Chinese Grammar

By taking the time to understand how the Chinese language works, you'll be able to speak Chinese naturally, and read and write in Chinese. We know this can be one of the more challenging parts of your course, and we’re here to help! You can browse the topics, do a search in the top right corner of this page, or start a new topic at the bottom. Don’t be shy!

Number of characters taught.

How many Chinese characters (video clips) are taught in the course?

1 reply - Last post by Eleanor-Rocket-Chinese-Tutor -
Mar 30, 2019

Lesson 2.4

In lesson 2.4 there is a sentence I don't quite understand.  The lesson says that the word 系, jì, means fasten, but in the sentence qǐng dàjiā jìhǎo ānquándài,  there is a hǎo after the jì. Why is it so? And is the pinyin for 系 really jì? In some places I see the pinyin xì...

5 replies - Last post by Robert-C7 -
Aug 13, 2017

verb 尝

if i want to say the 饺子 tasted good can i say:饺子尝得很好。i can 't understand the use of this verb.

3 replies - Last post by Robert-C7 -
Aug 13, 2017

破 VS 打破

what's the difference between 破 and 打破。 for example how can i say i broke the eggs. or the egg was broken by me. is the following sentence correct? 我破了所有的鸡蛋。(i broke all the eggs)

2 replies - Last post by Lin-Ping -
Jul 16, 2017

position of Beijing as modifier

In Lesson 3.3, there are 2 sentences with Beijing as a modifier in both but in different positions:                                         Wǒmen shì yi xià yǒumíng de Běijīng kǎoyā. Shì Běijīng yǒumíng de shāngyè zhōngxīn.         ...

3 replies - Last post by Lin-Ping -
Mar 26, 2017

The 214 Must Know Chinese Hanzi Radicals

你好同学, 这里是214汉字部首属于书写系普通话统的构建块的列表。我创建了一个闪卡集合中的第100为您提供方便。我应该在几天剩余114。 祝你好运, 大卫 Nǐ hǎo tóngxué, zhèlǐ shì 214 hànzì bù shǒu shǔyú shūxiě...

2 replies - Last post by David K -
Nov 2, 2016

Incorrect translation

Hello. This refers to lesson 3.3 "Making plans", in the test section. I have copied the text from the window: " Shì Běijīng yǒumíng de shāngyè zhōngxīn. 是北京有名的商业中心。 famous for both inexpensive and good quality products." But, during the lesson, the Chinese...

15 replies - Last post by Michael-K122 -
Sep 13, 2016

Xiàgè xīngqī versus Xiàyīgè hángbān

Why is there yī with 'next' when it is used with 'flight' but not with 'week'?

3 replies - Last post by Robert-C7 -
Aug 23, 2016

use of 'de'

Could you please explain the usage of 'de' in Nǐ kěyǐ xiàng wǒ tuījiàn yīnggāi cānguān de dìfāng ma? Thanks.

1 reply - Last post by Robert-C7 -
Jun 2, 2016

Which is the correct term?

Which is the correct term to use when saying Happy New Year? Xīnnián kuàilè! or Gon Xi Fa Cai? 

4 replies - Last post by M-L -
Feb 14, 2016

Shíèrge xiǎoshí shífēnzhōng

In Shíèrge xiǎoshí shífēnzhōng  why does 'hour', but not 'minute' have the classifier 'ge'?

1 reply - Last post by Robert-C7 -
Nov 17, 2015

My Dashboard

I want to try the module tests but can't find My Dashboard (I've **only** been using Rocket Chinese for 2 1/2 months!). I am using Firefox 42.  Thanks

2 replies - Last post by Robert-C7 -
Nov 16, 2015

meaning of 才对 (cái duì)

Consider this pair of sentences giving in sequence. 这个颜色不对。(Zhè ge yán sè bú duì.) 这个颜色才对。(Zhè ge yán sè cái duì.) The first sentence clearly means "This color is incorrect."  The second sentence seems to then mean "This color is correct."  What...

3 replies - Last post by Lin-Ping -
Nov 11, 2015

position of adverbs

In "wǒ zhǐ huì shuō yìdiǎnr", zhi occurs before the verb, even though it qualifies yidianr.  But in "wo xuixi hanyu yijing yige yue le", yijing occurs after the verb, even though it qualifies yige yue.  Would it be OK to put yijing before xuixi, parallel to the sentence with...

2 replies - Last post by handyman -
Oct 25, 2015

position of duōcháng shíjiān

Is it possible to say Nǐ duōcháng shíjiān xuéxí Hànyǔ le?  instead of Nǐ xuéxí Hànyǔ duōcháng shíjiān le?  If not, what is the rule for positioning adverbial expressions?  Thanks very much.   Mike

2 replies - Last post by Robert-C7 -
Oct 7, 2015

Meaning of 'le' at end of sentence

Why is there 'le' in Wǒ xuéxí Hànyǔ yǐjīng yīgeyuè le ?  (I think it's module 1.2 or 1.3.)

3 replies - Last post by Robert-C7 -
Sep 8, 2015

HSK level 5

Hi, everyone. How are you guys? I'm a new with rocket chinese. Do you think it is possible to pass HSK5 in a month? Especially, ways to recognize the large amount of chinese character in a limit of time. Any idea?

