We may be producing Chinese lessons, but we like to think of ourselves as inspired in our mission by great literature. So hats off to you Hemingway. As in your masterpiece The Sun Also Rises, our dialogue for today leaves it deliberately unclear whether an important character is simply having a bad day, or is in fact a member of the walking undead.

We encourage you to think this question through as you listen to our Chinese podcast. And let us know what you decide. We've enabled our speaking practice hotline for this lesson, so if you're a premium subscriber, give us a call at the number listed on this lesson's text page and introduce yourself. Our teachers will get back to you in a day or so with mostly encouraging and constructive feedback, unless you happen to get Xiao Zhang, who is unrepentantly surly before noon.
 said on
August 4, 2010
Off-topic, but I also think Fiesta (The Sun Also Rises) is the best of Hemingway's novels. Not as intentionally terse as his earlier short-stories and - with the exception of the social commentary in the fishing chapter - about as accessible these days as it has ever been.
 said on
August 4, 2010
Echo 早上好,

Are you sure the answer to question #5 is b? Why not a?

Also, whom do I have to bribe to get more KTV Wednesdays? My appreciation for Mandopop comes from the great content you guys have introduced me to.

多谢,

 said on
August 4, 2010
@coljoe,

The correct answer to #5 is (b) by the way. The question is 这是小明的小玩意儿. We know the 小玩意儿 (toy) belongs to Xiao Ming. But we don't know who Xiao Ming is or who the speaker is.

Also, we formalize the bribe process by accepting payments at bribe@popupchinese.com. That said, we'll do what we can to crank out some more tunes. :)

--david

 said on
August 4, 2010
Thanks David.
 said on
August 4, 2010
@David,

No!! You gave the sentence away~~

--Echo

echo@popupchinese.com
 said on
October 15, 2011

What is the difference between the idea of continuous tense like 吃着 and 我在吃? Is there any difference at all?

非常感谢

陶威
 said on
October 15, 2011
@Vince.topping,

Using the 着 suffix indicates that the verb is in a continuous state, or in other words that it's in an unchanging state. In the dialogue the last line is, 他还活着, "to live" (still living) is a state that won't change. An unbroken, continuous action. It's highly unlikely that someone would live then die, then live again, hence no 我正在活. It's highly unlikely that someone would eat and keep eating without stopping, so here you should say , 我在吃饭, meaning (for the time being) I am eating (but after a while will stop, then eat again when I'm hungry).

As a native English speaker you should learn to resist the temptation to add suffixes to the end of verbs in Chinese.
 said on
June 3, 2021
I think Xiao Ming is a super-old dog or some other pet.