Plural form



们 ( men )


我  I; me          我们   we

你  you             你们  you (plural)

他  he               他们  they

她                      她们  they





Names and surnames

Words & phrases

贵姓                  guìxìng    What’s your surname?

姓  (V. & N.)    xìng          surname

贵                       guì            noble

名字                   míngzi     name

叫                       jiào           to call; to be called

When asking someone’s name we say “Nǐ jiào shénme míngzi?”(What is your name?) “Nín guì xìng?”(What is your honorable surname?) or “Nín zěnme chēnghu?” (How do I address you?) The last two are more polite expressions.

xìng  姓 – surname; be surnamed (S+V+O)

(verb & noun)

Nín  guìxìng?      您贵姓?     What is your surname?

Wǒ xìng Zhèng.  我姓。     My surname is Zheng.



B:我姓。您?*used at the end of the question sentence



Nǐ  jiào shénme míngzi



Wǒ jiào



姓王, 我姓宫。 Wǒ  bú  xìng Wáng, wǒ  xìng Zhèng.  S+不+V+O


Common Chinese surnames:

Illustrations courtesy of Chineasy.

Particle “de” 的



Source: Chineasy

Pinyin: de
Pronunciation/Stroke Order:
的: http://bit.ly/1lAbWBc


我 l/me                     我的     my

你 you                          你的     your

她 she                          她的     her

他 he                            他的     his

我们 we                       我们的 our

你们 you                      你们的  your

他们 they                    他们的 their


的 is a combination of 白 (white) and 勹 (to wrap up) with an extra small stroke inside the 勹 . 的 is the most frequently used Chinese character because it has many usages, including ‘of’ or indicate possession, like 我的 (my), 你的 (your) or 媽媽的 (mother’s), for example. Moreover, 的 can even act as a past-tense marker when combining with the character 是.

If you are a more advanced Chinese learner, here is a challenge for you: use 的 to make some phrases using its two main meanings: “of” and “‘s” (possession).



  1. Yes or no questions

Statement + 吗


吗 (ma) question particle for forming a yes/no question

你好 Nǐ hǎo
你好吗?Nǐ hǎo ma?  (How are you?)

你是老师吗?Nǐ shì lǎoshī ma?  (Are you a teacher?)

你是中国人吗?Nǐ shì zhōngguó rén ma?  (Are you Chinese?)

他也是中国人吗? Tā yě shì Zhōngguó rén ma?  Is he Chinese too?

你们都说汉语吗?Nǐmen dōu shuō Hànyǔ ma?   Do you all speak Chinese?

你爱我吗?Nǐ ài wǒ ma?  (Do you love me ?)



B: , 我不是中国人。


2. Choice question

A. V不V…?

您是不是中国人? Nín shì bu shì Zhōngguó rén?   Are you Chinese or not?

他是不是中国人? Tā shì bu shì Zhōngguó rén?   Is he Chinese or not?

你们说不说汉语? Nǐmen shuō bu shuō Hànyǔ?   Do you speak Chinese or not?


你爱我吗? =   你爱不爱我?

你是老师吗?=   你是不是老师?

你是克罗地亚人吗? =  你是不是克罗地亚人?  Yes or no; whether or not





B. X 还是 Y ?  háishì (or)



Nǐ shì Jiānádà rén háishì Měiguó rén?

Are you Canadian or American?



Nǐ shuō Yīngyǔ háishì (shuō) Fǎyǔ?

Do you speak English ot French?





C. Questions with a question word.

(1)你是哪国人? Nǐ shì nǎ guó rén?   What’s your nationality?

(2)你姓什么?     Nǐ xìng shénme?   What’s your name?

(3)你叫什么名字? Nǐ jiào shénme míngzi?   What’s your name?


D. Questions of shortened form ending with “呢”(ne)

  1. + ne?

meaning  “how about/what about…”

(1)  A: 您是中国人吗?            Nín shì Zhōngguó rén ma?

B: 我是中国人。 你呢?   Wǒ shì Zhōngguó rén. Nǐ ne?

A:我是加拿大人。          Wǒ shì Jiānádà rén.

(2)  A: 你叫什么名字?          Nǐ jiào shénme míngzi?

B: 我叫江山。你呢?        Wǒ jiào Jiāng Shān. Nǐ ne?

A:我叫白小红。              Wǒ jiào Bái Xiǎohóng.

(3)  A: 你说英语还是法语?  Nǐ shuō Yīngyǔ háishì shuō Fǎyǔ?

B: 我说英语。你呢?      Wǒ shuō Yīngyǔ. Nǐ ne?

C: 我也说英语。              Wǒ yě shuō Yīngyǔ.


Question sentences





Nǐ    nǎ guó rén?


Nǐ xìng?

(2)你姓_ _?

Nǐ jiào       míngzi?

(3)你叫_ _名字?


Complete the sentences with the word given,

shì     shuō    xìnɡ    jiào

是       说         姓      叫

1.tā      nǎ

他___哪 国  人  ?

