Pinyin

Writing system that uses the Latin letters to represent Chinese characters. It uses tone marks on the vowels to indicate the tone you’re supposed to use when pronouncing. You can also use numbers after the sounds to indicate the tone, like 一 [yi1]

Numbers

  • 1 yi
  • 2 er
  • 3 san
  • 4 si
  • 5 五 [wu]
  • 6 六 [liu]
  • 7 七 [qi]
  • 8 八 [ba]
  • 9 九 [jiu]
  • 10 十 [shi]

Combined Numbers

  • 11 十一shi yi
  • 12 十二shi er
  • 20 二十er shi
  • 21 二十一er shi yi

Tones

  1. Flat Tone [-]
  2. Rising Tone [/]
  3. Falling and Rising Tone [\/]
  4. Falling Tone [\]

Vowels

a, e, i, o, u, ü

Past Tense

Chinese doesn’t really have a past tense. You indicate something happened in the past by giving context (yesterday, last week etc.). Verbs are suffixed by 了 [le] to turn them into past forms.

  • Eat chi - Ate/Had Eaten 吃了chi le
  • I ate pizza. 我吃了披萨wo chi le pi sa

Future Tense

Add jiang in front of all verbs.

  • I will eat pizza. 我将吃披萨wo jiang chi pi sa

Present Tense

Add 正在zheng zai in front of all verbs.

  • I am eating pizza. 我正在吃披萨wo zheng zai chi pi sa

Possession

Possession can be expressed with Subject + 的 [de] + Object.

  • My book 我的书 [wo de shu]
  • Your book 你的书 [ni de shu]
  • My pencil 我的铅笔 [wo de qian bi]

Sentence Structures

You are adjective

Instead of using shi (is/are) for this, you should use hen (very).

  • You are cute 你很可爱 [ni hen keai]

Useful Words

  • Pizza 披萨 [PiSa]
  • Water 水 [shui]
  • Want 想要 [xiang yao]
  • Eat 吃 [chi]
  • Chinese 汉语 [han yu]
  • Fox 狐狸 [hu li]

Common Phrases

  • Hello 你好 [ni hao]
  • I am 我是 [wo shi]
  • Who are you? 你是谁? [ni shi shui]
  • You are water. 你是水 [ni shi shui]
  • I want water. 我想要水 [wo xiang yao shui]
  • Bye bye 拜拜 [bai bai]
  • Thank you 谢谢 [xie xie]
  • Good night 晚安 [wan an]
  • I love you 我爱你 [wo ai ni]
  • I love you too/I also love you 我也爱你 [wo ye ai ni]
  • Happy New Year 新年快乐 [xin nian kuai le]
  • Awesome/amazing 哇,棒极了 [wa, bang ji le]
  • Very cool 真棒 [zhen bang]