Chinese Mandarin Introductory Course Using Pinyin

 

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This document has been updated during June, 2013.

 

It now combines the first course,

“Pinyin Mandarin Preliminary Course” of 2003-2005

with a later course,

“Pinyin Mandarin Introductory Course” of 2006-2008

 

This version was updated 26 June, 2013.

 

 

See also the associated document,

“Chinese Mandarin Pronunciation Using Pinyin”,

an htm file with text linked to audio files.

 

Dictionaries are also available online at www.jaspell.co.uk


LIST OF CONTENTS

 

STUDIES

1

Pronunciation of individual and grouped characters

1.1

Individual sounds and their writing in Pinyin

1.2

Pronunciation of special vowel groups and syllables

1.3

Pronunciation of i depending on its context

1.4

Vowel tones and their tone marks in Pinyin

2

Greetings and appreciation, request and thanks; read

3

Presenting a message

4

Personal pronouns I, you, he, she, it; basic sentence construction

4.1

Sentence construction – subject and predicate

4.2

Sentence construction – conveying a verb for “being”

4.3

Sentence Construction – with a verb other than for “being”

5

Plural formation of personal pronouns

6

Who? - questioning

7

What? — questioning; calling by name

8

sh – the verbal word for “being, be, am, is, are”; yge – “a, an”

9

ma – “is it so?” forms questions from statements; ho ma? — O.K.?

10

hn – very, indeed

11

b – not, forming negative phrases

12

Auxilliary verbs: xing — want to; xwng — wish, hope to

13

gi — give; n — take

14

Speaking; Indirect and Direct Object pronouns

15

zi – again

16

nng, hu, do – can, to be able to

17

Close relatives and friends

18

Addition of xi to form plurals of demonstrative pronouns

19

know; understand; sentence elements with action and object

20

thing, look, see

21

Review of words learned in Studies 1-20

22

de — of; …’s; …s’ possessive case

23

Sentence structure with Direct or Indirect Objects

24

b — a device for relocating an Indirect Object to achieve emphasis

25

bi — by, indicating the doer in a Passive Sentence

26

God; Jehovah; ky — permission; bk — prohibition

27

Measure words — more detail; (y + g) = yge — “a, an”

28

de is added after more than one Hanzi character, as in hn ho de rn

29

yu, miyu — having; the Bible’s promised blessings

30

q, li, xu, xux — go, come, study

31

Places, buildings, meetings

32

hu — future actions and times

33

Past actions and times

34

cngli, cngli b, cngli mi — ever, never

35

Yes and No

36

Connectives — and, but, or

37

More Connectives — therefore, because, whether

38

wishnme? ynwi — reasoning why? because

39

yoshi, jir, rgu — Conditional Sentences — if…, then…

40

[zi] zhr / zhl; nr / nl — [located] here, there

41

[zi] zhr? / zhl; nr?  / nl — [located] where?

42

… de — that which …; hu — words; zhngyo — important

43

zu — [to] do, make; sit; ride; xyo — [to] need [to]

44

yng - manner; fngf - way; fngsh - method; l - means, road

45

Measure Words (MW) : “bn”, and “fn”.  See also Study 28+

46

guny —about; bngzh — help; yng— use

47

yoshi …, … ji …— If …, then … …: further examples

48

su —what, that which; suyu —whatever there is; du—all

49

Review of Interrogatives— who? what? when? where? why?

50

More interrogatives— how? how much? whose? which?

51

Try [to]

52

Let; cause to; suffer problem conditions

53

Direction: to, from

54

Direction: through, by way of, in the name of, behalf

55

Purpose, for, due to

56

Position: [located] in, at, on

57

Position: up, down, inside, outside, ahead, behind, beside, near

58

Circumstances: before, with, during, after

59

Auxilliary verbs - desire [to]: like, enjoy, wish, hope, want

60

Auxilliary verbs – complusion: need to, must, should, ought to

61

Auxilliary Verbs – ability: may, can, try to, let, allow

62

Use of Verbs: help, live, return, visit, stay, meet, do

63

Use of Verbs: see, hear, read, write

64

Use of Verbs: love, understand, have, obtain, receive

65

de  and its various uses; Relatives and Correlatives

66

Measure Words (MW)

67

b — Comparative; zu — Superlative; gender

68

Numbers

69

Days, Months, and Dates

70

FREQUENTLY USED WORDS — Chinese Mandarin to English

71

FREQUENTLY USED WORDS — English to Chinese Mandarin

72

Review of Words Learned

 

APPENDICES

A

SENTENCE STRUCTURE

B

CONDUCTING A MEETING IN CHINESE MANDARIN

C

HEBREW-ARAMAIC SCRIPTURES

D

CHRISTIAN GREEK SCRIPTURES

 

ASSOCIATED PUBLICATIONS (at www.jaspell.co.uk)

 

PRONUNCIATION (WITH AUDIO FILES)

 

EXERCISES

 

INCREMENTAL PHRASE METHOD

 

DICTIONARY – CHINESE MANDARIN TO ENGLISH

 

DICTIONARY – ENGLISH TO CHINESE MANDARIN

 

 


 

STUDY 1

Pronunciation of individual and groups of characters

 

PRONUNCIATION 1.1 (Individual Sounds and Their Writing in Pinyin)

 

Pinyin script provides an approximate method for representing the pronunciation of Mandarin Chinese using Roman characters with accents. Some letters are pronounced as in English, but others have very different sounds (as highlighted in the following chart). Pronunciation also varies in different regions of China, but the following guidance is generally acceptable.


 

INDIVIDUAL SOUNDS

Letters

Pronounciation

Position

 a 

a           as in “father”, “atone”

 

 b 

b          as in “bag”

 

 c 

ts         as in “bats”

 

 ch 

tsh      as in “hatshop”

 

 d 

d          as in “dog”

 

 e 

e           as in “her”

generally

 e 

e           as in “yes”, “yeah”

after “y”

 f 

f           as in “fun”

 

 g 

g          hard as in “get”

(not soft as in“gel”)

 h 

ch       gutturally as in “loch”

 

 i 

i            as in “sir”, “circle”, “chirp”

after c, ch, r, s, sh, z, zh

 i 

ee        as in “been”;

i            as in “bistro”

after b, d, j, l, m, n, p, q, t, x, y

 j 

j            as in “jam”

 

 k 

k          as in “kitchen”

 

 l 

l            as in “love”

 

 m 

m        as in “mug”

 

 n 

n          as in “nibble”

 

 o 

o          as in “or”

 

 p 

p          as in “pun”

 

 q 

chh    as in “matchhead”

 

 r 

r           rolled as in “curl”

 

 s 

s           as in “sat”

 

 sh 

sh        as in “rashly”

 

 t 

t            as in “top”

 

 u 

u          as in “boot”

(See group below)

 w 

w         as in “water”

 

 wu 

oo       as in   “pool”

not “wu”

 x 

s           as in “see”; 

hs        as in “aah, see!”

