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 conversation. Don’t be shy!

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 ...

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

1.0 W1

Nihoe, I cannot figure out how to use the W1 because every time I enter the word it tells me I am wrong since I cannot put the symbols on top. Xiexie. Gabriela

3 replies - Last post by o.h. - February 22, 2014

How do you say Merry Christmas in chinese?

How do you say Merry Christmas in chinese?

3 replies - Last post by o.h. - February 14, 2014

Year of Horse

How to you say year of the horse? In Chinese

1 reply - Last post by handyman - February 3, 2014

Caron and macron

Hello, I would like to know just if somebody has found how to input A E I O U with caron or macron using and ordinary US keyboard. This is necessary in order to do the Rocket Chinese writing exercises. Thanks,

4 replies - Last post by Robert-C7 - January 7, 2014

Traditional and Simplified

Hello everyone. I noticed that the chinese script in all the lessons (at least the one's i've completed) is in simplified chinese. I have learned all the chinese characters for every word in every lesson until now, but I was wondering if there was a way ...

10 replies - Last post by Sorina-N1 - November 17, 2013

Chinese word order for zhǐ

Hallo everyone, I am having Problems with the word order in this sentence: Huì, kěshì wǒ zhǐ huì shuō yìdiǎnr。 Shouldn't the zhǐ come after the verbs because it is a complement and not an adverb? Thanks in advance, Kaye

1 reply - Last post by Lin-Ping - November 8, 2013

R & Zh

is there anyway to learn how to properly pronounce the R like a native chinese would say "rong" ? To me it doesn't sound anything like an R in english ! The Zh isn't as difficult ! My wife's name is Zhong Zhen and nobody ever pr...

3 replies - Last post by Lin-Ping - November 8, 2013

Shihou or Shijian? (时候还是时间?)

Wondering what the difference is and in what context you use which. Been confusing me for a while..

4 replies - Last post by Lin-Ping - November 8, 2013

Lesson 2.4: yijing zhunshi

Hi. I'm on lesson 2.4 and I have a question regarding the usage of the word yi3ji1ng. If I remember correctly, yi3ji1ng means already. In the sentence "fe1iji1 yi3ji1ng zhu3nshi2 za4i be3iji1ng ji1cha3ng jia4ngluo3 le", what is the usage of yi3ji1ng? zhu3...

3 replies - Last post by Lin-Ping - November 8, 2013

Tone problematics

你好 Last year I baught a chinese dictionary and I have started looking in it. I have found out that some words with same pinyin doesn't nessesserily got the same tone. So I wonder if I should go remembering how high the word starts, and if ji (downwards) ...

5 replies - Last post by Oggiedoggy - July 17, 2013

Quiz 1.8.1 in "1.8 What time is it?"

Hello. I am looking for clarity on the correct answers to questions 1 and 5 in the quiz at the end of the test section. I do not understand why I was marked as incorrect, and would be grateful for some guidance. Thank you.

6 replies - Last post by Alan-R-G - June 16, 2013

Grammar and Culture PDF download

Please inform when the Grammar and Culture lessons will be made available as PDF downloads. I asked this same question some months ago and was told that it would take a few more weeks. I have limited Internet access so it would help a lot if I could work ...

5 replies - Last post by bruce-librosmedia-com - November 30, 2012


I need to know when to use huo zhe or hai shi. I can't find it in any of the notes. HELP. I have an exam on this on Monday and I am confused!

6 replies - Last post by Lin-Ping - October 26, 2012

Quality of Lessons

Some of your translations are very imprecise and even incorrect. When we are learning a language, the translations should be as accurate as possible. I know it is not always possible or meaningful to use literal translations, but sometimes, your transla...

14 replies - Last post by monte-j - September 22, 2012

tones and characters, i.e. bu in lesson 1.2 of Rocket language

I am just starting to learn Chinese so my question might be really stupid. I had originally thought that each character was associated to only one tone but I noticed in lesson 1.2 that the character for bu had different tones depending on where it was use...

2 replies - Last post by G-M1 - June 27, 2012

My Topic for Questions

I'm starting the Language & Culture lessons, and I can already tell I'm going to have a TON of questions so this is just going to be my topic for all of my questions. Now, I'm reading in Lesson 1.5 where it says that 'nǐ hǎo' is used between people w...

11 replies - Last post by Dionna-Monique - April 28, 2012

Zhe/zhei and na/nei

你好 I'm having trouble distinguishing the difference in usage between zhe (这) and zhei (same character, I think). I also can't tell the difference between na (那) and nei (哪). When I was taking a class, I asked my teacher about this but she could not exp...

3 replies - Last post by Lin-Ping - April 17, 2012

What's the difference?

Can anyone tell me the difference between 枝 and 支? Do I write 一支笔 Or 一枝笔

1 reply - Last post by Oggiedoggy - February 14, 2012

Loadful of questions!

Hello everyone, I have quite a few questions that I can't seem to solve for myself, so I need your help. 1. What is the difference between 航班 and 班机? Both are used in different lessons but refer to a flight. Maybe synonyms? 2. If 他,她,它 are all pronounce...

7 replies - Last post by Oggiedoggy - January 10, 2012

Difference between kan and jian

What is the difference between kan and jian? When do you use which? Both mean to see or to look

6 replies - Last post by Lin-Ping - January 10, 2012


Ni Hao Lin! I am having trouble with the pronunciation of the word "shi" in the fourth tone. I hear this word phonetically almost as "sure" or "sh-rr", is this correct? Sometimes it sounds like "sheer" to me as well, this word just confuses me :( lol ...

