ne.)
Yuriy: On the same day last year, he was still a student preparing for exams. Now, he’s an employee working in a Chinese company. How time flies! That must be what he’s thinking.
Yinru: Yeah. That’s the result of using the particle 呢 (Ne) at the end of a sentence. It gives more color to a sentence and the implications of the speaker’s words.

Outro

Yuriy: All right. Time does fly by quickly, because we’ve come to the end of this lesson.
Yinru: 时间过得真快呢.(Shíjiānguò dé zhēn kuài ne.)
Yuriy: We will be back next time. See you then, everyone!
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! Is there a similar holiday in your country?

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 01:39 PM
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Hello Sam,


Thank you for your positive comment! I'm sure Yinru will be happy to hear it! 😄


You could use 肯定, it means you're sure or certain about something.


If you have any questions, please let us know.


Ngai

Team ChineseClass101.com

Sam
Tuesday at 09:52 PM
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没有,我们的国家没有一样的holiday哈哈, btw what is the opposite of 以为?? so to assume correctly


also have to give Yinru a lot credit as a native Chinese speaker, so far in this series she explains what things mean well coming from native Chinese speaker in English, while giving more complex examples than elementary series, because this is a continuation of elementary, and in elementary when echo explained meanings of things, she would explain it in Chinese and your really like 你说什么来着??? 哎呀,我怎么知道?? 我在学中文呢哈哈😭


so big shoutout to Yinru so far, she's really good👍😆

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Thursday at 11:33 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,

雷文特

Team ChineseClass101.com

robert groulx
Thursday at 10:13 PM
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thank you for the lesson


my favorite words are 我以为明天是十号呢


we have no similar holiday in our country ,


robert

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Sunday at 01:56 AM
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你好 杰米


You have quite a knowledge.

呢 is often used with an action in progress, but it's more serving as a tone particle than a tense indicator. It plays an assistance role in spoken Chinese for the progressive tense.

Major and official indicators are still 在, 正在,...着.

In the example you put: 你在干什么呢? - 在 is the key indicator, and 呢 is optional. (this 呢 is generally used with people closer to you, family members, friends, close colleagues - and when you are in a good mood; with other people, you don't quite use 呢, just 你在干什么?)

This lesson has a statement example with the simple past continuous:


去年的今天,我还在学校准备考试呢. (在 has 2 functions here, both as a preposition and continuous indicator)


Thanks for learning with us. Let us know if you have any other questions.


Amy

Team ChineseClass101.com

杰米
Thursday at 12:56 PM
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I remember hearing somewhere that the particle 呢 is also used to describe the progressive tense. For example...


“你在干什么呢?" - What are you doing?


Is this true? If so, does it work the same for statements as it does for questions?