Learning Words First

I haven’t learned anything about Chinese grammar yet. I think I will finish the Chinese word book first (8 words a day for 72 days).

Today I memorized word no. 41 to 48. Yay me.

The word book is actually for a Chinese proficiency test in Japan (中検準4級), not HSK level 1, so sometimes when I look up a certain word on dictionary, I find that the word is actually for HSK level 3. But I’m not complaining. I like that I don’t have to study hard, only 8 words a day. Word list for HSK level 1 felt random to me but the word book for 中検 makes me memorize words with similar theme each day. For example 上午 shàngwǔ (a.m.), 中午 zhōngwǔ(noon), and 下午 xiàwǔ(p.m.) on the same day because they share the character 午 wǔ.

The book only gives 1 very short sample sentence for each word and whenever I got a little annoyed because a word in the sentence never appeared before, from the index pages, I always found that the particular word will appear later in the book.

For example, today I learned the word 下边 [xiàbian] (under). The sample sentence was:

椅子下边有一只猫。
Yǐzi xiàbian yǒu yì zhī māo.
There’s a cat under the chair.

一只猫 (one cat) never appeared before so I was contemplating, ‘should I memorize this now’? But when I checked the index, it will appear again on day 60 something so I don’t have to worry about it now.

I feel like I can trust the book. That’s a relief because I’m not ready for other Chinese textbooks for beginners which are still too difficult for me. Even though other books put more emphasis in conversational expressions. But I can’t remember what I can’t remember.

I know nothing about Chinese grammar, but from the sentence I think that 椅子下边 (under the chair) is more like Japanese (椅子の下) or Korean grammar (의자 밑) but with the verb in the middle of the sentence like English. Not even sure whether 有 is a verb… but it’s getting interesting. ###

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