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Introducing Emphasis

In this video, Dr Li will introduce emphasis.
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Welcome to my Chinese class. We are going to learn to use the structure shì de to emphasise something, such as time, location, or manner. Let’s read a story. Xīxi 2018 nián lái dào Shànghǎi. Tā liùsuì kāishǐ xuéxí yīngyǔ.
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Wáng Xiǎobǎo 2019 nián lái dào Shànghǎi.
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Tā 2019 nián kāishǐ xuéxí hànyǔ. In order to emphasise the time here, we can add the structure shì de The character shì is placed before the part you want to emphasise. de is placed at the end of the sentence. Xīxi shì 2018 nián lái dào Shànghǎi de.
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Tā shì liùsuì kāishǐ xuéxí yīngyǔ de .
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In the same way, we can say, Wáng Xiǎobǎo shì 2019 nián lái dào Shànghǎi de.
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Tā shì 2019 nián kāishǐ xuéxí hànyǔ de.
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We can also use the structure to emphasise the location. For example, Xīxi hé Wáng Xiǎobǎo shì zài Shànghǎi rènshi de.
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Tāmen shì zài Wàitān rènshi de.
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Here, zài Shànghǎi and zài Wàitān are the locations. If we want to emphasise Wang xiaobao came to Shanghai by plane we still use the structure shì de We can say, Wáng Xiǎobǎo shì zuò fēijī lái Shànghǎi de.
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Tā shì zuò dìtiě dào Wàitān de.
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Let’s listen to our dialogue. Wáng Xiǎobǎo,nǐ hái jìde wǒmen shì shénme shíhou rènshi de ma Wǒ dāngrán jìde.wǒmen shì qùnián zài Wàitān rènshi de.
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Duìwǒ hěn xǐhuan Wàitānnàtiān,wǒ shì zuò chūzūchē qù de.
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Wǒ shì zuò dìtiě qù de. Wǒmen zhōumò zài qù yícì ba. Hǎo a,méi wèntí. I’m sure now you understand the use of the structure shì de In Chinese, we call it, Qiángdiào jù.
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Tāmen shì qùnián rènshi de .
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Tāmen shì zài Wàitān rènshi de .
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Tā shì zuò dìtiě qù de .
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In these sentences, we use the structure shì de to emphasise the time, location, or manner in which they occurred.

In this video we learn to use the structure “是……的shì ……de” to emphasize something such as time, location or manner.

The structure is similar to “It’s …that…” in English.

  • Emphasize the time

西西是2018年来到上海的。她是六岁开始学习英语的。

Xīxi shì 2018 nián lái dào Shànghǎi de. Tā shì liùsuì kāishǐ xuéxí yīngyǔ de.

It’s in 2018 that Xixi came to Shanghai. It’s at the age of six she began to learn English.

In order to emphasize the time,we put the character“是shì”before“2018年”or “六岁”and place“的de”at the end of the sentence.

  • Emphasize the location

西西和王小宝是在上海认识的。他们是在外滩认识的。

Xīxi hé Wáng Xiǎobǎo shì zài Shànghǎi rènshi de. Tāmen shì zài Wàitān rènshi de.

It’s in Shanghai that Xixi and Wang Xiaobao met. It’s at the Bund that they met.

Here we put the character“是shì”before “在上海”or“在外滩” and place “的de”at the end of the sentence.

  • Emphasize the manner

王小宝是坐飞机来上海的。他是坐地铁到外滩的。

Wáng Xiǎobǎo shì zuò fēijī lái Shànghǎi de. Tā shì zuò dìtiě dào Wàitān de.

It’s by air that Wang Xiaobao came to Shanghai. It’s by the subway that he went to the Bund.

Also we put the character“是shì”before “坐飞机”or “坐地铁” and place “的de”at the end of the sentence.

The following is Chinese and English Version of Situational Dialogue in the Video:

西西:王小宝(看向王小宝),你还记得我们是什么时候认识的吗?

王小宝:我当然记得,我们是去年在外滩认识的。

西西:对,我很喜欢外滩,那天我是坐出租车去的。

王小宝:我是坐地铁去的。

西西:我们周末再去一次吧。

王小宝:好啊,没问题。

Xīxi:Wang Xiaobao, do you remember when we met?

Wáng Xiǎobǎo:Of course. We met last year at the Bund.

Xīxi:Yes, I really like the Bund. I went there by taxi.

Wáng Xiǎobǎo:I went there by subway.

Xīxi:Shall we go again this weekend?

Wáng Xiǎobǎo:Yeah, why not?

© Shanghai International Studies University

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