4 of 4
30% off and full access to 300+ videos

Level 1 Lesson 30.1 – When, Where and How Did You Buy It

Restricted
Oops...Members Only!

The 是...的 Sentence Structure in Chinese
The "Shi...De" Sentence Structure in Mandarin

In this video lesson we'll learn when and how to use the 是...的 Sentence Structure in Chinese - The "Shi...De" Sentence Structure in Mandarin.

  • when and how use the 是...的 Sentence Structure in Chinese
  • the 是...的 Sentence Structure in Chinese to emphasize Time "When"
  • the 是...的 Sentence Structure in Chinese to emphasize Place "Where"
  • the 是...的 Sentence Structure in Chinese to emphasize Manner "How"
  • on the Internet in Chinese 网上 vs. 在网上

VOCABULARY


GRAMMAR


Grammar 1: When and How to Use the 是...的 Sentence Structure in Chinese · HSK 1

The "Shi...De" Sentence Structure in Mandarin is called “是……的”句 shì...de jù, The 是...的 Sentence Structure.

It’s a special Sentence Structure, and it is the most important sentence structure in Chinese HSK 1 grammar.

Basically, when both the speaker and the listener know that an event has already happened, and some further detail needs to be talked about. We use the 是...的 Sentence Structure to focus on the extra information we want to know. And whatever between 是…的 is the FOCUS information of the sentence.

For Chinese sentences that have a Verb Predicate (and an Object that's optional), the typical main structure of the sentence runs like this,

Subject + Verb (+ Object)

But for sentences with the 是...的 Sentence Structure, it runs like this,

Subject + 是 [FOCUS INFO] Verb + (Object)

It can be used in Questions as well as in Declarative Sentences. For example,

(1) A Positive Declarative Sentence

  • tā shì zuótiān kāidechē
    他是昨天开的车。
    he -shi- yesterday drive-de- car

(2) A  Negative Declarative Sentence

  • wǒ búshì shàngwǎng mǎide diànshì
    我不是上网买的电视。
    I not -shi- go on the Internet buy-de- TV

(3) A General Yes-or-no Question

  • nǐ shì zài huǒchē zhàn zuòde chūzūchē ma
    你是在火车站坐的出租车吗?
    you -shi- at train station take-de- taxi -ma

(4) A Special Question

  • nǐ shì zài nǎge wǎngzhàn xuéde Zhōngwén
    你是在哪个网站学的中文?
    you -shi- on which "ge" website learn-de- Chinese

 

The FOCUS INFORMATION here can be mainly categorized in to three different types,

  1. Focusing on Time - "when"
  2. Focusing on Place - "where"
  3. Focusing on Manner - "how"

We'll discuss them one by one.

 

Grammar 2: The "Shi...De" Sentence Structure in Mandarin to Emphasize Time "When" · HSK 1

We can put a Time Word between 是...的 to emphasize Time "When", following this structure,

Subject + 是 [Time Word] Verb + 的 (+ Object)

For example,

Q: nǐ shì shénme shíhou kāishǐ xuéde Hànyǔ
      你是什么时候开始学的汉语?
      you -shi- when start to learn-de- Chinese
A: wǒ shì qùnián jiǔyuè kāishǐ xuéde Hànyǔ
      我是去年九月开始学的汉语。
      I -shi- last year September start to learn-de- Chinese

 

Q: Běijīng shì shàngge xīngqīwǔ xiàde xuě ma
     北京是上个星期五下的雪吗?
      Beijing -shi- last Friday down -de- snow -ma
A: bùshì, Běijīng shì shàngzhōusì xiàde xuě
      不是,北京是上周四下的雪。
      no, Beijing -shi- last Thursday down -de- snow

Grammar 3: The 是...的 Sentence Structure in Chinese to Emphasize Place "Where" · HSK 1

We can put a "Place Word" between 是...的 to emphasize Place "Where". The "Place Word" here doesn't have to be a real "place", it can be something more abstract, for example a website, in a book... We can follow this structure,

Subject + 是 [Place Word] Verb + 的 (+ Object)

For example,

Q: nǐ shì zài nǎr kàndebìng
      你是在哪儿看的病?
      you -shi- where diagnose-de- sickness
A: wǒ shì zài nàge yīyuàn kàndebìng
      我是在那个医院看的病。
      I -shi- in that "ge" hospital diagnose-de- sickness

 

Q: nǐ shì zài yīyuàn chīdeyào ma
      你是在医院吃的药吗?
      you -shi- at hospital eat -de- medicine
A: wǒ shì zài yīyuàn chīdeyào
      我是在医院吃的药。
      I -shi- at hospital eat -de- medicine

 

Grammar 4: The "Shi...De" Sentence Structure in Mandarin to Emphasize Manner "How" · HSK 1

We can put a phrase that explains "manner or method" between 是...的 to emphasize Manner "how", following this structure,

Subject + 是 [Manner] Verb + 的 (+ Object)

For example,

Q: nǐ shì zěnme zhīdào de
      你是怎么知道的?
      you -shi- how know -de-
A: wǒ shì shàngwǎng zhīdào de
      我是上网知道的。
      I -shi- go on the Internet know-de-

 

Q: nǐ shì yòng zhètái kāfēijī zuòde kāfēi ma
      你是用这台咖啡机做的咖啡吗?
      you -shi- use this "tai" coffee maker make -de- coffee
A: búshì, wǒ shì yòng nàtái kāfēijī zuòde kāfēi
      不是,我是用那台咖啡机做的咖啡。
      no, I -shi- use that "tai" coffee maker make -de- coffee

 

Grammar 5: The 是...的 Sentence Structure in Chinese to Emphasize Complicated Information · HSK 1

We can put more than one Focus Information between 是...的 as well, emphasizing Time, Place and Manner altogether. For example,

  • wǒ shì zuótiān zàijiā yòng diànnǎo kànde diànyǐng
    我是昨天在家用电脑看的电影。
    I -shi- yesterday at home using computer watch-de- movie
  • wǒ shì shàngzhōu yòngdiànnǎo zàiwǎngshàng xuéde Zhōngwén
    我是上周用电脑在网上学的中文。
    I -shi- last week using computer on the Internet space learn-de- Chinese

 

Grammar 6: The 是...的 Sentence Structure in Chinese with Personal Pronoun as the Object · HSK 1

If the Object in the sentence is a Personal Pronoun, it does not go after 的, it’s always before 的 and closely tied to its verb, with this structure,

Subject +  [Focus] Verb + Personal Pronoun +

For example,

  • nǐ shì shénme shíhou gàosu tāde
    你是什么时候告诉他的?
    you -shi- when tell him-de-
  • wǒ shì zài Shànghǎi rènshi tāde
    我是在上海认识她的。
    I -shi- in Shanghai know her-de-
guest
7 Comments
newest
oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Scroll to Top