 

 y 

y          as in “yam”

 

 yi 

ee        as in “been”

yi is “i”, not “yi”

 z 

ds        as in “suds”

 

 zh 

dge    as in “hedgeless”

 

 

See also the table below about groups of vowels and syllables.

 

PRACTICE 1.1 (Pronunciation of Characters in Simple Syllables)

 

With the help of the table given above please read these syllables:

Read:  ba,  ca,  cha,  da,  e,  ye,  er,  fa,  ga,  ha,  yi,  bi,  ci,  ju,  ka,  la,  ma, na,  bo,  pa,  qu,  re,  sa,  sha,  ta,  wu,  bu,  wa,  xi,  ya,  yi,  za,  zha

 

Repeat

 

PRONUNCIATION 1.2 (Pronunciation of Special Vowel Groups)

 

See the following table titled: “Some Special Vowel Groups and Syllables”. 

Some groups are marked with an asterisk, “*”.  The following comments apply to these. 

If the vowel group starting in “i” occurs on its own, it needs to be written beginning with “y” instead of “i”. So, “ian” would be written as “yan”.

Similarly, a group on its own starting in “u” is written using a “w” instead of the “u”. So, “uan” is written as “wan”.

Some sound groups are easier recognizable for an English speaker: aisle; ban; bang; naos (sounding like now); eight; tiara; ring.


 

SOME SPECIAL VOWEL GROUPS AND SYLLABLES


Group

 

 

Sounds like

en

 

 

urn or undo

eng

 

 

bung

 i  (in ci, chi, ri, si, shi, zi,  zhi)

 

 

shirt (without r), zircon, adze

 i  (in bi, di, fi, ji, li, mi, ni, qi, ti, xi, yi)

 

 

been, deed, jeep, tee, see, eel

ia / ya

*

 

yarn, try a bit

ian / yan

*

 

yen, try any

iang / yang

*

 

 young

iao / yao

*

 

yowl

ie / ye

*

 

the air; ee-ye

iong / yong

*

 

Jung (German)

iu / you

*

 

yoyo

 o 

 

 

fore, door

ong (after d, t, n, l, z, c, s, zh, ch, r, g, k, h)

 

 

jung (German); long

ou

 

 

dough

u / wu

*

 

shoe, gnu, do

 u  (in l, n ) / yu

*

 

chew your food

 u  (in ju, qu, xu) / yu

*

 

chew your food

ua / wa

*

 

wax

uai / wai

*

 

wide

uan / wan

*

 

won

uan (after j, q, x) / yuan

*

 

-yen; new end; inuendo

uang / wang

*

 

wangle

ue (in le, ne) / yue

*

 

-ye, new energy

ue (in jue, que, xue) / yue

*

 

-ye, new energy

(uei) / ui / wei

*

 

weigh

un (after d, t, n, l, z, c, s, zh, ch, sh, r, g, k, h) / wen

 

 

won, dun

(ueng) / weng

*

 

swung

un (in jun, qun, xun) / yun

*

 

unique; German

uo / wo

 

 

wall

 


PRACTICE 1.2 (Pronunciation of Special Vowel Groups and Syllables)

 

With the help of the table (of special vowel groups and syllables) given above please read these syllables:

 

Read:

en,  ben,  beng,  ci,  bi,  ya,  jia,  lia,  yian,  dian,  dianr,  yang,  liang, yao,  biao,  jiao,  ye,  bie,  jie,  xie,  yong,  jiong,  xiong,  you,  miu,  jiu,  o

 

Repeat

 

Read:

bo,  dong,  rong,  zhong,  wu,  bu,  yu,  n,  l,  ju,  qu,  wa,  zhua,  hua,  wai,  guai,  wan,  duan,  juan,  quan,  xuan,  wang,  huang,  chuang,  yue 

 

Repeat

 

Read:

le,  ne,  jue,  xue,  wei,  dui,  zui,  wen,  dun,  hun,  yun,  jun,  xun,  wo,  duo,  shuo,  huo,  huor .

 

Repeat

 


PRONUNCIATION 1.3 (Pronunciation of “i” Depending on Its Context)

 

The vowel “i” may occur after some, but not all consonants. If the sound of the letter “i” occurs on its own, the sound is represented by “yi”.

 

The letter “i” can be pronounced in two different ways, depending on which sort of consonant it occurs with.  It is easier to remember which is right, if you register where in your mouth the first group is pronounced.

 

Note: c, ch, r, s, sh, z, and zh are a family of sounds. They are all pronounced in the roof of the mouth towards the front of the palate with the help of different amounts of pressure from the tongue.  With “r” the tongue barely touches the palate, whereas with “zh” the tongue is folded back there somewhat painfully.

 

WAYS TO PRONOUNCE “I”

 

 

 

 

 ci 

*

what sir did

bi

been

 chi 

*

what churns around

di

deed

 ri 

*

never irksome

ji

jeep

 si 

*

sir

li

leek

 shi 

*

shirt

mi

meek

 zi 

*

zircon

ni

need

 zhi 

*

adjourn

pi

peek

 

 

 

qi

cheek

 

 

 

ti

tee

 

 

 

xi

“aah, see!”

 

 

 

yi

eel”

Repeat

 

 

Repeat

 

 

* If this “i” occurs with characters in the group in left hand column, but it occurs without a tonal mark — especially at the tail end of a word — it tends to be restrained. (Compare the end of English words like “sire”, “shire”, “adze”, “badge”, etc., in which the final vowel “e” is almost lost.)  For example, this applies to “shi”, but not to sh, sh, sh, or sh.


PRACTICE 1.3 (Varying Pronunciation of “i”)

 

With the help of the table given above please read these syllables:

Read:  bi,  ci,  chi,  di,  ji, li,  mi,  ni,  pi,  qi,  ri,  si,  shi, ti,  xi,  yi,  zi,  zhi.

