Lessons 1-10

Lesson 5: 陈先生在宾馆。Mr. Chen is at the hotel.

家 jiā Home / 在 zi Is / 教室 jiāosh Classroom / 地铁 dtiě Subway /
站 zhn Station
In Mandarin Chinese there are two different words for the English verb "to be".

The first, 是 sh, is for talking about characteristics or the identity of the noun. For instance, 他是英国人 Tā sh Yīnggurn "He is English".

The second, 在 zi, is for talking about where something is located, and has the meaning "to be at (in)".  他在英国 Tā zi Yīnggu "He is in England"

gōng "public" is a character that recurs frequently in many words having to do with public or civic institutions. Examples include 公园 gōngyun "park", 公共汽车 gōnggng qchē "bus", and 公安 gōng'ān "the police".

Example sentences:

我 在 学校。 I am at school.
Wǒ zi xuxio.
I being study-school.

她 在 家 吗? Is she at home?
Tā zi jiā ma?
She being home question?

王 小姐 在 地铁 站。 Ms. Wang is at the subway station.
Wng xiǎojiě zi dtiě zhn.
Wang little-big-sister being ground-iron station

我们 在 茶馆。 We are at the teahouse.
Wǒmen zi chguǎn.
I-plural being tea-house.

陈 先生 在 宾馆。 Mr. Chen is at the hotel.
Chn xiānsheng zi bīnguǎn.
Chen first-born being guest-house.

经理 在 办公室。 The manager is at the office.
Jīnglǐ zi bngōngsh.
Classic-logic being manage-public-room.

学生们 在 教室。 The students are in the classroom.
Xushengmen zi jiosh.
Study-born-plural being study-room.

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Sound files for the example sentences:

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A 王小姐在教室吗?
   Wng xiăojiĕ zi jiosh ma?
   Is Ms. Wang in the classroom?

B 不在。王小姐不在学校。
   B zi. Wng xiăojiĕ b zi xuxio.
   No, she isnt. Ms. Wang is not at school.

A 王小姐在家吗?
   Wng xiăojiĕ zi jiā ma?
   Is Ms. Wang at home?

B 不在。在医院。
   B zi. Zi yīyun.
   No, she isnt. (She) is at the hospital.

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Sound files for the dialogue:

>> Download RL teacher and SS teacher performing this dialogue (right click to save)

>> Download MQ teacher and VG teacher performing this dialogue (right click to save)

Lessons 11-20
Lessons 21-30
Lessons 31-40
Lessons 41-50
Lessons 51-60
Lessons 61-70
Lessons 71-80
Lessons 81-90
Lessons 91-100
Lessons 101-110
Lessons 111-120
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The Mandarin language is not as difficult as you might think. Theres a reason why its the worlds most spoken language! A lingua franca for much of Northern China since the Yuan dynasty, Mandarin has a simple, no-nonsense grammatical system and a vocabulary that builds upon itself. So dont be daunted! You too can speak this beautiful language.