Sunday, January 29, 2012

Reduplication of measure words and nouns

We have already learned the reduplication of verbs and reduplication of adjectives in Chinese language. And we have also learned what the measure words are. Now why not learn a bit about the reduplication of measure words.

Reduplicated measure words denote the inclusion of the entirety without exception. It is used to emphasize that all the individual members of a group share the same qualities or exist in the same state. See the example below:

tāmen gè gè dōu xǐhuan yòng kuàizi
They all like to use chopsticks

Similarly some nouns like 人,年 and 天 can also be reduplicated for the same purpose:

Xiànzài rén rén dōu guānxīn běijīng de lǜhuà
These days everyone is concerned about Beijing’s greenery.

However please note that reduplicated measure words and nouns cannot be used as objects. The sentence 我告诉人人 would be incorrect.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chinese New Year

I recently wrote a blog post on How to say ‘Happy New Year’ in Chinese language. But is that when the Chinese people celebrate New Year? Actually the Chinese New Year this year is on January 23. So how do you say Chinese New Year in Chinese language?

春节 (chūn jié)
春(chūn): spring
节(jié): festival

So in China it is known as the Spring Festival. There is a weeklong holiday during this period, allowing Chinese people to travel home and celebrate the new year with the family. The Chinese new year is also known as the Lunar New Year, because it is the first day of the lunar-solar Chinese calendar.

[Source: Click here]

Each new year is marked by the characteristics of one of the twelve zodiacal animals, and this is the year of the dragon.

龙 (lóng): dragon

Last year was the year of the rabbit and next year is the year of the snake

兔 (tù): rabbit
蛇 (shé): snake

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Measure words: 把 (bǎ) and 本 (běn)

Let’s pick up where we left off and look at couple more measure words in Chinese language. We have already learned 个 (gè), 只 (zhǐ), 顶 (dǐng), 张 (zhāng) and 条 (tiáo). Today let’s learn when to use the measure words 把 (bǎ) and 本 (běn).

把 (bǎ)

把 (bǎ) is a measure word most commonly used to quantify objects that can be grasped or objects with a handle. Few examples below:

一把刀 (yī bǎ dāo): a knife
一把椅子 (yī bǎ yǐzi): a chair
一把茶壶 (yī bǎ cháhú): a teapot

It can also be used to quantify a handful of something:

一把米 (yī bǎ mǐ): a handful of rice
一把花 (yī bǎ huā): a bunch of flowers

本 (běn)

本 (běn) is a measure word used for books.

一本书 (yī běn shū): a book
一本小说 (yī běn xiǎoshuō): a novel
一本字典 (yī běn zìdiǎn): a dictionary

It can also be used to quantify bound documents or paper products:

一本相册 (yī běn xiàngcè): a photo album

Monday, January 9, 2012

‘Happy New Year’ in Chinese language

Happy New Year 2012. I hope you have had a great start to the year, but have you learned how to say Happy New Year in Chinese language yet?

新年快乐 (Xīn nián kuàilè): Happy New Year

Now let’s break it down:

新 (xīn): new
年 (nián): year
快乐 (kuàilè): happy

And how do you say Merry Christmas?

圣诞快乐 (Shèngdàn kuàilè): Merry Christmas

Let’s look at few other examples:

周末快乐 (Zhō mò kuàilè): Happy weekend/Have a great weekend
生日快乐 (Shēngrì kuàilè): Happy birthday

Or you can also say

祝你生日快乐 (Zhù nǐ shēngrì kuàilè): Happy birthday to you
祝 (zhù): wish