While “Sentence Pattern I” we talked about last week takes a little getting used to, the following sentence pattern is more intuitive to an English-speaking person because it shows the “be” verb explicitly. You can use it to assign a characterization to someone or something.
III. Noun + 是 (shì) + Adjective ending in 的 (de)
Zhè chāopiào shì jiǎ de.
This paper bill is forged (counterfeit).
Tā de tóufa shì hēisè de.
Her hair is black colored.
Nà bùshì zhēn de.
That isn’t true. (or) That isn’t real.
不 (bù) means “no” or “not”. You can put it in front of any verb to negate the indicated status or action.
Please note that 不是 (bùshì) is pronounced “bú shì”. In fact, whenever 不 (bù) is followed by a 4th-tone character, it will take on the 2nd tone; and it sounds much better that way.
The following sentence pattern also works the same in English and Chinese.
IV. Noun (subject) + Trasitive Verb + Noun (object)
The action word in this sentence structure is called a transitive verb because it takes an object. For example:
有 (yǒu) is the verb “to have” or “to possess”.
没有 (méiyǒu) means “not tohave” or “to be without”.
Tā yǒu yī zhī xiǎo gǒu.
He has a puppy (small dog).
Tā yǒu hěn duō péngyǒu
He has many friends.
Wǒ méiyǒu jiākè.
I don’t have a jacket.
In the above sentences, the puppy, the friends and the jacket are the objects of the verb “to have” or “not to have”. When referring to an animal, we use 一只
(yī zhī) instead of 一个 (yī gè).
Now, click on the following link to listen to the first of the three songs sung by four talented little girls. Clay Dolls
This song provides a good review of the Sentence Patterns II and IV that we have discussed in this and the previous lesson. I hope it will also inspire you to learn the new words listed below:
泥 (ní) means mud, clay or plaster.
娃娃 (wáwa) means a baby or a doll. Therefore, 泥娃娃 (Ní wáwa) is a clay doll.
眉毛 (méimao) are the eyebrows. 眼睛 (yǎnjīng) are the eyes.
不会 (bùhuì) means “unable to”, “not capable of”, or “not likely”.
眨 (zhǎ) means to blink or wink.
鼻子 (bízi) is the nose. 嘴巴 (zuǐba) is the mouth.
说话 (shuōhuà) means to blink or wink.
真 (zhēn) means real or true, and 假 (jiǎ) means phony or untrue.
爱 (ài) means to love. 亲爱的
(qīnàide) means “dear”.
做 (zuò) means to do something, or to act as someone.
永远 (yǒngyuǎn) means forever.
To bring you down to earth, here’s a friendly reminder to file your U.S. tax returns by next Monday (April 18, 2011):
Nĭ bàoshuì le méi?
Have you already reported your taxes?
报 (bào) means to report or to announce. It is also used to refer to a report,
报告 (bàogào), or a newspaper, 报纸 (bàozhǐ).
税 (shuì) is the word for taxes or duties.
了(le) is an auxiliary word that indicates the completion of an action.