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Chinese Characters With Multiple Pronunciations

How to pronounce “了” in Chinese? “Le” may be your only answer. But did you know that “了” can also be pronounced “liǎo”? This is one of the Chinese characters that you learn as a beginner.

In Chinese, there are some characters that have multiple pronunciations. In this infographic, we present 6 of the most common ones. We list their pronunciations, their meanings, and also provide some examples.  

 

Simplified Chinese Version

 

 

Traditional Chinese Version

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Chinese Tone Change Rules

There are a few cases in Chinese where you have to change the pronunciation of a certain character.

There are three main tone change rules in Chinese YOU MUST KNOW!! These are…

 

不 usually pronouns as “bù.” But it can change to “bú” when it follows by a 4th tone word.

一 pronouns as “yī.” But it can change to “yí” or “yì.”

And if you see two third tone in a row, the pronunciation of the first word will change to the second tone.

See infographic for more detail!

 

Chinese Simplified Version

 

 

Chinese Traditional Version

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把 (bǎ) Sentence

One of the most “popular” Chinese grammar is the “把 sentence.” This grammar is confusing for some learners since you can’t find this grammar in English.

The basic Chinese sentence structure is S V O (Subject – Verb – Object).

However, when using a “把 sentence,” you place the Object before the Verb. So the sentence structure becomes S 把 O V. So, at this point, you can see that the S V O structure is not for all situations.

When should you use the “把 sentence?”

  • When the situation focuses on the result of an action.
  • When the situation focuses on the influence of an action.
  • When you would like to describe what happened to the object with more details (The object is already known or have been mentioned before).

Check out the infographic for more details and examples.

 

Simplified Chinese Version

 

 

Traditional Chinese Version

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Usage of 二 (èr) and 两 (liǎng)

When to use 二 or 两?

This is another often asked question from students of Chinese. “Both 二 and 两 mean two, but when should I use which?” I made this infographic to answer this question.

You should read “2” as “二 èr” when:

  • Giving a phone number. For instance, If your number is 432-722-1272, we read as 四三二  七二二 一二七二
  • Talking about “second.” For instance,

          Second one, we read as 第二个

          Second time, we read as 第二次

          Second floor, we read as 二楼

          February (Second month of the year), we read as 二月

          May 2 (second day of May), we read as 五月二日

 

You should read “2” as “两 liǎng” when:

  • Talking about “Two of something” or “both”

          The structure will be “两” + measure word

          E.g.,

          Two cups of tea, we say 两杯茶

          Two years, we say 两年

          Two dollars, we say 两块钱

          I like both of them, we say 我两个都喜欢

 

When counting numbers, it becomes a bit tricky…but don’t worry! Check out the infographic for more details.

 

Simplified Chinese Version

 

Traditional Chinese Version

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Conjunction Sequencing Actions 先…再…

This is our third “conjunction” infographics. Why are conjunctions so important? Written language greatly benefit from conjunctions.

For example, let’s say you would like to write a story.

A beginner may be able to write it with a few individual sentences.

But advanced student can use “conjunctions” they have learned and connect those individual sentences and in the end, deliver a smooth and superior story.

I hope you find these conjunctions useful.

Check out other conjunction infographics,

那 (nà) in that case Grammar

一边…一边…

 

This “Conjunction Sequencing Actions 先…再…” grammar is pretty simple. The sentence structure is

(First) + Action/Event 1 , (then, and then) + Action/Event 2

 

For instance,

你  先  做作业,再  去玩。

Nǐ xiān zuò zuo yè, zài qù wán.

You do homework first, then go play.

 

See the infographic for more examples.

 

Simplified Chinese Version

 

 

Traditional Chinese Version

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Zeros in Chinese

Numbers can be easy or difficult in Chinese. Easy for smaller numbers. Difficult for big numbers. Not to mention a big number with a bunch “zeros” in it!

So….how do you say 10001? 20500? 6401001? Don’t worry, we show you how.

There are 5 sections in the infographic,

  1. How to say the “First 9 numbers in hundreds” with zeros.
  2. How to say the “Rest of the numbers with zero in hundreds.”
  3. How to say a number with zeros “After one thousand.”
  4. When you hear a big number in Chinese with zeros, how to write it down in Chinese characters? We teach a step by step method!
  5. We’ve also included 4 self-quizzing questions (with answers).

A friendly note for dear readers, if you are not familiar with “big numbers in Chinese,” check out the infographic here.   

Also, see this post to learn basic numbers in Chinese.

 

 

Simplified Chinese Version

 

Video Credit to Carol from Growmommy.com

Voice over: Carol

 

 

Traditional Chinese Version

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Numbers (1-100) in Chinese

Counting from 1 to 100 is a must-have skill when it comes to learning a new language. In Chinese, numbers are used in ways unlike in English. For example, months and days of the week are expressed with numbers.

 

In this infographic, we introduce the very basic numbers 1-10. And also teach you the pattern from 11-99.

For numbers 1-10,

1 一  yī

2 二  èr

3 三  sān

4 四  sì

5 五  wǔ

6 六  liù

7 七  qī

8 八  bā

9 九  jiǔ

10 十  shí

 

Then

11=10+1, so 11 in Chinese is 十一 shíyī (10 and 1)

12=10+2, so 12 in Chinese is 十二 shíèr (10 and 2)

Same pattern applies to 13-19.

 

20=2*10, so 20 in Chinese is 二十 èrshí (2 and 10)

21=20+1, so 21 in Chinese is 二十一 èrshíyī (20 and 1)

29=20+9, so 29 in Chinese is 二十九 èrshíyījiǔ (20 and 9)

Can you guess how to say 30 in Chinese?

If you think about 20,

30 should be 3*10. So 30 in Chinese is 三十 sānshí (3 and 10)

We have more examples in the infographic. Check it out!

Finally, there is a word for hundred, which is  百 bǎi. One hundred is “one” and “hundred”, so 100 in Chinese is “一百  yìbǎi”

 

For other infographics related to numbers, see the following posts:

Big Numbers In Chinese

Zeros In Chinese

 

 

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Conjunction Simultaneous Tasks 一边 (yībiān)…, 一边 (yībiān)…

Multitasking seems a must-have skill nowadays. In this infographic, we teach you how this grammar works! The sentence structure is simple:

1. The subject is placed at the beginning.

2. Then use the phrase “一边 (yībiān)” twice (sometimes more, if necessary)

3. Place verb after each “一边 (yībiān)”

See sentence structure and examples below.

 

Simplified Chinese Version

 

Traditional Chinese Version

 

  

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How to Use de 的, 得, 地 Properly

After learning Chinese for a little while, you might notice that three are three “de”‘s. They are “的, 得, 地.” These appear quite often in Chinese.

In this infographic, you will learn the difference between them and practice how to use them properly.

 

Simplified Chinese Version

 

 

Traditional Chinese Version

 

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Past Present Future

Knowing how to express “time” in Chinese is very important and useful. In this infographic, we made a 6×5 table to show you how to say “time” in reference to the present moment. We include the year, month, week and day.

 

Simplified Chinese Version

 

Traditional Chinese Version

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