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Thursday, May 04, 2006


Ewan McIntosh

This is so cool. Amazing how it all fits together.

Matt Whyndham

Actually, I don't think you should have 是 in the above sentences including Mang, and Lei. 很 functions as the connector in that case.

"Hen" doesn't always mean "very", sometimes it functions as a connector/generic stative verb.

You do always need 是 to describe your nationality, profession etc. It would be ungrammatical to say 我英国人。


Brilliant, thanks Matt. This is exactly how I'm hoping to learn!

So I'm guessing that 我很忙 is correct. If 很 acts as a connector, does that mean I couldn't say correctly 我忙?

Obviously I'm just getting the hang of this. Rather than correct the post, i'll update it with the corrections.


Matt Whyndham

我忙 sounds a bit neanderthal to me, but it might be appropriate within a dialog. Lots of grammar in Mandarin comes from adjacent sentences.

e.g. the Yes/No translation problem:

Most of the time to aggree/disagree to some assertion involving verb V, you'd simply say "V" or "不 V".

It would be incorrect to say "对" in that case, and "不" for no is a basic error.


Hi Mark,

I too am a beginer,I am impressed with the flashcards - more please! I do have one minor gripe: the distortion in your computer generated speach obscures the clarity of the sound. Is it at all possible to have someone else (human)to respond in the conversation?

Many thanks.


Matt - thanks again.

Alex - the pitch shift on the recording was just a bit of fun and it didn't really work. One of my own students (not of Chinese) does a great impression of this recording, much to the amusement of his friends! I'll see what I can do about making the podcast more interesting with someone else helping out!

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