Lesson 2 – Where are you from? (你是哪国人?)

Lesson’s Main Characters:

Julie Chen – Teacher, Chinese
Helen Li – Student, American

Conversation Situation:

Helen and Julie continue their conversation, asking about where they are from …

Conversation Dialogue:

Helen, 你 是 哪国 人?
Helen, nǐ shì nǎ​guó ​rén​?

我 是 美国人. 你呢? 你 是 日本人 吗?
wǒ shì Měiguórén. nǐne? nǐ shì Rìběnrén ma?

我 不是. 我 是 中国人.
wǒ búshì. wǒ shì Zhōngguórén.

Vocabulary Words:

哪国 (nǎ​guó): Which country
哪 (nǎ​): Which
国 (guó​): Country
是 (shì): to be
美国人 (Měiguórén): American/American person/American people
美国 (Měiguó): United States/USA/US
吗 (ma): (question tag)
日本人 (Rìběnrén): Japanese person or people
日本 (Rìběn): Japan
不是 (búshì): no/is not/not
中国人 (Zhōngguórén): Chinese person or people
中国 (Zhōngguó): China

Grammar: 吗 & 是

1.吗 (ma)

When 吗 is added at the end of the statement so the statement is turned into a yes/no question.

Form: Subject + Verb+ Object + 吗?
For example:
Statement: 你是美国人.
Question: 你是美国人吗?

2. 是 (shì) is a verb that is used to link two nouns, pronouns, or noun phrases.

For example:
Q: 你是中国人吗?
A: 我是中国人.

***Ms. Hou’s reminder:
Please don’t think of “是” as an equivalent English meaning of “am/are/is”. Just simply think “subject = object”.

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