Chinese Calligraphy



Lesson 6

Demonstratives

Demonstrative adjectives

As in English demonstrative adjectives (this, that, these, those) indicate a noun. Demonstrative adjectives are used to make clear to the speaker which person or thing you are referring to (this hat, that train over there etc.). In Chinese the demonstrative adjective is always followed by the measure word of the corresponding noun.

The following examples show you the most common word order of sentences containing demonstrative adjectives. Note that the demonstrative adjectives 這 (this) and 那 (that) are always followed by the measure word of the corresponding noun and the noun itself. The demonstrative adjectives 這些 (these) and 那些 (those) do not require the measure word but only the noun.

Demonstrative adjectives

Here are some example sentences in the proposed word order to give you an idea of how to form sentences containing demonstrative adjectives.

Demonstrative adjectives

Note that the demonstrative adjective 這 can either be pronounced "zhè" or "zhèi". The demonstrative adjective 那 can either be pronounced "nà" or "nèi".

Demonstrative pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns have the same function as demonstrative adjectives (this, that, these, those). The difference between them is the word order within a sentence. Demonstrative pronouns are not followed by the measure word and noun. Demonstrative pronouns are usually followed by the verb 是 (to be).

Demonstrative pronouns

Possessive adjectives

In Chinese possessive adjectives (my, your, his, her, its, our, your, their) are usually followed by the possessive particle 的 (de) plus the noun we are referring to.

Possessive adjectives

Linked nouns

If you are using linked nouns (e.g. my father's cat), then you add the possessive particle 的 (de) to the noun following the pronoun.

Linked nouns

Possessive adjectives without the possessive particle 的 (de)

If you have a close personal relation to the person or thing you are talking about, then you can omit the possessive particle 的 (de).

No particle

Indicating "here and there"

For indicating the location "here", we use 這裡 (zhèlǐ) or 這兒 (zhèr). For indicating the location "there", we use 那裡 (nàlǐ) or 那兒 (nàr). Note that the pronunciation 這兒 (zhèr) and 那兒 (nàr) is more common in Northern China and Beijing whereas the pronunciation 這裡 (zhèlǐ) and 那裡 (nàlǐ) is more common in southern China in Taiwan. When 這裡/這兒 or 那裡/那兒 is used as the subject, you can optionally add the preposition 在 (at/in).

Here and there

When 這裡/這兒 or 那裡/那兒 are not the subject of the sentence, they must be preceded by the preposition 在 (at/in).

Here and there