我今天很好 wǒ jīn tiān hěn hǎo ... but 我今天很累 wǒ jīn tiān hěn lèi! Back from holiday and although I got a chance to look at some Chinese I didn't quite manage to catch up with everything up to lesson 10 of ChinesePod! However, over the next few days I've got a few long drives and I started today with a 5 hour return journey to Inveraray (hence 我今天很累) during which I listened to episodes 4,5 and 6 back to back on repeat! A bit confusing - lots to cover, but I'm hopefully back on track a bit (hence 我今天很好！).
So, starting with episode 4, here are my notes and thoughts. Again, please feel free to comment if I'm getting anything wrong! Your comments and emails are very much appreciated.
Lesson 4 begins with introducing 今天 jīn tiān which appears to mean "today". Fairly straightforward. The position of 今天 in a sentence seems to be quite flexible, but in the conversation given it appears after the pronoun 你 nǐ: 你今天好吗？ nǐ jīn tiān hǎo ma? Presumably then to say "I'm very well today" I can say 我今天很好 wǒ jīn tiān hěn hǎo. And using the other vocabulary already covered, there are three statements I can make:
我今天很好 wǒ jīn tiān hěn hǎo "I'm very well today"
我今天很累 wǒ jīn tiān hěn lèi "I'm very tired today"
我今天很忙 wǒ jīn tiān hěn máng "I'm very busy today"
I think I'm also right in saying that in none of the above examples I should be using 是 shì because the 很 hěn has a verbal quality, as Matt explained.
The answer to the question 你今天好吗? nǐ jīn tiān hǎo ma? in the conversation is 很好谢谢。你呢？ hěn hǎo, xiè xie. Nǐ ne? "Very well, thanks. And you?" All makes sense so far, and it's these phrases I'm feeling very confident with now because I've heard them so often. Moving on, there's some new vocabulary introduced in the next section:
I like this one! 马马虎虎 mǎ mǎ hū hū apparently means literally "horse horse tiger tiger". No idea quite why that means "so-so", but there's no doubt a good explanation! Why is the speaker just 马马虎虎？Because 他今天很累 tā jīn tiān hěn lèi, "he is very tired today". Obviously in the first person he/she says 我今天很累, but I just thought I'd report the speech by using third person 他今天很累。
A couple of totally new phrases coming up, but I think that these will probably be coming in very useful.
真的吗 zhēn de ma means "really?", as if the speaker is confirming whatever the other speaker has said. I'm not sure about the literal translation of 真的吗, but it seems to be followed naturally by 为什么 wèi shén me, which means "why?"
The natural answer to a 为什么 question will begin with "because..." which is 因为 yīn wéi, in this conversation 因为我很忙 yīn wéi wǒ hěn máng, "because I'm very tired." I guess the speaker could also have said 因为我今天很忙 yīn wéi wǒ jīn tiān hěn máng, "because today I'm very tired". Obviously that would be overkill on the 今天 but I guess it works grammatically and I'm just trying to get used to using it!
OK, so that seems to be all the new language covered in the lesson. I'm going to try to construct a conversation based on everything I know so far. I'll be using some of the constructions I used in my previous conversation from lesson 3.
A: Nǐ jīn tiān hǎo ma?
B: Wǒ jīn tiān hěn hǎo, xiè xie. Nǐ ne?
A: Wǒ jīn tiān hěn lèi.
B: Zhēn de ma? Wèi shén me?
A: Wǒ jīn tiān hěn máng.
B: Nǐ jīn tiān qù nǎ li?
A: Wǒ jīn tiān qù xué xiào.
B: Wǒ yě qù xué xiào.
A: How are you today?
B: I'm very well today, thanks. And you?
A: I'm tired today.
B: Really? Why?
A: I'm very busy today.
B: Where are you going today?
A: I'm going to the school today.
B: I'm also going to the school.
A few things I'm not 100% sure about there. First of all, I'm not sure about the position of the 今天 in the sentence 我今天去学校. I don't know if 今天 always comes after the pronoun, but it does seem to do so in sentences like 你今天好吗？ Maybe someone reading this could help here.
I'm also not sure about the 为 with its two pronunciations:
为什么 wèi shén me
因为 yīng wéi
Is this definitely correct? Does 为 have two pronunciations with different tones?
Anyway, that's enough for tonight. Need to work a bit more on the new 汉字 covered in this lesson and will add them to my flashcard collection in the next few days.