Level 1 Lesson 1.1 – I Live in Beijing

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HSK 1 LESSON: I Live In Somewhere In Chinese | Preposition & Verb 在 In Chinese

In this HSK 1 lesson we'll learn how to say I live in somewhere in Chinese. We'll learn the differences between the Preposition 在 in Chinese and also the Verb 在 in Chinese. And we'll be able to say school and dormitory and their measure words.

If you're a day-1 beginner, please start with our Beginner's Basic Course.

  • To live in somewhere in Chinese: 住在 +somewhere
  • Preposition 在 in Chinese: at/in/on (+somewhere)
  • Verb 在 in Chinese: to be at/in/on (+somewhere)
  • Measure Words for places and space in Chinese: 所  间


1 zhù v. to live
1 1 zài prep. in/at/on (+somewhere)
1 2 zài v. to be in/at/on (+somewhere)
1 jiā n. home; family
1 北京 Běijīng pn. Beijing
n/a suǒ mw. measure word for institutions
1 学校 xuéxiào n. schools in general  
1 jiān mw. measure word for rooms  
5 宿舍 sùshè n. dormitory building; dormitory room  


Grammar 1: To Live in Somewhere Chinese · HSK 1

zhù  to live

We can use this structure to say to live somewhere in Chinese:

Subject ++ Preposition 在 + Place

  • wǒ zhùzài Běijīng 我住在北京。 I live in Beijing.
  • tā zhùzài xuéxiào 他住在学校。 He lives at school.


Grammar 2: Preposition 在 in Chinese · HSK 1

zài 在 in/on/at (+somewhere)

在 can be used as a preposition, followed by a place, meaning the presence is in, on or at this place:

Preposition 在 + Place

  • tā zhùzài Zhōngguó 他住在中国。 He lives in China.
  • tā zhùzài zhèjiān sùshè 他住在这间宿舍。 He lives in this dormitory room.

For negative sentences, the negative adverb 不 goes before the verb.

  • tā bú zhùzài Zhōngguó 他不住在中国。 He doesn't live in China.
  • tā bú zhùzài zhèjiān sùshè 他不住在这间宿舍。 He doesn't live in this dormitory room.


Grammar 3: Verb 在 in Chinese · HSK 3

zài 在 to be in/on/at (+somewhere)

在 can also be used as a verb, followed by a place, meaning to be in, on or at this place.

Subject + Verb 在 + Place

  • tā zài Zhōngguó 他在中国。 He is in China.
  • tā zài xuéxiào 他在学校。 He is at school.

For negative sentences, the negative adverb 不 goes before 在 because 在 is the verb itself.

  • tā bú zài Zhōngguó 他不在中国。 He is not in China.
  • tā bú zài xuéxiào 他不在学校。 He is not at school.


Grammar 4: Omission of Two 的 in Chinese · HSK 1

We learned omission of Possessive Particle 的 in Basic Course Lesson 8.1. Sometimes there can be two Possessive Particle 的 in a phrase. In those situations, we can omit none, one, or both 的. So we can say the same phrase in four different ways (personally I prefer the last one because it's the easiest one to say):

my friends' home
 wǒde péngyoude jiā
我朋友的家 wǒ péngyoude jiā
 wǒde péngyou jiā
wǒ péngyou jiā


Grammar 5: Measure Words 所 and 间 in Chinese · HSK 1

suǒ measure word for institutions

  • yì suǒ xuéxiào 一所学校 a school

jiān measure word for rooms

  • yì jiān sùshè 一间宿舍 a dormitory room
Lesson Content
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Rohullah AminiStudent August 2, 2023 at 3:19 am

Very impressive, Thanks a lot LiLi Laoshi

Johnny KPremium Student March 24, 2023 at 2:05 am

Hi Teacher lili, because 宿舍 can be dormitory building and dormitory room, which MW we can use with it? we can use 间 or 所?

