Say It Right Series

    Qing Wen - Grammar - Intermediate


    Qing Wen is one of our most popular and long-running shows on ChinesePod. We take questions from our community and turn them into helpful audio and video lessons.
    Here is a selection of Intermediate Qing Wen lessons curated by a Chinese teacher. They all focus on questions relating to grammar in some way.

    The Double 了 (le) phenomenon Qing Wen

    This week on Qing Wen we revisit everyone's favorite particle, 了 (le). Yes, not just one 了 (le), but two. Listen in and find out what the two 了 (le)'s can do for you!


    More and More Qing Wen

    In this word we investigate a tricky little character that gets more and more easy the more and more you use it, and also more and more flexible the more and more you.... enough. On to the show!


    Using Verbs 不出来 , 得出来 Qing Wen

    Now we all forget names, voices and faces, but perhaps before we didn't quite know how to explain it in Chinese. Well, thanks to this wonderful resultative complement, verb 不出来 (bu chūlai) verb 得出来 (de chūlai) and your three friends at Qing Wen, you'll have no problem making out this grammar structure!

    Tags: complement

    Extreme Chinese - 不得了 (bùdéliǎo) Qing Wen

    Today on Qing Wen, we go crazy with a great word. The three of us always love to pepper our Chinese with a little drama! Now you can too, as we give a few tips on going over-the-top with a word called: 不得了 (bùdéliǎo). You're gonna love it 得不得了 (de bùdéliǎo)!


    Even you can use the (连...都...) pattern Qing Wen

    Yes...even you can learn this fun way to put a bit of moxy in your Mandarin. Whether its to put in a dig on a colleague of yours, or if its to tell someone how nice you can be.... Listen in to find out how you can use this pattern to put some emphasis into your Chinese.


    一...就... (yī...jiù...) pattern Qing Wen

    As soon as you listen to this podcast, then you will be able to use this handy little pattern. That sentence is more than just the opening line of this intro, it is the pattern. Let the QW crew take another stab at bringing you Chinese grammar without boring you to tears. Or, as our beloved listener Art Kho says about Qing Wen, "You Ask... The Beautiful Canadian Dukes it out with the Texan, and the Cute Chinese Girl Judges the Best Answer."


    I Don't Have the Strength (... 不动) Qing Wen

    To have or to not have the strength, that my friends is the question on this episode of QW. If you are feelin' it, you need to go with the Verb plus 得动 (... v plus dedòng). If you are not, its time for Verb plus 不动 (... v plus budòng).


    I Can/Can't Afford it (...得起 & ...不起) Qing Wen

    China can stun you with prices, on the low and the high end. A Porsche in China will cost you twice the price of one back home, while a brand new Trek bike, less than 1/2. A cup of coffee can run you close to ten bucks (with no refills of course), while a DVD will cost less with a feature film on it than a blank one would from Best Buy. Like everyone else in the world, the Chinese love to talk about what they can and can't afford, yet they are just a tad more open. With this versatile pattern, you can now join in on half of the conversations in China.


    The Attitude Pattern (yǒu shénme... 有什么...) Qing Wen

    We know you are a nice person, but if you are ever feeling snippy, this pattern is the way to go.


    Making Negative Comparisons Qing Wen

    Today on Qing Wen we teach a structure that will help you to make comparisons in the negative: A 没有 (méiyǒu) B (Adj). So if you want to say your Chinese isn't as good as Connie's, for example, you will know the Chinese to say it after this podcast. Listen and try your own sentences in the comments section!


    Don't Never Say Never Qing Wen

    Qing Wen is back to make sure you are always making good use of the word 'never' in Chinese. In this episode, learn how and when to use the two forms of 'never' in Mandarin: 从来没 (cónglái méi) and 从来不 (cónglái bù).


    The Magic Word 让 (Ràng) Qing Wen

    We taught you the two other so-called 'magic words,' but today, the one that trumps them all with its multi-varied uses. In this Qing Wen learn all about 让 (Ràng). The word that makes people jump out of the way, lets you boss people around, and provides old ladies with seats on the bus.