 

Repeat

 

PRONUNCIATION 1.4 (Vowel Tones and Their Tone Marks in Pinyin)

 

Mandarin is pronounced with tones. These are indicated in Pinyin script by tone marks.

 

Mandarin

Tone

Pinyin

Tone mark

Description of Tone

Example

First tone

  

highest and level pitch

m (mother)

Second tone

  

starts high and rises

mfan (trouble)

Third tone

  

falls first and then rises

m (horse)

Fourth tone

  

starts high and then falls

m (scold)

(Toneless)

(No mark)

unstressed or neutral

ma (eh, surely!)

 

 

 

Repeat

 

NOTE 1

When a third tone (…) precedes another third tone, pronounce it as a second tone (…).  Hence “hn ho” is pronounced ‘hn ho’.  Similarly, “n ho” is pronounced more like “n ho”.

NOTE 2

Some words like “b” change before a fourth tone syllable    or before a toneless syllable.  “b” changes in writing to “b”.

 


PRACTICE 1.4 (Pronunciation of Vowel Tones)

 

Read the following verses (from Galatians 5:22-23).

 

Lng y fngmin,

shnglng de gush

yu

ixn,

xl,

hpng,

On the other hand,

the fruitage of the spirit

is / have

love,

joy,

peace,

 

 

 

 

 

 

jinrn,

rnc,

lingshn,

xnxn,

wnh,

zzh.

long-suffering,

kindness,

goodness,

faith,

mildness,

self-control.

 

Lng y fngmin, shnglng de gush yu ixn, xl, hpng, jinrn, rnc, lingshn, xnxn, wnh, zzh.

 

PRACTICE 1.5 (Pronunciation of Vowel Tones)

 

Read:

 

Qng d zhge ho xioxi.

Please read this good news.

W xwng gi n zhge tbi qngti.

I'd like (hope) to give you this special invitation.

Xwng hn kui jindo n!

See you soon! (Wish very quickly get to see you.)

Zh n zo r kngf!

‘Get well soon!’


DIALOGUE 1.1 (Pronunciation of Vowel Tones)

 

Read this dialogue as two persons, A and B:

 

 A 

Zoshng ho

Good morning

 B 

Zoshng ho.

Good morning

 A 

Hn goxng jindo n

Nice to see you.

 B 

W y hn goxng jindo n.

Nice to see you too.

 A 

W jio X. N jio shnme mngzi?

I'm called X. What name are you called?

 B 

W jio X.

I'm called X.

 A 

Wmen xwng xingyu hpng de shngmng, ksh yu du knnan.

We'd like to enjoy a life of peace, but we have much difficulty.

 B 

Du!

Correct!

 A 

W xwng gi n zhfn qngti.

I'd like to give you this invitation.

 B 

Wishnme?

For what?

 A 

Mi Xngqy yu ptnghu yng de toln.

Each Monday there's a discussion using Mandarin.

 B 

Toln de hut sh shnme?

What is the topic?

 A 

Wmen xux Shngd de yyn. T shu le T hu znyng bngzh yrn.

We study God's prophecy. He said how He will help righteous ones.

 B 

Zi nr?

Where?

 A 

W nng li rng n dch.

I can come and give you a lift by car.

 B 

Xixie. Ksh w nng zul.

Thanks. However, I can go on foot.

 


DIALOGUE 1.2 (Pronunciation of Vowel Tones)

 

Read this dialogue as two persons, A and B:

 

 A 

N xing d zhge ho xioxi ma?

Would you like to read this good news?

 B 

Hode

OK

 A 

N du zhge hut gn xngq ma?

Are you interested in this topic?

 B 

W yu xngq lioji. Ksh gu yhur.

I'm interested in understanding. But later.

 A 

Zh sh wde dinhu hom.

Zh sh wde ymir dzh.

This is my telephone number.

This is my email address.

 B 

Xixie.

Thanks.

 A 

N nng gos w nde dinhu hom h dzh ma?

Could you tell me your telephone number and address?

 B 

Hode. Gi n.

OK. Here you are.

 A 

Mngtin Yngwn yng de toln hu sh:

“Shngd du n hn zhngsh ma?”

Tomorrow the topic in English will be:

“Does God count you as important?”

 


 

STUDY 2

Greetings and appreciation; read

 

VOCABULARY 2.1 (Greetings, Request and Thanks)

 

Hunyng!  *

Welcome!

N ho!

Hello! Hi! Howdy! How do you do!

ptnghu

Mandarin

 

 

Qng

Please!

d

[to] read

Xixie!

Thanks!

Xixie nn!

Thank you! (polite form)

 

* See guidance on Mandarin pronunciation and Pinyin script.

Check especially “h” in Pronunciation 1.1.

Check especially “q”, and “x” in Pronunciation 1.1.

Check tones and tonal marks in Pronunciation 1.4.

Remember, when a third tone (…) precedes another third tone, pronounce it as a second tone (…).  So, “n ho” is pronounced more like “n ho”.

 

PRACTICE 2.1 (Greetings and Appreciation)

 

N ho!

Hi!

qng

please

Qng d

Please read.

Xixie

Thanks!

ptnghu

Mandarin

Hunyng

Welcome!


 

STUDY 3

Presenting a message; style awareness

 

VOCABULARY 3.1 (Messages)

 

zh; zhi

this (some person or thing here)

zhge

this (particular) …

n …

that (some person or thing there)

nge …

that (particular) …

ho

well, good fine

xioxi

news

xnx

information, message

qngti

invitation

 

(Remember, “h”  in “ho” is pronounced raspingly, like “ch” in Scottish “loch”)

(Pronounce “zh” in “zh” like ‘dge’ in ‘hedgeless’. Curl back the tongue.)

 

GRAMMAR 3.1 (Style Awareness)

 

You may be able to discern subtle differences in how a word feels according to context.  Observe in the following example that “zh” would feel too vague and general, so it’s good to add “-ge” to make the object in the sentence more specific.

 

The examples provided at the start of this course try to make meaningful sentences, but with only a few words learned at this stage, it is almost unavoidable that some of them lack some of the finer style you can achieve with a wider choice of words.

 

Qng d zh[ge].

Please read this [item].

 


INCREMENTAL CONSTRUCTION 3.1 (Messages)

 

Learn the following method or constructing a sentence incrementally.

 

N ho!

Hi!

