Noun + adjective + 得 + 不得了

February 10, 2015

We just started working on Chapter 19 of Integrated Chinese last week, and part of the homework had us practicing the phrase 不得了 (bùdéliǎo), which means extremely or exceedingly. It usually follows this pattern:

noun + adjective + 得 + 不得了。
Noun is extremely adjective.

挪威冷得不得了。
Nuówēi lěng de bùdéliǎo.
Norway is extremely cold.

李友用功得不得了。
Lǐ Yǒu yònggōng de bùdéliǎo.
Li You is extremely hardworking.

This sentence pattern is very useful. In fact, I’ve even been able to use it with one of my coworkers. If they receive a suspicious email, I encourage the users I support to send the email to me to see if it is legitimate or if it’s a scam. This morning, a 中国人 coworker sent me an email that was suspicious, and I replied:

我觉得它坏得不得了。
I think it’s extremely bad.

Maybe it’s overkill to describe a spam email, but it was a good chance to practice, and she complimented my Chinese 🙂

一个好天

February 8, 2015

今天是星期日。天气一点儿阴,可是这个周末比上个星期热,所以我走路了去图书馆。印第安纳波利斯中心图书馆六条街南我的房子。它很高和有很多外文书。我看了中文书和借阅一本书关于中国放假

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Duration of actions

February 3, 2015

In Chapter 18 of Integrated Chinese, Dialogue II has a section which describes the duration of an action, and it shows two sentence formulas for it. One of the examples they give is:

她每天听绿音听一个小时。
她每天听一个小时绿音。
She listens to recordings for an hour everyday.

Both of the Chinese sentences say they same thing in slightly different ways. The first one uses verb repetition, and the formula is something like:

Subj + (how often) + verb + object + verb + (how long).

The second sentence doesn’t repeat the verb, but does put a duration of time between the verb and the object. Its formula is something like:

Subj + (how often) + verb + (how long) + (的) + object.

De (的) is apparently optional in the second type of sentence. Our teacher didn’t have much of an explanation for it, other than saying that it sometimes sounds right, and sometimes doesn’t. I guess that is something that comes with experience.

Now for some practice sentences of my own.

我每天走路走一个小时半钟。
我每天走一个小时半钟的路。
I walk for an hour and a half every day.

我每天复习中文复习三十分钟。
我每天复习三十分钟的中文。
I review Chinese for 30 minutes every day.

王朋每周六打篮球打两个小时。
王朋没周六打两个小时篮球。
Wang Peng plays basketball for two hours every Saturday.

李友每周末学习中文学习十二个小时。
李友每周末学习十二个小时中文。
Li You studies Chinese for twelve hours every weekend.

Verbs are kind of tricky in Chinese, because there are verbs and there are verb-objects. They are tricky because while some verbs are only one character, some are two characters, which means they can get confused with verb-objects, which will always have at least two characters. I guess it’s another one of those things where it will become easier to understand after I’ve learned more.

Time expression + 没 + Verb (+ 了)

I have a test in Chinese class later today, so this post and the next are a couple of things the teacher told us will be on the test.

Chapter 18 of Integrated Chinese*, page 231 (运动 – Sports), the Dialogue I section describes the
following formula:

Time expression + 没 + Verb (+ 了)

It’s used to describe an activity that hasn’t been performed for a certain amount of time. They have several examples, one of which is:

他三天没上网了。
He hasn’t gone online for three days.

On Page 232 it offers a counter example, showing how long something has been happening:

我学了两年中文了。
I have studied the Chinese language for two years.

是吗?我两年没学中文了。
Really? I haven’t studied the Chinese language for two years.

The point of these practice exercises is for me to come up with come of my own sentences using the formula they described, so mine are below.

我五年没学法文了。
I haven’t studied French for five years.

我一天没喝咖啡了。
I haven’t drunk coffee for the past day.

它一个星期没雪下了。
It hasn’t snowed for a week.

我两年没去挪威了。
I haven’t been to Norway for two years.

高文中四天没给白英爱打电话了。
Gao Wenzhong hasn’t called Bai Ying-ai for four days.

* Integrated Chinese, Level 1, Part 2, Third Edition

Rude awakenings

February 1, 2015

今天早上我被火警起床了。今天是星期天,所以我要了睡懒觉。不但我听了人人聊天在走廊外面我的房子,而且我闻到烟气了。我起床了,穿了鞋和冬天上衣,拿了手机,和出去外面了。我看了很多救火队。我的胳臂的房子大门开了。我知道了我不能回家一是,所以我走路了星巴克。

This morning I was awoken by a fire alarm. Today is Sunday, so I wanted to sleep in. However, I heard people talking in the hallway outside my apartment, and I smelled smoke. I got up, put on some shoes and a winter jacket, grabbed my cell phone, and went outside. I saw many firemen. My neighbor’s apartment door was open. I knew I wouldn’t be able go back inside for awhile, so I walked to Starbucks.