Love is blue?

The following sentences use the passive voice. Please compare them with the corresponding sentences in the active voice that I posted here last week.

Diànnǎo bèi tā nònghuà le.
The computer was damaged by him.

Tā bèi nà gōngsī gùyòng le.
She was hired by that company.

Wǒ bèi tā xià le yī tiào.
I was startled by him.

Sentence structures form the framework of language. The simple sentence pattern of “Noun + Verb” can be likened to the frame of a small one-story dwelling. To complete the house, you will still need to install the siding and the roof. Each word you learn is another brick, panel or shingle added to the house. And don’t forget the amenities inside the little house. In other words, it’s important to build up your vocabulary to be able to carry an interesting conversation.

Today we will look at some of the Chinese words that represent the colors, 颜色 (yánsè). (hóng) is the red color, regarded by the Chinese as an auspicious and festive color. (bāo) means to wrap, and you know that 包子 (bāozi) is a bun stuffed with filling. Well, 红包 (hóng bāo) is a red envelope containing money that’s presented as a gift on a happy occasion, such as a birthday, a wedding, or New Year. This same form of gifting is also used in bribing government officials, company managers, and so on. So much so that the term 送红包 (sòng hóng bāo giving a red envelope) is now synonymous with bribing.

The word for “green” is 绿 (lǜ). (qīng) is a blue-green hue often used to characterize green grass or the sky. It is also used when referring to a young person or a young crop. I don’t know how it came about, but the expression 戴绿帽子 (dài lǜ màozǐ wearing a green hat) means to be cheated on by one’s wife.

Obviously, 红绿灯 (hóng lǜ dēng red and green lights), refers to the traffic light.

If you ever see the term, 红男绿女 (hóng nán lǜ nǚ), it has nothing to do with Halloween costumes. It just means “dudes and gals”.

美国国旗的颜色是: 红, 白, 和蓝.
Měiguó guóqí de yánsè shì: hóng, bái, hé lán.
The colors of the American flag is red, white and blue.

(hēi) is the black color. It is associated with 夜晚(yèwǎn nights) and 黑暗 (hēiàn darkness). On the other hand, (bái white) represents 白天 (báitiān daylight), 光亮 (guāngliàng brightness) and 光明 (guāngmíng open-heartedness). Please note that in the West, black is the color of mourning, but in the Chinese communities, people in mourning wear plain and unadorned white clothing.

The lyrics of “Love is Blue” (originally a French song) associates a gamut of feelings with some familiar colors. One might say:

Lánsè dàibiǎo yōuyù.
Blue represents depression.

Huīsè dàibiǎo fáwèi.
Grey represents cheerlessness.

Hóngsè dàibiǎo àiqíng.
Red represents love.

Lǜsè dàibiǎo jídù.
Green represents jealousy (or envy).

Hēisè dàibiǎo juéwàng.
Black represents despair.

What color represents friendship?

______ dàibiǎo yǒuqíng.
________ represents friendship.

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