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Top 6 grammar mistakes made by Chinese learners

learn chinese

All students are different and yet, there are some mistakes that are very common among Chinese learners. Here are six common mistakes I can share with you:

每个学生各有不同,但他们会犯同样的错误。本文中我将介绍汉语学习者常见的一些错误。

 

Adverbials (especially of time and place)

状语(尤其是时间和地点状语)

 

Foreign learners of Chinese often have difficulty in dealing with the position of adverbials in a sentence. Influenced by their mother tongues, learners often place adverbials at the end of a sentence. For example, they translate the English sentence: "I found a wallet in the park." into "我发现了一个钱包在公园里". But, this is incorrect. Another example is, "My mother goes shopping every Sunday morning" into "我妈妈去购物每个星期天早上". This is also incorrect.

对汉语学习者来说,状语在句中的位置通常是个难题。受母语的影响,他们经常将状语放在句末。例如,他们会把英语句子"I found a wallet in the park"翻译为"我发现了一个钱包在公园里"。但这种翻译是错误的。还有一个例子,他们会将英语句子"My mother goes shopping every Sunday morning"翻译成"我妈妈去购物每个星期天早上"。这种翻译也是错误的。

 

These two Chinese sentences are incorrect; they are not what Chinese people say in their everyday life, although they can understand them if you say the sentences to them in that way.   Native Chinese speakers can immediately tell the speaker is not a native speaker even if his or her pronunciation and intonation are perfect.

以上两个句子都是错误的。虽然中国人能理解这些句子的意思,但是他们在日常生活中不会这样表达。即使你的发音很完美,但是如果你用了这样的句子,他们能立刻发现你并非是以中文为母语的人。

 

The right way is to place adverbials, especially adverbials of time or place, is immediately before the verb of the predicate. So, the correct ways to say the above sentences are: "我在公园里发现了一个钱包" and "我妈妈每个星期天早上去购物". These are correct!

状语,尤其是时间状语或地点状语,应直接置于谓语动词之后。因此,以上两个句子的正确说法应是"我在公园里发现了一个钱包"及"我妈妈每个星期天早上去购物"。

 

Order of time and place adverbials

时间状语和地点状语的位置

 

When there is both an adverbial of place and an adverbial of time in one Chinese sentence, foreigners tend to put them in a wrong order. They put the adverbial of place before the adverbial of time, but Chinese people do the reverse. For example, I heard someone say: "我在中国去年夏天学习汉语了". The correct sentence should be: "我去年夏天在中国学习汉语了". 

若同一个句子中既有时间状语也有地点状语,外国人很容易弄错两者的顺序。他们会将地点状语放在时间状语之前。但是中国人却是把时间状语置于地点状语之前。例如,我听见有些人说"我在中国去年夏天学习汉语了",正确的说法应是"我去年夏天在中国学习汉语了"

 

Chinese people place the adverbial of time before that of place.

中国人将时间状语置于地点状语之前。

 

Interrogative or Question Words

疑问词

 

Some learners place interrogative words, such as who, where, when, what, why, how, etc.,  at the beginning of a sentence. This is an error. For instance: "谁你邀请来参加晚会?" and "怎样你去北京的?" are both wrong.

有些汉语学习者把疑问词"谁"、"哪里"、"什么时候"、"什么"、"为什么"、"如何"等置于句首。这是错误的。例如句子"谁你邀请来参加晚会?"和"怎样你去北京的?"都是错误的。

 

Chinese speakers just use the declarative word order, and they don't have to place the interrogative words at the beginning of a sentence. So, the correct word order should be: "你邀请谁来参加晚会?" and "你怎样去北京的?".

中国人采用陈述句的语序,无需将疑问词置于句首。因此,以上两个句子的正确的语序应是"你邀请谁来参加晚会?"及"你怎样去北京的?"。

 

谁 is an object in the sentence, so just put in after the transitive verb. And 怎样 is an adverbial in the sentence, so just place it before the verb.

"谁"在该句中作宾语,因此将其直接置于及物动词之后。"怎样"在句中作状语,因此只需将其直接置于动词之前。

 

Two

二或两

 

Let's talk about the right use of the number two in Chinese. Native Chinese speakers say the number two in a couple of ways, which are èr and liǎng. When the number is followed by a noun, we use liǎng. If not, we say èr for the number two.

现在,我们来说说"二(èr)"和"两(liǎng)"的正确用法。若后面有名词则用"两",若后面没有名词,则用"二"。

 

We say, 余数是2 (èr) and 我喝了两(liǎng)杯牛奶。

我们说"余数是二"及"我喝了两杯牛奶"。


Check out a post before about "二" and "两" for details: Differences between "二" and "两"

 

不 (bù) and 没 (méi)

不和没

 

Some learners use the two negative words, 不 (bù) and 没 (méi) inappropriately.

有些学习者不能正确使用否定词"不"和"没"。

 

不 (bù) is used for the subjective will or wish, while 没 is used to tell an objective fact or statement. For example, Chinese speakers say: 他不想去英国。他没去英国。These mean: "He doesn't want to/won't go to England." and "He did not go to England."

"不"通常是指主观意愿,而"没"则是指客观事实。例如中国人会说"他不想去英国","他没去英国"。

 

What's more, 不 (bù) can be used in any tense–present, past and future, while 没

(méi) cannot be used in the future tense. For example:

另外,"不"可以用于任何时态的句子——现在时,过去时及将来时。"没"不能用于表示将来时态的句子,例如:

 

我以前不喜欢,现在不喜欢,以后也不会喜欢摇滚乐。

"I did not like, I don't like and I won't like… rock and roll music."

 

我以前没小看他,现在也没小看他。

"I did not look down upon him; I don't look down upon him now, either."


Here is another post about "不" and "没有": How to say "No" with "不" and "没有" in Chinese

 

Negation

否定

 

不 (bù) can be used before all auxiliary verbs, but 没 can only be used before secular auxiliary verbs. For example, we say, 不喜欢,不想要,不应该,不可能,没能,没可,没敢. In addition, 不 (bù) can modify both adjectives and verbs, such as, 不喜欢,不漂亮, while 没 (méi) can only modify verbs, such as, 没出发.

"不"可以置于所有助动词之前,但"没"则只能置于连续性助动词之前。例如,我们可以说"不喜欢"、"不想要"、"不应该"、"不可能"、"没能"、"没可"、"没敢"。另外,"不"既可以修饰形容词也可以修饰动词,而"没"则只能修饰动词。

 

The above-mentioned mistakes are very common for foreign learners of Chinese. If you can decrease and then eliminate these mistakes, your Chinese will sound much more natural.

以上是汉语学习者常见的错误,如果你能减少或杜绝这些错误,那么你的中文听起来也会更加地道。


Translated from: italki

2016-06-21

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