1 reply - Last post by Bayan-Y -
Aug 17, 2015

How to get characters.

Nìhao, How do I get Chinese characters on my computer to type with? I would like to know this so that I can do W2. Xièxie ni. Gabriela P.C.

4 replies - Last post by Spammy -
Aug 1, 2015

nar3 + ma

Modul 2.3  "ni3 zhi1dào xi3shou3jian1 zài nar3 ma?"  when does "nar3" need "ma"? I thought it is a word that defines a question. Thank you for information  

6 replies - Last post by Robert-C7 -
Jul 28, 2015


I was speaking to a Chinese relative who said you shouldn't call young ladies Xiaojie as it often refers to prostitutes and the like. Is this true? It would be quite embarrassing if so!

9 replies - Last post by handyman -
Jul 13, 2015

past, present, and future tenses

Rosetta Stone attempts to represent past, present, and future tenses like this. tā yóu yǒng le 他游泳了 he swam tā zài yóu yǒng 他在游泳 he is swimming tā yào yóu yǒng 他要游泳 he will swim The first two (past, present) make perfect sense to me. The last example...

1 reply - Last post by handyman -
Mar 24, 2015

placing time words in sentences

Rosetta Stone does it both ways (1) who (2) when (3) rest of the sentence -or- (1) when (2) who (3) rest of the sentence. For example: zuótiān wǒ pǎo shí gōnglǐ 昨天我跑十公里 yesterday I ran 10 kilometers tā zuótiān dǎ wǎngqiú le 她昨天打网球了 she played tennis...

3 replies - Last post by handyman -
Mar 24, 2015

Difference between Bie de and qi ta

Hi I'm doing the Chapter 4 of chinese rocket language, and I saw that they used "bie de" and "qi ta" to both mean other.  If someone could explain what the difference is I would greatly appreciate it.

1 reply - Last post by nóng fū -
Mar 22, 2015

how would you parse this sentence

Consider this sentence from Rosetta Stone. 这些狗里有一只穿红色的毛衣 zhè xiē gǒu li yǒu yī zhǐ chuān hóngsè de máoyī This seems to be saying "one of these dogs wears a red sweater".  Does "这些狗里有一只" translate to the "one of these dogs"?  Am I...

2 replies - Last post by Robert-C7 -
Mar 11, 2015

placement of le in sentence

When specifying a completed action, i.e. past tense, what is the difference between these two sentences? tā chī fàn le 他吃饭了 he ate [rice] wǒ kàn le shū 我看了书 I read a book In both cases, the verb is one syllable and the object is one syllable. What if I rewrote the first...

3 replies - Last post by Lin-Ping -
Feb 19, 2015

past tense forms - 了 vs 是...的

I know that both of these forms can be used to describe something that happened in the past. Using 了 to indicate a completed action: Wǒmen jīntiān zǎoshang dǎ wǎngqiú le. 我们今天早上打网球了. We played tennis this morning. Using the 是...的 construct to express past...

2 replies - Last post by Lin-Ping -
Feb 2, 2015

Good chinese learning program

I have difficulties in figuring out how to effectively learn new letters in chinese. When I found this program, some of my problems went a way. Now I am able to: - look up letters by writing them with my finger. - look up words faster. - learn letters better, because I am writing the character...

2 replies - Last post by Robert-C7 -
Jan 27, 2015

Exuse Me?

how do you say excuse me,as if you need to pass by people in a crowded bus or elevator ? "sorry" is incorrect Dui Bu Qi is not correct when asking for assistance simply say hello "ni hao" or Please ask "Qing Wen" what are you sorry for ?

8 replies - Last post by Jakrach-V -
Dec 20, 2014

use of neng, keyi, or hui

In the lesson quiz the question asked was what is the translation of "wo hui shuo xie xie", the answer was "i can say thank you" rather than "I know how to say thank you". There was likewise a note saying beside the "i can say thank you" the pin yin, "wo neng shuo xie xie". I am a bit confused...

7 replies - Last post by Jakrach-V -
Dec 20, 2014

grammer examples

can someone explain how this means "it really is as big as a city" Tā zhēn de xiàng yī zuò chéngshì yíyàng. i dont really get this sentence structure and grammer. can someone give me a few more examples using this? thanks!

5 replies - Last post by Jakrach-V -
Dec 20, 2014

Lesson 3.1 Catching A Ride

This is a small point but one that bugs me every now and then. Consider this sentence: Hěn yǒumíng。 很有名。 It's very famous. My understanding that that you do not use 是 (shì) before adjectives but instead use 很 (hěn). In the context of this sentence, 很 (hěn) is being used...

3 replies - Last post by Jakrach-V -
Dec 20, 2014

Lesson 5.4 - why 'le' for this sentence

In lesson 5.4, this sentence appears: 对不起,明天我不能陪你了。 Duìbùqǐ, míngtiān wǒ bù néng péi nǐ le. I am sorry, but I can't spend time with you tomorrow. Why does the sentence end with 了 (le)? This is not a completed action nor is it a change in state. Those are...