    Using 除了。。。以外 (Chúle... Yǐwài) Qing Wen

    Today on Qing Wen we teach you how to say 'except for,' 'besides,' 'in addition to'... and all with one little combination of words: 除了。。。以外 (Chúle... Yǐwài) in its many forms. Listen and learn and try your own sentences in the comments section!


    都......了Already Qing Wen

    In today's Chinese podcast, the Shanghai Trio are going to explain how to use the construction 都...了 to say "already" with a bit of punch. It makes your tone slightly more emphatic, and sometimes adds a hint of exasperation. So tune in to this sure-to-be-classic Qing Wen podcast and make your Mandarin even better.


    Nothing More Than Only and Just Qing Wen

    You're probably familiar with the adverb 只 (zhǐ), meaning "only." But have you noticed that 就 (jiù) seems to have a similar usage as well? And what's the deal with 光 (guāng)? Learn about all this in today's Chinese lesson.

    Tags: grammar

    把 Humbug Qing Wen

    In today's Mandarin podcast, the Shanghai Trio are going to tackle everyone's favorite particle. The electron, you say? Or perhaps the quark? Wrong! It's the legendary particle 把 (bǎ). To learn how to use 把 to better express yourself in Chinese, tune in to this podcast.


    Even If... Qing Wen

    If you've made it to the intermediate level in Mandarin Chinese, you're definitely going to need to express "even if" from time to time. Today's lesson introduces three ways to say it: 即使 (jíshǐ), 哪怕 (nǎpà), 就算 (jiùsuàn), and explains the differences, and gives lots of examples.

    Tags: grammar

    Originally Original Qing Wen

    Whether you're looking to express the adjective "original" or the adverb "originally," you're going to run into the Chinese words 原来 (yuánlái) and 本来 (běnlái) pretty quickly. But where do these words overlap and where do they diverge? Listen in to today's lesson for the answers.

    Tags: grammar

    With Regards to 对 and 对于 Qing Wen

    Today we're talking about talking about things and people. Confused? So were we... until Connie, John, and Liliana explained the differences and uses of 对 (duì) and 对于 (duìyú). Join us in this lesson to learn more about this Chinese grammar topic!

    Tags: grammar

    Pulling Out all the Stops for Complement 住 Qing Wen

    You're well aware that 住 (zhù) is a verb that means "to live." But what about when this character appears after verbs, like in 记住 (jìzhù)? Or what if it appears after a verb in the negative, as -不住 (bù zhù)? Is there a pattern here? Find out about all this and more, as the Qing Wen team explores this element of Chinese grammar.

    Tags: complement, verb, grammar

    Passive Verbs and 被 Qing Wen

    You've heard it peppered throughout conversations and seen it in texts you've read, but what exact purpose does that little 被 (bèi) serve? Find out all about how to use 被 to construct passive phrases in today's show.

    Tags: preposition, bei, passive, grammar

    Whatever, Wherever, Whoever Qing Wen

    Liliana figured out a way to sneak a Shakira topic into this week's Qing Wen, but John and Connie whole-heartedly embrace the grammatical question of not only "whatever, wherever," but also "whoever," "whenever," "whichever," and "however." Be sure to listen into today's lesson to learn how to use this surprisingly accessible Mandarin Chinese.

    Tags: whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, whichever

    Separable Verbs Qing Wen

    They're called "separable verbs," "verb-object compounds," and "obligatory objects." Whatever you call them, though, if you're not familiar with them, they mean confusion. In this Qing Wen lesson, John, Connie, and Lili tackle this tricky aspect of Chinese grammar and offer lots of practical examples.

    Tags: verb, Separable Verbs

    Making people do things with 让,令,and 使 Qing Wen

    In today's lesson we're comparing the different uses of 让 (ràng),令 (lìng),and 使 (shǐ) and we're throwing in a fourth word for you: 叫 (jiào). We'll be talking about which of these words to use in formal and informal contexts. Useful isn't it? We'll also be touching on how to tell someone to do something and how to make them do something. Expect some emotionally-charged examples!

