The Usages of the Measure Words – 次(cì) / 遍(biàn) / 趟(tàng) / 场(chǎng)

次 (cì)
(Verbal Measure Word)
To modify the actions which can be repeated
e.g.
We met once.
我们见过一次。
Wǒmen jiàn guò yí cì.

I’ve taken hsk4 four times, but I failed four times.
HSK4我考了四次也没过。
HSK4 wǒ kǎo le sì cì yě méi guò.

遍 (biàn)
(Verbal Measure Word)
To emphasize the whole process of an action from the beginning to the end.
e.g.
Please say it again.
请再说一遍。
Qǐng zài shuō yí biàn.

I have read this book twice.
这本书我看了两遍。
Zhè běn shū wǒ kàn le liǎng biàn.

趟 (tàng)
(Verbal Measure Word)
To indicate the whole process of going to and returning from a place.
e.g.
These things can’t be moved at one time.
这些东西一趟搬不完。
Zhè xiē dōngxi yí tàng bān bù wán.

I went there twice and he was not there.
我去了两趟,他都不在。
Wǒ qù le liǎng tàng, tā dōu bú zài.

场 (chǎng)
(Nominal Measure Word)
refers to the whole process of doing something, and is often used to modify variety shows or sports games
e.g.
I want to play a game with you.
我想和你打一场比赛。
Wǒ xiǎng hé nǐ dǎ yì chǎng bǐsài.

How many Chinese tests are there in a year?
一年有几场汉语考试?
Yìnián yǒu jǐ chǎng hànyǔ kǎoshì?

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Some usages of 就

就 is used in both contemplated and completed actions, expressing a plan, request, command, statement or condition.

a. Indicates the immediacy of the next action.

    S1  V1 了 O1, (S2)  就 V2 O2   (了/吧)

    我  下  了  课,          就 回  家    了。

    As soon as I got out of class, I went home.

    Wǒ xià le kè, jiù huí jiā le.

b. Indicates an action takes or took place sooner or earlier than expected.

    S  Time-expression    就   VO ( 了)

    我    今天五点钟         就   起来了。

    Today I got up at five o’clock. 

    Wǒ jīntiān wǔ diǎn zhōng jiù qǐláile.

c. Means ” (if) …… then”

   (要是) S1 V1 O1  , (S2)  就 V2O2

    要是  我  有 时间,  我    就  参加。

    (If) I have time,then I will attend.

    Yàoshi wǒ yǒu shíjiān, wǒ jiù cānjiā.

d. Means “… will …    =>    … 就(会, 要) + verb …

    rúguǒ míngtiān xiàyǔ, yīnyuèhuì jiù huì qǔxiāo.

    如果明天下雨, 音乐会就会取消.

    If it rains tomorrow, the concert will be cancelled.

e.The structure “就+verb”indicates a conclusion or a resolution made on the basis of what’s been  mentioned previously. For example:

If you don’t want to go, just rest at home.

⑴ 你不想去,就在家休息吧。

Nǐ bùxiǎng qù, jiù zàijiā xiūxí ba.

The coffee here is good. Let’s drink coffee.

⑵ 这儿的咖啡不错,就喝咖啡吧。

Zhè’er de kāfēi bùcuò, jiù hē kāfēi ba.

Today is Dad’s birthday. Let’s go out for dinner.

⑶ 今天是爸爸的生日,我们就去外面吃饭吧。

Jīntiān shì bàba de shēngrì, wǒmen jiù qù wàimiàn chīfàn ba.

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The difference between 就 and 才

Time+就+verb

Time+才+verb

Both 才 and 就 can be used as an adverbial modifier before a verb

就 indicates that in the speaker’s opinion, the action happened early, or went on fast or smoothly. For example:
Why are you going to bed so early?
你怎么这么早就 要睡觉了? (earlier than expected time)
Nǐ zěnme zhème zǎo jiù yào shuìjiàole?

才 indicates that in the speaker’s opinion, the action happened late, or went on slowly or unsatisfactorily. For example:
Class begins at seven o’clock, but he doesn’t get up until eight o’clock.
七点上课,他八点才 起床。(later than expected time)
Qī diǎn shàngkè, tā bā diǎn cái qǐchuáng.

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The usage of 多+adjective?in Chinese

The adverb 多 is placed before a monosyllabic adjective to enquire about degree.

多高?How high? How tall?

Duō gāo?