Qng d

Please read.

xioxi

news

ho xioxi

good news

zhge xioxi

this news

zhge ho xioxi

this good news

d zhge ho xioxi

Read this good news

Qng d zhge ho xioxi!

Please read this good news!

 

INCREMENTAL CONSTRUCTION 3.2 (Messages)

 

N ho!

Hi!

Qng d

Please read.

qngti

invitation

ho qngti

good invitation

zhge qngti

this invitation

zhge ho qngti

this nice invitation

d zhge ho qngti

read this nice invitation

Qng d zhge ho qngti!

Please read this nice invitation!

Xixie!

Thanks!

Xixie nn!

Thank you! (polite form)

 


REVIEW 3.1

 

Greetings! / ‘Hello!’ / 

‘How are you?’

n ho’! [- h is pronounced like ch in loch]

 

 

Please!

qng! [- q is lpronounced ike ch in chicken]

Read!

d!

Please read …!

qng d …!

 

 

information

xnx

this [a word used in place of a person or thing]

zh [- zh is pronounced like dge in fudge]

this particular …

zhge … - g is like g in get

this information

zhge xnx

Please read this invitation.

Qng d zhge xnx.

 

 

Please read this invitation.

Qng d zhge qngti.

 

 

Thanks!

xixie!

Thank you! (polite form)

xixie nn!

 


 

STUDY 4

Personal pronouns and basic sentence construction

 

VOCABULARY 4.1 (Personal Pronouns)

 

w

I

n

you

t

he, she, it

 

ACTIVITY 4.1

 

{Suggested Instructions for Group Instructor: Clap, repeat prompt: “Juanita”.  Get all to stand, pointing to oneself, to the adjacent person, or to another person further away.}

 

Imagine “Juanita” dancing to lively music played on stringed instruments.  Do the following activity.

 

:-                

                   w     point to self (= 1st. person)

                   n       point to partner (= 2nd. person)

                   t       point to another (= 3rd. person)

Repeat singing and clapping.   Repeat gesturing without singing.   Repeat singing and clapping.

Repeat singing and gesturing.}

 


GRAMMAR 4.1 (Sentence Construction – Subject and Predicate)

 

Observe in the following examples how a sentence is made up of a Subject and its Predicate.  The Subject is, in effect, the doer of an action.  The action is conveyed by a doing word, a verb.  This action may or may not affect an object.  For further examples of sentence construction see Study 19.

 

GRAMMAR 4.2 (Sentence Construction – Conveying a Verb for “Being”)

 

In this first example, the action word, or verb, conveys the thought of “being”.  In some languages, as with Chinese Mandarin, the verb word indicating “being” can be omitted. Each of these sentences is simple, only having one clause, and this is a Main Clause.  In each of these simple Main Clauses there are a ‘subject’ (doer) and an adjective describing the doer.

 

SUBJECT

PREDICATE

 

SUBJECT

PREDICATE

DOER

ACTION

 

 

DOER

ACTION

 

W

[ ]

ho.

 

I

[am]

fine.

N

[ ]

ho.

 

You

[are]

fine.

T

[ ]

ho.

 

He, she or it

[is]

fine.

 

GRAMMAR 4. 3 (Sentence Construction – With a Verb Not for “Being”)

 

In these second examples, the action word, or verb, conveys the thought of “reading”.  In one set the verb does not have an object.  The other does.

 

SUBJECT

PREDICATE

 

SUBJECT

PREDICATE

DOER

ACTION

OBJECT

 

DOER

ACTION

OBJECT

W

d.

 

 

I

read.

 

N

d.

 

 

You

read.

 

T

d.

 

 

He, she or it

reads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

W

d

t.

 

I

read

it.

N

d

t.

 

You

read

it.

T

d

t.

 

He, she or it

reads

it.


ROUTINE 4.1

 

Form a variety of sentences using one choice from each of the three elements.

 

1

2

3

 

 

 

Qng

 

t

W

N

T

 

d

 

zhge xioxi

 

EXERCISE 4.1 (See Answers below.)

 

Translate into English:-

1. He reads.

2. Please read.

3. Please read it.

4. Please read this news.

5. I read it.

 

ANSWERS TO EXERCISE 4.1

 

 

EXERCISE

ANSWER

1.

He reads.

Ta d.

2.

Please read.

Qng d.

3.

Please read it.

Qng d t.

4.

Please read this news.

Qng d zhge xioxi.

5.

I read it.

W d t.

 


EXERCISE 4.2 (See Answers below.)

 

Translate into Mandarin:-

1. N d.

2. Qng d t.

3. T d zhge xioxi

 

ANSWERS TO EXERCISE 4.2

 

(Practise these until you know them well.)

 

 

EXERCISE

ANSWER

1.

N d.

You read

2.

Qng d t.

Please read it.

3.

T d zhge xioxi.

He reads this news.

 


 

STUDY 5

Plural formation of personal pronouns

 

VOCABULARY 5.1 (Plural Construction)

 

…men

…s (plural ending for persons )

 

GRAMMAR 5.1

 

The plural of words for personal pronouns and nouns for animate groupings is made by appending “men”.  This is similar to the appending of “s” in English.

 

W

Wmen

 

I

We

N

Nmen

 

You

YOU

T

Tmen

 

He, she, it

They

 

EXAMPLES 5.1

 

W ho.

I [am] fine.

N d.

You read.

Wmen ho.

We [are] fine.

Nmen d.

YOU read.

 


ROUTINE 5.1

 

Form a variety of sentences using one choice from each of the three elements.

 

W

N

T

Wmen

Nmen

Tmen

 

d

t

 

zhge xioxi

 

ho

 

PRACTICE 5.1

 

{Suggested Instructions for Group Instructor: Students split into groups of three}

 

Exchange statements using:-

w, n, t, wmen, nmen, tmen, ho, d, zhge xioxi.


 

STUDY 6

Who? - questioning

 

VOCABULARY 6.1

 

shi?

who?

 

GRAMMAR 6.1

 

Shi [ ] ho?  *

Who [is] well?

Shi d t?

Who reads it?

Shi d zhge qngti?

Who reads this invitation?

*  Note that the verb word indicating “being” has been omitted again.

 

ROUTINE 6.1

 

Create questions (wnt) and answers (hud) from the two elements.

 

Q

 

Shi

d?

 

ho?

 

Q

 

Who

reads?

 

is well?

