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Learn Mandarin with Sheldon

Dec. 25, 2013

In one episode of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon was learning Mandarin with the help of his friend and made a fool of himself in the process. Now let’s pick up two practical learning points from this video about how to introduce oneself and the extended meaning of “死().”

Learning Point 1:

Wǒ de míngzi shì Sheldon.
我  的  名字    是  Sheldon。

My name is Sheldon.

This is a sentence for introducing oneself. The structure is “Subject+的(de)+name+是(shì)+ ….”

Example

Wǒ de míngzi shì Linda.
我  的  名字    是  Linda。

My name is Linda.

Learning Point 2:

Āi ya,  xià sǐ wǒ le!
哎呀,吓 死 我 了!

You scared me!

It doesn’t mean that Sheldon is actually close to death. Here, “死(sǐ)” is used to add an extreme degree of emphasis.

Examples

Nǐ qì sǐ wǒ le!
你 气 死 我 了!

You make me extremely angry!

Wǒ kuài lèi sǐ  le!
我  快    累 死 了!

I’m tired to death!

Exercises

1. Which of the sentences shows the right way of introducing yourself?

A. 我的名字张明。(Wǒ de míngzi Zhāng Míng.)

B. 我的姓是张明。(Wǒ de xìng shì Zhāng Míng.)

C. 我的名字是张明。(Wǒ de míngzi shì Zhāng Míng.)

2. How to understand “他气死了!(Tā qì sǐ le!)?”

A. He died from being angry.

B. He is extremely angry.

C. He can do nothing except be angry.

See answer

 

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