    Tags: feelings

    There Is No Try Qing Wen

    Have you ever noticed that it's really hard to translate the word "try" into Chinese? There seem to be lots of different ways to say it, and picking the right one for the right occasion is more than a little tricky. In this lesson, Connie, Lili, and John look at the various cases and explain what's going on.

    Tags: verb, clothes, food, try

    Various Speech Acts and 向 (xiang) Qing Wen

    Prepositions are a source of endless questions when learning any new language, and Chinese is no exception. Since we've already covered basic speech-related verbs, this lesson introduces some intermediate-level speech acts along with their associated preposition pals. Hopefully you can handle 跟 (gēn), but now get ready for 向 (xiàng)!

    Tags: speech

    Four Uses of the Complement 起来 (qilai) Qing Wen

    You've seen 起来 (qilai) tacked onto the end of verbs, and it didn't bother you at first. But then you started noticing it doing different things in different circumstances (and with different verbs), and you probably started wondering what is going on with this complement. This lesson breaks it down and explains the four main cases, while also referencing an older Qing Wen: Using 看 (kàn) and 看起来 (kàn qilai).

    Tags: actions

    The 着 (zhe) Chronicles: How We Verb Qing Wen

    You may have had a few encounters with this particle 着 (zhe). You don't run into it all the time, so for a while you feel comfortable ignoring it. But there comes a time when you want to break it down and figure out exactly what this particle does. In part one of this three-part series, we learn how to use 着 (zhe) to modify verbs with other verbs in Chinese.

    Tags: verb, grammar

    The 着 (zhe) Chronicles: Actions in Progress Qing Wen

    正在 Verb 着 ( Object) 呢. Have you ever seen this crazy pattern? It's no cause for alarm; it doesn't actually have to be this complex, but this is one pattern in which you'll find the elusive 着 (zhe). In this lesson, learn how these words work together in the "action in progress" pattern.

    Tags: particles, verb, grammar

    Adjectives with 是 (shi) Qing Wen

    If you've dutifully studied your Chinese grammar, you know that simple sentences involving a noun and an adjective don't need the word 是 (shì). But there are times when 是 (shì) does appear before adjectives. What's going on here? When does this happen and why? It's easier than you think!

    Tags: adjective

    The 着 (zhe) Chronicles: Verbs as States Qing Wen

    In part three of the 着 (zhe) Chronicles, we look at how 着 (zhe) comes after verbs to indicate an ongoing state. There are two main patterns covered in this lesson, and one of them is especially useful. If you're pushing Intermediate, this might be just the lesson for you.

    Tags: open, location, particles

    So (adjective) that... Qing Wen

    In English we have this pattern, "so (adjective) that...." For example, "I'm so hungry I could eat a horse." How do you express this extent with adjectives in Chinese? It's actually easier than you might think, accomplished with a little help from our friendly structural particle 得 (de). Listen in to learn more.


    The Various Guises of "Until" Qing Wen

    The word "until" seems to take on various forms in Mandarin Chinese, depending on the context. In this lesson, the Qing Wen gang looks at some of these forms and contexts, and doesn't stop until it's all clear!

    Tags: until, time, relationships

    Preferences and Druthers Qing Wen

    How do you say "prefer" in Chinese? And how is that different from the various ways to express "rather"? This lesson analyzes the semantic differences and then offers some very practical phrases for the learner of Chinese.

    Tags: preferences

    Actually Contrary with 倒 Qing Wen

    Even if you've made it to the Intermediate or Upper Intermediate level, you may still be a bit confused by the word 倒 (dào). (Yes, that's 倒, not 到.) There's nothing to be ashamed of; 倒 (dào) actually has a number of uses in Chinese. In this lesson, learn the most important ones, and how they work in a sentence.

    Tags: grammar, adverb

    The Complement 不了 Qing Wen

    Famous for its "the character 了 can actually be pronounced in two ways" mischief, the complement 不了 (buliǎo) and its positive partner in crime, 得了 (deliǎo), have been pranking Chinese learners everywhere for a while now. Learn exactly what's going on here in this Intermediate-level Qing Wen lesson.

