Lesson 2 Family

Goal: The goal of this lesson is to master the words to describe a family. You will also learn to form more complex sentences, use measure words, and several grammar points. 

What you need to know: Before starting this lesson, you need to know basic sentence structure and question structure. You must be able to use numbers and should be familiar with the words for family members. 

Explanation: This lesson focuses on the family unit. When getting to know someone, it is important to know how to describe your family.

Click on the following link. Scroll to the title that says Transcript, vocabulary, and notes and click on the triangle.


Go through the vocabulary. Click on the speaker to hear the correct pronunciation of the word. Repeat after the speaker. 


Now focus on some important grammar points before viewing the dialogue. Read the grammar notes below the new words for more information. Below is a brief summary and some exercises to improve your understanding of these structures.


Grammar Notes


1. 在 - 在 can be used as both a verb and a preposition. When used as a verb, it means to be located at or to be at. Similarly when used as a preposition, it means in, on, or at. Whether it is used as a verb or a preposition, the location to which 在 is referring comes after the 在. Put the words below in order to form a proper sentence. Determine if 在 is being used as a preposition or a verb.

 A. 家   在   我                                    B.      留学    美国   她                                 C.   北京    在    他们

2. 有 - 有 is used to indicate possession. Measure words come between the number of an object and the object itself. As an introduction to measure words, you will use 个,口,and 只.

Use a 有 to translate the following sentences to Chinese and pay careful attention to measure words. 

A. I have one younger sister.                             B. My teacher has a dog.                                   C. My mother has an older brother.


Now that you have a basic understanding of the vocabulary and the grammar points, watch the video at the top of the page. The first time try to pay specific attention to the new vocabulary words. For the second viewing, try to recognize grammar points. On the third viewing, try to piece together the meaning of the dialogue. Watch the video as many times as you need to until you can follow along with the conversation. 


Language Exchange

Now you are ready to Skype with your language partner. Think about what you want to ask and tell your partner before you begin. Below are just some examples questions to use based on the lesson. You can and should use additional questions in your interactions with your partner. Remember to take your time when responding and also give your partner time to respond.


1. How many people are in your family?

2. Do you have an older brother?

3. Do you have a younger brother?

4. Do you have an older sister?

5. Do you have an younger sister?


Writing Task

Use your new understanding of the vocabulary, measure words, and grammar to write about your Skype partner's family. Write a blog post here





Exercise 1

A. 我在家。verb



Exercise 2

A. 我有一个妹妹。


C. 我的妈妈有一个哥哥。