初级第一课


语 法

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Aisa Languages
1. Greetings:

   你好! (Nĭ hăo!) is a popular greeting. In English, it means “Hello”,
  “Hi”,“How are you?” and “good day!” etc. It may be used in the 
   morning, in the afternoon or in the evening. The answer to it is also
   你好! (Nĭ hăo!)


2. Adjectives  as verbs:

   When adjectives form the predicate, that is, when they say what the subject 
   is or is not, they function as verbs. That’s why an adjective is also known
   as a STATIVE VERB in Chinese. There is no additional word for ‘to be’. For
   instance:

			。		Tā máng.	He is busy.
	Subject		predicate

	我们好。	Wŏmen hăo.	We are fine.

   Note that the Chinese verb, be it a stative or an action verb, has no morphological 
   changes whatsoever resulting from person, gender, number, time, etc.. Thus:

	我好。		Wŏ hăo.			I am fine. 
	你好。		Nĭ hăo.			You are fine.
	他好。		Tā hăo.			He is good.
	我们忙。	      Wŏmen máng.	       We are busy.


3. Negation:

   When you negate a Chinese sentence, you simply place the adverb before the predicative 
   verb. For example:

					。	Tā bù máng.	He is not busy.
	Subject	adv.  predicative verb
	我们不好。	Wŏmen bù hăo.		We are not OK.

   Note that the tone of 不(bu), ‘not’ is fourth, except when the following word is in 
   the fourth tone, when it change to the second tone.


4. Stative verbs and the adverbs: 很,也,都,不:

   Adverbs such as 很,也,都,不 come immediately before the verb and can only be separated 
   from it by another adverb.

	他很好。我们也都很好。
	Tā hĕn hăo. Wŏmen yĕ dōu hĕn hăo.
	He is good. We are all very good, too.

   When there is an adjectival predicate in a simple affirmative sentence, the adverb 很is 
   usually put before it. 很 in this case does not carry the meaning of degree “very”. 
   For example:

	他们很忙。	Tāmen hĕn máng.	They are busy.

	If 很 is absent, the sentence then implies an contrast:

	他们很忙,我哥哥不忙。
	Tāmen hĕn máng, wŏ gēge bù máng.
	They are busy, but my older brother is not.

   Also, adverbs cannot be used as a modifier of a noun, thus an English sentence such as: 
  “All of us are busy.” is expressed in Chinese as :

	他们都忙。	Tāmen dōu máng.	They are ALL busy.

	Some more examples:

	哥哥,弟弟都好。	Gēge, dìdi dōu hăo.	Both older and younger brothers are fine.

	我们都不忙。		Wŏmen dōu bù máng.	None of us are busy.

   When two or more adverbs occur together, their order is governed by the rule that the 
   modifier is applied directly before the expression to be modified. Thus a distinction 
   should be noted about the position of the adverb 不 between BEFORE and AFTER other 
   adverbs such as 都,很. Before the adverbs 都 and 很, it is a partial negation; and 
   after those adverbs, it is a total negation. Compare the following examples:

	他们不都忙。		Tāmen bù dōu máng.	Not all of them are busy.
	他们都不忙。		Tāmen dōu bù máng.	None of them are busy.

	哥哥不很好。		Gēge bù hĕn hăo.	The older brother is not very good.
	哥哥很不好。		Gēge hĕn bù hăo.	The older brother is bad(very not good).	
	  


5. Simple questions and answers: 

   A simple question is formed by adding the interrogative particle 吗 to the end 
   of a declarative sentence:

	你忙吗?	 Nĭ máng ma?	      Are you busy?
	他不好吗?	Tá bù hăo ma?	     Isn’t he nice?

	The answer to a simple question can be full or short.

	你忙吗?	
	我忙。(full)	Wŏ máng.  I’m busy.	/ 忙 (short)     Máng.	Busy.
	我不忙。	     Wŏ bù mang. I’m not busy.	/ 不忙	   Bù máng. Not busy.

		

6. Particle 呢 and Follow-up questions

   Particle 呢 supplies the means of cutting a question down to a topic. It shows
   that the same question as that asked previously is to be raised about a new topic.  
   It somewhat resembles English “And--?”, “ What about--?”. Following are some 
   examples:

	你好吗?好,你呢?我也很好。
	Nĭ hăo ma? Hăo, nĭ ne? Wŏ yĕ hĕn hăo.
	Are you OK? Yes. And you?  I’m OK, too.

	你哥哥不忙。 你弟弟呢?
	Nĭ gēge bù máng. Nĭ dìdi ne?
	Your older brother is not busy. What about your younger brother?


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