lesson 3   
how many people in your family
 
 

GRAMMAR

The verb 有 yǒu

has a few meanings. One of them is used to express existence. It is similar to-there is / there are in English.

我家有五口人。

Wǒjiā yǒu wǔ kǒu rén.

There are five people in my family.

王丽家有两个大学生。

Wánglìjiā yǒu liǎng gè dàxuéshēng.

There are two college students in Wang Li’s family.

Measure words

In Chinese there is always a measure word used between the number and the noun or pronoun. There are dozens of measure words you may hear in daily conversation. Many nouns are associated with special measure words, which often bears a relationship to the meaning of the given noun.个 gè is the most common used measure word.

一个学生

Yīgè xuéshēng

a student

一个弟弟

yīgè dìdì

a younger brother

五口人

wǔ kǒu rén

five people

The usage of 二 èr  and 两 liǎng

二 èr and 两 liǎng both mean two, but 两 liǎng is used in front of common measure words to express a quantity. And 二 èr is used when counting numbers.

两个人

liǎng gèrén

two people

二十五

èrshíwǔ

twenty-five

The adverb 也 yě

也 yě is translated as too or also, however in Chinese, it always needs to come before the verb and after the subject.

我也是学生。

yěshì xuéshēng.

I am also a student.

我也不是老师。

Wǒ yě bùshì lǎoshī

I’m not a teacher either.

The adverb 都 dōu

The most common way of using 都 dōu is to be an adverb, which means both or all. It always used in front of a verb.

王丽和张娜都是学生。

wáng lì hé zhāng nà dōu shì xuéshēng.

Not all of them are Chinese.

我和我弟弟都是中国人。

Wǒ hé wǒ dìdì dōu shì zhōngguó rén.

I and my younger brother both are Chinese.

There are two different ways to negate 都 dōu . 不都 bù dōu means not all .... or not both..., and 都不 dōu bù means  none .....or neither..... When we negate 有 yǒu,we say 不都有 bù dōu yǒu means not all of ....have / has, and 都没有 dōu méiyǒu means none of ....have / has.

他们不都是中国人。

Tāmen bù dōu shì zhōngguó rén.

Not all of them are Chinese.

他们都不是老师。

Tāmen dōu bùshì lǎoshī.

None of them are teachers.

我们不都有弟弟。

Wǒmen bù dōu yǒu dìdì.

Not all of us have younger brother.

我们都没有哥哥。

Wǒmen dōu méiyǒu gēgē.

None of us have older brother.