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Level 1 Lesson 12.1 – I Didn’t “Give” Them Class

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To Call Someone in Chinese | Preposition 给 in Chinese

In this video lesson we'll learn about the Chinese preposition "给". And we'll learn to say know or don't know in Chinese.

  • Preposition 给 in Chinese
  • To call someone in Chinese: 给...打电话
  • Hello on the phone in Chinese: 喂
  • What is your phone number in Chinese
  • Do you know...in Chinese
  • Know vs Don't Know in Chinese: 知道 vs 不知道



Grammar 1: Preposition 给 in Chinese · HSK 1

The Preposition 给 in Chinese is used in this structure:

Subject + Object1 + Verb Object2

Here 给 is a preposition, Object1 is the Object of Preposition 给, while Object2 is the Object of the Verb. "给+Object1" together is a Prepositional Phrase, while "Verb+Object2“ is a Verb Phrase. The "给+Object1" Prepositional Phrase is used as the Adverbial of the Verb Phrase at the end of the sentence. For example:

For example:

  • māma gěi wǒ zuò fàn
    mom is making meal for me
  • nǐ xiǎng gěi shéi mǎi diànnǎo
    who do you want to buy computer for
  • Xiè Lǎoshī zài gěi wǒmen shàng Hànyǔ kè
    Teacher Xie is giving Chinese class to us


Grammar 2: To Call Someone in Chinese · HSK 1

By using the Preposition 给, we can say to call someone in Chinese, or to call some place as well. For example:

  • wǒ gěi Xiè Lǎoshī dǎ diànhuà
    I am making a phone call to Teacher Xie.
  • Xiè Lǎoshī zài gěi xuéxiào dǎ diànhuà
    Teacher Xie is making a phone call to the school.
  • wǒ xiǎng gěi péngyou jiā dǎ diànhuà
    I want to make a phone call to (my) friend's house.


Grammar 3: Hello on the Phone in Chinese · HSK 1

When we say hello on the phone in Chinese, we can say it in two ways:

  • nǐhǎo 你好!Hello.
  • wèi 喂!Hello.

你好 is more formal than 喂.

But be careful that 喂 is okay to say hello on the phone in Chinese, but can be rude to say hello to someone in person.

Also even though 喂 in pronounced in the Fourth Tone, when speaking in an inquiring tone, it often changes into the Second Tone. This is because the Tone of the Sentence play its part and affected the Tone of the word. See the difference below:

  • wè喂!Hello!
  • wé喂?Hello?


Grammar 4: What Is Your Phone Number in Chinese · HSK 1

We learned numbers in the sense of Mathematical Numbers like 1,2,3... 100 before. Today's word hàomǎ 号码 refers to number(s) that suggest an order or an arrangement, such as in:

  • diànhuà hàomǎ
    phone number
  • fángjiān hàomǎ
    room number
  • xuésheng hàomǎ
    student number
  • yīfu hàomǎ
    clothes number(size)

When we want to ask a question related to what's the number of something, there are two structures:

...de hàomǎ shì ? ...的号码

...de hàomǎ shì duōshao...的号码多少

We use jǐ 几 when the number is assumed to be under 10 and we use duōshao 多少 when the number is assumed to be over 10. For example:

Q: tāde fángjiān hàomǎ shì jǐ
      what is her room number(size)
A: tāde fángjiān hǎomǎ shì líng'èr
      her room number is 02


Q: nǐde diànhuà hàomǎ shì duōshǎo
      What is your phone number
A: wǒde diànhuà hǎomǎ shì (619) 555-2734
      我的电话号码是 (619) 555-2734。
      My phone number is (619) 555-2734


Grammar 5: Do You Know...in Chinese · HSK 2

To know vs don't know in Chinese is zhīdào 知道 vs bù zhīdào 不知道.  So we can ask do you know... in Chinese and answer the question like this:

Q: nǐ zhīdào wǒde míngzi ma
      do you know my name
Y: wǒ zhīdào nǐde míngzi
      I know your name
N: wǒ bù zhīdao nǐde míngzi
      I don't know your name


Q: nǐ zhīdào tā shì shéi ma
      do you know who he is
Y: wǒ zhīdào tā shì shéi
      I know who he is
N: wǒ bù zhīdào tā shì shéi
      I don't know who he is

But we can also answer with the short version as well, with 知道 as yes, and 不知道 as no.

Q: nǐ zhīdào tā shì shéi ma
      do you know who he is
Y: zhī dào
N: bù zhīdào

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