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Conversation-早点 (zăodiăn) Breakfast; Coming Early

Apr. 1, 2015
早点(zăodiăn) Breakfast; Coming Early


Advanced level/高级 gāojí

Nĭmen zhōngguó díquè shì yí gè qínfèn de mínzú.
A: 你们     中国       的确    是  一  个  勤奋  的   民族。
You China really are a diligent nation.

Nĭ zěnme kàn chū lái de?
B: 你 怎么   看    出  来 的?
How do you know that?

Wǒ zài jiē shàng zǒu de shíhou, chángcháng kéyĭ kàndào lùpáng de zhāopai xiězhe
A: 我  在   街    上     走   的   时候,     常常      可以   看到     路旁     的    招牌     写着
“zăodiǎn” liǎnggè dàzì,tíxĭng shàngbān de rén búyào chídào.
“早点”      两个      大字, 提醒    上班  的    人   不要   迟到。
I can always see the two words “早点” on the signboard when walking on the street, reminding people not to be
late (or “come a bit early”).

Nà bú shì tíxĭng shàngbān de rén bú yào chídào, nà shì mài zǎofàn de.
B: 那  不  是  提醒     上班     的  人  不  要   迟到, 那  是  卖    早饭   的。
Those are not reminding workers not to be late; those signs are for selling breakfast.


Analysis

早点(zăodiăn) in Chinese has two meanings. One refers to breakfast and the other means “come early.” 早(zăo) means early and 点(diăn) means o’clock. In this conversation, the 早点(zăodiăn) which “A” sees on signs simply means “breakfast,” but “A” misunderstands and thinks it means “come a bit early.” Usually, telling someone to “come a bit early” is expressed orally, while the words displayed on signs refers to “breakfast.”

Examples

Wǒ děi zǎodiǎn zǒu, bùrán jiù gǎn bú shàng gōngjiāochē le.
我  得     早点     走,不然    就   赶  不  上        公交车   了。
I should leave a bit earlier; otherwise, I will miss the bus.

Wǒmen yìqĭ chī zǎodiǎn ba?
我们      一起  吃   早点  吧?
How about having breakfast together?

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