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Level 1 Lesson 28.1 – I Don’t Take Subway, I Drive There

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Take Transportation in Chinese with 坐 | Prepositional Phrase in Chinese | Adverbial in Chinese Sentences

In this video lesson we'll learn how to say take transportation in Chinese with 坐 + a vehicle. We'll also learn the grammar about Prepositional Phrase in Chinese and Adverbial in Chinese as a Sentence Element, 句子成分 Jùzi chéngfèn.

  • Take Transportation in Chinese with 坐 + a vehicle
  • Adverbial in Chinese Sentences
  • Prepositional Phrase in Chinese
  • To drive in Chinese with 开车

VOCABULARY


GRAMMAR


Grammar 1: Take Transportation in Chinese with 坐 + A Vehicle · HSK 1

We have already learned Verb 坐 meaning "to sit", in this lesson we'll talk about how to say to take transportation in Chinese with 坐 + a vehicle. So the structure goes like this:

 + a vehicle

  • zuò fēijī 
    坐飞机
    to take (a) plane
  • zuò huǒchē
    坐火车
    to take (a) train
  • zuò dìtiě
    坐地铁
    to take (a) subway
  • zuò gāotiě
    坐高铁
    to take high-speed railway
  • zuò chūzūchē
    坐出租车
    to take (a) taxi

Also 车 chē means cars in general, so if we say 坐车 zuòchē, it means to take an automobile in general without saying specifically which type.

 

Grammar 2: to Drive in Chinese with 开车· HSK 1

If we're not "taking" a transportation and instead we're "driving" by ourselves, we can say to drive in Chinese with 开车 kāichē. Here 车 chē also means automobile in general, so 开车 kāichē is to say to drive in general.

Also, 开 can be used as "to pilot" a plane. So we can say 开飞机 kāifēijī.

 

Grammar 3: Prepositional Phrase in Chinese · HSK 1

So far we have learned some Preposition in Chinese, which is 在 zài, meaning "in, on or at"给 gěi, usually meaning "for; to", and 和 hé, meaning with. A Prepositional Phrase is a phrase that is made of a Preposition and its Object. Take the Preposition 在 zài for example, we can use it with this structure:

 + a place

Following are examples of Prepositional Phrase in Chinese with 在, indicating locations:

  • zài Běijīng 
    在北京
    in Beijing
  • zài jiā
    在家
    at home
  • zài yīyuàn
    在医院
    in (a/the) hospital

 

We can also use a Locality Noun after a place or item to specify which direction or location of the place/item we are referring to. So far we have learned these Locality Nouns: 上(面), 下(面),  里(面),  外(面),  前面,  后面. We can use this structure:

 + a place/item + Locality Noun

Following are examples of Prepositional Phrase in Chinese that indicate specific locations:

  • zài zhuōzi shàng(miàn)
    在桌子上(面)
    on the table
  • zài yǐzi xià(miàn)
    在椅子下(面)
    under the chair
  • zài diànshì lǐ(miàn)
    在电视里(面)
    in the TV
  • zài yīyuàn wài(miàn)
    在医院外(面)
    outside the hospital
  • zài chūzūchē qiánmiàn
    在出租车前面
    in front of the taxi
  • zài huǒchē hòumiàn
    在火车后面
    behind the train

 

With 给 gěi and 和 hé, we can use this structure as well:

/ + Object

Following examples of Prepositional Phrase in Chinese with 给 or 和:

  • Zhāng Yīshēng gěishéi kànbìng
    张医生给谁看病?
    the doctor diagnose the sickness for whom
  • wǒ bùxiǎng hétā qù chīfàn
    我不想和他去吃饭。
    I (do) not want to go eat with him

 

Grammar 4: Adverbial in Chinese Sentences · HSK 1

Just like in English, we have Adverbial in Chinese sentences as well. Adverbial 状语 Zhuàngyǔ is a Sentence Element 句子成分 Jùzi chéngfèn that modifies the Predicate, which can be a Verb (phrase), a Noun (phrase) or an Adjective (phrase).

When modifying a Verb Predicate, Adverbial in Chinese sentences tells us information about how, when, why, or where the action of the Verb Predicate is done.

Adverbial in Chinese sentences can be an Adverb (Phrase), a Noun (Phrase), or a Prepositional Phrase. And the Adverbial in Chinese sentences can go after the Subject and before the Predicate, following this strucutre:

Subject + Adverbial + Predicate

For example:

Adverb (Phrase) as Adverbial

  • wǒ bú zuò huǒchē
    坐火车!
    I (will) not take train
  • tā méi kāichē
    开车。
    he (did) not drive car

Noun (Phrase) as Adverbial

  • tā jīntiān zuò chūzūchē qù shàngbān
    今天坐出租车去上班。[when]
    he today (will) take (a) taxi to go to work
  • wǒmen xiàgeyuè wǔhào xué kāifēijī
    我们下个月五号学开飞机。[when]
    we next month (the) 5(th) learn how to pilot (a) plane

Prepositional Phrase as Adverbial

  • wǒmen zài Zhōngguó zuò gāotiě
    我们在中国坐高铁。[where]
    we in China take high-speed railway
  • gěiwǒ dǎdiànhuà ba
    给我打电话吧![to whom]
    to me make (a) phone call -ba

And if an Adverbial is made of more than one part, the structure goes like this:

Subject + Adverbial Time + Place + other Prep. Phrase ) + Predicate

For example:

  • wǒ zuótiān zài huǒchēshàng hétā yòngshǒujī kàndiànyǐng
    昨天在火车上和他用手机看电影。
    I (was) watch(ing) (a) movie with him on a train yesterday using (a) cellphone
  • tā qùnián zài Shànghǎi gěixuéxiào kāichē
    去年在上海给学校开车。
    he drove for a school [*probably as a driver] last year in Shanghai
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