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Lesson 1

Q 1. Interesting Chinese Sentence Order

When you learn Chinese, you might find a very interesting thing about this language. The sentence order sometimes is the key thing to understand the meaning, rather than the verbal inflection.

For example, see the following sentences.

  1. 我要坐飞机去上海.
  2. 我要去上海坐飞机.

You can see that all the words in the two sentences are 100% the same, but the meaning is totally different. According to the sentence order,  the first sentence talks about "take a plane" first, then "go to Shanghai". On the contrary,  the second sentence talks about "go to Shanghai" first, and then "take a plane". So exactly like what it shows obviously, the first sentence means "I will take a airplane to go to Shanghai." And the second sentence means "I will go to Shanghai to take the airplane."

Let us see another example.

  1. 美国的一所大学
  2. 一所美国的大学

All the words are also the same, but with different orders. The first sentence talks about "American" first, then "one university". Literally it means "in Ameirca, one university." So it is talking about "one university in America". The second sentence talks about "one" first, then "American university". Literally it means "one American university". It is talking about "one American university", but not have to be in the U.S., it might be an American university in London.

After all, we can say, Chinese is a very logical language. When you learn it, please pay attention to the sentence order. Youwill understand the context better based on it.

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