Weekend Work–A Preview

I have never made a very good weekend worker. There is some sort of time device that makes Saturday speed by so quickly that it is essentially impossible to accomplish whatever it is that you set out to do. This phenomena is a crime against productive humanity! That aside, I tried to work my way through some of the homework assignments I got from my classes on Friday. The language homework is always tricky because I often don’t know how to properly phrase something. If I view it as a practice and not as a test or mortal kombat, I tend to loosen up and take more risks on potential misusing a sentence structure. I figure the comments and markings from the teachers will be more helpful if I stretch myself beyond my means a little bit.

Right now I am on the third lesson for Practical Audio Visual Chinese (Book 2!)–all of this can be shortened to PAVC. The lesson works through a restaurant situation to teach its grammar and vocabulary points. Trying to get what you want to eat when you don’t have the right vocabulary or making word salad can be next to impossible. The vocab list I have been slaving away at!

  • 給 gei for this chapter means for (the benefit), to
  • 介紹 jie shao is a verb for introduce or suggest
  • 魚 yu is a fish, I don’t believe it is necessary to add word for meat to make it the food.
  • 非常 feichang, an adverb ,meaning very or extremely
  • 對 dui in this instance is a coverb meaning to, toward, for
  • 牛肉- Beef, the first character by itself means cow or bull
  • 青菜 The second character is incorrect but I couldn’t find the actual one in my list : ( means vegetables, green ones!
  • 雞 ji is Chicken if you want it to mean like the meat throw the character “肉” at the tail end of it.
  • 湯 tang means soup and will often be the last word of a phrase describing what kind of soup it is!
  • 封 measure word for below word
  • 信 Letter, we’ve had this one in other books
  • 謝 when doubled it means thank you but by itself is a Chinese surname
  • 替 ti is a handy coverb meannig for, in place of, a substitute for.
  • 錢 qian–money but also a Chinese surname
  • 問...好 “wen….hao” is an idiomatic expression use to wish someone well or send your regards
  • 方 fang for this lesson is a Chinese surname
  • 自己 zi ji oneself or by oneself to make yourself for instance simply take on that character to ni and make “你 自己”
  • 碗 wan is the measure word for servings of food but can also straight up mean bowl.
  • 大家 da jia means everyone or everybody. If addressing an audience a speaker can say “大 家 好”
  • 慢用 man yong is an idiomatic expression meaning to enjoy your food literally translates as “Slowly use”
  • 水果 shui guo is the word for fruit, for specific types of fruit take off the “shui” and put the appropriate word infront of “果”
  • 刀叉 dao cha is a knife and fork set as opposed to the traditional chopsticks “筷子”
  • 湯匙–tang chi a soup spoon
  • 句 “Ju” measure word for sentences and phrases. This word is also seen in: 句子 meaning a sentence
  • 鉋 “Bao” character meaning full, typically dealing with eating so “to be full after eating”
  • 毛筆 The second character “bi” deals with writing utensils and the 1st character (字) let’s us know it is a brush

Pretty heft vocabulary list, but all necessary words. Often times it seems like I pick up a useless character but actually turns out to fit with a whole bunch of characters, thereby becoming handy to know. For the grammar it looks as if it will be straight forward, awesome. The first piece is a redux of a previous lessons work on using question words as indefinites. Now we can figure out how to give the idea of inclusiveness or exclusiveness. They show two patterns: (S)–Question Word–(S)都–V We can use this structure to say things like “He knows everything” or conversely another pattern, (S)–QW(S)–都/也–Neg-V “He doesn’t know anything. It’s a really handy technique to have in my little bag of tricks now. The idea of course is that we don’t literally mean he doesn’t know anything, rather that what he knows is so pointless or not meaningful that it is like nothing. The book gives tons of examples to go with it, most of which I had to sort out a little it in my head before I got it. I keep having to remind myself that the grammars don’t match each other! Exclusiveness intensified give the idea of not even a little bit. So we can throw this structure into our sentence, which I know is written 句子, “(S) 一 MW–N 都/也 Neg-(AV) V. This gives us something like “I can’t sing any song at all.”Alright sweet but what if I don’t want to use a measure word in it at all. Instead of using a measure word we can drop 一 點 兒 into the mix which will still give us the same general “at all” feel.

We are now talking about how to use less and more as adverbs instead of what is termed as a stative verb (if you just raised your eyebrow at that we can touch on it later). The structure here is: 多/少 (more/less) V (Number-MW) (Obj) It gives you the ability to say “East a little more, Drink a little less…etc.” While that may not seem like much it can go a long way. Oh I bought less paper than I need…things like that. Even though we could maybe find simpler ways of phrasing things, we have to move away from a childish language to more dignified, complex ones. The final piece that we will be looking at for the first half of the week is using certain words as coverbs and setting up indirect objects, although I think the setup can do more, details as I get them. We have five words that the book gives for right now (跟,給,替,用,對) These words can help give more clarity about what we use to eat, where something is directed to, substituting for someone, all sorts of goodies tonight! The tricky thing will be internalizing these aspects and making use of them in everyday speech.

Onwards to finishing up a forgotten piece of homework!

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