Say It Right Series

Erhua 儿 - does it actually mean something?

Posted by ok4rm January 12, 2012 in the Group I Have a Question.

Dear chinesepod,

I am puzzled by using  儿 ér in some words (and not using it in some other words). Except few 

You, Shanghai-based chinesepod guys, almost exclusively use 哪里 / nǎlǐ for "where" in your lessons, whereas my teacher never says anything but 哪儿 / nǎr (she studied in Beijing). The textbook I use also always mentions 哪儿 / nǎr.

Now, interestingly, I found in wikipedia article "Erhua" that the -儿 / -ér is used as diminutive.

So, when I see something like 我要买这个包儿 /wǒ yào mǎi zhèi ge bāor/, does it mean they want to buy a (relatively) small-sized bag (compared to what)? And when using 一点儿 / yī diǎr (a little bit) instead of 一点  / yīdiǎn or 一点点 (supposedly the same as 一点儿), does it mean that the former is a really "tiny bit" -- something less significant than the latter?

And what about 饭店 / fàndiàn (restaurant) vs. 饭店儿 / fàndiànr - is the latter a smaller restaurant than the former?

Thank you,


Comments (4) RSS

loading... Updating ...

To comment, please login.

Not sure if your comment is appropriate? Check our Commenting Policy first.

New lesson idea? Please contact us.