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2.2.3: Inquiring About Family Members (模块三- 问家人)

  • Page ID
    44097
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    Scenario 3.1

    Zhang Wenshan asks An Dawei how many people are in his family.

    ZhW:

    AD:

    大为,你家有几口人?

    五口人,爸爸、妈妈、哥哥我,和一只狗。

    jiā

    family

    yǒu

    there is, there are

    kǒu

    [M] for family members

    rén

    people, person

    爸爸

    bàba

    dad

    妈妈

    māma

    mom

    哥哥

    gēge

    elder brother

    and

    zhī

    [M] for animals

    gǒu

    dog

    gǒu

    dog

    Note:

    口 literally means “mouth” in Classical Chinese. The measure word 口 is often used when discussing numbers of family members, since they have mouths to feed.

    有 a verb, can indicate the existence of something in a certain place. The English sentences starting with “there is” or “there are” are the equivalent. The pattern is:

    Place Word + 有 + Noun Phrase

    你家 有 口人?

    (lit. “In your family, there are how many people”?)

    和 a conjunction, can be used only to connect nouns or pronouns, but not verbs or clauses. This usage is different from the English word “and”, which can be used to connect both. For example:

    Wǒ yǒu māo hé gǒu. (correct)

    I have a cat and a dog. (correct)
    * Wǒ yǒu māo, hé yǒu gǒu. (incorrect)

    I have a cat, and have a dog. (correct)

    Scenario 3.2

    An Dawei asks Zhang Wenshan if he has siblings.

    AD:

    ZhW:

    文山,你有兄弟姐妹吗?

    我有一个妹妹。

    兄弟姐妹

    xiōng dì jiě mèi

    sibling

    [M]general measure word

    妹妹

    mèimei

    younger sister

    Note:

    个is a measure word. In English, most nouns can be counted directly, i.e., “one dog.” In Chinese a so-called measure word, also called “classifier,” is used between number words (one, two…) /specifiers (this, that…) and nouns. The pattern is:

    Number Word + Measure Word + Noun

    一 个 妹妹

    (lit. “one younger sister”)

    More examples:

    一只狗 五口人 这个妹妹

    one dog five people this younger sister

    There is a variety of measure words. Some of the measure words are only used for a certain group of nouns. 个 is a general measure word that can be used for most nouns.


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