Talking about Family Member in Mandarin

Words to Master
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Read and study the following text!
他是大卫。

Tā shì Dàwèi.

他们是大卫爸爸和妈妈。

Tāmen shì Dàwèi bàba hé māmā.

她是大卫姐姐。

Tā shì Dàwèi jiějiě.

她是大卫妹妹。

Tā shì Dàwèi mèimei.

大卫有一个姐姐和一个妹妹。

Dàwèi yǒu yī gè jiějiě hé yī gè mèimei.

他没有哥哥和弟弟。

Tā méiyǒu gēgē hé dìdì

(gè)

(gè) is one of  measure words in Mandarin. It is used between numeral and noun. For examples: 一个姐姐(yī gè jiějiě), 一个妹妹 ( yīgè mèimei), 一(yī) means one, 个(gè) is the measure word and 姐姐 (jiějiě) is the noun which means older sister. In English you don’t need the measure word, you just just can say one older sister, but in Mandarin  you have to say 一个姐姐(yī gè jiějiě). You can’t say 一姐姐(yī jiějiě). Then how to say four children in Mandarin? Yes, it is : 四个孩子(sì gè háizi).

两 (Liǎng)

If the number 2 is put before a measure word, it should be read liǎng instead of èr, for examples: 两个人(liǎng gèrén) two people, 两个哥哥(liǎng gè gēgē) two older brother, etc.

几 (jǐ)

In the previous lesson, we learned the question word 几 (jǐ) which is used to ask about the date 几月几号?(Jǐ yuè jǐ hào?) What day is it? or 星期几? (Xīngqí jǐ?) Which day of the week?

Actually, 几 (jǐ) has another meaning, it is how many. It is used to ask about small amount. For examples:

X: 你有几个弟弟?

X: Nǐ yǒu jǐ gè dìdì?

Y: 我有一个弟弟。

Y: Wǒ yǒu yī gè dìdì.

X: 你有几个自行车?

X: Nǐ yǒu jǐ gè zìxíngchē?

Y: 我有两个自行车。

Y: Wǒ yǒu liǎng gè zìxíngchē.

谁 (Shéi)

在教室?

Shéi zài jiàoshì?

我哥哥在教室。

Wǒ gēgē zài jiàoshì.

她是

Tā shì shéi?

她是我妹妹

Tā shì wǒ mèimei.

Word Order

The word order in interrogative sentence

Please pay attention to the sentences above. In English, normally we put the question words at the beginning of the sentence. But in Mandarin, placing the question word is depending on which part is asked about. If you ask about the subject, put the question word at the beginning, and if you ask about the object, then put the question word at the end. The point is the order of the Mandarin interrogative sentence is the same as the order of its answer/declarative sentence. Let’s see some more examples:

X: 谁学习日语?

X: Shéi xuéxí Rìyǔ?

Y: 我学习日语。

Y: Wǒ xuéxí Rìyǔ.

X: 你的日语老师是谁?

X: Nǐ de Rìyǔ lǎoshī shì shéi?

Y: 我的日语老师是中村老师。

Y: Wǒ de Rìyǔ lǎoshī shì Zhōngcūn lǎoshī.

Y: 你有几本汉-日词典?

Y: Nǐ yǒu jǐ běn Hàn-Rì cídiǎn?

X: 我有三本汉-日词典。

X: Wǒ yǒu sān běn Hàn-Rì cídiǎn.

Read and practice the following dialogue!

X:他们是谁?

Y: 他们是我爸爸和妈妈。

X:她们呢?

Y:他们是我姐姐和妹妹。你有姐姐和妹妹吗?

X:没有。我有一个哥哥和一个弟弟。

Y:他们都在印尼吗?

X:对。下个月他们来日本看我。

Y:他们会在日本呆几天?

X:他们会在日本呆三天。

Filed under: Mandarin Chinese

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