A

W

N

T

Wmen

Nmen

Tmen

 

d

 

 

ho

 

A

I

You

He, she, it

We

YOU

They

 

read

 

 

am/is/are well

 

ACTIVITY 6.1

 

{Suggested Instructions for Group Instructor: Students split into groups of three.}

 

Exchange statements using:-

w, n, t, wmen, nmen, tmen, shi, ho, xioxi, qngti, d.

STUDY 7

What? — questioning; calling by name

 

VOCABULARY 7.1

 

shnme?

what?

jio

[to] call by a name; [to] be called by a name

mngzi; mng

name

 

GRAMMAR 7.1

 

W jio Alan.

I'm called Alan.

N jio shnme mingzi?

What name are you called?

N jio Bill.

You are called Bill.

T jio Colin.

He is called Colin.

Tmen jio shnme mngzi?

What is their name?

 

GRAMMAR 7.2

 

N d shnme?

What are you reading?

T d shnme xioxi?

He is reading what news?

Shnme ho xioxi?

What good news?

Shnme xioxi [ ] ho? *

What news [is] good?

*  Note that the verb word indicating “being” has been omitted again.

 

ACTIVITY 7.1

 

{Suggested Instructions for Group Instructor: Students split into groups of two or three.}

 

Act out roles of two persons.  Exchange names.  Exchange questions and statements using:-

w, n, t, wmen, nmen, tmen, shnme, etc.]

 

T

Wmen

Nmen

N

W

Tmen

 

 

d

 

shnme?

 

ho xioxi!

 


 

STUDY 8

sh – the verbal word for “being, be, am, is, are”; yge – “a, an”

 

VOCABULARY 8.1

 

sh

[to] be; am, are, is, be

yge *

a, an (indefinite article )

* “yge” is, in effect, a combination of “y” (meaning “one”) and “g”.  This “g” is a measure word and the most common one, because you can get away with using it generally.  Later you will learn other measure words that are specific to particular nouns. (See Study 27.)

 

GRAMMAR 8.1

 

Nmen sh shi?

Who are YOU?

T sh shnme?

What is it?

Zh sh yge qngti.

This is an invitation.

 

ACTIVITY 8.1

 

{Suggested Instructions for Group Instructor: Students split into groups of two or three.}

 

Act out roles of two persons.  Exchange questions and statements using one choice from each of the three sentence elements.

 

T

Wmen

Nmen

N

W

Tmen

 

 

sh

shi?

Ann

Bill

Colin …

 

*

 

* Here you could also say: “Yhhu Jinzhngrn” : “Jehovah's Witness(es)”, for example.


DIALOGUE 8.1

 

Read this dialogue as two persons, A and B:

 

A

N sh shnme?

What is that?

B

N sh yge qngti!

That’s an invitation!

A

Zh sh shnme qngti?

What invitation is this?

B

Zhge xnx sh ho xioxi!

This message is good news?

B

Qng d nge qngti.

Please read that invitation.

A

Xixie.

Thanks.

B

Xixie nn!

Thank you. (polite form)

 

EXERCISE 8.1

 

Translate into English:-

 

1.

N sh shnme?

 

2.

Nmen sh shi?

 

3.

N sh shnme xnx?

 

4.

Nge xioxi sh shnme?

 

5.

Zh sh yge xnx.

 

 

ANSWERS TO EXERCISE 8.1

 

(Practise these until you know them well.)

 

 

EXERCISE

ANSWER

1.

N sh shnme?

What is that?

2.

Nmen sh shi?

Who are YOU?

3.

N sh shnme xnx?

What message is that?

4.

Nge xioxi sh shnme?

What is that news?

5.

Zh sh yge xnx.

This is a message.

 


EXERCISE 8.2

 

Translate into Mandarin:-

 

1.

This invitation is good news.

 

2.

That is an invitation?

 

3.

Please read that invitation.

 

4.

What message?

 

5.

That message.

 

6.

What message is it?

 

 

ANSWERS TO EXERCISE 8.2

 

(Practise these until you know them well.)

 

 

EXERCISE

ANSWER

1.

This invitation is good news.

Zhge qngti sh ho xioxi.

2.

That is an invitation?

N sh yge qngti?

3.

Please read that invitation.

Qng d nge qngti.

4.

What message?

Shnme xnx?

5.

That message.

Nge xnx.

6.

What message is it?

T sh shnme xnx?

 


 

STUDY 9

ma – “is it so?” to form a question from a statement; ho ma? — O.K.?

 

VOCABULARY 9.1

 

ma?

mm, eh, surely, is it so?

… ho ma?

…, O.K.? (…, is it good with you?)

 

NOTE: “… ma?” is added to a sentence to convert it from a statement to a question.

 

EXAMPLES 9.1

 

W ho ma?

How am I? I'm O.K., eh?

Am I well?

N ho ma? *

You're O.K., mm? How are you? *

N d t ma?

Do you read this?

Zhge xioxi ho ma?

Is this news good?

 

 

Qng d zhge qngti, ho ma?

Would you read this invitation?

(Please read this invitation, O.K.?

 

* Note that this is asking how “you” are and differs from “N ho”.

 

PRACTICE 9.1

 

Convert these questions into plain statements.

 

W ho ma?

How am I? I'm O.K., eh?

N ho ma?

You're O.K., mm? How are you?

T ho ma?

Is it O.K.? It's fine, mm? He's well?

Wmen ho ma?

How are we? We're O.K., surely?

Nmen ho ma?

How are you? YOU're fine, eh?

Tmen ho ma?

How are they? They're O.K., mm?

 


PRACTICE 9.2

 

Convert these statements into questions by using “ma?”

 

 

W ho.

I'm O.K.

N ho.

You're O.K.

T ho.

It's fine. / He's well

Wmen ho.

We're O.K.

Nmen ho.

YOU're fine.

Tmen ho.

They're O.K.

 

PRACTICE 9.3

 

Convert these statements from singular person to plural person.

 

W ho.

I'm O.K.

N ho.

You're O.K.

T ho.

It's fine. / He's well

 

PRACTICE 9.4

 

Convert these questions from plural person to singular person.

 

Wmen ho ma?

How are we? We're O.K., surely?

Nmen ho ma?

How are you? YOU're fine, eh?

Tmen ho ma?

How are they? They're O.K., mm?


PRACTICE 9.5

 

Converse using questions (wnt) and answers (hud).

 

 

QUESTIONS

 

ANSWERS

1.

