Chinese Grammar

Learn Chinese Grammar

Open the gate to the secrets of Chinese grammar. The aim of this course is to cover all aspects of Chinese grammar. The course is suitable for both beginners and the advanced learner. Lesson 1 starts with the basics of Chinese and the level will increase as you get better. New words within a lesson are summarised in an extra vocab tab following each lesson.

The workshop makes Chinese grammar easy by embedding as many realistic examples as possible. The examples we provide are in English, HanYu-Pinyin and in both simplified and traditional Chinese Characters. All examples are additionally recorded by a Chinese native speaker to let you improve your listening comprehension and pronunciation.

Before the actual lessons start, we will give you an introduction to Chinese Characters. For those of you who want to skip Chinese characters, we also provide an explanation of how to read and pronounce HanYu-Pinyin, the official romanisation system for Chinese. You will also learn how to look up words in Chinese dictionaries, how to type them into the computer and how to write Chinese Characters properly.

Note, however, that Chinese grammar and Chinese characters should not be the most important thing for Western learners of Chinese. The biggest step ahead you will make by talking to Chinese native speakers at every possible opportunity and by making Chinese a part of your daily life. The present course is intended as a Chinese grammar guide alongside your regular classes or private studies of Chinese.

In the following section you will find a linked overview of the site's contents. You can either go through the course lesson by lesson or, for the more advanced learner, pick out the topics you are most interested in. For a better orientation, every Chinese grammar topic from Lesson 1 to Lesson 22 is classified as either "Beginner", "Intermediate" or "Advanced".

Chinese Characters

Traditional versus simplified Characters; Reception of simplified Characters; Radicals; Stroke order; Meaning of Characters; Pictures or pictographs; Symbols or ideographs; Ideograms or meaning-meaning compounds; Phonograms or sound-meaning compounds; Sound loans; Reclarified compounds


Reading HanYu-Pinyin; Tone changes; Tones in succession; Tone change in the number 一 (yī); Tone change in the neutral tone; Typing HanYu-Pinyin; Chinese input methods for computers; Fuzzy search; IME Pad

Free Chinese Grammar Lessons

Chinese Grammar Lesson 1

Verbs used for introduction; The noun and verb 姓 (xìng); The verb 叫 (jiào); The verb 是 (shì); New Words Lesson 1

Chinese Grammar Lesson 2

Chinese personal pronouns; Singular; Plural; Word order; New Words Lesson 2

Chinese Grammar Lesson 3

The question particle 嗎 (ma); Negation using the negative particle 不 (bù); Adjectives; New Words Lesson 3

Chinese Grammar Lesson 4

Verbs; The verb 有 (yǒu); Negating the verb 有 (yǒu); Negating resultative and directional verbs; Using the verb 是 (shì) to express existence; The auxiliary verbs 要 (yào) and 喜歡 (xǐhuān); The modal verbs 能 (néng), 會 (huì) and 可以 (kěyǐ); The modal verbs 得 (děi), 應該 (yīnggāi) and 不必 (bùbì); Adverbs; The adverb 也 (yě); The adverb 都 (dōu); The adverb 還 (hái); The adverb 只 (zhǐ); The adverb 從來 (cónglái); The adverb 總是 (zǒngshì; New Words Lesson 4

Chinese Grammar Lesson 5

Nouns; Measure words; The measure word 個 (ge); The measure word 位 (wèi; The measure words 本 (bĕn) and 瓶 (píng); Measure words indicating the characteristics of the noun; Omission of the noun following the measure word; No definite or indefinite article before nouns; Signal words; The suffix 們 (men); New Words Lesson 5

Chinese Grammar Lesson 6

Demonstratives; Demonstrative adjectives; Demonstrative pronouns; Possessive adjectives; Linked nouns; Possessive adjectives without the possessive particle 的 (de); Indicating "here and there"; New Words Lesson 6

Chinese Grammar Lesson 7

Words that function as verbs and prepositions; 在 (zài); 到 (dào); 給 (gěi); 跟 (gēn); Prepositions; 對 (duì); 進 (jìn); 替 (tì); The question words 誰 (shéi), 什麼 (shénme), 哪兒 (nǎr) and 哪 (nǎ); The question word 誰 (shéi); The question word 什麼 (shénme); The question word 哪兒 (nǎr); The question word 哪 (nǎ); New Words Lesson 7

Chinese Grammar Lesson 8

The question particle 呢 (ne); Verb/Adjective + 不/沒 + Verb/Adjective questions; Disyllabic verbs and adjectives; The question words 多少 (duōshǎo) and 幾 (jǐ); The question word 為什麼 (wèishénme); New Words Lesson 8

Chinese Grammar Lesson 9

Saying "Yes" or "No" in Chinese; The affirmative 是 (shì) and the negation 不是 (bù shì); Alternative ways of saying Yes or No; Asking rhetorical questions; 是 (shì) before numbers; New Words Lesson 9

Chinese Grammar Lesson 10

The possessive pronouns; The reflexive pronoun 自己 (zìjǐ); Demonstrative adjectives preceded by a noun; Adjectives followed by a noun; The particle 的 (de) after adjectives; Adjectives without the particle 的 (de); Conjunctions; The conjunction 跟 (gēn); The conjunction 和 (hé); The conjunction 還是 (háishì); The conjunction 或者 (huòzhě); New Words Lesson 10