5 replies - Last post by Jakrach-V -
Dec 20, 2014


I need software to type pinyin. Help. Thanks [email protected]

3 replies - Last post by danos -
Dec 8, 2014

green eggs and ham

I am guessing that the best way to say "green eggs" is 绿色的鸡蛋 (lǜsè de jīdàn). Is it also correct to just say 绿鸡蛋 (lǜ jīdàn)? Also, is ham 火腿 (huǒtuǐ) which literally translates to "fire leg"? Finally, to say "I don't like green eggs and ham" I think one says...

0 replies - Last post by Robert-C7 -
Nov 10, 2014

Sentence Order/Structure

Ni hao. Where in the lessons is sentence order/structure explained? Does anyone know of a good place online to learn sentence order/structure? I tried looking through the lessons, but have not been able to find anything that helps. By understanding the sentence order/structure will help me...

4 replies - Last post by Robert-C7 -
Sep 10, 2014

Use of 睡 (shuì) and 得 (de)

Consider this sentence from lesson 5.1. Zuótiān wǎnshàng shuì de hǎo ma? 昨天晚上睡得好吗? Did you sleep well last night? The verb 睡 (shuì) is one of those that requires an object. The dummy object for this verb is 觉 (jiào). So to sleep one 睡觉 (shuìjiào). The dummy...

5 replies - Last post by Robert-C7 -
Sep 5, 2014

Lesson 2.2 - Buying Plane Tickets

I have questions/issues with the following sentence from lesson 2.2 Wǒ yào mǎi liǎngzhāng qù Běijīng de fēijīpiào。 我要买两张去北京的飞机票。 I would like to buy two tickets to Beijing. First of all, the tickets being purchased are airline tickets. The translation,...

3 replies - Last post by Lin-Ping -
Sep 5, 2014


total apple on the tree

1 reply - Last post by Robert-C7 -
Sep 3, 2014

Beijing's famous commercial center

Lesson 3.3 has this sentence in it: Shì Běijīng yǒumíng de shāngyè zhōngxīn. 是北京有名的商业中心。 It is Beijing's famous commercial centre. Is this sentence missing a 的 (de)? One 的 is required to connect the adjective yǒumíng to the noun shāngyè zhōngxīn. Do...

2 replies - Last post by Robert-C7 -
Sep 2, 2014


I am having some trouble differentiating the beginning sound, It sounds like a "K" sound in English like phonetically "Khwying" is this right or is it more of a hard H sound? Thanks

10 replies - Last post by Robert-C7 -
Jul 24, 2014

Tone Rules

When I hear the pronunciation of the mandarin words I can hear that the tones are different than the pinyin. I can't seem to find a place that teaches me how the pronunciation of the tones changes despite what the pinyin says. Aren't there rules for this? For example, is it true that for ni hao...

1 reply - Last post by Robert-C7 -
Jun 27, 2014

Lesson 2.2 and 2.6 - question regarding 一张

My understanding is that 一张 (yīzhāng) is one followed by a measure word for flat objects. However, in this lesson, it is used in this sentence: 七百二十元一张。(Qībǎi èrshí yuán yīzhāng。) The English translation is "720 yuan each." The implication here is that 一张...

2 replies - Last post by Robert-C7 -
Jun 24, 2014


Please help i am learning chinese but i don`t know how can you pronounce them please help!Especially i need your help Lin Ping!!!

3 replies - Last post by Lin-Ping -
Jun 24, 2014

learning chinese

How long does it take to learn chinese?

2 replies - Last post by Wong -
May 25, 2014

How to talk about age

Can someone please help me figure out the difference between these statements? They all seem to mean "I am old". 我老 我年纪大 Or these, which both seem to mean "I am young": 我年纪小 我年轻 Thanks!

2 replies - Last post by Wong -
May 25, 2014

How can I remember the Kanji characters easily?

Nin hao, I know that Kanji is very important when learning Chinese and I was wondering, How can I remember the Chinese character, what it means, and how to pronounce it? Can you please help me so I can learn chinese better.

5 replies - Last post by Wong -
May 25, 2014

4.3 "AA"

why was AA used here when referring to arguing who pays the bill? Does this stand for something? I have been in Beijing now for 2+ weeks and eaten at many restaurants but have never heard like this from Chinese friends. What Chinese can I substitute in for AA? ”我们AA制吧“

2 replies - Last post by Oggiedoggy -
May 3, 2014


how to learn chinese fast?

2 replies - Last post by Lin-Ping -
Apr 26, 2014

sentence structure

i am studying chinese in taiwan and we are using traditional chinese so its kinda difficult for me to understand most words on here however i really do not get the sentece structure of this language and i am on chapter 9 in our text book. also is there an easy way to help me remember the vocabulary

3 replies - Last post by o.h. -
Mar 15, 2014

Pronunciation of certain consonants

Hello! When comparing the Pinyon version of certain words to the audio lesson pronunciation, especially ones with two consonants together in the middle (like "shénme") , I have a difficult time hearing the n in the middle of the word. My question is if the n is similar to certain english...

7 replies - Last post by crinosrome-- -
Feb 25, 2014

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