W ho ma?

1.

N ho!

2.

N ho ma?

2.

W ho!

3.

T ho ma?

3.

T ho!

4.

Wmen ho ma?

4.

Nmen ho!

5.

Nmen ho ma?

5.

Wmen ho!

6.

Tmen ho ma?

6.

Tmen ho!

 

REVIEW 9.1

 

well, good

ho

I

w

I [am] well

W [ ] ho

you

n

You [are] well.

N [ ] ho

he, she, it

t

He [is] well.

T [ ] ho

we

wmen

We [are] well.

Wmen [ ] ho

YOU

nmen

YOU [are] well.

Nmen [ ] ho

they

tmen

They [are] well.

Tmen [ ] ho

…, is it so?

… ma?

I [am] well, is it so?

w [ ] ho ma?

You [are] well, are you?

N [ ] ho ma?


 

STUDY 10

hn – very, indeed

 

VOCABULARY 10.1

 

hn

very, ‘is very’, ‘is indeed’

 

GRAMMAR 10.1

 

W hn ho! *

I sure [am] fine! I['m] very well.

W b ho.

I [am] not well.

W b hn ho. *

I [am] not very well.

 

* Remember, when a third tone (…) precedes another third tone, pronounce it as a second tone (…).  Hence “hn ho” is pronounced like ‘hn ho’.

 

ROUTINE 10.1

 

{Suggested Instructions for Group Instructor: Students split into groups of two or three.}

 

 Exchange names.  Converse using questions (wnt) and answers (hud)

 

 

W ho ma?

 

N hn ho!

 

N ho ma?

 

W ho.

 

T ho ma?

 

T hn ho!

 

Nmen ho ma?

 

Wmen hn ho!

 

Tmen ho ma?

 

Tmen b ho!

 


 

STUDY 11

b – not, forming negative phrases

 

VOCABULARY 11.1

 

b (b before a fourth tone syllable    or before a toneless syllable)

not, not want to, No

 

GRAMMAR 11.1

 

W hn ho!

I sure [am] fine! I [am] very well.

W b ho.

I [am] not well.

W b hn ho.

I [am] not very well.

 

Remember, when a third tone (…) precedes another third tone, pronounce it as a second tone (…).  Hence “hn ho” is pronounced like ‘hn ho’.

 

ROUTINE 11.1

 

{Suggested Instructions for Group Instructor: Students split into groups of two or three.}

 

Converse using questions (wnt) and answers (hud).

 

1.

W ho ma?

1.

N hn ho!

2.

N ho ma?

2.

W b ho.

3.

T ho ma?

3.

T hn ho!

4.

Wmen ho ma?

4.

Nmen b ho!

5.

Nmen ho ma?

5.

Wmen hn ho!

6.

Tmen ho ma?

6.

Tmen b ho!

7.

Tmen ho ma?

7.

Tmen b hn ho!

 


EXERCISE 11.1 (See Answers below.)

 

Translate the following examples into English:-

 

1.

Wmen ho ma?

 

2.

Nmen b ho!

 

3.

T ho ma?

 

4.

Tmen b hn ho!

 

5.

Wmen hn ho!

 

6.

Tmen b ho.

 

7.

Tmen ho ma?

 

 

ANSWERS TO EXERCISE 11.1

 

Practise these, if you need to.

 

 

EXERCISE

ANSWER

1.

Wmen ho ma?

Are we O.K.?

2.

Nmen b ho!

YOU are not well!

3.

T ho ma?

Is he well?

4.

Tmen b hn ho!

They are not very well!

5.

Wmen hn ho!

We are very well!

6.

Tmen b ho.

They are not O.K.

7.

Tmen ho ma?

Are they alright?

 


EXERCISE 11.2 (See Answers below.)

 

Translate the following examples into Mandarin Chinese:-

 

1.

You are very fine!

 

2.

I’m not O.K.

 

3.

It’s great!

 

4.

How are you?

 

5.

How are YOU?

 

 

ANSWERS TO EXERCISE 11.2

 

These translations are quite flexible, loosely mixing the words “O.K., “fine”, “great”, “well”, etc.  Practise these, if you need to.

 

 

EXERCISE

ANSWER

1.

You are very fine!

N hn ho!

2.

I’m not O.K.

W b ho.

3.

It’s great!

T hn ho!

4.

How are you?

N ho ma?

5.

How are YOU?

Nmen ho ma?


 

STUDY 12

Auxilliary verbs: xing — want to; xwng — wish, hope to

 

VOCABULARY 12.1

 

xing

[to] want to, intend, think [about]; would like to

xwng

[to] wish, hope, would like [to]

 

GRAMMAR 12.1

 

W xing d zhge qngti.

I'd like to (want to) read this invitation.

Wmen xwng d nge xnx.

We would like (wish we could) read that information.

 

PRACTICE 12.1

 

N xing d zhge xnx ma?

Would you like to read this information?

B xing.

No. (=No, I don’t want to.)

N ho! Qng d nge xnx, ho ma?

Hi! Would you [like] to read this information(, O.K.)?

W xing d nge xnx.

I'd like to read this information.

 

 

Wmen hn xwng d ho xioxi.

We'd really would like to read good news.

 

EXERCISE 12.1 (See Answers below.)

 

Translate the following examples into English:-

 

1.

W xwng d nge xnx.

 

2.

T xwng d zhge ho xioxi.

 

3.

N xing d zhge qngti ma?

 

4.

Xing b xing?

 

5.

B xing.

 


ANSWERS TO EXERCISE 12.1

 

Practise these, if you need to.

 

 

EXERCISE

ANSWER

1.

W xwng d nge xnx.

I'd like to read that information.

2.

T xwng d zhge ho xioxi.

He'd like to read this good news.

3.

N xing d zhge qngti ma?

Would you like to read this invitation?

4.

Xing b xing?

Would [you] like to or not [like to]?

5.

B xing.

No. (=No, I wouldn't [like to].)

 

EXERCISE 12.2 (See Answers below.)

 

Translate the following examples into Mandarin Chinese:-

 

1.

We would like to read good news.

 

2.

They don’t want to read that message.

 

3.

Would you like to read it or not?

 

4.

I would very much like to.

 

 

ANSWERS TO EXERCISE 12.2

 

Practise these, if you need to.

 

 

EXERCISE

ANSWER

1.

We would like to read good news.

Wmen xwng d ho xioxi.

2.