多远?How far?

Duō yuǎn?

多长?How long?

Duō cháng?

多重?How heavy?

Duō zhòng?

多大?How old?

Duōdà?

When we ask “你多大?”, it is to ask the age of other person. 

Sometimes, 多大? can also be used to ask the size, for example, 

How big is this clothes?

这件衣服多大?

Zhè jiàn yīfú duōdà?

Therefore, if we want to know the exact meaning of 多大, we shall decide based on the context.

你多高?How tall are you?

Nǐ duō gāo?

我一米七五。I am one point seventy-five meters.

Wǒ yī mǐ qīwǔ.

裤子多长?How long are the trousers?

Kùzi duō cháng?

裤子长一米一。The trousers are one point one meters long.

Kùzi cháng yī mǐ yī.

公司离这儿多远?How far is the company from here?

Gōngsī lí zhè’er duō yuǎn?

公司离这儿五百米。The company is five hundred meters away from here.

Gōngsī lí zhè’er wǔbǎi mǐ.

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Two ways of describing someone or something in a certain place

Usually, we use structure “someone/something +在+ location” to describe someone or something is in a certain place. Besides this structure, we can also another one to describe it. The new structure is “location + verb着+ someone/something”

Let’s compare these two structures:

Something +在+ Location  →  Location      + verb着+ something

     沙发        在   客厅的中间→   客厅的中间  放着       沙发。

                                                    Fang Fang holds the newspaper in her hands.

                                                    方方的手上拿着报纸。

                                                    Fāng fāng de shǒu shàng názhe bàozhǐ.

                                                    Martin and Yang Jie are sitting on the sofa.

                                                    沙发上坐着马丁和杨杰。

                                                    Shāfā shàng zuòzhe mǎdīng hé yáng jié.

                                                     The car is parked outside the window.

                                                     窗户的外面停着车。

                                                     Chuānghù de wài mian tíngzhe chē.

                                                    There is an envelope on the table.

                                                    桌子上放着一个信封。

                                                    Zhuōzi shàng fàngzhe yīgè xìnfēng.

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complements of result in Chinese

Some verbs or adjectives can be used after a verb to add remarks about the result of an action. They are called complements of result. In its positive form, we need use 了. In its negative form, 没 (有)is added before the verb to form the negative form of a complement of result, in which case “了” cannot appear at the end of the sentence. For example:

He learned to swim.

他学会了游泳。                        (positive form)

Tā xuéhuìle yóuyǒng.

He did not learn to swim.

他没学会游泳。                        (negative form)

Tā méi xuéhuì yóuyǒng.

She saw her friend.

她看见了她的朋友。                 (positive form)

Tā kànjiànle tā de péngyǒu.

She did not see her friend.

她没看见她的朋友。                  (negative form)

Tā méi kànjiàn tā de péngyǒu.

She found the address.    

她找到了那个地址。             (positive form)

Tā zhǎodàole nàgè dìzhǐ.

She did not find the address.

她没找到那个地址。               (negative form)

Tā méi zhǎodào nàgè dìzhǐ.

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The differences between 能 and 会

能 can indicate something that you are able to do naturally, for example:

I can eat 3 bowls of cooked rice.
我能吃三碗米饭。
Wǒ néng chī sān wǎn mǐfàn.

能 can also be used to ask for or give permission, for example:

Can I smoke here?
我能在这里抽烟吗?
Wǒ néng zài zhèlǐ chōuyān ma?

No, you can’t.
不能。
Bùnéng

会 means that you have acquired certain abilities or skills, and that you have acquired them through learning, for example:

I can speak Mandarin.
我会说普通话。
Wǒ huì shuō pǔtōnghuà.

I can cook.
我会做饭。
Wǒ huì zuò fàn.

Can you drive?
你会开车吗?
Nǐ huì kāichē ma?

“会” also indicates what might happen in the future. For example:

It won’t rain tomorrow.
明天不会下雨。
Míngtiān bú huì xià yǔ.

