Posted by Grace Feng on December 5, 2011
I strongly suggest you to get familiar with all personal pronouns in Chinese language before you dive deeper into mandarin Chinese lessons. First of all, personal pronouns will frequently appear in our dialog examples and reading practice in later lessons. Secondly, it’s must-to-have knowledge even for very basic conversations. Last, personal pronouns in Chinese language are very easy to grasp. Even simpler than those in English in my opinion.
You know what confuses Chinese students most when they start to learn English? – “Why there are so many variations in the usage of personal pronouns?!” To a Chinese student, “I” is “I”, no matter which position it appears in a sentence, it should stay as “I”! So now you understand there’s no change of forms for I, or you, or he, or she in a Chinese sentence at all. In fact, you only need to know 7 characters to be able to use ANY personal pronouns in Chinese language. They are:
We’ve learned “我” in Lesson1, which you should still remember I hope. If you don’t, please go back to Things to know before you start to learn Chinese to review it first. We’ll focus on the rest of the characters in this table now.
你, 他, 们, the three of them all have radical “亻” on their left hand side. “亻” implies “people related”. That doesn’t mean all people related characters have a “亻”. But there are a large amount of people related characters do. The right hand side part usually implies how the character sound. But not always either. We can give a name for this pattern so it’s easier for you to remember:
“meaning radical + sound part”
Among these three characters, only “们” perfectly fit into the “meaning radical + sound part” pattern:
“亻” (people related) + “门” [mén] (meaning: door)
As a matter of fact, there are big amount of Chinese characters follow the above rule. You will see more of them coming in the following lessons.
Now let’s get familiar with all the personal pronouns in Chinese language from the following tables:
Plurality: who + 们
Possessive for singularity: who + 的
Possessive for Plurality: who + 们的
You might have noticed that “他” “她” and “它” all have exactly the same pronunciation. In Chinese, a few to a few tens of characters share the same pronunciation is quite common. That’s why in most cases you can’t tell Chinese people a single character and expect them to understand which character you’re referring to. You have to put the character in a word, or a sentence to make people understand exactly which character you’re talking about.
Please repeat with the recording and memorize the rules to form each group of pronouns (as shown above each table). Use the following estroke animation tool to practice your writing. Most important of all, memorize the pronunciation and the look of all words. You’ll meet them frequently in the following lessons.
See you next time!
Category: JLC Chinese grammar lessons
Tags: Chinese character, Chinese language, how to speak Chinese, how to write in Chinese, learn Chinese blog, learn Chinese online, learn Chinese online FREE, learn mandarin online, mandarin Chinese, mandarin Chinese lesson
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