Chinese Grammar Lesson 11

Numerals; The cardinal numbers 0 to 9; Tens; Hundreds; Thousands; Examples for cardinal numbers from 10 to 9999; Examples for cardinal numbers from 10,000 to 1,000,000,000; Telephone numbers, bus lines etc.; Estimated numbers and approximations; Indicating "about"; Indicating "almost"; Indicating "witin"; Indicating "more than"; Approximation; Indicating "half"; Fractions; Percentages; Decimals; New Words Lesson 11

Chinese Grammar Lesson 12

Sums of money; Useful vocabulary; Parts of the whole; The particle 得 (de); The particle 得 (de) combined with Verb-Object-Compounds; Negating the particle 得 (de); The particle 地 (de); Changing the word order from S-V-O to O-S-V; The future; New Words Lesson 12

Chinese Grammar Lesson 13

The progressive form; The progressive marker 在 (zài); The progressive marker 正在 (zhèngzài); Negating the progressive aspect; Relative clauses; Nouns containing the particle 的 (de); The question word 誰的 (shéi de); Positional nouns; The character 內 (nèi); Describing the position of a person or object; Indicating that you want to go/come/see another person; Dealing with the word "whether" in Chinese; The conjunctions 因為 (yīnwèi)...所以 (suǒyǐ); New Words Lesson 13

Chinese Grammar Lesson 14

The particle 了 (le); The action took place in the past and was finished in the past; The action took place in the past, was finished in the past but has an influence on the present; The action took place in the past but is reaching into the present; The action was/is or will be followed by another action; The situation has changed; The action will occur in the near future; The speaker talks about excessiveness; Differences in meaning with and without 了 (le); Negating actions; Question types for actions; New Words Lesson 14

Chinese Grammar Lesson 15

The verbal suffix 過 (guò); Differences in meaning between 過 (guò) and 了 (le); The verb 去 (qù); The verb 走 (zǒu); The verb 來 (lái); Stressing actions using the 是...的 pattern; New Words Lesson 15

Chinese Grammar Lesson 16

The time; Expressing the date and time spent; The days of the week; The question word 什麼​時候 (shénme shíhou); The question word 怎麼 (zěnme); The question word 怎麼樣 (zěnmeyàng); The question word 怎麼了 (zěnmele); The question word 什麼樣 (shénmeyàng); New Words Lesson 16

Chinese Grammar Lesson 17

Modifying the extent of adjectives; Similarity and disparity of nouns; Similarity and disparity of the characteristics of nouns; Resemblance of nouns; Positive and negative comparisons; The comparative; The superlative; Intensifying adjectives; Intensifying modal verbs; Using 多 (duō) or 少 (shǎo) as adverbs; Actions sharing the same quality; Actions reached at a particular point of time; Constructions using 越...越 (yuè...yuè); New Words Lesson 17

Chinese Grammar Lesson 18

The imperative; Indefinite pronouns; Intensifying exclusive indefinite pronouns; Expressing the meaning of "all" and "whole" by using 全 (quán); New Words Lesson 18

Chinese Grammar Lesson 19

If Clauses with 要是; Alternative patterns for forming If Clauses; The 要不是 pattern; If Clauses with 如果; Expressing "even if"; Conditional sentences; Indicating "as soon as"; The adverbs 再,才 and 就; New Words Lesson 19

Chinese Grammar Lesson 20

Point of time and period of time; The verb in duration phrases; Habitual actions; Frequency; Time words; The adverb 以前 (yǐqián); The adverb 以後 (yǐhòu); The adverb 然後 (ránhòu); The adverb 後來 (hòulái); The ...的時候 ( shíhou) pattern; "As long as"; "Otherwise"; Positions, movements and directions; The coverb 離 (lí); The coverb 從 (cóng); The coverb 往 (wǎng); Compass directions; The passive voice; The formation of the passive; Negating passive sentences; The additional word 給 in passive sentences; The differences between the passive markers 被 (bèi), 讓 (ràng) and 叫 (jiào); Other functions of 被 (bèi), 讓 (ràng) and 叫 (jiào); New Words Lesson 20

Chinese Grammar Lesson 21

把 sentences; When to use 把 sentences?; Asking questions using 把; Negating 把 sentences; When 把 is not used; The aspect particle 著; Imperative sentences; Adverb constructions; Reduplication; Reduplication of adjectives; Repeating monosyllabic adjectives; Repeating disyllabic adjectives; Reduplication of verbs; Reduplication of monosyllabic verbs; Reduplication of disyllabic verbs; Reduplication of nouns; Reduplication of measure words; Expressing concession; New Words Lesson 21

Chinese Grammar Lesson 22

Resultative verbs; The resultative ending 好 (hǎo); The resultative ending 懂 (dǒng); The resultative ending 完 (wán); The resultative ending 動 (dòng); The resultative ending 了 (liǎo); The resultative ending 著 (zháo); The resultative ending 見 (jiàn); The resultative ending 到 (dào); The resultative ending 下 (xià); The resultative ending 起 (qǐ); The resultative ending 出來 (chūlái); The particle 得 (de) in "so...that" constructions; Directional verbs; The directional suffix 下 (xià); The directional suffix 上 (shàng); The directional suffix 來 (lái); The directional suffix 走 (zǒu); The directional suffix 下來 (xiàlái); The directional suffix 過來 (guòlái); The expression 不但...也/而且/還...; The expression 除了...以外; Saying "another one", "a different one" and "one more" in Chinese; New Words Lesson 22