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 7 - Looking Forward to a Big Bonus in China. In this lesson, you’ll learn about the verb phrase
Yinru: 快 + (Kuài +) a verb + 了 (+ Le)
Brandon: which means ‘almost’.
Yinru: The conversation happens between Liu and Tom at the office.
Brandon: Since they're not only co-workers but also friends, they'll be using informal Chinese.
Yinru: Let’s listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Tom: 当然最期待年终奖了!不知道今年的年终奖是多少。( dāngrán zuì qīdài nián zhōng jiǎng le! bù zhīdào jīnnián de niánzhōng jiǎng shì duōshao.)
刘: 我朋友在建筑公司上班,去年得了十万。(LIÚ: wǒ péngyou zài jiànzhù gōngsī shàngbān, qùnián dé le shíwàn.)
Tom: 这么多?太羡慕了!不过他们的工作很辛苦。(zhème duō? tài xiànmù le! búguò tāmen de gōngzuò hěn xīnkǔ.)
刘: 没错。我昨天看新闻说有人年终奖只发了一箱矿泉水。(LIÚ: méicuò. wǒ zuótiān kàn xīnwén shuō yǒu rén nián zhōng jiǎng zhǐfā le yī xiāng kuàngquánshuǐ.)
Tom: 总比没有好吧。(zǒng bǐ méiyǒu hǎo ba.)
Brandon: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Tom: 当然最期待年终奖了!不知道今年的年终奖是多少。( dāngrán zuì qīdài nián zhōng jiǎng le! bù zhīdào jīnnián de niánzhōng jiǎng shì duōshao.)
刘: 我朋友在建筑公司上班,去年得了十万。(LIÚ: wǒ péngyou zài jiànzhù gōngsī shàngbān, qùnián dé le shíwàn.)
Tom: 这么多?太羡慕了!不过他们的工作很辛苦。(zhème duō? tài xiànmù le! búguò tāmen de gōngzuò hěn xīnkǔ.)
刘: 没错。我昨天看新闻说有人年终奖只发了一箱矿泉水。(LIÚ: méicuò. wǒ zuótiān kàn xīnwén shuō yǒu rén nián zhōng jiǎng zhǐfā le yī xiāng kuàngquánshuǐ.)
Tom: 总比没有好吧。(zǒng bǐ méiyǒu hǎo ba.)
Brandon: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
刘: 快过年了。你最期待什么呢?(LIÚ: kuài guònián le. nǐ zuì qīdài shénme ne?)
Brandon: Chinese New Year is almost here. What are you looking forward to the most?
Tom: 当然最期待年终奖了!不知道今年的年终奖是多少。(dāngrán zuì qīdài nián zhōng jiǎng le! bù zhīdào jīnnián de niánzhōng jiǎng shì duōshao.)
Brandon: Of course it's the year-end bonus! I'm wondering how much this year's bonus is.
刘: 我朋友在建筑公司上班,去年得了十万。(LIÚ: wǒ péngyou zài jiànzhù gōngsī shàngbān, qùnián dé le shíwàn.)
Brandon: My friend works at a construction company, he got 100,000 yuan last year.
Tom: 这么多?太羡慕了!不过他们的工作很辛苦。(zhème duō? tài xiànmù le! búguò tāmen de gōngzuò hěn xīnkǔ.)
Brandon: That much? I'm so envious! But their work is very hard.
刘: 没错。我昨天看新闻说有人年终奖只发了一箱矿泉水。(LIÚ: méicuò. wǒ zuótiān kàn xīnwén shuō yǒu rén nián zhōng jiǎng zhǐfā le yī xiāng kuàngquánshuǐ.)
Brandon: True. I saw on the news yesterday that somebody got a box of mineral water for their annual bonus.
Tom: 总比没有好吧。(zǒng bǐ méiyǒu hǎo ba.)
Brandon: Well, it's better than nothing.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Brandon: Yinru, is an annual bonus very common in China?
Yinru: Yes, it is, but some companies give groceries like cooking oil, fruit, or cash coupons, while others transfer money to employees’ bank accounts. But in most cases, you’ll get a red envelope if you’re getting your annual bonus from a Chinese company.
Brandon: What’s the word for this red envelope in Chinese?
Yinru: In Chinese, it's called 红包 (Hóngbāo), which literally means “red packet”.
Brandon: Chinese people also give this red envelope on New year’s day, right?
Yinru: That’s right. Besides the annual bonus we just talked about, Chinese New Year is a big season for giving 红包 (Hóngbāo). Children will get many of them from the older relatives in their family.
Brandon: This sounds great for younger kids, but not so great for the older generation.
Yinru: (laughs), that’s right. You’ll also see red envelopes at a wedding ceremony. If you’re invited, you're supposed to prepare a red envelope as a gift for the couple.
Brandon: I’ve heard about that. Wedding gifts like these are really common in many asian cultures. Okay, now on to the vocab.
VOCAB LIST
Brandon: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
: The first word we shall see is:
Yinru: 过年 (Guònián) [natural native speed]
Brandon: to celebrate the Chinese New Year
Yinru: 过年 (Guònián) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 过年 (Guònián) [natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 期待 (Qídài) [natural native speed]
Brandon: to expect, to look forward to
Yinru: 期待 (Qídài) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 期待 (Qídài) [natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 年终奖 (Niánzhōng jiǎng) [natural native speed]
Brandon: year-end bonus
Yinru: 年终奖 (Niánzhōng jiǎng) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 年终奖 (Niánzhōng jiǎng) [natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 建筑公司 (Jiànzhú gōngsī) [natural native speed]
Brandon: construction company
Yinru: 建筑公司 (Jiànzhú gōngsī) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 建筑公司 (Jiànzhú gōngsī) [natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 得 (Dé) [natural native speed]
Brandon: to get; equals
Yinru: 得 (Dé) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 得 (Dé) [natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 十万 (Shí wàn) [natural native speed]
Brandon: a hundred thousand
Yinru: 十万 (Shí wàn) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 十万 (Shí wàn) [natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 羡慕 (Xiànmù) [natural native speed]
Brandon: to envy
Yinru: 羡慕 (Xiànmù) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 羡慕 (Xiànmù) [natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 辛苦 (Xīnkǔ) [natural native speed]
