Lesson three Shopping (part one)

Week one 你要买什么;这个太贵了,有便宜一点的吗

Learn the following two sentences

Nĭ    (yào)   măi shénme?

You (want) buy what?

Play Media What would you like to buy?

Zhè  ge    tài  guì             le. Yǒu   piányì yìdiăn  de            ma?

This one  too expensive le. Have cheap a little de (one) ma?

Play Media This is too expensive. Have you got anything cheaper?
Zhè  ge    tài  guì             le. Yǒu  méi yǒu    piányì yìdiăn de?

This one  too expensive le. Have not have cheap a little de (one)?

Play Media This is too expensive. Have you got anything cheaper?

New words

Guì Play Media expensive. It is used as a stative verb in the above sentence. For example, Făguó cài hĕn guì French food is very expensive. Tài (stative verb) le sentence pattern indicates the excessiveness. If the negation bù is placed before tài, then  end-of-sentence le is not used, as it is no longer in an excessive situation. For example,  bù tài guì not expensive.
Piányì Play Media cheap It is used as an adjective in the above sentence. It can also be used as a stative verb. For example, Tài piányì le (it) is really cheap.
Yìdiăn   a little bit It is placed after adjectives such as nĭ yǒu  méi yǒu hăochī yìdiàn de Făguó cài do you have French food that is a bit tastier.
de   De is a particle which is placed between the description of a noun and the noun. For example, wǒ bù chī piányì de niú ròu miàn I don’t eat cheap beef noodles. The noun that is placed after de can sometimes be omitted if the noun is known to the speakers. For example wǒ bú yào guì de, wǒ yào piányì de I don’t want to have the expensive one, but I want to have the cheap one.

Supplementary words

The following nouns can be placed in front of other nouns to make a noun phrase, e.g. Zhōngguó chá Chinese tea. In the same way, the word pínguǒ can be placed in front of another noun to form a noun phrase. For example, pínguǒ  jiǔ cider (lit. apple alcohol)                         

Shǒu jī

Play Media   mobile phone (hand set)
Diàn năo Play Media Computer (electric brain)

Use the following word-order-table to form sentences

In the word-order-table below, the words in black are nouns and pronouns which are often used as subjects or objects of sentences. the words in red are verbs (or doing words) and the words in blue are adverbs and model verbs which often appear before verbs and the words in green are adjectives or adjectival phrases which are used to modify nouns, and they are placed before nouns in sentences.

Try to say the following sentences in Chinese This is too expensive. That is very reasonable priced. What is nice looking? What is very cheap? Do you have something cheaper? Do you have something better looking (than this)?

Word order
subject (nouns and pronouns) adverbs and modal verbs verbs description of objects object (nouns and pronouns)

Zhè ge this one Tai   too           Guì (le)  expensive    
Nàn ge that one Bu  not Piányì  (le) cheap    
Shénme  what Hĕn very Hăo kàn (le) nice looking    
    Yǒu méi you  to have or not have Guì yìdiăn de more expensive
Piányì yìdiăn de cheaper
Hăo kàn yìdiăn de better looking


Listening to the following sentences by clicking on the following links. Hover the mouse over "Answer" to view the answers.


Play Media   Answer
Play Media   Answer
Play Media   Answer
Play Media   Answer
Play Media   Answer
Play Media   Answer


Now you should be able to say the following sentences in Chinese


What kind of mobile phones are cheap? Play Media
This computer is not nice looking Play Media
What kind of computer are you going to buy? Play Media
I don't want to but a computer, but I would like to buy a mobile phone. Play Media
Have you got any better looking mobile phones? Play Media
You mobile phone looks nice. Play Media