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Level 1 Lesson 11.1 – Well I’m On The Phone

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Modal Particle 呢 in Chinese with 在...呢 Structure | 在...呢 vs 在

In this video lesson we'll learn about Modal Particle 呢 in Chinese. And we'll also compare 米 vs 饭 in Chinese.

  • Modal Particle 呢 in Chinese: the 在...呢 Structure
  • 在...呢 vs 在
  • Compare 米 vs 饭 vs 米饭 in Chinese

VOCABULARY


GRAMMAR


Grammar 1: Modal Particle 呢 in Chinese· HSK 1

We learned about Question Particle 呢 in Lesson 6. Now we'll learn about the Modal Particle 呢 in Chinese.

The Modal Particle 呢 is usually (1) put at the end of a declarative sentence, (2) to suggest that the action or the status is continuing.

It is usually used together with Adverb 在 (which suggest that an action is in progress and continuing). So the structure is:

Subject + 在 + Verb (Phrase) + 

This 在...呢 structure suggests that the Subject to be in the process of doing something and the action or status is continuing.

So we can say sentences like:

  • wǒ zài dǎ diànhuà ne
    我在打电话呢。
    I am/was making phone call.
  • tāmen zài zuòfàn ne
    他们在做饭呢。
    They are/were cooking.
  • wǒ bàba zài xǐ yīfu ne
    我爸爸在洗衣服呢。
    My dad is/was washing clothes.

 

Grammar 2: Compare 在...呢 vs 在 · HSK 1

When we compare 在...呢 vs 在 in Chinese, generally the 在...呢 structure, "在 Verb Phrase 呢" and "在 Verb Phrase" are talking about the same thing, except for the mood or tone.

In the following groups, sentence A and B are talking about the same thing, except for the mood or tone.

A: wǒ zài chī fàn
      吃饭。
      I am having a meal.
B: wǒ zài chī fàn ne
      吃饭
      Oh, see, I am having a meal.

 

A: tā zài mǎi diànnǎo
      买电脑。
      He is buying a computer.
B: tā zài mǎi diànnǎo ne
      买电脑
      Oh, you know, he is buying a computer.

 

Grammar 3: Compare 米 VS 饭 VS 米饭 · HSK 1

Rice is probably the most popular staple food in China, with noodles being the second.

If we want to compare 米 vs 饭 vs 米饭

mǐ 米 usually refers to raw rice. When people talk about 米, they are usually referring to raw white rice in packages that you can buy from the market.

fàn 饭 is either (1) cooked (white) rice, or (2) a meal in general, because rice is so popular that it become the code name for meals in general. So even if someone had noodles or pizza, we can still say that they just 吃饭(to have a meal).

mǐfàn 米饭, on the other hand, usually specifically refers to cooked (white) rice.

米 vs 饭

  • wǒ jiā méiyǒu mǐ, wǒ xiǎng mǎi mǐ 
    我家没有米,我想买米。
    My home does not have any rice, I want to buy some rice.
  • wǒ méi chīfàn, wǒ xiǎng chī fàn
    我没吃饭,我想吃饭。
    I didn't eat (any) meal yet, I want to eat a meal.

米饭 vs 饭

  • tā bù xǐhuan chī mǐfàn
    她不喜欢吃米饭。
    She does not like eating rice (She probably prefer other food).
  • tā bù xǐhuan chīfàn 
    她不喜欢吃饭。
    She does not like eating in general (She probably has eating disorder).

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