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Struture (or steps) in learning chinese


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There are 5 steps in total.

1. Pinyin looks like English alphabet, teaching pronunciation. I suggest starting to learn Chinese with Pinyin first because it is the only link to English or another language.

2. 语素 is the smallest unit in Chinese character, which means it can’t be separated. One 语素 can represent an independent meaning. Generally, there are 3 kinds of 语素:

A. One character

For example, 火 (fire); 水 (water); 天 (sky)

B. Two characters

For example, 蜘蛛 (spider), “蜘” or “蛛” will be meaningless if you separate the 2 characters, which is the main characteristic of 语素.

C. Longer than 2 characters, normally for special name of people, location or foreign translation

For example, 珠穆朗玛 (Everest), 法兰克福 (Frankfurt)

3. 词语 word

词语 is made of 语素 and there are 2 types, 实词 and 虚词. 实词 has real meaning, such as 学生 (student); 虚词 is the opposite, such as 依然 (still).

蓝天 (blue sky), 森林 (forest).

Note: 词语 in 2 characters is not indicating two English words.

4. 短语 Phrase

词语 is the element of 短语. Though there are many types of 短语,you can basically manage with 6 kinds of it, which are the most important and frequently used.

理清思路 (straight the thought), Verb-object Phrase

吉祥安康(auspicious and good health), Juxtaposed Phrase

5. 句子 Sentence

(定) 主 + [状] 谓 <补> +(定) 宾

(Adj.) Subject + [Adv.] Verb <Complement>+ (Adj.) Object

() , [] and <> is not the required or necessary for a sentence. Subject+ Verb + Object is the main structure in Chinese.

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