They don’t want to read that message.

Tmen b xing d nge xnx.

3.

Would you like to read it or not?

N xing b xing d t?

4.

I would very much like to.

[W] Hn xing.

 


 

STUDY 13

gi — give; n — take

 

VOCABULARY 13.1

 

gi

[to] give

n

[to] take

 

GRAMMAR 13.2

 

Wmen gi nmen t.

We give YOU it.

W gi n ho xioxi.

I give you good news.

Tmen n zhge ho qngti.

They take this nice invitation.

 

PRACTICE 13.2

 

W xing gi n t.

I'd like to give you it (that).

T xing gi wmen zhge xnx.

He'd like to give us this information.

N xing n t ma?

Would you like to take it?

B xing.

No. (=No, I wouldn't [like to].)

 

EXERCISE 13.1 (See Answers below.)

 

Translate the following examples into English:-

 

 

EXERCISE

 

ANSWER

1.

N xing n zhge qngti ma?

1.

 

2.

Qng gi w nge xnx.

2.

 

3.

N t.

3.

 

4.

T gi w ho xioxi.

4.

 

 


ANSWERS TO EXERCISE 13.1

 

Practise these, if you need to.

 

 

EXERCISE

ANSWER

1.

N xing n zhge qngti ma?

Would you like to take this invitation?

2.

Qng gi w nge xnx.

Please give me that information.

3.

N t.

Take it.

4.

T gi w ho xioxi.

It [or he, she] gives me good news.

 

EXERCISE 13.2 (See Answers below.)

 

Translate the following examples into Mandarin Chinese:-

 

 

EXERCISE

ANSWER

1.

I give him this news.

 

2.

Give me it.

 

3.

I would like to give you this information.

 

4.

Please take this invitation.

 

 

ANSWERS TO EXERCISE 13.2

 

Practise these, if you need to.

 

 

EXERCISE

ANSWER

1.

I give him this news.

W gi t zhge xioxi.

2.

Give me it.

Gi w t.

3.

I would like to give you this information.

W xing gi n zhge xnx.

4.

Please take this invitation.

Qng n zhge qngti.

 


 

STUDY 14

Speaking; Indirect and Direct Object pronouns

 

VOCABULARY 14.1

 

shu

[to] speak, say

shuhu

[to] discuss, talk

gosu

[to] tell

ptnghu

Mandarin

Pnyn

a Romanized form of writing Mandarin [as used in this course]

Hnz

the writing of Chinese in pictographic characters [not used in this course]

 

GRAMMAR 14.1 (Indirect and Direct Object Pronouns)

 

The Indirect and Direct Object pronouns are the same as the Nominative Case in Chinese Mandarin.  This means that “me” is, in effect, translated as “I” in a sentence like “You tell me”: “N gosu w”.

 

T shu ptnghu.

He (or she) speaks Mandarin.

N shu ptnghu ma?

Do you speak Mandarin?

W b shu ptnghu.

I do not speak Mandarin.

Wmen gosu nmen ho xioxi.

We tell YOU good news.

Qng gosu w, n sh shi?

Please tell me, who are you?

W xing shuhu.

I would like (want) to talk.

 


ROUTINE 14.1

 

Create questions (wnt) and answers (hud) using some of these words.

 

shi

 

 

 

 

?

 

 

[b]

 

 

xwng

d

gosu

 

t

 

 

w

n

wmen

nmen

 

 

xing

n

 

gi tmen

 

zhge ho xioxi

 

 

ma?

 

 

 

shuhu

 

 


 

STUDY 15

zi – again

 

VOCABULARY 15.1

 

zi

again

 

GRAMMAR 15.1

 

The word “zi”, when it means “again”, is placed in front of the action that is to be repeated.

 

zi d

read again

Qng zi d t.

Please read it again.

N xing zi d ma?

Would you like to read again.

Qng zi gosu w t.

Please tell me it again.

 


 

STUDY 16

nng, hu – can, to be able to

 

VOCABULARY 16.1

 

nng

[to] be able to; can

hu

[to] be able to; can

do

[to] be able to attain / accomplish; can

NOTE: “hu” is also used like “will” to express future actions.

 

GRAMMAR 16.1

 

T nng shu ptnghu.

He [or she] can speak Mandarin.

N hu shu ptnghu ma?

Can you speak Mandarin?

Nmen hu b hu d Hnz? *

Can you [or can you not] read Hanzi?

*  Remember, “b” needs to change to “b” in front of “hu”.

 

PRACTICE 16.1

 

W nng d t.

I can read it.

N nng d t ma?

Can you read it?

T b nng d zhge xioxi.

He cannot read this news.

T b hu d t.

He cannot read it.

 

PRACTICE 16.2

 

T nng d Hnz.

He (or she) can read Hanzi.

N hu d Hnz ma?

Can you read Hanzi?

W nng d Pnyn.

I can read Pinyin.

W nng d ptnghu.

I can read Mandarin.

N nng d Hnz ma?

Can you read Hanzi?

W b nng d Hnz.

I cannot read Hanzi.

 


PRACTICE 16.3

 

W b nng d ptnghu.

I cannot read Mandarin.

N nng d Hnz ma?

Can you read Hanzi?

Tmen b xing d Pnyn.

They don't want to read Pinyin.

Tmen xwng d Hnz.

They wish [they could] to read Hanzi.

Wmen b hu d Hnz.  *

We cannot read Hanzi.

Wmen xwng nng d Hnz.

We'd like to be able to read Hanzi.

*  Remember, “b” must change to “b” in front of “hu”.

 

ROUTINE 16.1

 

Create questions (wnt) and answers (hud) using some of these words.

 

shi

 

 

 

 

?

 

[b]

 

[b]

nng

hu

d

 

gosu

t

 

zhge ho xioxi

 

w

n

wmen

 

xing

 

xwng

 

n

 

gi tmen

 

ma?

 

ACTIVITY 16.1

 

{Suggested Instructions for Group Instructor: Students split into groups of two or three.}

 

Converse using nng, hu, xing, xwng, d, shu, ptnghu, Pnyn, Hnz, zi.]


ROUTINE 16.2

 

Repeat incrementally at speed the following sets of words.

 

Qng.................shu.................Qng shu ptnghu

 

W

hu

      W hu

      shu

                 W hu shu

                  ptnghu

                                      W hu shu ptnghu

                                      ma?

                                                                          W hu shu ptnghu ma?

