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Can anyone explain the characters in this sentence?


alfred

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Hello,

I've just starting using the Rosetta Stone program, level 1; I was aware that the program worked primarily on a match-phrases-to-photos theme, so I've registered as it seems that I might have a lot of questions about the sentences I'm matching to photos. Just to be sure that I'm meaning what I'm saying, and that the program is teaching what it's intending.

Anywho, I wanted to make this first post to discuss a sentence in the first unit of the program, hoping someone can explain to me exactly what the characters mean, and how they combine to make a sentence.

The program shows a boy riding a horse, and the correct choice here is:

一个骑在马上的男孩儿.

I was wondering if anyone could explain the characters in this sentence. (First, is this a sentence?)

After some research I can see that:

一个 the? a grammar particle?

骑to ride

在be at, in, on, etc.

马horse

上 below, under?

的 grammar particle?

男孩儿 boy

1. Is this a "boy riding a horse" or "the boy is riding the horse" or "the boy is on top of the horse"? How do the verb words relate to the object & noun words in the sentence?

Thanks for any help, I look forward to posting in the future.

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Your translation is correct. It may help if you remember that prepositional phrases precede the noun and verb phrases they modify in Chinese.

一个骑在马上的男孩儿.

one RIDING ON A HORSE boy ---> a boy riding a horse

在北京工作

he IN BEIJING works

我们一起去上海旅游

We TOGETHER went to Shanghai on holiday

If you want software that will help you understand sentences like this on a word-by-word basis, try running them through the Adso engine. It will save you a great deal of looking thing up in a dictionary, and is unlikely to be wrong for this sort or relatively basic text.

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Alfred, I'm also using Rosetta Stone and have the same opinion...their intuitive approach isn't always so intuitive. I find the program most useful for expanding my vocabulary of nouns and verbs, but it's a challenge to determine what the particles and phrases add to the meaning.

I'm using the program in pinyin mode, so I frequently look up the words online as well. I use: http://www.pzlabs.com/chinese/o.html

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Stone CD you can find a text book explaining in US english what the text is supposed to say "D:DocsTextsLevel I" or in what ever drive you have your disc.

I have the combined level 1 & 2 program and that directory isn't on there.

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the program's supposed to mimic human's natural ability to aquire language by listening and image correlation. But doesn't that only happen in our early childhood? I tried it without any text at all (no pinyin or characters) to mimic real life as much as possible, but it gets really difficult. Even with pinyin I start getting lost at around Unit 2, or just simply waiting to hear (or see) one or two key words to clue me in on which image I should pick. And isn't pinyin kind of cheating? What's the point in the narrator even talking, then?

although at least you get the satisfaction that if a native speaker, talking quickly, suddenly went up to you and said "na ge nan hai er, he na ge nu: hai er zai tiao" I would know exactly what they were talking about and they would be like :shock:

and on the topic of adverbs/descriptors and their order:

zai4 fei5 ji5 shang4 mian4 de yi1 ge4 nan2 hai2 er2

really confusing.. using English word order and limited understanding of the parts of the sentance you get "plane > fei ji" "above > shang" "boy > nan2 hai" but that's wrong...

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  • 3 years later...

Forgive me for resurrecting a thread that is almost four years old. :mrgreen: I have just started with Rosetta Stone, too.

I'm slightly confused as to why the program gives the following (all presumably mean to swim?)

这个男人在游泳。

这只狗在游水。

这条鱼在游。

So it seems a man does one thing, a fish does another and a dog does yet something else!

Can anyone explain why? Many thanks.

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这个男人在游泳。

这只狗在游水。

这条鱼在游。

This [M] man is swimming swimming. (Chinese likes two-character words, sometimes this means that two characters that mean basically the same thing are put together, to make a two-character word.)

This [M] dog is swimming in water.

This [M] fish is swimming.

They all have 游 you, to swim. 游泳 youyong also means to swim. 水 shui means water, so 游水 youshui is to swim in water.

I hope that helps!

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跑步 is a verb-noun and is = 跑. Just like 吃饭 "to eat (food)" and 走步 "to walk" (lit. to walk a step).

男人 can both 跑 and 跑步. It's the same, but 跑步 is clearer that he is running, just like 吃饭 is clearer that one is eating than doing something else pronounced chi1.

Wait a second... Do horses 跑步. 步 means "step". Do horses take "steps", or do they only 跑? :roll:

Anyway, I think it's obvious that in this case the horse is running. Horses don't really have a lot of different things they do, compared to humans. So just 跑 is enough to understand.

This explanation based on my gut-feeling. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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