3 September 2013

Chinese grammar: basic sentence structure

One of the first grammar rules to learn is the structure of the Chinese sentence. The common structure for a simple declarative sentences is:

subject + verb + object
Wǒ hē kāfēi
I drink coffee

Because Chinese verbs are not conjugated, is extremely important to understand the use of adverbs and other particles. With them Chinese language expresses the differences that we do in English with the verb conjugation.

subject + adverbs +  verb + object
Tā míngtiān qù xuéxiào
She will go to school tomorrow

subject + adverbs + verb + object
Tā zuótiān mǎi de
He bought it yesterday

Let's see a more complex sentence, be aware about the time adverb, because you are free to place it before or after the subject:

adverbs + subject + verb + object
Shàng gè yuè wǒ hé wǒ bà qù shān
Last month me and my dad went to the mountain

To compose Chinese basic sentences correctly, the rule is very simple: place the subject and adverbs before the verb. Remember: don't change the order of this particles like in English or other European languages.

More Chinese sentence structure lessons soon.