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  5. "I am happy. How about you?"

"I am happy. How about you?"


November 16, 2017



Tips and notes

When we want to describe something we don’t use the verb “to be”, we have to put something else before an adjective. The most common word used to do this is 很 hěn, which literally means very. It goes between the subject (who or what we are describing) and the adjective (what we are describing it as). Since 很 is used so often like this, it oftentimes doesn’t mean “very”, just a link between a noun and an adjective.

*Pinyin in brackets is the actual pronunciation as a result of the change of tone.

Chinese ----- Pinyin ----- English

我很好。----- Wǒ hěn[hén]* hǎo. ----- I'm good.

你很高兴。----- Nǐ[ní] hěn gāoxìng. ----- You are happy.

The word for “also” or “too” is much less flexible in Chinese than in English. It must always come after the subject and before the verb.

Chinese ----- Pinyin ----- English

我也认识你。----- Wǒ[wó] yě rènshi nǐ. ----- I also know you. / I know you, too.

我也很高兴。----- Wǒ yě[yé] hěn gāoxìng. ----- I am happy, also. / I am also happy.

也 can also be used in the phrase "If X is... then Y is (also) ..." Here we don't need to use 很.

Chinese ----- Pinyin ----- English

你高兴,我也高兴. ----- nǐ gāoxìng, wǒ[wó] yě gāoxìng. ----- If you are happy then I am happy.

你很高兴,我也很高兴。----- nǐ[ní] hěn gāoxìng, wǒ yě[yé] hěn gāo xìng. ----- You are happy, I am also happy.

我高兴,他也高兴。----- wǒ gāo xìng, tā yě gāoxìng ----- If I am happy then he is happy.


Being able to hear the correct translation would be invaluable.


The sentence says "I am happy", not "I am VERY happy", "我高兴" should therefore also be a correct solution


Noun + 很 + Adj.

The noun in this structure is the subject of the sentence. Sometimes, 很 (hěn) in this structure is translated as "very," but often it is just a way to link a noun to an adjective.


Actually, 很 is like kind of like the am in terms of making it not sound normal and not be so weird. Proper Chinese people would use 很 instead of just 我高兴. The direct translation of 我高兴 is I happy.


How come 你呢 and not 呢你? just curious


I think it's closer to the more colloquial "I'm ____, you?" if that makes sense. 呢 is just letting the listener know what kind of question you are asking, like 妈, if I understand it correctly.


I'm confused every time


I'm pretty confused about 很. It's said in the tips that 很 is used to connect the subject and the adjective. But in the comments it's often said that answer without 很 should also be correct. Will it be incorrect to ommit 很?


You should not make us do the same thing over again it should be like stories and i get things wrong because you keep repeating them over and it's making me kind of angy from times.


Please don't be angry x Learning by making mistakes is how we remember! From the time we are born... Good luck with this course x


I agree - having things repeated is gradually helping me recognise the characters more easily. I can speak six European languages, but have only recently decided to learn Chinese because I didn't feel I had enough time to memorise a whole new character set. With a few minutes a day, this app is helping the patterns sink in. Don't get frustrated with the repetition - bear in mind that over time it will help you remember!


Could we please hear a full sentence after we have selected the characters? Sound would help me reinforce what I see for better recall. Thanks!


For the beginners is not easier to put the Pinyin to?


我高兴,你呢? Not sure why the 很 is needed as that's an adjective meaning "very"


To me 'xing' when it is pronounced separately in the exercise, sounds as if it is first tone


I dont know the chinese symbols though. How am i meant to do this?

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