Lesson 13 她喜欢红色的书包

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Lesson 13 她喜欢红色的书包

Color Vocabulary in Mandarin Chinese


grammar keep calm

的 – the possessive particle, attributive

  • This particle is described in Mandarin as báisháo de, as it’s composed of the characters 白 (bái) and 勺 (shoo).  It’s a possessive particle like ‘s (apostrophe s) in English: 玛丽的书  
Mary‘s book.

  • This particle is also used as an attributive to assign qualities to things: 红色的苹果 the red apple.  The general structure is: (noun, pronoun or adjective) + + (noun)

  • The character 红 is the adjective that means “red” and 色 means “color.” When combined they make 红色 , a noun meaning “(the color) red.” It’s grammatically correct to say 红色的书包 , or when speaking, 红书包 for short.  To shorten the 色, it only applies to single-character color-words such as 红 , and cannot be applied to two-character color-words such as 粉红 (fěnhóng “pink”). For example, it is correct to say 我喜欢粉红色的书包 , but not 我喜欢粉红书包 .

或者 Or

  • 或者, or 或 for short, means “or.” It is used to express choices and options. 或者 is only used in statements, not questions.   Examples:

1. 他喜欢黑色或(者)白色的书包。He likes black or white backpacks.

2. 苹果或(者)草莓。An apple or a strawberry.


Practice the vocabulary for this lesson with games and activities!  Click on the picture below to download all the words in PDF.

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Partner Group Project

You and a friend are planning out foods and drinks for a party.  Call up your friend, describe the menu as best as you can, and ask about his/her drinks and food preferences. Work with a partner and create a phone conversation using as much color words as possible. To start a phone conversation in Chinese, we always start with 喂  which means hello.

Here is an example of the beginning of a phone conversation:

A: Hello. 
B: Hello, is Mary there? 
A: Please wait a moment. 
A: Hello. 
B: Hello Mary, this is David.

A: …….

B: …….

A: 喂。 

B: 喂。 请问玛丽在吗? 
A: 请等一下。
A: 喂。
B: 玛丽你好。 我是大伟。
A: …….

B: …….

For food and drinks in Chinese and English visit China Highlights Food Menus


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