Brandon: hard; laborious
Yinru: 辛苦 (Xīnkǔ)[slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 辛苦 (Xīnkǔ)[natural native speed]
: Next:
Yinru: 新闻 (Xīnwén) [natural native speed]
Brandon: news
Yinru: 新闻 (Xīnwén) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 新闻 (Xīnwén) [natural native speed]
: And Last:
Yinru: 矿泉水 (Kuàngquán shuǐ) [natural native speed]
Brandon: mineral water
Yinru: 矿泉水 (Kuàngquán shuǐ) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Yinru: 矿泉水 (Kuàngquán shuǐ) [natural native speed]
KEY VOCAB AND PHRASES
Brandon Let’s take a closer look at the usage of some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Yinru: The first word is 过年 . (Guònián.)
Brandon: Meaning ‘to celebrate the Chinese new year.” It means a lot to Chinese people, it’s a pretty big deal.
Yinru: That’s right. This holiday season not only includes the date for celebrating the first day of the year, but also includes a series of festivities, like traveling back to one’s hometown to unite with the family.
Brandon: They also make dumplings, right?
Yinru: Right. They make 饺子 (Jiǎozi) and have a big dinner. After that, you will see many Chinese people setting off firecrackers and fireworks, staying up on New Year’s Eve for the countdown, visiting relatives to send them good wishes, and so on.
Brandon: China traditionally uses the lunar calendar and still celebrate lots of holidays based on it, this is a different system than the western Calendar. The celebration starts from the Chinese New Year’s Eve, which is the 30th of the last month of the chinese lunar calendar, then ends on the 15th of the first month on the lunar calendar. It’s usually around January or February but fluctuates a little. Okay, what’s the next word?
Yinru: 辛苦.(Xīnkǔ.)
Brandon: meaning “hard” or “laborious”. It’s a very commonly used word in both formal and informal Chinese.
Yinru: So it could be used to describe something that is difficult, or someone who is a hard-working person.
Brandon: Can you give us some examples?
Yinru: 这个工作很辛苦,但是他从不抱怨. (Zhège gōngzuò hěn xīnkǔ, dànshì tā cóng bù bàoyuàn.)
Brandon: "This job is hard, but he never complains."
Yinru: 父亲每天辛苦地工作十二小时, 都是为了孩子.(Fùqīn měitiān xīnkǔ dì gōngzuò shí'èr xiǎoshí, dōu shì wèile háizi.)
Brandon: "The father works hard for 12 hours every day, all for his children."
Yinru: Another common way of using 辛苦 (Xīnkǔ) is to use it as a verb. In everyday Chinese, you may hear this polite phrase a lot - 辛苦了 or 辛苦你了.( Xīnkǔle or xīnkǔ nǐle.)
Brandon: Literally these mean “You did hard work”. It's used as a courtesy to show one’s appreciation for someone’s help or hard work.
Yinru: That’s right. For example, you can say.. 今天忙了一天, 真是辛苦你了. (Jīntiān mángle yītiān, zhēnshi xīnkǔ nǐle.)
Brandon: "You’ve worked on this for a whole day, thank you so much for that." Okay, now onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Brandon: In this lesson, you’ll learn the verb phrase
Yinru: 快 + (Kuài +) a verb + 了(+ Le).
Brandon: This phrase means “almost …” or ‘about to’ in Chinese.
Yinru: It's used frequently in both formal and informal Chinese. It can be used for any tense too.
Brandon: It sounds like it’s very easy to use.
Yinru: Yes, but you need to know how to use this phrase exactly in Chinese, so let me give you some sample sentences.
Brandon: Sounds good!
Yinru: 我们快到了, 还有两分钟. (Wǒmen kuài dàole, hái yǒu liǎng fēnzhōng.)
Brandon: “We’re almost there, two more minutes.”
Yinru: Here, you can find the phrase 快到了(Kuài dàole) which means ‘almost reached.’
Brandon: Okay, what’s the next sentence?
Yinru: 他高兴得快跳起来了.(Tā gāoxìng dé kuài tiào qǐláile.)
Brandon: “He was so thrilled he almost jumped up.” And the next?
Yinru: 她看见这封信的时候, 激动得快哭了.(Tā kànjiàn zhè fēng xìn de shíhòu, jīdòng dé kuài kūle.)
Brandon: “When she read this letter, she was so excited that she almost cried.”
Yinru: Here, we had the word 快哭了(Kuài kūle) meaning ‘almost cry.’ In the last two sentences, we use 得 (Dé) before a verb phrase - 得快跳起来了(- Dé kuài tiào qǐláile) and 得快哭了.(Dé kuài kūle.) and the next example is.飞机快降落了.(Fēijī kuài jiàngluòle.)
Brandon: “The plane is about to land.” Or “The plane will land soon.”
Yinru: Here, we have 快降落了.(Kuài jiàngluòle.) When it’s used in the future tense, you can translate 快 (Kuài) and 了(Le) as ‘about to do something.’
Brandon: We also used this key phrase in the dialogue, right?
Yinru: Right. In this conversation, Liu starts the conversation by saying 快过年了. 过年,(Kuài guòniánle. Guònián,) as we know, is a verb meaning ‘to celebrate Chinese New year’s day”. Around this word, we put 快 + 了.(Kuài + le.)
Brandon: So the meaning was “It's almost time to celebrate Chinese New Year”.
MARKETING PIECE
Brandon: Listeners, looking for a cheat sheet to memorizing Chinese vocabulary?
Yinru: Have you checked out our Video Vocab series?
Brandon: These themed video lessons combine visual cues with the voices of native speakers.
Yinru: Just another effective method of learning and retaining thousands of vocabulary words.
Brandon: Go to ChineseClass101.com…
Yinru: ...click on the Video Lessons tab…
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Yinru: It’s that easy.
Brandon: But don’t take our word for it.
Yinru: Try it for yourself at ChineseClass101.com