    Tags: complement, grammar

    The Complement 不下 Qing Wen

    Are you not down with 不下 (buxià)? With this lesson, all that will change. This time the Qing Wen crew explains how this complement combines with verbs to say that there isn't enough space or that something won't fit. Intermediate learners, make some space in your brain for this one. It's useful.

    Tags: space, grammar, complement

    Punctuation Marks Qing Wen

    Great news, Chinesepod listeners! Today we have an extra special and unique lesson for you. What is it, you ask? Two words: punctuation marks! Before you think to yourself, "Punctuation marks? Do I look like I'm in elementary school?", pause and listen in; you just might learn something about how English and Chinese punctuation differs (and some useful insight into "air quotes")! As always, leave any comments and questions you might have below...

    Tags: Chinese, punctuations

    The Glorious了(le): Part 1 Qing Wen

    Back by popular demand, the Qing Wen team has decided once again to delve into the mysteries of 了(le), the particle that you love to hate. Tune in to find out how to use 了 to express a completed action or to express change. We will have more QW's in the future featuring this fascinating character, but if you're still looking for a fix after listening to this lesson, check out ChinesePod's classic lesson on 了 (le): Something's About to Happen!

    Tags: le, grammar

    The Glorious 了(le): Part 2 Qing Wen

    Our adventure with 了 continues as we take a deeper look into even more uses of this complex particle. Today's Qing Wen covers exclamatory tones, reminding and advising, and some other slightly more complex usages. If you're feeling bold and want an even bigger dose of 了, check out CPod's previous lesson The Double 了 Phenomenon!

    Tags: le, grammar

    过(guo) Qing Wen

    Qing Wen is back with more tasty Chinese particles for the devoted Chinese language learner. We've got another hard-hitting lesson today on the character 过(guo) in all its completed action, past experience glory. Enjoy the show and feel free to leave your comments and questions below!

    Tags: grammar, particles, experience

    Measure Words for Animals Qing Wen

    We hope you like animals, because in today's lesson we'll be covering a lot of them along with their accompanying measure words. While one is quite a bit more ubiquitous than the others, some of the nuances may surprise you. As always, leave your comments and suggestions below, along with any of your favorite animals that we may have left out!

    Tags: measure words, animals

    The Preposition 于(yu) Qing Wen

    Today's Qing Wen covers the fairly formal but highly useful preposition 于 (yu). It's got different meanings in different situations, but it's perfect for formal settings and is part of some pretty important set phrases, too. Darkstar94, this one's for you!

    Tags: place, time, written language

    Additional Conjunctions Qing Wen

    Conjunctions are one of the hardest bits of any language to grasp; who knew something so small could prove so difficult to master? In today's Qing Wen we're going to help you sort out how to use "furthermore," "additionally" and "not only." Henceforth, you'll be a Chinese conjunction expert!

    Tags: reasons

    Whether or Not to Use "If" Qing Wen

    Wondering whether or not you're using "if" in Chinese correctly? If you've been pondering this very question, trying your best to wrap your head around posing hypotheticals but ultimately failing, you've come to the right show! While we use the word "if" in English to both pose hypotheticals and yes-or-no questions, these two scenarios have substantially different translations in Chinese. Listen in and find out how!

    Tags: if, hypothesis

    The Mysteries of 而 Revealed Qing Wen

    In this lesson, ChinesePod explores the many uses of the often used word 而.

    Tags: grammar, reasons, but

    "在 时间" and "中" Qing Wen

    In today's Qing Wen, we will mainly focus on the usage of '在 时间' and how we use '中' as a prepostion. Our questions are from dong_hua_sen and adam_p_lax. We hope to get more comments from you.

    Tags: grammar, questions

    吧 (ba) and 要不 (yào bù) Qing Wen

    Our show today will feature two questions; the usages of two words, 吧 and 要不. Even though these words look simple it is harder than it appears! Thanks to aprillardie and applejan9 for their great questions. We are looking forward to more questions to come from our poddies.

    Tags: questions, words, grammar

    Using 赶得上 (gǎndéshàng) or 来得及 (láidéjí) Qing Wen

    This Qing Wen was asked by our user Nicolas Smith who wants to know the difference between 赶得上 (gǎndéshàng) and 来得及 (láidéjí). These can sometimes both be translated as "to catch up" or "to make something in time" and in this Qing Wen we will discuss some common usages of both to clarify how to use these phrases.

