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What do you consider the 25 most important words/characters.

What would you consider the 25 most important words/characters to learn when setting out learning Mandarin.

For learning: Chinese (Mandarin)
Base language: English
Category: Other



    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.



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    learning separate symbols is meaningless
    must learn words, which may consist of 2, 3 or more symbols

    我 - I
    你 - You
    他/她/她 - He/She/It (same pronunciation)
    是 - is (for nouns only)
    很 -' is' (for adjectives, it can often be omitted) or 'very'
    们 - Makes pronouns plural (ex. 我是 is 'us', 他们 is 'them' etc.)
    人 - Person/People
    的 - Various grammatical uses
    1) Indicates possession (我的... = my, James的房子 = James' house)
    2) You can figure it out from the examples below.
    说英语的人 = People that speak English (说英语 = to speak English)
    吃的 =Things to eat
    我吃的是... = What I ate is...
    我吃的肉是... = The meat that I ate is
    3) Adjective + 的 + noun
    This is arguably an extension of number 2 (ex. A black cat = a cat that is black)
    4) 是...的
    This can be used to emphasise part of a sentence. 的 is at the end of the sentence and 是 is before the part of the sentence being emphasised. If 是 is before a method, time or prepositional phrase, it can indicate past tense
    有 - To have. It can also be used to indicate that something exists somewhere (similar to 'there is')
    我有很多的钱 (I have a lot of money)
    有一个问题 (There's a problem)
    房子里有... (There's... jn the house)
    过- Used after a verb to indicate you have the experience of completing an action, similar to present perfect in English
    现在 - Now
    去 - Go (it doesn't require a preposition)
    看 - See/look/watch
    在 - At (This can be considered a verb or a preposition)
    里/上/下 - in/on/under respectively (these are not prepositions, and are placed after a noun)
    Ex. ...在房子里 (" in the house", note
    上 and 下 can be verbs on their own, but they have different meanings
    会/能/可以 - Can/could. These three words aren't exactly the same, but a lot of the time they're interchangeable.
    好 - Good
    吗 - Used at the end of a sentence to create a yes/no question.
    不 - Used before most verbs or adjectives to negate them
    没 - It's used similar to 不, but means 'never' (up until now). Some verbs use it similar to 不 (ex. 没有 is correct and 不有 isn't)
    用 - Use

    个 - A general measure word. Chinese requires measure words between numbers and nouns (ex. 一个人 is 'one person', 一人 isn't correct). Different nouns require different measure words (not unlike genders in some European languages), but if you're not sure you can often default to 个
    了 - Indicates the completion of an action. It does NOT necessarily refer to past tense (although it often does). Ex. 现在下雨了 = It's raining now (whereas it wasn't before)
    了 is usually placed after a verb or at the end of a sentence
    吃 - Eat
    知道 - Know
    叫 - To be called
    什么- What
    为什么 - Why (for what/what for)
    怎么 - How
    哪里 - Where
    的时候 - When (not a question word, used after a phrase)
    Ex. 我是学生的时候 = When I was a student
    和 - And (only links two nouns)
    东西 - Stuff/Thing/Things
    房子 - House

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