Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

Welcome to Can-Do Chinese by Chinese101.com.
大家好。我是李殷如。
Hi everyone! I’m Yinru Li.
In this lesson, you’ll learn how to say where you’re from.
This is Mark Lee, and he’s on a plane.
Xiaojun Wang, a passenger sitting next to him, asks, “Where are you from?”
你是哪里人?ní shì nǎlǐ rén?
Listen to the conversation, and focus on Mark’s response.
Xiaojun Wang: 你是哪里人?Ní shì nǎlǐ rén?
Mark Lee: 我是美国人。我是从纽约来的。Wǒ shì Měiguó rén. Wǒ shì cóng Niǔyuē lái de.
Listen again to Mark’s response.
Mark Lee: 我是美国人。我是从纽约来的。Wǒ shì Měiguó rén. Wǒ shì cóng Niǔyuē lái de.
Listen again to Mark’s response, with the English translation.
Mark Lee: 我是美国人。我是从纽约来的。
I am American. I come from New York.
Let’s take a closer look at the question and the response.
First, the question that starts the conversation: Xiaojun Wang, the passenger sitting next to Mark, says,
“Where are you from?”
Xiaojun Wang: 你是哪里人?Ní shì nǎlǐ rén?
The first word, 你, means “you.” 你.
Next is 是, which translates as “are” in this context. 是.
Together, 你是 means “you are.” 你是.
Next is 哪里, which means “where.” 哪里.
After this, 人 means “person.” 人.
Together, 哪里人 literally means “where person.” 哪里人.
All together, 你是哪里人?This literaly means “You are a where peson?”
But in more natural English, it’s “Where are you from?” 你是哪里人?
Remember this question. You’ll hear it again in the practice section.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the response.
Mark Lee: 我是美国人。我是从纽约来的。
Wǒ shì Měiguó rén. Wǒ shì cóng Niǔyuē lái de.
I am American. I come from New York.
Mark answers Xiaojun’s question in two ways. First, he says,
我是美国人。Wǒ shì Měiguó rén. This means, “I am American.” 我是美国人。
The first word, 我, means “I.” 我.
Next is 是, which translates as “am” in this context. 是.
Together, 我是 means “I am.” 我是.
Next, 美国 means “United States of America.” 美国.
And 人 is “person.” 人.
Together, 美国人 literaly means United States of America person, and translates as American, 美国人.
All together, 我是美国人。means “I am American.” 我是美国人。
Note that in Chinese, 美国人 American 美国人 acts a noun in the sentence.
The corresponding English translation of 我是美国人。would be, “I am an American.”
We opted to use the more natural sounding “I am American.”
我是美国人。means “I am American.” 我是美国人。
This uses the basic sentence pattern:
我是+ 地方 + 人. “I am + place + person.” 我是+ 地方 + 人.
Remember this sentence pattern, as you will use it later.
For example, to say “I am Chinese,” simply replace the word, 美国, meaning the United States of America, with 中国, the word for “China”. 中国.
我是中国人。Wǒ shì Zhōngguó rén. “I am Chinese.” 我是中国人。
Now let’s look at the second part of Mark’s response:
我是从纽约来的。
Wǒ shì cóng Niǔyuē lái de.
“I come from New York.”
The phrase, 我是 “I am.” appears in the first response. 我是.
Next is the phrase 从....来的, which means “to come from ….(a place)” or “to be from ….(a place).” 从....来的.
Together 我是从..(a place)..来的. This literally means “I am from (a place) coming.” 我是从..来的. But in more natural English, it's “I come from (a place).” 我是从..(a place)..来的.
Remember this sentence pattern, as you will use it later.
To complete the sentence, insert the geographical location. In this case, it’s 纽约, or “New York.” 纽约.
All together, 我是从纽约来的。 means “I come from New York.” 我是从纽约来的。
This uses the following sentence pattern:
我是 + 从 + 地方 + 来的,Wǒ shì cóng + dìfang + lái de.
“I am + from + place + coming.” 我是 + 从 + 地方 + 来的.
Note,
我是从纽约来的。literaly means, “I am from New York coming.” But in natural English, it’s “I come from New York.” 我是从纽约来的。
For example, to say “I am from London,” simply replace the word, 纽约, meaning “New York,” with 伦敦, the word for “London.” 伦敦.
我是从伦敦来的。Wǒ shì cóng Lúndūn lái de. “I come from London.” 我是从伦敦来的。
Important! Note that both patterns above can be used for talking about country names, province or state names, city names, and other types of “places.”
For example, in the dialogue, Marks says,
我是美国人。 Wǒ shì Měiguó rén. “I am American.” 我是美国人。
Mark could also say,
我是纽约人。Wǒ shì Niǔyuērén. “I am a New Yorker.” 我是纽约人。
And just as Mark says,
我是从纽约来的。 Wǒ shì cóng Niǔyuē lái de. “I come from New York.” 我是从纽约来的。
He could also say,
我是从美国来的。Wǒ shì cóng Měiguó lái de. “I come from the United States.” 我是从美国来的。
