When it comes to learning Chinese, it can seem like you’re bombarded with difficult things to figure out like tones or characters. Lucky for you, Grammar is one area where Chinese really shines. Here are 5 reasons why Chinese has the easiest grammar and how you can easily master it.
1. Simple Word Order
Chinese uses roughly the same sentence order as English (subject + verb + object). For example, I eat cake is just I eat cake (我吃蛋糕 – wǒ chī dàn gāo). The main structural difference is the placement of the setting – in English you put the setting after the object (e.g. I ate cake yesterday), but in Chinese you put the setting after the subject (e.g. I yesterday ate cake). This is fairly easy concept to grasp.
2. No Tenses!
That’s right! No more dealing with past tense or future tense. You can simply indicate when something happened by indicating the time. For example, let’s try to say I ate yesterday. In Chinese you would actually just say I yesterday eat. You can also say I tomorrow eat, I already eat, I plan to eat, etc. Think about how simple that is compared to I eat/ate/eaten.
3. No plurality
In English, as in many languages, words change when they are made plural. For example, one dog, two dogs. In Chinese it’s just one dog, two dog, many dog, etc. The only time I’d be missing that ‘s’ is when playing scrabble.
4. Simple Possessives
My last name is Banks. So when something is Banks’ or Banks’s it’s always a best. In Chinese there is also no mine, his, hers, theirs or ours. All you have to do is add a “de” 的 to make something possessive. So mine is just “I + de” and his is just “he + de” and hers is “she + de”
5. No Genders
This isn’t really an issue in English, but for anyone who has ever studied a romance language you know the struggle of learning genders. Fortunately, there are no genders in Chinese and in fact, there aren’t even articles! You can simply say “girl like boy”
Learn Chinese Grammar the Easy Way
So now, how can you easily learn Chinese grammar? Try memorizing a few phrases in Chinese. As you memorize phrases you’ll quickly see how sentences are structured. Fortunately, there are very few exceptions to Chinese grammar rules and there really aren’t too many Chinese grammar rules in the first place! In the coming months we’ll be releasing more tips on specific grammar usage, but in the meantime why don’t you try out our free course designed for absolute beginners to immerse themselves in Chinese. Just read along through the lessons and you’ll be speaking in no time!