In Baltimore, everything gets compromised over time. You can be the perfect cop or the perfect dealer, but you'll eventually get taken down. So to survive you have to watch your back. There are people who'll tell you that it's a hard world and you have to put friends and family above that, but the reality is that when the heat comes down, sometimes the only way to survive is making sure you're not the fall guy.

In this Chinese lesson for Elementary students, we dole out some practical vocabulary you'll use regardless of how you feel about the law. You'll hear this when you call customer service. You'll hear it when you do your banking over the phone. You may even hear it from your closest friends and family.
 said on
October 14, 2010

wo3 ke3neng2 hui4 wei4 wo3men5 de5 dian4hua4 lu4yin1 。

What's this "为" (wei4) in here? "for"?

Could you elaborate on this sentence's building?
 said on
October 16, 2010
yes, I would like to know as well what are the

"hui" and "wei" doing in this structure. What do they exactly stand for?
 said on
October 16, 2010
@jeangiscamp & rvvanni,

为 (wei4) means "for" in the sentence. An easier way to say the same thing is 录音我们的电话. 为 is emphasizing the object of the verb here. It is really natural here, but you can't do this with every verb. So you can't say 为老师的问题回答 for instance. Another example is 他打算为新房装修.

This is a bit tricky, because there aren't any general rules for when you can do this. But that's what is happening.

会 there is a signal of the future tense.

 said on
October 18, 2010
This was interesting. I've been using xu1yao4 and bi4xu1 interchangeably with verbs. Except that I do usually use bi4xu1 to indicate it's an obligation. So, I guess it's kind of like "must" and "should" in that one is an unavoidable requirement and the other is a moral obligation. However, I often say bi4xu1yao4, and don't know why, perhaps it's an error? Another question I have is: Are there any verbs before which you can't use xu1yao4?
 said on
August 14, 2015
Your transcript shows 哎 as ai4 but my dictionnary shows that character as first tone. Any explanation for this tone discrepancy?
 said on
March 27, 2016
martinjdupont: I know I'm super late on this but I feel that in the spoken language, the tones become very weak. For example, the telephone greeting 喂 in the dictionary will show that it's a second tone and in most cases, people will say it that way but if a someone who's really pissed off picks up the phone in the middle of an argument, who might "hear" the fourth tone. lol
 said on
September 2, 2017
this was well done but what a crazy dialogue!