Getting started with Chinese 2
Getting started with Chinese 2

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Getting started with Chinese 2

7 Location, location, location

You have learned before that, in Chinese, time expressions such as ‘tomorrow evening’, ‘tomorrow’ etc. must be placed before the verb (time + verb), as in:

Wǒ xīngqītiān wǎnshang kàn diànyǐng. 我星期天晚上看电影。

lit. I Sunday evening watch movies/a movie. (I watch movies/a movie on Sunday evening.)

Similarly, expressions of location should also be placed before the verb. The sentence structure looks like this: zài (at/in) + a place + do something.

Wǒ zài Běijīng xué zhōngwén. 我在北京学中文.

lit. I in Beijing learn Chinese. (I learn Chinese in Beijing. )

Activity 7

Choose the correct Chinese translation.

I study Chinese literature in Beijing.


Wǒ xué Zhōngguó wénxué zài Běijīng. 我学中国文学在北京。


Wǒ zài Běijīng xué Zhōngguó wénxué. 我在北京学中国文学。


Wǒ xué zài Běijīng Zhōngguó wénxué. 我学在北京中国文学。

The correct answer is b.

He learns French in France.


Tā xué zài Fàguó fǎwén. 他学在法国法文。


Tā xué fǎwén zài Fàguó. 他学法文在法国。


Tā zài Fàguó xué fǎwén. 他在法国学法文。

The correct answer is c.

From the above, we can conclude: In Chinese the location of expressions such as , ‘in Beijing, ‘in France’ etc. must be placed…


before the verb, as in ‘in France I study’.


at the end of a sentence, as usually happens in English.

The correct answer is a.


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