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3.1: Saying Hello (模块一- 你好)

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    33161
  • Module I: Saying Hello

    模块一:你好

    Scenario 1.1: Say hello in general.

    A:

    B:

    你好。

    你好。

    you

    hǎo

    good, well

    你好

    nǐhǎo

    hello

    Note:

    你好 literally means “(I hope that) you are well.” It can be used with people you know or do not know at any time of the day. To respond, you can simply say the same thing.

    Scenario 1.2: A student named Li Ming meets Teacher Wang.

    LM:

    W:

    王老师,您好。

    李明,你好。

    Wáng

    Chinese surname

    老师

    lǎoshī

    teacher

    nín

    you (polite)

    Chinese surname

    Míng

    Chinese given name

    Note:

    TITLES It is polite to address people by using their surname and title. This pattern is:

    Surname + Title

    王 老师

    (lit. “Wang Teacher”)

    This is the opposite order from English.

    您 is the polite form for 你, and would be used by students to address their teachers, or by younger people to address older people, or by adults to address others in a formal environment.

    Scenario 1.3: Li Ming meets his friend Zhang Wenshan’s parents.

    LM:

    F:

    LM:

    M:

    张叔叔好。

    小明,你好。

    张阿姨好。

    小明,你好。

    Zhāng

    Chinese surname

    叔叔

    shūshu

    uncle

    xiǎo

    little, junior

    阿姨

    āyí

    aunt

    Note:

    TITLES It is polite to address people of your parents’ age by using 叔叔 (lit. uncle) and 阿姨 (lit. aunt). If you know their surname, add their surname to the front. The pattern is:

    Surname + 叔叔/阿姨

    张 叔叔

    (lit. “Uncle Zhang”)

    小and 老 (lǎo) followed by monosyllabic surname or monosyllabic given name are commonly used to address people or to refer to them. The pattern is:

    小/老+Surname/Given Name

    like 小明(lit. Little Ming),老张 (lit. Old Zhang),小李 (lit. Little Li). This pattern is only used in informal conversation. Non-native speakers should not use these terms until invited to do so.

    Scenario 1.4: Neighbors meet around eating time. (informal)

    A:

    B:

    Chīle ma? (吃了吗?)

    Chīle, nǐ ne? (吃了,你呢?)

    A: (Have) you eaten yet?

    B: Yes, I ate. How about you?

    Scenario 1.5: Coworkers meet outside the office. (informal)

    A:

    B:

    Chūqù a? (出去啊?)

    Èn, chūqù yīxià. (嗯,出去一下。)

    A: (Are you) Going out?

    B: Yes. (I am) going out for a short while.

    Note:

    INFORMAL GREETINGS In China, when people are familiar with each other, one will often ask the other a simple question in greeting. For example, if you pass by a neighbor in the hallway and it is around dinnertime, you might ask:

    “Chī le ma? (吃了吗?)”

    (lit. “Have you eaten yet”?)

    Do not consider this as a dinner invitation. It is just a greeting. Even if you in fact have not yet eaten, it does not matter. The usual response to the question is:

    “Chī le, nǐ ne? (吃了。你呢?)”

    (lit. “Yes, I have eaten. How about you”?)

    Or, if two coworkers meet outside the office, one might ask:

    “Chūqù a? (出去啊?)”

    (lit. “Are you going out”?)

    It is a greeting rather than an actual question. The response is usually very simple.

    吗 a final particle, is used to transform statements into questions. One of the most common ways of forming a question in Chinese is by adding吗 to the end of a statement.

    了 in this phrase indicates a changed situation (i.e., I have eaten now, but I did not earlier).

    呢 a final particle, is used to abbreviate questions like “How about you?” in English.

    一下 literally “a bit,” is often added after certain verbs to indicate that an action lasts for only a short period of time.

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