Lesson 2: 你忙吗?

  1. I.Pronunciation/Phonetics

  2. 1.New initials: f [find]; d [stay] (unaspirated); t [tag] (aspirated); g [go] (unaspirated); k [kind] (aspirated)

  3. 2.New finals: ei [play], ou [so], an [ahn], ang [song/ahng], eng [hung], iao [meow], iu (iou) [Leo]

  4. 3.Aspirated and unaspirated.  Aspirated: p t k, unaspirated: b d g

  5. 4.Neutral tone. The neutral tone is pronounced in a “weak” tone (unstressed) without a tone mark.  Examples: 吗 (ma), 呢 (ne), 们 (men), 爸爸 (bàba), 妈妈 (māma), 哥哥 (gēge), 弟弟 (dìdi), 姐姐 (jiějie), 妹妹 (mèimei)

  1. II.Spelling Rules

  2. 1.The compound final “iou” is written as “-iu” when it comes after an initial and the tone mark is placed on “u” (liù)

  1. III.Grammar

  2. 1.Sentences with an adjectival predicate.  Adjectives in Chinese can function directly as predicates (“adjectival predicate”).  Adverbs must be placed before the adjective they modify (e.g., “他很忙”).  The negative form of sentences with an adjectival predicate is generated by placing the negative adverb “不” before the adjective (e.g., “我不忙”).  For more on this, see pp. 20-21.

  3. 2.Note: Adverbs such as “也” (“too,” “also”) and “都” (“all”) must be placed before the adverb “很” (“very”).  Example: 他也很忙 (“He is also busy” or “He is busy, too”); 他们都很忙 (“They are all busy”)

  4. 3."Yes-no" questions with "吗".  Comparison:

  5. a.In Chinese: a declarative sentence can be changed into a "yes-no" question by adding the question particle "吗" at the end of it.  Example:

  6. 很好。 (He is very well) - a statement

  7. 好吗?(Is he well?) - a question