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Lesson 069 Expressions of Duration (I)

07-09-2010 11:50 BJT

Cam: Welcome to Chinese Studio. Da4 jia1 hao3, Wo3 shi4 Cam.
YJ: Hi, Wo3 shi4 YJ. Nice to have you with us again. I’m sure we’ll make a difference if we study for five minutes everyday.
Cam: Actually this is what we are going to learn today – some basic expressions of duration.

Key Words of the Day
一年,one year. 七天,seven days. 五分钟,five minutes. 一个月,one month..四周, four weeks. 一个月有四周 there are four weeks in a month. All in today’s Chinese Studio.

Cam: We learned numbers in a previous show Yajie... but how do you say, for instance, one year, two years, three years …? 
YJ: Year is 年(nian2),second tone. And remember one is一(yi)? So one year is 一年(yi4 nian2).
Cam: Year is 年(nian2). yi4 nian2 , one year.
YJ: Two years, 两年(liang3 nian2). Three years, san1 nian2.
Cam: liang3 nian2 means two years, and san1 nian2, three years. YJ, so it seems that I just need to put the number in front of nian2, right?
YJ: Yes. And this rule also works on such as day, minute, etc. day in Chinese is tian1, and minute is fen1 zhong1. 天,t-i-an, first tone.
Cam: tian1, first tone, means day.
YJ: fen1 zhong1, both in the first tone, together mean minute.
Cam: feng1 zhong1.
YJ: Now Cam, how do say four days and seven days?
Cam: Four is si4 in Chinese. Seven is qi1. And day is tian1. So four days would be si4 tian1 and seven days – qi1 tian1. Right?  
YJ: Absolutely. How about five minutes and eight minutes?
Cam: five is wu3, eight is ba1, and minute is Fen1 zhong1. So five minutes would be wu3 fen1 zhong1, and eight minutes - ba1 fen1 zhong1.
YJ: Very good. Let’s listen to these terms of duration again.


YJ: Cam, do you remember the Chinese word for month is yue4, fourth tone?
Cam: Oh, you’ve reminded me. Yue4 means month. So I guess I can also just put number in front of yue to express one month, two month etc, am I right?
YJ: Sorry Cam, it’s not exactly the same. As for one month, you have to put a measure word ge4 between number and month, otherwise, it’ll be confusing. For example, yi1 yue4, which you think it means one month, actually means January.
Cam: Oh… right. Then what is the right way of saying one month?
YJ: one month would be yi2 ge4 yue4.
Cam: yi2 ge4 yue4, one month.


YJ: Now we mentioned year, month, then I can tell you the Chinese for week.
Cam: I think I learned it before, it’s xing1 qi1, right?
YJ: absolutely. But a much easier and common way is: zhou1
Cam: zhou1
YJ: so one week is yi4 zhou1,
Cam: yi4 zhou1.
YJ: two weeks is liang3 zhou1.
Cam: liang3 zhou1.


YJ: Now Cam, please try if you can understand this sentence: 一个月有四周。(yi2 ge4 yue4 you3 si4 zhou1)。Remember, you3 means ‘have’ or ‘there is something in someplace. ’.
Cam: ok, let me try it. And yi2 ge4 yue4 means one month. And si4 zhou1 means four weeks. So I guess the whole sentence means ‘There are four weeks in one month.’
YJ: Excellent. 一个月有四周。(yi2 ge4 yue4 you3 si4 zhou1)。There are four weeks in one month.
Cam: 一个月有四周。(yi2 ge4 yue4 you3 si4 zhou1)。

YJ: Well, that’s it for today. Now can you tell us how to say there are four weeks in one month?
Cam: Send us your answer to We look forward to sharing with you every progress you’ll make. Be sure to join us tomorrow. Ming2 tian1 jian.
YJ: Zai4 jian4.

Editor:Shi Taoyang |Source: CRI

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