5 replies - Last post by Yi-H - November 30, 2011


Ni hao! I just started with Rocket Chinese and am taking a vocabulary course as well, and noticed that shí means "ten", and has the same Pinyin letters for when you say "time" or "o'clock". Do both these words have the same pronunciation? How can you tel...

4 replies - Last post by Jaime_Andres - September 5, 2011

Use of liange

Hi - I've just started the course and got to quiz 1.9.1 where one of the questions asked was for a translation of There are two people in the room. I gave the wrong answer but as I hadn't seen any reference to the word liangge up to that point it made me ...

3 replies - Last post by Oggiedoggy - August 27, 2011

Ma or no ma?

Being new to Chinese please forgive any ignorance of mine. In lesson 2.2, line 2, the sentence structure is "nin yao". In lesson 2.3, line 5, the sentence structure is "ni yao mai...?" Is it optional to use "ma" t...

6 replies - Last post by Wong - August 23, 2011

Ni, Wo, Women,

hey everyone i just have a couple of questions; hope the community can be of some help; 1) can ni, wo, and women be used interchangeably without changing anything else in the sentence? -for example in Lesson 1.4 (Ordering Drinks), one of the lines spok...

3 replies - Last post by Lin-Ping - August 15, 2011

Please explain the use of ? in this sentence.

Hi, I'm currently working on Lesson 5.4 in the Rocket Chinese Course. I'm struggling to grasp the use of 就 in this context. 我们花了整整一天的时间,可是就大概看了一下 The Rocket Chinese english translation for this sentence is: 'We spent a whole day there and did not even ...

3 replies - Last post by Lin-Ping - June 28, 2011

ni keyi xiang wo

hi, i was wondering what does that mean? im having trouble with the following sentence... Nǐ kěyǐ xiàng wǒ tuījiàn yīnggāi cānguān de dìfāng ma? i get the 2nd half of it. but not quite the first. how does the first relate to the 2nd half? could you say....

4 replies - Last post by Oggiedoggy - April 23, 2011

Use of counting words

Is there some secret to knowing when a counting word is necessary? For example, in the lesson on aboard the plane, the attendent (Lin) responds Shíèrge xiǎoshí shífēnzhōng. After I pondered it a bit, I realized that the term zia3oshi4 for hours required "...

3 replies - Last post by barryh - February 14, 2011

Using shenme shihou

Hello, I just wanted to clarify about the usage of shenme shihou. In lesson 10.3, Tao said: "Ni zuihou yici kanjian ni de bao shi shenme shihou?" Would it make any difference if I remove the "shi" in "shenme shihou" Also, if...

4 replies - Last post by Oggiedoggy - December 30, 2010


"ji" is pronounced "tji" and "qi" more like "chi" right? But in "duibuqi" it sounds like the "qi"-part is pronounced "tji" as well. Am I right and in case I am, how do I know when it's pronounced "tji" or "chi"?

4 replies - Last post by Lin-Ping - December 21, 2010


why dont we use phonemic,it would be much easier to learn to speak if the pronounciation is right there in the word hao is pronounced use..nee how ma...I know its not orthodox pinyin but english people would learn to speak mandarin m...

3 replies - Last post by howard - November 16, 2010

Translation of “It is nice to meet you"????

Hello, In the lesson 1.1 the translation of "It is nice to meet you" is" Jianguo ni wo hen gaoxing However, in the quiz of that same lesson, the last question asked give the answer as: Jianguo ni hen gaoxing Anyone knows why the "wo...

1 reply - Last post by Lin-Ping - June 15, 2010

Problem with activation

Hi there, I dont know if I am writing in a proper board but I have got a problem with activation, link i receive in email is not working...

1 reply - Last post by Lin-Ping - June 15, 2010

Saying "see"

I am new so please forgive any ignorance on my part. Regarding lesson 1.1, does anyone know why dao is put after jian? (i.e. jiandao), The lesson says it means "see". I have looked in various learning materials and do not understand why dao woul...

1 reply - Last post by Lin-Ping - May 11, 2010

Sentence Structure

I hope someone can help me. Example In lesson 1.2 Learning Chinese, Dave says "Excuse me, a little bit more slowly please?" The pinyin for this, puts "please" for example, just after "I'm sorry/Excuse me" rather than at ...

6 replies - Last post by Lin-Ping - May 3, 2010

Help me grasp this - ??????????

I am currently taking a college Mandarin Chinese course, and today I asked my teacher how I would translate "You are the teacher. You can do __whatever __you like". I emphasize 'whatever' because I wasn't sure what wording one would use for that phras...

2 replies - Last post by barryh - December 27, 2009

Word order

Hi, I have a question. In lesson 3.1 "Catching a ride" the sentance reads, "Is this your first time in China? " The pinyin is "Zhè shì nǐ dì yī cì lái Zhōngguó ma?" If they are talking about "Your first time" shouldn't the sentance read "Zhè shì nǐ de dì...

2 replies - Last post by Lin-Ping - July 16, 2009

Lost grammar lessons

Hi, I'm a Rocket Chinese student and the other day my mail was blocked and I lost the grammar lesson number 3.(the grammar that is send weekly to the mail, not the one which is always available in the intranetwork..) I need to recover it because now I've ...

1 reply - Last post by Lin-Ping - December 18, 2008

where to download grammar lessons?

I've just bought rocket chinese, and would like to download all the interactive audio lessons as well as software and transcript before starting. But I'm not sure where are the grammar and cultural lessons? thanks!

4 replies - Last post by Lin-Ping - November 3, 2008

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