2.wǒ    Mǎ

我___马 。

3.tā              mínɡ zi

他___什 么 名  字 ?

4.tā bú     Hàn yǔ

她 不___汉  语 。



Nǐ shì Jiānádà rén       Měiguó rén?

(1)你是加拿大人_ _美国人?

Nǐ shuō Yīngyǔ      (shuō) Fǎyǔ?

(2)你说英语_ _(说)法语?










This is a moon.

月 as noun: moon, month, moonlight, menses, confinement, moonlike, monthly
月 as adjective: beautiful (to describe women’s beauty or things relating to women), for example: 花容月貌 (hua1rong2yue4mao4, huāróngyuèmào, said of a woman, fair as a flower and beautiful as the moon)

Pinyin: 月 yuè (yue 4)


The character looks like this: 朋, and means “friend”, “friendly”, or “classmate”. I like to remember this phrase by imagining two friendly moons chatting the night away.

朋 as noun: 朋友 (Friend), 女朋友 (Girlfriend)

朋 as verb: 朋比 (Gang Up With)

Pinyin: 朋 péng (you 3)

You can practice this character by using the phrase 你好,朋友們! (ni3 hao3, peng2 you3 men), which means “hello, friends!”. 😀

Pinyin: peng2 
(Traditional, Simplified and Kanji)
Pronunciation/Stroke Order:

CHALLENGE: How many times can you use the phrase 你好,朋友們! (ni3 hao3, peng2 you3 men) in one day? You must be addressing more than one person, and it has to be a friend, not a family member!


Source: Chineasy


The traditional Chinese calendar is lunisolar (based on the sun and moon), which is very different from the Gregorian calendar that is commonly used in Western countries. However, in modern times, almost everybody (including the Chinese) uses the Gregorian calendar for official business; it’s the unofficial standard for the world!

To write the month in Chinese, we take the number of the month and then add the character 月, which means “moon”.

In the traditional calendar, months are measured by the phases of the moon. One lunar cycle is one month. Even though we are talking about Gregorian months here, you can remember each month as “one moon cycle”, “two moon cycles”, etc…


本月, means ‘this month’. It consists the two characters: 本 and 月. 本 has various meanings, but here it means ‘this’.

You may wonder why we don’t use characters’ main definitions. Well, you can give it a try: ‘foundation moon’ doesn’t really make sense! In such cases, the characters must have alternative definitions.

A good learning strategy for characters like these is to focus on their main definition first e.g., 月’s main definition is ‘moon’. When you review the character again, slowly add in alternative definitions to your practice. Soon, it’ll only take you a second to translate a phrase like 本月.


Every month, more money enters into your bank account!

月入= 月 (Moon, Month) + 入 (To Enter) = [literally] (Monthly Enter); (Monthly Income)

月入 Pinyin yue4ru4
Style: Traditional and Simplified
Pronunciation: http://bit.ly/1foHxIE
Rarity: Common


The phrase 淡月 uses the compound 淡 (tasteless, light, weak) and the character 月 (moon, month) together.

淡 (tasteless, light, weak) +月 (moon, month) = [literally] (Weak Month); (A Slow Month For Business).

A very significant 淡月 in Taiwan and many other areas in China is ‘Ghost Month’–the seventh lunar month. On the first day of the month, the Gates of Hell open to allow ghosts and spirits access to the world of the living. The spirits spend the month visiting their families, feasting and and looking for victims. During the ghost months the sales of houses, cars or wedding services typically plummeted due to the superstitious culture.

Pinyin: 淡Dan (dan4); 月yuè (yue4)


August is 鬼月 (ghost month). In China and Taiwan, people will set out food for the ghosts, burn joss paper (a.k.a. paper money), and pray to their deceased ancestors. All of this will hopefully appease the hungry ghosts and prevent them from causing us any problems.

Pinyin: gui3 yue4


When we combine 月 (moon or month) and 子 (child, son, or as a noun suffix), we get 月子. This phrase refers to a postpartum tradition where mothers rest for about a month after giving birth.

This tradition has been practiced in East Asia, India, and Greece as well. The full Chinese phrase is 坐月子 (zuo4yue4zi, zuòyuèzi). We can translate this to “postpartum period”, “confinement”, and “sitting the month”. The idea is to help a new mother’s body recover from giving birth. In China and Taiwan, the baby’s grandmother will look after both mother and child, and visitors aren’t welcome (besides close family members). There are also some special diets and foods that are designed to help the mother’s body retain body heat that will help the mother’s circulation and promote healing.

You can read more about traditional confinement foods here: http://bit.ly/1dRG0YC

月子 = 月 (Moon, Month) + 子 (Child, Son, A Noun, A Noun Suffix) = [literally] (Month of Child); (The Month After Childbirth), (Postpartum)


If we combine 明 (bright) and 月 (moon), we get… “bright moon”! No surprise there. This phrase is often used as an adjective that means “bright”, “clear”, “explicit”, “wise”, etc.

明 (Bright) + 月 (Moon) = [literally] (Bright Moon)