Lesson 9 你会说英语吗? Do you know how to speak English?
外语 wàiyǔ Foreign language / 会 huì Able to (Can) / 写 xiě Write / 同事 tóngshì Coworker /
会 huì connotes "the ability to do something" and is one of the three main modal verbs in Mandarin Chinese, the other two being 能 néng "can" (as in "it is possible") and 可以 kěyǐ "may" (as in "it is permissible"). Finding a corresponding word in English for the Chinese modals 会 huì, néng and 可以 kěyǐ can be a bit tricky because in spoken English we do not make such a sharp distinction between "able to", "can", and "may", as we often just use can in all three situations. As in:Example sentences: 他 不 会 说 外语。 He doesn't know how to speak a foreign language.
I can write, because I am not illiterate. (i.e. I have the ability to do so).
I can write, because my hand is not broken (i.e. it is possible for me to do so in these circumstances).
I can write, because no one is going to throw me in jail for it (i.e. I have the permission to do so). The first sentence corresponds to 会 huì, as in 我会写 Wǒ huì xiě "I can write" (I have the ability to write). We will look at the other two modals in later lessons.
Tā bú huì shuō wàiyǔ.
He not know-how speak external-language. 杨 先生 会 讲 很多 种 语言。Mr. Yang knows how to speak many languages.
Yáng xiānsheng huì jiǎng hěn duō zhǒng yǔyán.
Yang first-born know-how speak many languages. 陈 先生 不 会 说 英语。Mr. Chen doesn't know how to speak English.
Chén xiānsheng bú huì shuō Yīngyǔ.
Chen first-born not know how speak English. 你 会 说 英语 吗? Do you know how to speak English?
Nǐ huì shuō Yīngyǔ ma?
You know-how speak English question? 他 会 写 汉字。He knows how to write Chinese.
Tā huì xiě hànzì .
He knows-how write Han characters. 我 的 同事 会 写 汉字。My coworker knows how to write Chinese.
Wǒ de tóngshì huì xiě hànzì .
My same-affairs. knows-how write Han characters. 你 会 做 吗? Do you know how to do it?
Nǐ huì zuò ma?
You know-how do question? Download TT teacher reading these sentences (right click to save) >> Download XL teacher reading these sentences (right click to save) >> Download YY teacher reading these sentences (right click to save) Dialogue
B 会, 我会说。
B 不会, 我不会写。
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