Very sorry for the delay with this one. I flaked and thought that I had already typed and posted my class summaries for last week. Oops.
In the interest of time, I will direct you all to blog entries from last year covering the material from the lesson we are currently working on (Lesson 2 Dialogue 1 and related grammar points). Tomorrow night, we will quickly review the grammar points and then you will all break into small groups to quickly run the Language Practice sections for this dialogue. AND THEN we will begin dialogue 2. Yay.
These are the same inks to older blog entries that I included in last week's email. Same material, same pertinent information. ALSO, please note that the links for the Yo Yo Chinese blog entry and Youtube video that I have mentioned discussing tone sandhi for the Mandarin 3rd tone are included at the end of the first link below:
Please note that the second link above also discusses the principle of equivalency between questions and their related statement answers. This is a very important, fundamental Mandarin grammar point that you need to understand and use to your advantage starting now and continuing for the rest of the time you speak Mandarin Chinese!
In addition to the lesson material from the book and the principle of question/statement equivalency, we discussed the basic structure for a Mandarin Chinese sentence, and I diagrammed this on the board:
(WHEN) + WHO + (WHEN) + WHERE + WHAT HAPPENS + HOW MANY TIMES (etc.)
Remember that "WHEN" stands for some time phrase (now, yesterday, 2 weeks from now on a Tuesday, etc.) and will only appear in one of the 2 locations, hence it is in parentheses. Usually, this will appear right after the subject before anything else in the sentence, but occasionally it occurs at the beginning of the sentence for emphasis.
REMEMBER THAT WHEN WILL NEVER APPEAR AT THE END OF A SENTENCE, AS IT DOES IN ENGLISH (English's "I will go to the store tomorrow" MUST in Chinese ALWAYS either be "I tomorrow go to the store" or "Tomorrow, I go to the store."
We discussed that not every sentence will have all of these components, but that this is where each must go if they do exist in a given sentence, in order for that sentence to be grammatically correct and with proper SYNTAX in Mandarin. The most simple, complete, grammatically correct Mandarin Chinese sentences will only involve a subject (WHO) and a verb (WHAT HAPPENS):
You good [hello].
etc.You must all begin to understand and internalize this sense of sentence structure and syntax (word order) so that as you learn more and more vocabulary, your early attempts to communicate with native speakers will be worded properly and will be understood by your conversation partners. There are some specific instances where the Chinese word order is different from the English language word order and you must (MUST) get this right, or you will be speaking nonsense or near-nonsense and most likely will not be understood. Get the word order right, however, and you set the stage for understandable, productive beginner level conversations with your family members, friends, loved ones, and random waiters at restaurants in Flushing.
Again, sorry for the delay with this email / blog entry.
Best wishes to all and see you tomorrow night,Brendan
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