Lesson 13 她喜欢红色的书包
Color Vocabulary in Mandarin Chinese
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) + 的 + (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 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.