Look on the bright side of being bedridden: you'll have a lot more time to study Chinese. The doctors say the scars will probably heal too. In a few years you probably won't even notice them yourself. The important thing is really keeping this sort of thing in perspective.
 said on
March 2, 2009
Gail had a good time listening to this one. I quite like it too, and since everyone seems to misuse 别提了 it should be quite useful!
 said on
March 2, 2009
That's true.
 said on
March 3, 2009
Nice podcast. I think it is a bit confusing that 别提了 and 别题这事了 actually mean different things. But I guess that is Chinese for you.
 said on
March 3, 2009
@jim.veseley,

错别字! I caught you! "别提这事了" :)

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
March 3, 2009
That's going to be my greeting for every Chinese speaking person I meet this week! 哇,你的脸怎么了?
 said on
March 3, 2009
@maxiewawa - lol. good call.
 said on
March 3, 2009
@maxiewawa,

T_T,如果听到这个,我要哭!!!
 said on
November 30, 2009
Can you please explain how 撞樹上 works in 我撞樹上了?

(1) Does 上 bring some additional meaning here or is the form really 撞 <stuff>上?

(2) Here there is no measure word for tree so I guess 撞樹 means "to hit/bump into generic tree stuff". What if I kept bumping into the same tree every now and then when I leave home. Could I say something like 我又撞那(一)棵樹上了/我又撞那(一)棵树上了?

(3) What if I had hit a generic car? Would 我撞汽車上了/我撞汽车上了 work?

 said on
November 30, 2009
One more question

(4) I am curious about the 了 in 別提了 in contrast to, say, 你別走 (in The Breakup, Part II). I assume that 了 here plays a "change of state" role. Does 別提了 mean "don't have it brought up" but 別走 only means "don't go"? Could I say 你別走了 and would that have about the same meaning as 你別走?
 said on
November 30, 2009
@jyh,

good question!!

for the first one, 我撞树上了。=我撞在树上了。/ 我撞到树上了。The sentence in the dialogue is quite colloquial and the tree is just generic tree.

your sentences:我又撞那(一)棵树上了。is also correct, it means I bumped into THAT tree again. Also you can say: 我又撞那树上了。(when you say 这or 那,sometimes we can omit the measure word in colloquial Chinese.)

for the second question: 了

1. if 了 indicates new situation, sometimes it indicates advice or suggestion. e.g.别提了。How about we don't mention it? (it's useless.) 你别走了。I suggest you don't go.( We have a spare room for you here, you can stay.) and if this is a breakup situation, 你别走了 means: You don't go, I will.

2. when you request or demand something, usually we don't use 了。e.g. 你别走。Don't go.
 said on
November 30, 2009
@Gail - thank you.

The rules associated with 了 are really what I find the most confusing in Chinese grammar so far. In a lesson or two I have heard you guys compare Chinese grammar to a box of Lego. Well, to me, 了 is that weird piece that seems like it does not quite belong in the set, yet has so many uses because it's so nice and shiny and fits everywhere. But it also has many spikes and sharp edges from every side, and you get pricked and cut a lot manipulating it until you know how to do it the right way. Well, these are my feeling about 了 so far. :-)

To get back to the breakup example, I suppose the meaning of 你别走了 becomes "You don't go, I will" because it's perceived as the first half of 你別走了我就走。 Would the intonation in the sentence have to imply the suspension dots? 你別走了。。。 vs. 你別走! [the first one being hypothetical with an implied consequence, and the second being an imperative].

Does this also work in the following example?

[你]別上課了! (I suggest we go to the beach instead)

你別上課了。。。(from mom or teacher, implied: you will be punished)

 said on
November 30, 2009
I thought the 了 in 別走了 was change of state. As in... someone planning on going before, and you're trying to get them to change their mind. Agree that 了 is a pain. I find myself answering a lot of the HSK placement questions more intuitively than anything else.
 said on
December 1, 2009
@orbital, @jyh

The best explanation of some of these trickier uses of 了 that I have found is from Li and Thompson's book. With this type of negative imperative 了, the authors give the following minimal pairs:

1.

a) 别签名

b) 别签名

2.

a) 别选那一堂棵

b) 别选那一堂棵

While both a) and b) are negative imperatives, with the addition of 了 in b), there is a tone of warning or an implication of negative consequences if the advice is not followed, as in Something bad will happen if you sign your name or You'll be sorry if you choose that class.

I think the 了 in 别提了 falls into this category, as in Don't bring it up, because you don't want to hear about it as Brendan mentioned in the podcast.
 said on
December 1, 2009
@toneandcolor

I think there is a difference whether 了 is followed by an object or not. The two 了-examples you gave have different implications.

