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Level 1 Lesson 7.1 – Do You Know How to Speak Chinese?

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Know How To Do Something In Chinese | Types Of Verbs In Chinese

In this video lesson we'll learn how to say I know how to do something in Chinese. We'll get to know different types of Verbs in Chinese and practice answering questions with Yes or No in Chinese.

  • Know how to do something in Chinese: 会 + verb (phrase)
  • Know the skill of something in Chinese: 会 + noun (phrase)
  • Types of Verbs in Chinese: Dynamic Verbs, Stative Verbs, Modal Verbs, Relation Verbs
  • Answering questions with Yes or No in Chinese: Verb/不Verb; Adj./不Adj. (II). See also Yes or No question in Chinese (I) and (III).

VOCABULARY


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GRAMMAR


Grammar 1: Know How to Do Something in Chinese · HSK 1

STATEMENT - In Chinese, huì 会 means "to know how to do something after learning it". It is sometimes translated as "can". We can use it to make sentences like this:

Subject + 会 + Verb ( + Object ) 。

  • tā huì shuō Hànyǔ 她会说汉语。 She knows how to speak Chinese.
  • wǒ huì yòng Zhōngwén diànnǎo 我会用中文电脑。 I know how to use a Chinese (as the system language) computer.

 

QUESTION - To ask questions with 会, we can use the yes/no Question Particle 吗 and use this structure:

Subject +  + Verb ( + Object ) + ?

  • nǐ huì shuō Fǎyǔ ma 你会说法语吗? Do you know how to speak French?
  • tā huì yòng kāfēijī ma 她会用咖啡机吗? Does she know how to use a coffee maker?

 

ANSWER - For the questions above, answering with Yes or No in Chinese, we can say full sentences:

Subject 会 …… 。 / Subject 不会 …… 。

  • wǒ huì shuō Yīngyǔ 我会说英语。 I know how to speak English.
  • tā bú huì yòng zhè bù shǒujī 他不会用这部手机。 He doesn't know how to use this "bu" (of) cellphone.

Or with short versions:

。 / 不会

  • huì 会。 (Yes, I do) know how to.
  • búhuì 不会。 (No, I do) not know how to.

 

Grammar 2: Know the Skill of Something in Chinese · HSK 1

STATEMENT - The Verb 会 can be directly followed by a Noun or Noun Phrase as well, meaning, "to know the skill of something":

Subject + 会 + Object

  • wǒ huì Hànyǔ 我会汉语。 I know (the skill of) Chinese.
  • wǒ huì Yīngyǔ会英语。 I know (the skill of) English.

 

QUESTION - We can also use the Yes/No Question Particle 吗.

Subject +  +  Object ?

  • nǐ huì Zhōngwén ma 你会中文吗? Do you know (the skill of) Chinese?
  • tā huì Fǎwén ma 她会法文吗? Does she know (the skill of) French?

 

ANSWER - For the questions above, answering with Yes or No in Chinese, we can say full sentences:

Subject 会 …… 。 / Subject 不会 …… 。

  • wǒ huì Hànyǔ 我会汉语。 I know (the skill of) Chinese.
  • tā búhuì Fǎyǔ 他不会法语。 He doesn't know (the skill of) French.

Or with short versions:

 。 / 不会

  • huì 会。 (Yes, I do) know (the skill).
  • búhuì 不会。 (No, I do) not know (the skill).

 

Grammar 3: Types of Verbs in Chinese · HSK 1

There are different types of Verbs in Chinese, each type suggests different meaning or function a little bit differently.

Dynamic  Verbs suggest actions - something that we can do.

  • zhù 住 to live
  • chī 吃 to eat
  • xuéxí 学习 to learn; to study

Stative Verbs suggest a status or a condition, it’s usually related to people’s feelings or physical status.

  • xǐhuan 喜欢 to like
  • xiǎng 想 to think; to miss (someone); to want to
  • àito love

Modal Verbs suggest a judgement: willingness, condition, permission, value ability or possibility.

  • huìcan; to know how to do something; to know (the skill of) something

Relation Verbs suggests relationships, it connects and relates the Subject and the Object together.

  • shì 是 to be
  • jiào 叫 to be called
  • xìnglast name to be

 

Grammar 4: Answering Questions With Yes or No in Chinese · HSK 1

When answering questions with yes or no in Chinese, there are always two different ways: the full sentences or the short version. Here we'll talk about the short version.

In Chinese the direct translation for yes is shì 是, for no is bù 不. But we don't usually use them when giving answers. For questions where the Predicate is a Verb (Phrase), a lot of the times we can answer in this way:

Verb不Verb

  • Q: nǐ huì Hànyǔ ma 你会汉语吗?Do you know Chinese?
  • Y: huì 会。Know (how to).
  • N: bú huì 不会。 Not know (how to).
  • Q: nǐ chī píngguǒ ma 你吃苹果吗?Do you (want to) eat apples?
  • Y: chī 吃。Eat.
  • N: bù chī 不吃。 Not eat.

And when the question has an Adjective (Phrase) as the predicate, a lot of the times we can answer in this way:

Adjective不Adjective

  • Q: kāfēi hǎohē ma 咖啡好喝吗?Is coffee tasty?
  • Y: hǎohē 好喝。Tasty.
  • N: bù hǎohē 不好喝。 Not tasty.
  • Q: nǐ de fángjiān dà ma 你的房间大吗?Is your room big?
  • Y: dà 大。Big.
  • N: bú dà 不大。 Not big.
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