Remember how to speak by saying things you shouldn’t.
Most of the Chinese people don’t like to say “no” in a direct way in daily life; here are some ways of expression to make your ‘no’ clear and acceptable.
bú yòng, xièxie.
不 用 , 谢 谢。
xià yí cì ba!
下 一 次 吧！
Maybe another time.
bù hǎo yì si, wǒ yǐ jīng tí qián yǒu ān pái.
不 好 意 思 , 我 已 经 提 前 有 安 排。
Sorry, I already made some plans earlier.
wǒ xiàn zài shǒu tóu yě yóu diǎn jǐn.
我 现 在 手 头 也 有 点 紧。
I don’t have extra money at the moment also.
zuì jìn wǒ yě jīng cháng xū yào yòng.
最 近 我 也 经 常 需 要 用。
I need to use it quite often myself recently.
A supplement for grammar practice
Before this lesson, you couldn’t place yourself in the moment. After, you’ll have the right tools to do it.
“以前” yǐ qián vs. “以后” yǐ hòu.
以前-Indicates the things that happened before the statement was made.
以后-Opposite of 以前, it indicates things that are yet to happen or those that happened after the action.
lái dōngguǎn yǐqián, wǒ zhù zài guǎngzhōu.
来 东莞 以前， 我 住 在 广州。
Before I came to Dongguan, I lived in Guangzhou.
xué huì zhōngwén yǐhòu,wǒ xiǎng zài zhōngguó gōngzuò.
学 会 中文 以后, 我 想 在 中国 工作。
I want to work in China after I master the Chinese language.
tā yǐqián hěn xǐ huan kàn shū.
她 以前 很 喜 欢 看 书。
She used to like to read books.
xià bān yǐhòu,wǒ qù jiàn shēn.
下 班 以后，我 去 健 身。
I go to work out after I finish work.
Mnemonic devices that work
Characters with an indicative radical, which looks like this: 讠, which started out looking like this: 言 , and which sounds like this: yán, are often related to speech or communication. Look for it to the left when reading Chinese, and remember it by thinking of the lines from a flow chart.
– to thank
– to remember
Wǒ jìdé nǐ.
我 记得 你。
I remember you.
Conversation starters for Guangdongers
ng sik gong- It means “don’t know how to speak/say.” This is good for showing modesty or honesty when conversing with Cantonese speaking friends, similar to saying “My Cantonese sucks.” (Speak ng in a down tone and sik with steady tone, and gong in a raising tone and use the hard ‘O’ vowel. )