别签名了 implies "stop signing your name" or "don't sign your name because you don't want your name on it", while 别选了那一堂课 implies "do not accidentally choose that class". I know the difference is subtle. To make it clear, let's put 别选那一堂课了 and 别选了那一堂课 in a group.

别选那一堂课了 can be led by "还是", that is 还是别选那一堂课了, a piece of advice.

别选了那一堂课 can be led by "小心", that is 小心,别选了那一堂课, more like a warning.

but 还是 doesn't go with别选了那一堂课 and vise versa.

more examples:

a)别买冒牌货了=还是别买冒牌货了

b)别买了冒牌货=小心别买了冒牌货

a)别摔杯子了=还是别摔杯子了

b)别摔了杯子=小心别摔了杯子

a) implies "stop doing it (if you are already doing it)" or "don't do it because you don't want it happened".

b) is warning "careful, don't get yourself a fake bag", or "watch out, don't break the glass".
 said on
December 1, 2009
@LanZi

谢谢你的解释!清楚多了。

 said on
December 2, 2009
@toneandcolor

真的吗?谢谢你捧场!
 said on
December 9, 2009
@jyh,

the two 上课sentences are also correct. and the information from LanZi and toneandcolor is also pretty helpful...
 said on
December 10, 2009
@Gail - Thanks, I think I am beginning to get it, somewhat

@LanZi and toneandcolor - I should have thanked you earlier, but these thanks would only have been along the line of "thanks, I know you guys mean well" because this was mostly flying high above my head, but I have been working on my 了 cases and trying to wrap my head around your examples and discussion. Hopefully in a few days my thanks will be for actually helping me understand this a lot better.
 said on
December 11, 2009
@jyh,

加油!
 said on
December 14, 2009
One more question about nuances of 了: To what degree is the common speaker of Chinese "tuned" to these distinctions of meaning? Is this something that I should be on the outlook for at the level of a professional discussion? When shopping at the market? Or is this rather a slightly pedantic (nothing wrong about it; I like pedantic) nuance for lovers of grammar?
 said on
December 14, 2009
@jyh,

Only very few Chinese people (most are Chinese teachers) can tell you the distinctions of the meaning and usage of 了. Most people can only use it but can't tell why if you ask. Most Chinese people are quite confused about 了 too, because 了 has way too many grammatical usages. I think figuring out the exact distinctions of the meaning and usage of 了 is essential for a foreign student, because it is really easy to make mistakes when people use 了 in their daily conversations, even for those students who have very fluent Chinese.

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
December 14, 2009
@Echo - Oh, I agree that it's important for us foreign students to grasp the many usages of 了. I was just wondering how likely it would be that in day-to-day conversation my interlocutor would be playing on the fine nuances of 了 to pass me an implicit message (e.g. a warning, as in some of the examples brought by Gail and LanZi).

I think that you are studying or have at some point studied French. You may have seen that French has 2 words meaning "2nd": "second" and deuxième. They are equivalent but purists insist that "second" can't have a third. Maybe 1 French speaker of out 10 is aware of that and probably fewer than 1 percent will pick it up in a discussion. If you do, it's mostly good to differentiate whether the warning you're getting is a "deuxième" or "second" one :-).
 said on
December 15, 2009
@jyh,

Yeah, exactly like this :)

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
December 25, 2011
For some reason I learned the meanings of a few hundred characters but not the pronunciation, anyways the placement test sent me here and I'm totally confused. Kind of a fail on my behalf :P.
 said on
December 25, 2011
@Tesseract60,

We're trying to make the test more sophisticated over time -- you'll have probably noticed the lack of a listening component as of now. So your score basically means we're guessing you're beyond the absolute basics and into simple sentence formation.

The elementary level spans quite a large divide, so if you find the lessons we're recommending too difficult, just spend a bit more time at the Absolute Beginner level and we should ramp up your listening comprehension pretty quickly. There are also slower recordings of all of the lines in the dialogue on the transcript page.

Good luck!

--david

 said on
January 26, 2014
I was quite confused by this dialogue. Even when y'all were saying "样儿“。那时,我真听不出来是什么单词。我一看”transcript"上我发现是“洋”。而且他说“帅到树上” 听起来以像“摔倒数rengle”。大概是因为我住在南方,大部分南方人没有儿化音。

 said on
January 26, 2014
@oyamakuma,

是的。在北方儿化音很常见。对话里“这样”说成了“这样儿”,而且很快所以不容易听清楚。生活中还有很多其他带有儿化音的词,比如:没事儿,好玩儿,快点儿...

“撞zhuang4到树上”是正常的普通话表达法;)

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