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Complements of possibility introduced by “V得/不”

可能补语V得/不 Complements of possibility introduced by “V得/不”

In Chinese, “V得+Complements” or “V不+Complements” can be used to indicate whether or not a result can be obtained or a goal be reached.”V得+Complements” is the positive form, and “V不+Complements” is the negative form. The complements used in this structure are usually complements of result or direction, and certain adjectives or verbs. For example:
找得到 can find
Zhǎo de dào
找不到 can’t find
Zhǎo bu dào
拿得走can take
Ná de zǒu
拿不走can’t take
Ná bu zǒu
搬得走can move
Bān de zǒu
搬不走can’t move
Bān bu zǒu

You sit behind (which means far from the stage), is it possible that you can’t see (the performance)?
你坐在 后边,会不会看不见?
Nǐ zuò zài hòubian, huì bú huì kàn bùjiàn?

I can see.
我看得见。
Wǒ kàn de jiàn.

This suitcase is a little small, is it possible that this suitcase can’t load all these things?
这个箱子有点儿小,会不会放不下?
Zhège xiāngzi yǒudiǎn er xiǎo, huì bú huì fàng búxià?

It can load all these things.
放得下。
Fàng de xià.

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The additional function of the question pronoun in Chinese

In addition to the function of expressing doubt and rhetorical question, the question pronoun in Chinese also has the function of expressing any people or things. For example, “谁” refers to anyone, “什么” means anything, “怎么” refers to any way and method, “哪儿” means anywhere, “什么时候” means any time. In such case, they are usually used together with “都” or “也”.

You can only use “都” in the affirmative sentence. In the negative sentence, you can use either “都” or “也”

Sentence structure:

Affirmation form: 谁/什么/怎么/哪儿/什么时候+都+verb……. .

For example:

I’m hungry. I want to eat anything.
我很饿,我什么都想吃。
Wǒ hěn è, wǒ shénme dōu xiǎng chī.

The teacher is like an encyclopedia, he knows everything.
老师像一本百科全书,什么都懂。
Lǎoshī xiàng yī běn bǎikē quánshū, shénme dōu dǒng.

You can come at any time you like.
你什么时候来都可以。( 什么时候=任何时候)
Nǐ shénme shíhòu lái dōu kěyǐ.

Negative form: 谁/什么/怎么/哪儿/什么时候+都/也+ 不/没+verb……

For example:

He doesn’t look like either of them.
他谁都不像。
Tā shéi dōu bù xiàng.

David was a bit carsick, and David didn’t want to eat anything while on the car.
大卫有点儿晕车,坐车的时候,大卫什么都不想吃。
Dà wèi yǒudiǎn er yùnchē, zuòchē de shíhòu, dà wèi shénme dōu bùxiǎng chī.

She caught a cold and didn’t want to eat anything.
她感冒了,什么也不想吃。( 什么 what =任何食物 any food)
Tā gǎnmàole, shénme yě bùxiǎng chī.

Follow the example and rewrite the sentences.

He doesn’t look like his mother or his father. He doesn’t look like either of them.
他长得不像妈妈也不像爸爸。 → 他谁都不像。
Tā zhǎng de bú xiàng māma yě bú xiàng bàba. Tā shéi dōu bú xiàng.

There are no people I know here. I don’t know anyone.
在这儿没有我认识的人。 → 我谁都不认识。
Zài zhè’er méiyǒu wǒ rènshì de rén. Wǒ shéi dōu bú rènshì.

No one will be on a business trip next month. No one is going on a business trip next month.
下个月没有人出差。 → 下个月谁都不出差。
Xià gè yuè méiyǒu rén chūchāi. Xià gè yuè shéi dōu bù chūchāi.

Neither my friend nor I like that restaurant. None of us like that restaurant.
我和我朋友都不喜欢那个饭馆。 → 我们谁都不喜欢那个饭馆。
Wǒ hé wǒ péngyǒu dōu bù xǐhuān nàgè fàn guǎn. Wǒmen shéi dōu bù xǐhuān nàgè fànguǎn.

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除了……以外

除了……以外:This structure has two implications.

① When used in “除了A(以外)……还/也B”, it indicates the coexistence of both A and B, as is found in the example as below:
Besides English, I can also speak Chinese.
除了英文以外,我也会说中文。
Chúle yīngwén yǐwài, wǒ yě huì shuō zhōngwén.

Besides meat, I also like eating fish.
除了肉以外,我也喜欢吃鱼。
Chúle ròu yǐwài, wǒ yě xǐhuān chī yú.

② When used in “除了A(以外),B都…..”, it indicates the exclusion of A, as is found in the example as below:
Everyone is watching TV except me.
除了我,大家都在看电视。
Chúle wǒ, dàjiā dōu zài kàn diànshì.

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