Rohullah AminiStudent August 2, 2023 at 3:23 am

sorry, Jian we can use jian for dormitory…

GulnarzeinPremium Student June 6, 2022 at 5:34 am

love your lessons

jennifer ZimmermannPremium Student October 9, 2021 at 5:12 pm

very good und great Course. You are a great teacher.

Paul ComilangPremium Student May 31, 2021 at 2:18 pm

我叫Comilang Paul. 我是学生所学校
我喜欢住再间宿舍。 我不喜欢住在爸爸妈妈家在北京

SimonePremium Student January 17, 2021 at 1:44 pm

Very Helpful!

Natalia SchulzPremium Student November 2, 2020 at 3:24 pm

When we list people, one after another for any reason, like in 爸爸妈妈, is there any rule for that? Is it by the order of importance or age? For exaple, when we say in English ‘men, women, children’? Or there is no such rule at all?

ApplePremium Student August 22, 2020 at 7:38 am

What is the measure word for 房间?
Is it 间?
Thank you.

冯哲Premium Student October 31, 2019 at 10:11 pm

Was going to start on Hsk 2, but took a look at this lesson and find its excellent review and great sentence pronunciation practice for me. so will go through the Hsk 1 as well. Glad I joined, this course seems well put together. Looking forward to doing them!

cpwickhamPremium Student July 3, 2019 at 6:58 pm

i got a hundred percent on the lesson 7 quiz. YOU SHOULD BE PROUD!!!! 🙂

tpmaxwell2Student March 26, 2018 at 6:57 pm

Great lesson! You are a great teacher and the lessons are super helpful.

Is there a reason for using bàba māmā for parents instead of fùmǔ?

fùmǔ 父母 is more likely to be used in formal situation and written form. bàbamāma 爸爸妈妈 is more common for saying parents in Chinese in daily communication.

mtrpop3Premium Student February 8, 2018 at 9:40 am

Lili, it seems to me to be more useful to see 住在 as a two character verb (like 喜欢), than to see the first character as the verb and the second as a preposition, because in normal Chinese grammar a prepositional phrase with 在+location appears BEFORE the verb rather than after it: If we see 住 alone as the verb, then we have to explain why 在 comes after the verb as a special exception to the normal Chinese-sentence word order.

住 itself is a Verb. 北京 is the Object of the Preposition 在, and 在北京 is a Prepositional Phrase used as a Bǔyǔ 补语 Complement of the Verb Predicate 住.

The Grammar of Bǔyǔ 补语 Complement will be further explained in future levels and lessons.

peteryaye143Student November 30, 2017 at 9:48 am

wow It’s very best teaching.

claudemartincanadaPremium Student November 26, 2017 at 3:22 pm

So glad I found you ! You are a super good teacher, very clear. The course is really well made.

Thank you so much for choosing our HSK 1 lesson and course and give us such a wonderful feedback!

kensyduclos1994Student November 23, 2017 at 10:56 am

Thank you for that great job, you’re a very good Teacher! I learn a lot of things from you. But I have some problem with the characters, because I learn by Chinese traditional characters. So I get confuse sometimes. 謝謝妳,老師。

Thanks for giving us such a good feedback on our HSK 1 lesson. When I was creating the course I thought about adding both Simplified and Traditional characters but unfortunately I had to only go with one because there is only so much space on the video screen and I wanted to make the fonts big enough to see, especially for Chinese beginners.
Perhaps I’ll add a list of vocabulary with both Simplified and Traditional for reference as a supplement of the course in the future.

ireonPremium Student November 18, 2017 at 1:09 am

I am so glad that i can remember the chinese characters learning from chineseforus. I struggled learning previously from other websites as they were too difficult for my level. I find that I learn better with the quizzes here as the characters learnt are repeated to reinforce my learning. I love how the lessons are structured.

Dr. V.Premium Student July 9, 2017 at 7:49 pm

As a Beginner, I am enjoying your HSK 1 lesson and finding your structure/approach easy to learn.

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