What is your name
We shall start this lesson with some very simple expressions for greeting and starting a conversation with.
When you greet people in China you would say:
If you would like to ask a question you should start with:
Now, read the following dialogue after me:
a 你 好！
you good !
b. 你 好！
a. 请 问，你 叫 什么 名字？
qǐng wèn nǐ jiào shénme míngzi
please ask , you are called what name?
May I ask, what’s your name?
b. 我 叫…
I am called…
I am called…
Notes on expressions
1. Chinese characters are used here so that you can have a chance to get familiar with them, but there is no need to learn them yet. Please pay attention to the following sounds.
2. There are four full tones in Mandarin pronunciation, and one neutral tone.
· The first tone has a long and sustained sound (as if singing a note) like this ā.
· The second tone is a rising tone (start from the lower part of your voice, then go up) like this á.
· The third tone is a low and curved tone. Try to go as low as you can and then bounce up like this ă.
· The fourth tone is a falling tone (start from the grating highest part of your voice, then go down, as if exclaiming) like this à.
3. Have you noticed that both 你 nǐ you and 好 hǎo good are in the third tone?
Listen to me carefully: 1. 你 nǐ you ……; 好hǎo good …… 2. 你好 níhǎo you good
Have you noticed that the first third tone in你you turns into the second tone? This is what happens when two third-tone syllables come in succession. Remember this rule, which is called ‘the tone change’.
Now compare the following Chinese expression with its literal translation:
There is no verb to be in the above sentence. An adjective can function as the predicate of a Chinese sentence.
你 nǐ 好 hǎo you good is one of the most popular greetings in Chinese, and can normally be used with anyone on any occasion. If you want to show more respect to someone who is older or in a senior position, 您 nín you is used to replace 你 nǐ you.
What is your name?
The question word 什么 what is placed in the position where the answer is expected.
1. Listen to and practise the Tape version as much as you can.
2. Ask the names of your classmates in Chinese one by one.
Part one: new words
Part two: expressions
Part three: conversation