Basic Sentences: Word Order in Mandarin Chinese
DifferenceThere are also significant difference between Chinese and English concerning word order.First of all when speaking mandarin you will want to put the time element of any sentence at the beginning of the sentence. Further you will also want to put the people or nouns near the beginning too. For example the English sentence :Would you like to go to the movies with me tomorrow?Notice the structure in English. The word “tomorrow” is the last word in English but in Chinese it would be the first word. Further the second last word in English is “me” but in Chinese that needs to be near the begging close to the word “you”. Let’s look at how this sentence would be said in Mandarin Chinese (without changing the words into Chinese for simplicity)Tomorrow you would like with me to go to the movies ?明天你愿意和我一起去看电影吗？ming2 tian2 ni3 yuan4 yi4 he2 wo3 yi1 qi3 qu4 kan4 dian4 ying3 ma1?Here is another English sentence that we can change into Chinese Grammar :I am going to America next year with my wifeThe Chinese version would be:Next year I and my wife are going to America明年我和我妻子去美国ming2 nian2 wo3 he2 wo3 qi1 zi3 qu4 mei3 guo2If that seems strange to you don’t worry. You get used to it and it feels totally natural. In fact I sometimes find myself speaking that way in English. I guess that’s how you know you are really getting into the language when your mother tongue begins to be influenced. It’s an interesting phenomenon.