Sunday, 13 May 2007

Learning Chinese R/W way - Lesson 4

I have said the Chinese is very "lego-like". Let me demonstrate further.

Today new words are: 我你您他她它 們 的

我 is the first person pronoun. To express plural: we say 我們.

Chinese has no distinction between subjective and objective form. So 我 is both "I" and "me".

To express possession, put 的 after the pronoun. So "my" and "mine" are both translated to 我的. "Our" and "ours" are 我們的.

There are two forms of you: a common "you" and a "respectful you". The former is 你 and the latter is 您. For general use, you don't need to distinguish between them. However when you are addressing your "superior" such as father, mother, uncle, it is good to use the second version.

Again the plural form of "you" is 你們. The possessive form are 你的 or 你們的 depending on number.

Third person is denoted by 他她它. 她 is a recent word arising from the political correctness. Previously, we don't distinguish between male and female. [What a bad influence from the W...!] 它 is for animals etc.

Being combinational, once you know today's eight Chinese characters, you can combine to form the following English equivalent:
I me my mine, you you your yours, he him his his, she her her hers, it it its its, we us our ours, they them their theirs.

As soon as you see 們 after a pronoun, you know it is referring to the plural form. As soon as you see 的, you know it is possessive. There is no guessing what has "he" have to do with "him"!

Translate the following into English:
她們的 Theirs - more accurately, this refers to something belong to a group of female human beings.

In this lesson, you have learnt these words:
我 你您 他她它 們 的
and how to combine them in Chinese.

By now, I hope I have convince you that Chinese is easier than English (at least in terms of remembering because of the combination ability of Chinese characters and the simplicity due to the lack of grammatical variations). Next lesson, we shall talk about weather!

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