The following 2 patterns have essentially the same meaning:
我是 + 地方 + 人。 “I am + a place + person,” and
我是+ 从 + 地方 +来的。 “I am + from + place + coming.”
Whether to use 我是 + place + 人 pattern or 我是从 + place + 来的 pattern, and whether you respond with a country of a city name, depends on the context of the conversation and how the question is structured.
In the dialogue, because Xiaojun asked,
你是哪里人?You are a where person? 你是哪里人?
Mark’s response follows the same pattern.
我是美国人。“I am American.” 我是美国人。
Then Mark continues to explain more specifically where in the U.S. he comes from.
我是从纽约来的。Wǒ shì cóng Niǔyuē lái de. “I come from New York.” 我是从纽约来的。
When referring to a place or an address in Chinese, the order goes from large to small. For example, to say Manhattan, New York, US, in the Chinese order, it would be
美国 Měiguó USA ; 纽约 Niǔyuē New York, 曼哈顿 Mànhādùn Manhattan.” 美国 纽约 曼哈顿。
When introducing where you’re from, you should also follow this large-to-small order. For example, to say I am from Changsha City in Hunan province.
我是从湖南长沙来的。Wǒ shì cóng Húnán Chángshā lái de. “I come from Changsha, Hunan.” 我是从湖南长沙来的。
Put 湖南, the province, first and then the city, 长沙. The order is the reverse of that found in English.
Let’s look at some more examples of how to tell someone where you’re from.
Here are two locations.
美国, Měiguó. United States of America.
西雅图, Xīyǎtú. Seattle.
First, do you remember the word for “I”?
我 Wǒ
And the word for “am”
是 shì
Now do you remember the word for “person?”
人 rén
These are pieces you need to form the key pattern 我是 + place + 人。“I am + place + person.” 我是 + place + 人。
Now Imagine you’re from 美国 “the U.S.A.” 美国。
Remember how to say American using the country name?
美国人 American 美国人
Use the response pattern to say, “I am American.”
Listen to the correct response:
我是美国人。
“I am American.”
Listen again and repeat.
我是美国人。
“I am American.”
Let’s look at one more example:
Again, do you remember the phrase for “I am”?
我是 wǒshì 我是
And do you remember the phrase for “to come from….”?
从...来的
Now, imagine you’re from 西雅图, “Seattle.” 西雅图。
Use the two response patterns to say, “I am ‘American’. 美国人 ( I come from ‘Seattle’.” 西雅图
Listen to the correct response:
我是美国人。我是从西雅图来的。
Wǒ shì Měiguó rén. Wǒ shì cóng Xīyǎtú lái de.
I am American. I come from Seattle.
Listen again and repeat.
我是美国人。我是从西雅图来的。
Wǒ shì Měiguó rén. Wǒ shì cóng Xīyǎtú lái de.
I am American. I come from Seattle.
Now let’s practice with these 2 people:
Ally Smith. She is from 伦敦, Lúndūn, “London.” 英国, Yīngguó, “United Kingdom.”
Danny Miller. He is from 悉尼, Xīní. “Sydney.” 澳大利亚, Aòdàlìyà, “Australia.”
Do you recall the question asked by the passenger, Xiaojun Wang?
你是哪里人?ní shì nǎlǐ rén?
Now, imagine you’re Ally Smith from London 伦敦, UK. 英国.
You meet Xiaojun Wang, and he asks you where you’re from.
Use the response patterns to say, “I am British. I come from London. 伦敦
Remember, to form the word British you’ll use the word 英国 “United Kingdom” 英国 + 人 rén
Ready?
你是哪里人?
Where are you from?
The correct response is:
我是英国人。Wǒ shì Yīngguó rén. 我是从伦敦来的。Wǒ shì cóng Lúndūn lái de. “I come from London.”
“I am British.”
Listen again and repeat.
我是英国人。Wǒ shì Yīngguó rén. 我是从伦敦来的。Wǒ shì cóng Lúndūn lái de. “I come from London.”
Let’s look at one more example:
Now, imagine you're Danny Miller from Sydney, Australia. 澳大利亚 悉尼.
You meet Xiaojun Wang, and he asks you where you’re from.
Use the response patterns to say, “I am Australian. I come from Sydney.” 悉尼
Remember,
to form the word Australian you’ll use the word 澳大利亚 “Australia” 澳大利亚 + 人 rén
Ready?
你是哪里人?
Where are you from?
The correct response was:
我是澳大利亚人。我是从悉尼来的。Wǒ shì Aòdàlìyà rén. Wǒ shì cóng Xīní lái de.
“I am Australian. I come from Sydney.“
Listen again and repeat.
我是澳大利亚人。我是从悉尼来的。Wǒ shì Aòdàlìyà rén. Wǒ shì cóng Xīní lái de.
“I am Australian. I come from Sydney.“
This is the end of this lesson. Question or comment? Let us know.
Remember these Can-Do lessons are about learning practical language skills. Once you have mastered the content in this lesson, prove it.
Go to ChineseClass101.com and get assessed by a certified teacher.
And don’t forget the lesson notes for this lesson while you’re there.
Thank you for watching.

