Hey there, Yangyang here to help you avoid some common Chinese mistakes!
This is the fourth in a series of posts on the most common mistakes English speakers make when speaking Chinese.
In my years of teaching Chinese, I have come to notice that English speakers tend to make similar mistakes over and over again. Today, I am going to tell you the most common mistake #7.
The goal here is to become aware of these mistakes to help you avoid making them in the first place!
Mistake #8: Forgetting to insert "de (的)" in between adjectives and nouns
In English, you can use the same word "pretty" for both "she's pretty" and "she's a pretty girl" and nothing needs to change for the word "pretty".
But in Chinese, to use an adjective that contains more than one character (syllable) to describe a noun, you have to insert "de (的)" in between the adjective and the noun.
Why? I don't know. Just memorize this rule! :)
tā hěn piào lianɡ。
piào liàng de nǚ hái
This movie is interesting.
zhè ɡe diàn yǐnɡ hěn yǒu yì si。
yǒu yì si de diàn yǐnɡ
有意思的电影 / 有意思的電影
This cat is cute.
zhè zhī māo hěn kě ài。
kě ài de māo
可爱的猫 / 可愛的貓
However, for adjectives that are only one syllable, you don't need to add "de (的)".
nán xué shēnɡ
男学生 / 男學生
热汤 / 熱湯
xiǎo fánɡ zi
I hope these examples were helpful and you will be able to premeditate this type of mistake in the future!
We have a lesson in our Beginner Conversational Course that delves into this topic more deeply, take a look:
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YANGYANG CHENG is the founder of Yoyo Chinese and a TV personality. She taught Chinese to MBA students at Pepperdine University. Before that, Yangyang was the host of the popular entertainment TV show "Hello Hollywood!, bringing Western culture to tens of millions of viewers in China. Currently, she teaches Mandarin through video lessons on Yoyo Chinese, and can also be found hosting educational shows on popular channels like the Discovery Channel.
Thu, 19 Dec 2013 05:15:00 GMT
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