Lesson Three: What Country Are You From?
The topic of lesson three is nationalities and countries. The dialogue introduces some new pronouns and lists the names of various countries. There are three new grammar points in this lesson including the introduction of plurals.
What country are you from?
I am from New Zealand.
Are they also from New Zealand?
No, he is Australian, she is German.
|哪||pt. which; what (when expressing appreciation for confirmation, or when giving advice or encouragement)|
|国||n. country, nation, state|
|人||n. person, people, humanity; others, other people|
|们||pt. use to make plural forms of personal pronouns or nouns referring to animate entities|
|也||adv. also, too; (indicating concession) still|
|她||pron. she, her|
|新西兰||n. New Zealand; 新西兰 人 = New Zealander|
|澳大利亚||n. Australia; 澳大利亚 人 = Australian|
|德国||n. Germany; 德国 人 = German|
As a general rule there are two ways of forming the name of foreign countries in Chinese.
1. The word “country” (国 ) is added to a character whose pronunciation is similar to the name of the country concerned.
- 美国 : America
- 英国 : England
- 法国 : France
- 德国 : Germany
2. A purely phonetic translation is used. Chinese characters are used to replace the sound of the country’s name.
- 爱尔兰 : Ireland
- 意大利 : Italy
A few examples of country names
For even more countries, see Free Chinese Lessons list of countries.
The Adverb 也
The adverb 也 must be placed before the verb that it modifies. It cannot be used without the word on which it depends. For example, 他也是新西兰人。 He is also from New Zealand.
Asking questions with 哪
Like other adjectives or interrogative pronouns, 哪 is
used where the question’s answer should be. For example:
- Q: 你是哪国人?
- A: 我是美国 人。
Using the plural suffix 们
们 is a suffix mainly used to form plural personal pronouns. For
example, 我们, 你们, 他们.
Complete the following conversations by filling in the blanks.
- 我是 _________ 人。
- 我不是 _____________。
Let’s first review two characters you already know. Putting together 中 and 国 and you have the word China.
Here is the first character for England. You already know the second.
This concludes our third lesson. If things are progressing too quickly for you take the time to go over the previous lessons again. When you’re ready, move onto the next lesson.