Feb. 22, 2012
Māma: Zhècì kǎoshì, gēge kǎole jiǔshíwǔ fēn, nǐ kǎole duōshǎo fēn?
妈妈： 这次 考试， 哥哥 考了 95 分，你 考了 多少 分？
Mom: Your brother got 95 points on this exam. What about you?
Dìdi: Wǒ bǐ tā duō yì diǎn.
弟弟：我比他 多 一 点。
Younger brother: Well… I got one point more.
Māma: Shì ma? Jiǔshíliù ma?
妈妈： 是 吗？ 96 吗？
Mom: Really? So you got 96 points?
Dìdi: Búshì, shì jiǔdiǎnwǔ fēn.
弟弟：不是，是 9.5 分。
Younger brother: No. I got 9.5.
Key Learning Point:
一点 (yìdiǎn): a little
In Chinese, the phrase “一点(yìdiǎn)” means “a little number or amount.”
Very often in Mandarin, just like in English, a speaker may not be too sure about a calculation. “一点(yìdiǎn)” can be used as an adverb. Sometimes, the “一(yì)” in “一点(yìdiǎn)” can be omitted.
Nǐ néngbùnéng kuài (yì) diǎn a?
你 能不能 快（一）点 啊？
Could you please hurry a little bit?
In the above story, when the younger brother said that he had one more point than his brother, his mother figured he got 96 points.
In actuality, “点(diǎn)” also refers to a “decimal point.”
For example: 9.5 in Chinese is read “九点五 (jiǔ diǎn wǔ).” “点(diǎn)” refers to the “decimal point.”
Zhè kē píngguǒ shù gāo yīdiǎnwǔ mǐ.
这 棵 苹果 树 高 一点五 米。
This apple tree is 1.5 meters high.
Looking back at the story, the sly little brother actually meant that he got one more “点(diǎn) decimal point” than his brother with the not so impressive score of 9.5 points. We’ll leave it to you to decide whether the mother should be troubled by his low score, or applaud his clever response.