    Tags: grammar, questions, words

    Towards: 向 (xiàng) , 朝 (cháo) , 往 (wǎng) Qing Wen

    In this lesson shanghaichanges asks what the difference is between 向 and 往. These indicators can be tricky in Chinese, as sometimes they can be interchanged, but not always, so it's best to understand which to use in which context.

    Tags: words, questions, grammar

    Different Uses of 够 gòu Qing Wen

    Today we explore the character 够 gòu which translates as "enough" in English. However, the usage is not quite the same and can trip learners up, no matter if they are newbie or advanced. Today we explore some different ways to use 够when paired with adjectives and verbs.

    Tags: video, grammar, enough

    Measure Words for Verbs 动量词 Qing Wen

    Everyone knows that Chinese nouns have measure words, but did you know that certain verbs also have their own measure words, specifically to denote the amount of times you've done something. Watch today's video to find out more.

    Tags: video

    We love each other! 彼此,互相,对方 Qing Wen

    Have you ever been confused with when to use 彼此、 互相、 其他 ?Join us on this higher level Qing Wen where we explain the terms and their subtleties.

    Tags: video, grammar

    How To Say "Cannot" Qing Wen

    Ever found yourself wondering when you should use 不了 bùliǎo,不起 bù qǐ or 不到 bù dào? Specifically, when to use 买不了mǎi bù liǎo,买不到 mǎi bù dào and 买不起 mǎi bù qǐ. Check out this Qing Wen where we show you what these endings mean and how you can use these definitions and apply them to other verbs.

    Tags: money, video, grammar, food

    Suitable/to Suit: 合适、适合、合 Qing Wen

    In today's lesson, learn the difference between 合适 Héshì, 适合 shìhé, and 合, hé. These can be translated as "to suit" or "suitable" but it's often difficult to know when to use which one.

    Problem with the embed? Watch here.

    Tags: video, suit

    To Think, to Recall: 想到、想出来、想起来 Qing Wen

    What's the difference between all these words containing the character 想 xiǎng? In today's lesson we help you distinguish between 想到 Xiǎngdào, 想出来 xiǎng chūlái, and 想起来 xiǎng qǐlái. They can translate as "to remember", "to figure out", and "to think of." It's easy to confuse when to use which, so in today's lesson, you'll hopefully be much clearer about when to use which.


    Tags: video

    How to Say 'Probably' in Chinese Qing Wen

    In today's Qing Wen video lesson, we teach the Mandarin Chinese for the different ways to say "probably."

    Much like in English, using slightly different terms can change the likelihood of something happening, and in this lesson, we show you the three most common ways of expressing this. 大概 (dàgài) has the highest likelihood of something happening, 可能 (kěnéng) is about a 50% or higher chance, and 恐怕 (kǒngpà) is also likely to happen, but the important thing is not the percentage, but rather that the outcome is an undesirable event.

    A top tip is that the final word in 恐怕 (kǒngpà) has the character for "scared" in it, so you don't want this thing to happen. With 大概 (dàgài), dà means big, and gài means approximation, so a "big likelihood."

    After today's lesson you should "probably" be a lot more confident when speaking Chinese, and you'll definitely know which one is most suitable for the situation.

    If you have any questions, particularly about the rather tricky 恐怕 (kǒngpà), just leave a comment and we will try and get back to you.

    Tags: maybe, probably, video

    Directional Verbs and Complements Qing Wen


    A few weeks back we taught a lesson (How To Say: Come Out / Come In) about the direction compliments for "to go in" and to "come out". User si1teng2 thought it would be better to make a video showing the differences, so that's what we've done for you today.

    First, we teach the directional verbs 來 lai and 去 qu. Then we teach some direction complements that you can use with the verbs 來 lai and 去 qu which include 下, 上, 出, 进,

    For some extra points, you can check the Chinese Grammar Wiki links below.
    Directional Verbs
    Directional Complements


    Tags: directions, verb, complement, video, grammar