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Introducing the Expressions of basic personal information

In this video, some expressions of basic personal information will be introduced by Dr Li.
Wáng xiǎobǎo. Do you know who he is? Sure. He’s Yao Ming, a famous basketball player. Yes. In Chinese, we can say, Tā shì Yao Ming. Tā shì lánqiú yùndòngyuán. Ah, I see. Tā shì Yao Ming. Yes. We are going to learn how to use the word shì to give information about name, nationality, or career. Let’s look at two pictures. The first is Chéng Lóng We can say Tā shì Chéng Lóng. The second is J.K. Rowling. We can say Tā shì Rowling. I am Chinese. So I can say, Wǒ shì zhōngguórén. Then I can say, Wǒ shì yīngguórén. Right. We can also use shì to describe people’s careers. For example, Chéng Lóng shì yǎnyuán. Rowling shì zuòjiā.
Have you noticed the similarities between these expressions? We can summarise the sentence structure as person plus shì plus noun or noun phrase. Now let’s try to use shì to introduce Chéng Lóng and Rowling. Tā shìChéng Lóng Tā shì zhōngguórén Tā shì yǎnyuán.
Tā shì Rowling. Tā shì yīngguórén Tā shì zuòjiā. OK, let’s introduce ourselves now. Wǒ shì lǐ qián ping. Wǒ shìWáng xiǎobǎo. Wǒ shì lǎoshī. Wǒ shì xuésheng. Wǒ shì zhōngguórén. Wǒ shìyīngguórén. It’s interesting because some of my friends think I’m American. But actually, I’m English. How would I use Chinese to express this? Oh, it’s easy. You just add bù before shì. Oh, so I should say Wǒ bú shì měiguórén.? Right. Excellent.
For the question form, we add ma at the end of the sentence. Tāmen shì dàxuéshēng ma Tāmen shì Xióngmāo ma Yes, I’ve got it. For example, Tā shì měiguórén ma Yes, good. Let’s do some more practise. Chooseshì or bú shì to complete the sentences. OK, the first one is Tā bú shì Lǐ xiǎolóng (Bruce Lee). The second is Tā shì yīshēng. Please rearrange the following sentences into the right order. Excellent. The right order for the first one is Tā bú shì nǚshēng. THE second is Wǒ shì zhōngguórén.
Now let’s listen to a dialogue to end the lesson.
Xīxī,nǐ kàn zhè shì wǒ bàba . Wǒ bàba shì yīshēng. Wazhēn shuài Tā páng biān dē shì nǐ jiějie ma Tā bú shì wǒ jiějie tā shì wǒ māma wǒ māma shì lǎoshī. nǐ kàntā shì wǒ mèimei tā shì dàxuéshēng. Wa,Zhēn piāoliang

In this video we learn how to use “是” to give information about oneself such as one’s name, nationality and career.

  • We use the word “是” to introduce one’s name. For example:
    他是成龙。 Tā shì Chéng Lóng.

我是李黔萍。Wǒ shì Lǐ qiánpíng.

  • We use the word “是” to introduce one’s nationality. For example:

我是英国人。Wǒ shì yīngguórén.

  • We can also use “是” to describe people’s careers. For example:

成龙是演员。Chéng Lóng shì yǎnyuán.

罗琳是作家。Luó Lín shì zuòjiā.

The sentence structure is simple: “person +是+ N/NP ”

Now we can use “是” to give a brief introduction of oneself.


Tā shì Chéng Lóng,tā shì zhōngguórén ,tā shì yǎnyuán.


Wǒ shì Lǐ qián píng,wǒ shì zhōngguórén,wǒ shì lǎoshī.

The Negative Form of the structure is easy,we just add “不”before “是”: “person +不+是+ N/NP ”

我不是美国人。Wǒ bú shì měiguórén.

Some new words from the Video:

大学生 dàxuéshēng College student

熊猫 xióngmāo Panda

医生 yīshēng Doctor

The following is the situational dialogue from the Video:






  Wáng xiǎobǎo:Look, CICI, this is my father. My father is a doctor.

Xīxī:Wow, so handsome! Is that your sister next to her?

Wáng xiǎobǎo:She’s not my sister. She’s my mother. My mother is a teacher.

Xīxī:Look, this is my sister. She’s a college student.

Wáng xiǎobǎo:Ah,How beautiful!

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Learn Chinese: Introduction to Chinese Grammar

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