N

hu

       N hu

       shu

                N hu shu

                ptnghu

                                      N hu shu ptnghu

                                      ma?

                                                                           N hu shu ptnghu ma?

T

hu

       T hu

        shu

                  T hu shu

                   ptnghu

                                      T hu shu ptnghu

                                      ma?

                                                                           T hu shu ptnghu ma?


 

STUDY 17

Close relatives and friends

 

VOCABULARY 17.1

 

rn

person, man

pngyou

friend

dxing

brother

jimi,  zmi

sister

dxing jimi

brothers and sisters

dxingmen

brothers

 

 

jitng

family

fm

parents

mma; m qn

mother

bba; f qn

father

xiohir

child

rzi

son

n’r

daughter

 

GRAMMAR 17.1

 

When speaking about one’s close relative, there is no need to use a grammatical possessive form (my, etc.).  Full construction of Possessive forms is explained later, including the use of “de”.

 

Zh sh shi?

Who is this?

T sh w dxing.

He is my brother.

Tmen sh w dxingmen.

They are my brothers.

N jimi nng d t.

Your sister can read it.

Zhge pngyou sh w dxing.

This friend is my brother.

Nge rn sh shi?

Who is that person?

 


PRACTICE 17.1

 

Qng d zh[ge].

Please read this [item].

Zh sh shi?

Who is this?

N xing gosu w t ma?

Would you like to tell me it?

T sh w dxing.

He is my brother.

Zh sh shnme?

What is this?

W xing shu t.

I'd like to say it.

Zh sh ho xioxi

This is good news.

 

PRACTICE 17.2

 

N nng d zh[ge] ma?

Can you read this?

Zh sh w jimi.

This is my sister.

W xing gosu n zh[ge].

I'd like to tell you this.

Shi shu zh?

Who says this?

N dxing hu d zhge qngti.

Your brother can read this invitation.

Zhge pngyou sh w dxing.

This friend is my brother.

 


EXERCISE 17.1 (See Answers below.)

 

Translate the following examples into English:-

 

 

EXERCISE

ANSWER

1.

T sh w dxing.

 

2.

N jimi nng d t.

 

3.

N xing shu t ma?

 

4.

Nge pngyou sh w dxing.

 

5.

Tmen xing gosu n zh[ge].

 

6.

W sh n dxing.

 

7.

T jimi shu zh.

 

 

ANSWERS TO EXERCISE 17.1

 

Practise these, if you need to.

 

 

EXERCISE

ANSWER

1.

T sh w dxing.

He is my brother.

2.

N jimi nng d t.

Your sister can read it.

3.

N xing shu t ma?

Would you like to read it?

4.

Nge pngyou sh w dxing.

That friend is my brother.

5.

Tmen xing gosu n zh[ge].

They'd like to tell you this.

6.

W sh n dxing.

I am your brother.

7.

T jimi shu zh.

His sister says this.

 


EXERCISE 17.2 (See Answers below.)

 

Translate the following examples into Mandarin Chinese:-

 

 

EXERCISE

ANSWER

1.

That sister tells me this good news.

 

2.

Who is this person?

 

3.

That person can tell them.

 

4.

Our brothers and sisters would like to give YOU this information.

 

5.

Who is your brother?

 

 

ANSWERS TO EXERCISE 17.2

 

Practise these, if you need to.

 

 

EXERCISE

ANSWER

1.

That sister tells me this good news.

Nge jimi gosu w zhge ho xioxi.

2.

Who is this person?

Zhge rn sh shi?

3.

That person can tell them.

Nge rn hu gosu tmen.

4.

Our brothers and sisters would like to give YOU this information.

Wmen dxing jimi xing gi nmen zhge xnx.

5.

Who is your brother?

N dxing sh shi?

 


 

STUDY 18

Addition of xi to form plurals of demonstrative pronouns

 

VOCABULARY 18.1

 

...xi *

...se (plural determiner); some

yxi

some

zhxi

these; these ones

nxi

those; those ones

* Note, remember to pronounce ‘x’ rather like ‘hss’ or the ‘s’ in ‘see’, but

   Pronounce ‘sh’ like the English ‘sh’ in ‘rashly’.

 

GRAMMAR 18.1

 

zhxi rn

sh

ho pngyou.

These persons are good friends.

zhxi

sh

ho pngyou.

These are good friends.

nxi

sh

ho rn.

Those are good persons.

nxi pngyou

sh

w dxing jimi.

Those friends are my brothers and sisters.

 

ACTIVITY 18.1

 

{Suggested Instructions for Group Instructor: Students split into groups of two or three to do the following activities.}

 

Using the structure of  Columns 1, 2, and 3 the first person makes up a sentence from the language learned up to now.  The next person  this from singular to plural or from plural to singular.

 


 

STUDY 19

know; understand; sentence elements

 

zhdao

[to] know, have knowledge of a fact

rnshi

[to] know, be acquainted with (a person, the personality behind a name)

dng

[to] understand

mngbai *

[to] see clearly, understand

 

* mngbai =“clear”+“white”

 

GRAMMAR 19.1 (Sentence Elements)

 

For previous discussion of sentence construction, see Grammar 4.1.  The following groups of examples demonstrate the breakdown of any sentence strictly into Subject (Doer) and Predicate (composed of Action and Object).  Word order is more or less the same in Chinese Mandarin as in English.

 

SUBJECT

PREDICATE

 

DOER

ACTION

OBJECT

T

sh

w dxing.

He is my brother.

N

zhdao.

 

You know.

N

zhdao

t.

You know it.

W

zhdao

n sh shi.

I know who you are.

W

xwng zhdao

zh sh shnme.

I would like to know what this is.

Tmen

b zhdao

zhge ho xioxi sh shnme.

They do not know what this good news is.

N jimi

zhdao

wmen sho t.

Your sister knows we say it.

W

zhdao

n xing d zhge xnx.

I know you would like to read this information.

 


 


W

rnshi

n.

I know you.

N

b rnshi

t.

You don't know him.

Zhxi pngyou

b rnshi

n dxing.

These friends do not know your brother.

N dxing jimi

rnshi

zhge pngyou ma?

Do your brothers and sisters know this friend?

nxi rn

rnshi

zhxi jimi.

Those people know these sisters.

 

W

mngbai.

 

I understand.

Tmen

mngbai

zhge ho xioxi.

They understand this good news.

[N]

Dng b dng?