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Chinese Grammar

Chinese grammar has no tenses and each verb has only one form. No matter what noun or pronoun you use, the form of the verb remains the same.

In Chinese, however, only one form of each verb exists. While this makes memorizing "conjugation tables" unnecessary, it does mean that word order is very important in Chinese sentences. Word order is often the only indication in Chinese to tell, so to speak, who is doing what to whom. In normal Chinese declarative sentences, word order is the same as that of normal English declarative sentences, subject - verb - object.

Chinese Grammer Structure

1. Morpheme - 语素

Morpheme is the smallest meaningful unit in a language, it makes up the words. Most of the morphemes in modern Chinese grammar are monosyllabic.

For example:

好 ( good), 小 ( small ), 站 ( stand ), 来 ( come ), 去 ( go), 写( write ) 

2. Word - 词

In modern Chinese grammar a word is the smallest unit that can be used independently in a sentence.

. For example:

蛇 ( snake ), 北 ( north ), 高 ( tall ), 停 ( stop ) , 北京 ( Beijing ), 美丽 ( beauty ), 长城 ( Great Wall ) 

3. Phrase - 短语

In modern Chinese grammar, a phrase is a combination of two or more words according to certain grammatical rules.

For example: 公众卫生 ( community health ), 保健食品 ( health food )

4. Sentence - 句子

Sentence is a the grammatical unit that is used to express a complete idea. It usually has a certain intonation and a pause at the end. It is the intonation and mood instead of the numbers of syllables that classify sentence from word and phrase. Some words and phrases can make sentences if they are used to express a complete idea and with certain mood and intonation. Same as in English, punctuation symbols like ' ? ' or ' ! ' are used at the end of the sentences in written Chinese to express the pause and different moods.

For example: 你好吗?( How do you do? ) 站住!( Halt! ) 我喜欢学中文. ( I like study Chinese. )


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