Lesson 6

Goal: The goal of this lesson is to learn how to call a phone number and ask if someone is there. You will learn some grammar and sentence structures to hold these conversations. 

What you need to know: You will use the number structure, vocabulary, and sentence structure you have learned in previous lessons. You must remember basic sentence and question structure.

Explanation: This lesson uses the material from other lessons to learn how to call someone. It will have grammar structures that are fundamental to Chinese. 


Read through the following vocabulary words. Practice writing and reading them. 

gěi to give
经理 jīnglǐ manager
diàn electricity
huà words
电话 diànhuà phone call
一定 Yīdìng must
知道 zhīdào to know
huí to return
lái to come
回来 huílái to come back
转告 zhuǎngào to tell

Once you have an understanding of the vocabulary, go to the following link and select Lessn 7 in the drop down on the right side then choose the dialogue tab on the left. Listen to each dialogue, paying careful attention to listen for the vocabulary words.


You will remember from previous lessons that 在 is used to indicate location. Look at the phrases below and try to translate them.


在家          在饭店          在中国          在美国

Take some time to think about how you would ask if Wang Peng was home. You will do this in several steps. First think of how you would arrange the words in Chinese sentence structure.

Someone       At          Home           Interrogative Particle

Now here are the Chinese words you need to express this statement. Put them in the order you believe to be correct. 

在          王朋          吗?          家        


The correct structure is: 王朋在家吗?

When asking someone a question that involves asking what time something is occuring, use the phrase 什么时候. The characters 什么 means what and the characters 时候 means time.

Introduction to Directional Complements

In Chinese, directional complements are used to express an action occuring in a certain direction. Examples of directional complements in English are : coming home, going home, coming up, going down, coming towards, going away, etc. We will talk more about directional complements later, but in this lesson we will learn a very common one. 回 means to return somewhere that you have already been and 来 means to come towards the speaker. So when a speaker says 他回来, it means he came back or he returned. 

给 Structure - When you want to say "call me" in Chinese, the structure is much more complex than the English structure. It will make it easier if you think of the phrase as "give me a call." Look at the new words in the chart above and take some time to think how you would put this phrase together. 

Now let's see how you did. Well first you must have a measure word before "a call" and the general measure word is 个, so one call would be 一个电话. You must also have an object after 给, which in this example will be 我. So put all of the words together and the phrase is 给我一个电话.

Since you now understand the grammar structures, rewatch the dialogues at this link and pay special attention to the grammar structures. Once you have done this, watch the videos for a third and final time and try to translate the meaning of the conversations. Now compare your translation to that on the website's by scrowling down and selecting each dialogue to read their translation. Does it match yours?

Skype with your Language Partner

You are almost done with this lesson! Brainstorm what kind of dialogue you can have with your partner. Write down some questions you could ask them and they could answer. Once you have done this, skype with your partner. After your skype session is complete, write a brief dialogue at the following link using what you have learned in this lesson. 

Grammar Exercises Answers:

At home        At the hotel          In China         In America