9 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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Let's practice together in the comments!

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 10:01 PM
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Hello robert groulx,


Thank you for your comment. We hope you enjoyed this lesson.


Thank you for learning with us, let us know if you have any questions.


Ngai Lam

Team ChineseClass101.com

robert groulx
Wednesday at 10:49 PM
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thank you for the lesson transcript


favorite phrase is 我是从湖南长沙来的。


robert

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 11:43 AM
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Hello Phoebe,


Thank you for your comment. Tanzania in Chinese is 坦桑尼亞 (Tǎnsāngníyà).😉


Thank you for learning with us, let us know if you have any questions.


Ngai Lam

Team ChineseClass101.com

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Tuesday at 11:39 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Nika,


Thank you for your comment. Tomsk, Russia in Chinese is 俄罗斯 (Éluósī) 托木斯克 (Tuōmùsīkè).😄


Thank you for learning with us, let us know if you have any questions.


Ngai Lam

Team ChineseClass101.com

Phoebe
Saturday at 03:07 PM
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What about Tanzania in China

Nika
Friday at 12:32 PM
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What about Tomsk, Russia? Thanks in advance. :)

ChineseClass101.com
Monday at 09:19 PM
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Hello David,


Thank you for your comment. "England, Lancashire, Preston, Fulwood" would be 英格兰 兰开夏 普雷斯顿 富尔伍德 (Yīnggélán Lánkāixià Pǔléisīdùn Fù'ěrwǔdé).


Thank you for learning with us, let us know if you have any questions.


Ngai Lam

Team ChineseClass101.com

David
Saturday at 04:10 AM
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Hi. How should you pronounce "England, Lancashire, Preston, Fulwood? As this is my address.

Thanks.