Hi, everyone! Welcome to ChinesePod. I’m Fiona – 我是Constance
– and I’m Gwilym Today we’re going to learn some basic Chinese word order. So this lesson was requested by one of our users – Walter So Walter, come join us on our word order game. Okay, so the correct word order or sentence order allows you to form grammatically correct sentences Chinese word order may be different to your native language. So it’s important to know what comes where at what point in a sentence in Chinese. 所以说中文的时候要先说什么人 What person 在什么时候 At what time 在什么地方 At what place 做什么 What did they do So this is the basic word order of a Chinese sentence. So we have who + when + where and what So what is…that was the sentence order that Constance and Gwilym… were talking about. So who + when + where and what 谁什么时候在哪里做什么事情。 嗯，那一定要注意的就是……因为说英文的时候， ” 在哪里 ” 常常在后面, 但是在中文, ” 在哪里 ” 一定在前面 So when speak English, often the place is more flexible, so you could say I’m going to go to the park to play soccer or tomorrow I’m going to play soccer at the park. Or is in Chinese, the where…it’s kind of more fixed. 对，所以说中文的时候要说 我在公园踢足球 比较不能说 ” 我踢足球在公园 ” That’s right. So I think this is one of those beginner mistakes that often crops up when you are learning Mandarin. And you know it is difficult because at the beginning you tend to tr… translate more than trying to think how am I trying to for… how should I form grammatically correct sentences? But not to worry, we’re gonna play a couple of games today, and hopefully this will soon become second nature to you. 对，所以这个游戏呢就是让你们习惯一直说 谁什么时候在那里做什么 So the game is designed to get you used to using this fixed sentence pattern. OK, so, if you want to also play this game at home what you do is get four cups or ChinesePod cups, get these stickers ready and then what you’re gonna write is the who, when, where, and what. And that is what we’re gonna do right now and place these little cards into the cups. – Okay, so we’re writing a person.
– Yes. I thought this would just be a fast-forward… like… Okay, so we have all our cards ready. So we’re gonna play the ChinesePod game of word order of who + when + where and what. So Contestant No.1, would you draw the who? – Okay.
– 谁 Wally, Wally, Wally 是谁？ Wally, Wally, Wally, 常常找不到他 Ah, where’s Wa…where’s Waldo? Oh, it’s Waldo. I think it was Wally. I think Waldo is the American and Wally is … Well, there you go guys. Wally is… Okay, Contestant No.2 has drawn the when No.3 is the where. And then maybe you can also draw the what, Gwilym. Alright. We’re gonna make a grammatically correct Chinese sentence. Constance, go! Wally 半夜 在海边 made love to Tra… 跟……做爱 跟……做爱 This has to go straight to the out case. Anyway, need to take it out. 也就是为什么这个很好玩 半夜吗？ 好在还一个词
OK, time to correct. F: 好……边……对……再一次……好
G: 海边……is it a /bian/ or /bin/ Wally 半夜 在海边做爱 跟 跟……跟……做爱 这可以再放回去吗？ 再放就会重复。
好好好好，OK 好，那换 Gwilym 换你抽四个 So No. 1, who, okay, Constance. 好，那我抽 when 跟 what Okay, poca… Pikachu… Pikachu Pik… Pikachu, right? Yeah, Pikachu 前天 在屋顶吃火锅 So Pikachu… yeah? The day before yesterday 前天 在屋顶, on the Rooftop, 吃火锅 Had a hotpot Pikachu 前天在屋顶吃火锅 I think he can heat the water with his electronic skill… Okay, so let’s have… should we just have one more of this very common sentence structure before we move on to some variations, okay? Okay. So…um… Let’s do a real wild one, Constance. – Well no, I should… we have some of our names in there.
– Okay Like you take the last here. Ah, this is Gwilym. 好，可以了吗？好了吗？准备好了吗？ 嗯，对 This is… 麻，麻，嗯 好 Okay so Gwilym 去年八月 在船上打……打麻将 Ah, it’s a nice holiday.