Outro

Brandon: Well, that’s all for this lesson. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time. Bye!.
Yinru: 再见 (Zàijiàn)

15 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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Hello Listeners! Do you give money in an envelope in your country (as a gift)?

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 02:11 PM
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你好Reneshia,


Thank you for your comment! 非常好!👍


If you have any questions, please let us know.


Ngai Lam

Team ChineseClass101.com

Reneshia
Tuesday at 11:19 AM
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Great lesson today!


Examples sentences using today's grammar point:

这个学期快结束了。

会议快开始了。

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 05:31 AM
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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
Monday at 10:26 PM
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thank you for the lesson


my favorite words are 红包


usually , it is given by a cheque indicate as bonus ( after employee review)


robert

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 11:31 PM
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Hello Barbara,


Thank you for your comment. Yes you can replace 发 with 得, the difference in meaning would be '(the company) only gave' and '(employees) only got'.


If you have any questions, please let us know.


Ngai Lam

Team ChineseClass101.com

Barbara
Tuesday at 02:54 AM
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Hi, in the phrase 没错。我昨天看新闻说有人年终奖只发了一箱矿泉水, can I substitute the 发 for 得? And if it's possible, would the difference be something like 'was only given' and 'only got'?

ChineseClass101.com
Wednesday at 12:26 AM
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Hello Paisley,


Thank you for your comment.


Common replies to 辛苦了 can be simply '不辛苦' or '哪里,哪里' (both mean not at all), or 应该的 (it's what I should do).


Let us know if you have any questions.


Ngai Lam

Team ChineseClass101.com

Paisley
Saturday at 03:53 PM
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Is there a common polite way to respond to someone giving you a compliment with 辛苦了 ? I'm never sure what to say.

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 02:50 AM
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Hello 杰米


You are asking very minor differences. I mean you are very welcome:)

The difference between 就要... 了 and 快...了 is not much, regarding something that is about to happen.


1.她就要下班了。( The talking could mean in a few minutes or 10-15 minutes, depending on the speaker's personal habit in talking.)

2.他快下班了。( The talking could mean in 15-30 minutes or even 1 hour)


Since the difference is small, if a speaker puts a strong tone on ‘快’ when voicing sentence 2, then the action 下班 can be very imminent, can be as fast as the sentence 1 type.

Generally, 就要... 了 means more imminent than 快...了, when speaking in a normal way.


Thanks for learning with us.


Amy

Team ChineseClass101.com

杰米
Friday at 02:44 PM
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What is the difference between using 就要 and 快。。。了 regarding something that is about to happen?


她就要下班了。

他快下班了。


谢谢