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Flashcards in Particles Deck (29):
1

What is a (grammatical) particle?

A particle is a word that serves a grammatical function and has no intrinsic meaning or definition. In English, words such as "the", "and", "because" are particles. In Chinese, there are particles with no English equivalents, so it is important for a person studying Chinese to understand the context in which Chinese particles are used.

2


le

  1. To indicate an action occured in the past (and has been completed).
    我吃饭。
    wǒ chī le fàn
    I ate.
  2. To indicate a change of state
    天气不冷
    tiān qì bù lěng le
    The weather is not cold anymore.

3

我吃饭。
wǒ chī fàn
I eat.

我吃饭。
wǒ chī le fàn
I ate.

Remember: adding le after a verb indicates a completed action that occured in the past.

4

天气很冷。
tiān qì hěn lěng
The weather is cold.

天气不冷
tiān qì bù lěng le
The weather is not cold anymore.

Remember: adding le after a statement indicates a change of state.

5


de

  1. To indicate possession
    手机
    de shǒu jī
    I (de) cellphone
    my cellphone
  2. To describe objects or people when it follows the adjective
    橙色衬衫
    chéng sè de chèn shān
    orange (de) shirt
    orange shirt

6

his cellphone

手机
de shǒu jī
his cellphone

Remember: 的 precedes the noun that is possessed.

7

blue jeans

蓝色牛仔裤
lán sè de niú zǎi kù
blue jeans

Remember: 的 follows the adjective describing the noun.

8


ma

To turn a statement into a question

你吃饭了
nǐ chī fàn le ma?
Have you eaten?

9

你喜欢他。
nǐ xǐ huān tā
You like him.

你喜欢他
nǐ xǐ huān tā ma?
Do you like him?

Remember: adding ma at the end of a statement turns it into a question.

10


Conjunction, "and"

他是同学。
tā shì tóng xué
He and I are classmates.

11

apples and oranges

苹果橙子
píng guǒ chéng zi
apples and oranges

Remember: functions as the word "and".

12


Functions as the word "also"

我喜欢吃饼干。我喜欢吃蛋糕。
Wǒ xǐ huan chī bǐng gān. Wǒ xǐ huan chī dàn gāo.
I like to eat cookies. I also like to eat cake.

13

Person A:

我喜欢吃饼干。
Wǒ xǐ huan chī bǐng gān.
I like to eat cookies.

Person B:

___________________。
I also like to eat cookies.

喜欢吃饼干。
xǐ huan chī bǐng gān.
I also like to eat cookies.

Remember: precedes the verb to mean "also".

14


hái

Functions as the word "still"

住在加州。
hái zhù zài jiā zhōu.
I still live in California.

15

Person A:

他喜欢Lady Gaga。
Tā xǐ huan Lady Gaga.
He likes Lady Gaga.

Person B:

__________________?
He still likes Lady Gaga?

喜欢Lady Gaga?
hái xǐ huan Lady Gaga?
He still likes Lady Gaga?

Remember: hái is used before a verb and functions like the word "still" does in English.

16


zhǐ

Functions as the word "only"

有一辆车。
zhǐ yǒu yī liàng chē.
I only have one car.

17

Person A:

我有一条裤子。
Wǒ yǒu yī tiáo kù zi.
I have one pair of pants.

Person B:

________________?
You only have one pair of pants?

有一条裤子?
zhǐ yǒu yī tiáo kù zi?
You only have one pair of pants?

Remember: zhǐ is used before a verb and functions like the word "only" in English.

18


de

It is a potential complement that is used to show the outcome of an action. The word(s) that follow de describe the result of the action before de.

她画很好。
tā huà de hěn hǎo
She paints very well.

作业我做完。
zuò yè wǒ zuò de wán
Homework, I finished.
I finished the homework assignment.

19

Do you understand what I am saying?

你听懂我说的话吗?
nǐ tīng de dǒng wǒ shuō de huà ma
Do you understand what I am saying?

Remember: 得 is used as a potential complement to show the outcome of an action. In this case, the outcome of the verb listen (听) is understand (懂).

20


ba

When added at the end of a sentence, it indicates a suggestion; similar to the tag question "aren't you?"; can also mean "let's".

我们走
wǒ men zǒu ba
Let's go.

吃饭
chī fàn ba
(You) should eat.

21

我们回家。
wǒ men huí jiā
We return home.

我们回家
wǒ men huí jiā ba
Let's go back home.
We should go back home.

Remember: Adding ba at the end of a statement turns it into a suggestion.

22


guò

To indicate one has already experienced something.

我去中国。
wǒ qù guò zhōng guó
I have been to China.

23

我看了这部电影。
wǒ kàn le zhè bù diàn yǐng
I watched this movie.

我看这部电影。
wǒ kàn guò zhè bù diàn yǐng
I have seen this movie.

Remember: When guò is used after the verb, it indicates one has already experienced the action.

24


de

It is an adverbial particle that is used after an adjective to change it into an adverb.

他慢慢跑步。
tā màn man de pǎo bù
He slow (adverbial particle) run.
He slowly runs.

25

He studied intently.

他认真学习。
tā rèn zhēn de xué xí
He studied intently.

Remember: 地 is used after an adjective to change it into an adverb, similar to how the suffix -ly can be added to adjectives in English.

26


zhe

To indicate a continued action or state when placed after a verb or adjective.

那个小孩看你。
nà gè xiǎo hái kàn zhe
That child is watching you.

27

她穿新的衣服。
tā chuān xīn de yī fú
She wears new clothes.

她穿新的衣服。
tā chuān zhe xīn de yī fú
She is wearing new clothes.

Remember: zhe is added after a verb or adjective to indicate a continuous state. It can be seen as the equivalent to the English suffix -ing.

28


To compare two different objects or people.

你高。
nǐ gāo
I (more) you tall.
I am taller than you.

我高。
wǒ gāo
You (more) me tall.
You are taller than me.

29

I am younger than her.

她年轻。
tā nián qīng
I (more) her young.
I am younger than her.

Remember: is used to compare two different objects or people. You can interpret it to mean "more", but there is no actual meaning to the word because it is a particle.