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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 Discussions


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

Graduated Student

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.


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。

Graduated Student

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.
Graduated Student
Dr. V.

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

Premium Student

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!

Graduated Student

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


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


wow It’s very best teaching.

Graduated Student

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

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