好 Gwilym 去年八月在船上打麻将 So get your tones right on that, on a boat I was playing… playing Mahjong. Yeah, so Gwilym + last year August + on a boat + play Mahjong OK. So that is the typical sentence structure who – Gwilym, 去年八月 – when, 在船上打麻将 Like we have lots of things in Mandarin. It always goes from the biggest to the smallest If you regard yourself as very big then the time is obviously the most important thing, then you can focus in on the place, and then in that place, what did you do. Exactly. And I think a key concept to grasp in Chinese grasp, a key concept to grasp in Chinese sentences, in Chinese gra… sorry my minds got a little loopy And I think a key concept to grasp in Chinese grammar is the most important thing that the speaker or the person asking a question wants to identify, always goes first. So in this structure, it’s very clear that the ” who ” is doing whatever is the most important thing, right? 对，那如果有的时候，你想要特别注意时间 可以这样子，昨天……啊不…… 去年八月，Gwilym 在船上打麻将 So last year in August Gwilym was on a boat playing mahjong. So ” Gwilym ” is able to move around more freely. Exactly, so the ” who ” has a lot of flexibility in where it can go. So again, one more time, the most important thing… the speaker wants to identify or find out is at the front. So in this sentence structure, it’s very likely that the person asking the question When was it that, Gwilym was playing mahjong on a boat? 去年八月 Gwilym 在船上打麻将 嗯. So you can also think this is a topic, what we are talking about in the very beginning of a sentence. And if someone asks me Gwilym, what were you doing? Do I need to repeat that Gwilym was doing this? Can this be kind of taken out? Yeah. If the speaker… if it’s already clear that we know who we’re talking about, You can drop it. Alright. Should we try a sentence structure with this new order? OK, when + somebody + somewhere + doing something Okay, I’ll pick first. That and… Who’s that? I’ve got time. It’s very exciting. I don’t know what’s happening Okay 早上九点 Jay Chou 周杰伦 在 Endor, the Forest Moon in Star Wars, 学中文 Yeah, 周杰伦应该学中文, like a pronunciation class 再一次 ，早上九点 周杰伦 在 Endor, 地球，不是球 Endor… Endor 星球 星球，planet, 学中文 Because there‘re lots of Chinese people in the Forest Moon of Endor. Here’s one of those awkward pauses in a lesson. I’m like hmmm… men of podcast, you have to cut this out. Okay, are there any other arrangements we can have? OK, last one. Okay. So here we have when + where + who + what For us, it’s a little bit difficult because they’re reading backwards. Oh, my God see the Chinese. So here we have the when + where + who and what And why do we have this structure? 这个比较少用，很少用。但是如果你要特别注意， 这个地点跟时间，那你就可以先说。 好，什么时候在哪里。今天早上九点在 Endor 星球 发生了什么事，所以那个人跟事情在一起。 So this is a less common sentence structure or less common word order, because the when and the where is placed before the who and the what. Now when my… we see something like this for example, when we’re watching the news and the news anchor or the journalist wants to really identify… at this time at this place, and maybe who or what did… what is less important, so maybe 9 a.m. in City Center, London, there was an accident by you know, it’s not so important. But the important thing was that it was the time and the place. 对，而且在中文的句子里面， 前面是 topic, 后面常常是那种 new information 所以可能这个大家都知道 那个大家不太知道, it’s the new information Right. So in Chinese, already known information at the start and then any new information goes at the end. Right. Okay, so let’s try one of these. Okay, I got two. I got the fourth. Where…where…this where…这哪里？四川。 Is this fourth tone? Third Did you give up from… OK, 好
OK, 好 昨天在四川 Fiona 吃蛋饼 So important news. So the translation… is Yesterday, in Sichuan Province, Fiona had egg pancake. So the key information is
What a big news! that it was yesterday in Sichuan Province. 嗯，那这两个地方……这两个事情大家都知道 那 Fiona 吃蛋饼，是 new information Breaking news。 – Breaking news…
– So Constance, I have a question. I would assume that what everyone knows is less important, but why do… Ah, not less important. It’s important, but everyone knows it. Right, right. Okay.
So you say it first It’s a shared knowledge. Ah, shared knowledge, yes. And also another point, the when, no matter what the order, ” when ” always goes before ” where ” That’s right. Gwilym, you’ve noticed. If you… if you go back, maybe at this point, and re-watch, actually this is a good time to pause, re-watch… I think you should probably listen to my instructions first. You’ll notice that the when is always, always, always in front of the where. These two can move very flexibly but ” when “… time always goes in front of location. Now, that’s the key, key rule, and if you stick to this rule, you won’t go wrong. OK. Let’s just revise the three orientations. The original one is this one, right? So, who + when + where + what Constance 昨天在船上吃火锅 Okay, the second one the person moves, right? Yes But remember these don’t flip. 去年周杰伦在 Endor 打麻将 And finally, the less common one, is Go on Gwilym, you can do it Jay Chou…goes to…Endor Let’s pick one, let’s pick one. ‘coz we’ve still got some left, so let’s do the final one. Okay. Did you pick this one? 没有 Okay, so when 上星期 桌子下面 在桌子下面 在桌子下面 Captain America 美国队长 做运动 So the translation being… Last week Underneath the table Captain America did some exercise Sounds weird 听起来……很奇怪…… 方老师你可以再帮我们念一遍吗？ 好 所以我们可以说 上星期在桌子下面美国队长做运动 好 OK, guys, we hope through this game that you’ve noticed that ” when ” always goes in front of ” where “. Actually if you see ” what ” always stays at the back. And ” who ” is the one that’s… jumping around. As a next step, what I will probably advise you to do is the three different word orders that we presented today maybe make up your own sentences, make three six or more… whatever, practice each structure a couple of times. And maybe with your classmates, you guys could play a similar game also. OK, we hope you enjoy today’s class, and we’ll see you again next time. F: 再见