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Learn Chinese: Introduction to Chinese Grammar

Improve your confidence in reading and writing the Chinese language by learning how to use basic grammar in your sentences.

A man practicing his Chinese grammar

Learn Chinese: Introduction to Chinese Grammar

  • 4 weeks

  • 4 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Increase your language skills by learning how to read Chinese

Understanding Chinese grammar is a tricky but vital step to tackle when learning the language.

Whether you want to learn Chinese for work or fun, understanding basic Chinese grammar will help you communicate and express yourself accurately.

On this four-week course, you’ll boost your knowledge of the rules of Chinese grammar and learn how to structure a sentence correctly.

Using simple daily words and phrases, you’ll learn how to read Chinese and the grammatical rules to follow in your own practice.

Learn how to write Chinese characters

You’ll understand how to structure sentences by learning how to write basic Chinese words and how to express dates and times.

You’ll explore fundamental sentence structures as well as special sentences to improve your skills in reading, writing, and translating accurately.

Understand Chinese syntax, semantics, and pragmatics

By the end of this course, you’ll understand Chinese sentence structures, their meaning, and how to use words and phrases in context to communicate more effectively.

Studying alongside experts at Shanghai International Studies University, you’ll build your confidence and skills in writing and speaking the Chinese language.

This course is part of a series of a comprehensive set of courses to help you learn how to speak, write, and pronounce Chinese Mandarin. Some basic knowledge of the Chinese language is necessary for this course.

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  • Week 1

    Introduction to Chinese: useful expressions

    • How to express time in Chinese?

      We will introduce some useful expressions of time and give a brief introduction to the Chinese Spring Festival Gala.

    • How to express dates in Chinese?

      We will introduce some useful expressions of dates and give a brief introduction to the Chinese lunar calendar.

    • How to express basic personal information?

      You will learn how to use “是” to give information about yourself such as your name, nationality and career. We also give a brief introduction to 姚明 Yáo míng and 成龙 Chéng lóng..

    • How to make questions with an interrogative pronoun?

      We will introduce how to use different question words to ask questions such as “who,where and what”and talk about where old Chinese people usually go for exercise.

  • Week 2

    Introduction to Chinese: some basic sentence structures

    • Introducing Adjectival Predicate Sentences

      This kind of sentence does not need a verb, as the adjective follows the subject directly. We usually use this kind of sentence to describe something. Here we will also give a brief introduction to Pandas.

    • Expressing “something is present in a specific location”

      You will learn to use sentences with “有yǒu” to show existence. Put simply, it expresses “something is present in a specific location”.

    • Expressing purpose with more than one verb

      There is usually only one verb in a Chinese sentence, but here we will introduce sentences that have two verbs or verbal phrases. We will give a brief introduction about some very famous scenic spots in China.

    • Emphasizing something with the structure“是……的”

      We will learn how to emphasize the time and location of past events, and the manner in which they occurred with the structure“是……的”. We will also give you a brief introduction to the Bund and metro.

  • Week 3

    Introduction to Chinese: useful words and expressions

    • How to express the comparison of two things?

      Here we will learn to use the preposition “比” to compare the qualities and characteristics of two things and get to learn about weather in Shanghai.

    • The Usage of “了”

      We are going to introduce the particle “了” after verbs to indicate completion of an action.

    • The Usage of adverbs “也” and “都”

      Here we are going to discuss the position of the adverbs “也” and “都” . We will also give a brief introduction to Chopsticks.

    • The Use of adverbs “才” and “就”

      If we want to indicate something is done early or quickly, we can use the adverb“就”before time words,while we use the adverb “才”to indicate that something is done late or slowly.

  • Week 4

    Introduction to Chinese: complements and Ba-sentence

    • Resultative Complements

      You will learn about resultative complements, expressing the results of actions and learn some things about Chinese paper cutting.

    • The time-measure complement

      If we want to indicate the duration of an action or state,we can use the time-measure complement. Here we will also give a brief introduction to Beijing Opera.

    • Simple directional complements

      Here we will discuss “来”and “去” when placed after the verb as a complement, it shows the direction of the verb. It’s called a simple directional complement. We will have a brief talk about Shared bicycles in this lesson.

    • “把” Sentence

      We will introduce the main use of “把” sentences to describechanges in object position.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Master the basic grammar in Chinese containing fundamental sentence structure and usage
  • Better express yourself and more accurately in context
  • Improve your skills in reading, writing and translating accurately and fluently
  • Communicate in Chinese at a basic level in your daily and academic lives
  • Improve your Chinese proficiency, accuracy and fluency in using Chinese

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for learners who have some basic knowledge of the Chinese language and are looking to improve and become familiar with Chinese grammar.

Who will you learn with?

Associate professor of School of Chinese Studies and Exchange, Shanghai International Studies University,has been teaching non-native speakers Chinese over 25 years.

Who developed the course?

Shanghai International Studies University (SISU)

Shanghai International Studies University (SISU), established in 1949, is one of the earliest institutions where China’s higher education in foreign languages took shape.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Buy this course

$69/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 16 Aug 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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