This is the sort of lesson that makes Absolute Beginners to the Chinese language cry. If you're an Intermediate student or parent, though, we think you'll enjoy our practical approach to language learning. And that's because our dialogue today offers some very direct advice on how to solve one of the central problems married couples face: finding a safe place to park the kids when they want to spend a few days alone.

And what better solution but neighbors? If you've got to put up with living next door to them, you might as well learn to impose on occasion. In this lesson we'll show you how to compliment your new neighbors in their own language, as a prelude to asking them to take care of your brood. We're sure they'll be too polite to say no, especially when you start tossing out some of the platitudes we introduce in this lesson. So stop procrastinating and get listening: your next weekend retreat in Bali may depend upon this stuff.
 said on
May 4, 2010
这人太扯了,怎么连自己的孩子叫啥都不记得?
 said on
May 4, 2010
很有意思的课
 said on
May 5, 2010
great lesson as usual. the 罢了 construct was new to me. would be nice to have a lesson on it sometime too.
 said on
May 11, 2010
Doesn't "liang tian" literally mean two or a couple of days? Could you say "ji tian" also?
 said on
May 11, 2010
@sophlin8,

Yes. Or I think so at least. :)
 said on
May 11, 2010
@sophlin8

You're right. "Verb + 两天" means to do something for a couple days. You can replace it with 几天 here.

We have a similar structure that means to do something for a bit:

verb + 两下

看两下 = to have a look

打两下= to play(Kongfu or a musical instrument etc)for a bit

You could also replace 两 with 几 here.

Hope it helps.
 said on
May 11, 2010
@LanZi,

Thanks for the answer. The "verb + 两下" construction is new to me, although it makes sense! Do we use it to mean "doing something for a bit" or "doing it several times", but not continuously. Or is the distinction irrelevant in Chinese?

Thanks,

--david

 said on
May 12, 2010
Yeah, I've heard it before and I'm also curious if 两下 feels "longer" than 一下 to native speakers.
 said on
May 12, 2010
@trevelyan @toneandcolor

Thanks for the question. I should have explained it better. "verb + 两下" stresses on doing something for a while continuously but not too long. Yeah 两下 feels longer than 一下 perhaps because it's literally doubling the time.

Sample sentence: 这电脑玩两下就死机了。The computer froze after (I) used it for just a little while (not too long).

It's also often used with 没, like 这电脑没玩两下就死机了。It means exactly the same as the last sentence.

Also, the movie title Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is translated as 亲两下打两枪 or 吻两下打两枪. I think it's quite funny and appropriate.
 said on
May 12, 2010
@LanZi

谢谢你的解释!

So there must be verbs that sound awkward when used with 两下 instead of 一下, right?

For example, 我介绍两下, 我去两下, etc.

I'm guessing it's because these verbs lack a sense of "duration", but 我查两下 also seems to be rare, if not ungrammatical.
 said on
May 12, 2010
thanks for all the good answers!
 said on
November 17, 2012
I'm having a bit of trouble getting to grips with the 一去就去 structure. Could anyone throw a few more examples at me, perhaps with other verbs?

Thanks
 said on
November 17, 2012
@christopher_dudley,

It's actually the 一...就 structure, which means "as soon as". For instance, 我一吃就吃了三碗饭 (As soon as I ate, I had three bowls of rice); 她一买就买了十件 (As soon as she bought, she bought ten pieces). Does this sound more clear for you?

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
November 17, 2012
@Echo

Yes, I think I've got it now.

Thanks very much

Chris

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