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In lesson twelve we learn how to ask Where are you from? There are two different ways to do this - one construction is mainly used for Chinese people, and the emphasis is on what sort of person are you (a Chinese person, a Beijing person, etc.) The second construction is has a formal and informal variant, and that emphasis is on the location that you are from - i.e. I am from America, I am from China.

12.01 Where are you from (in China)?

Nǐ sh...
  ...are you...
Nǐ sh nǎli...
  Where are you....
Nǐ sh nǎli rn?
  Where are you from?

>> Listen to the MP3 (right click to save)


你是哪里人? Nǐ sh nǎli rn? is usually used to ask just Chinese people where they come from within China.

12.02 So where are you from? - Concept practice dialogue

马特: 张老师是上海人吗?
Zhāng lǎoshī sh Shnghǎirn ma?
李雪: 不是,她是北京人。
B sh, tā sh Běijīngrn.
马特: 你是哪里人?
Nǐ sh nǎli rn?
李雪: 我是南京人。
Wǒ sh Nnjīngrn。

12.03 Where are you from?

Nǐ liz...
  ...are you from?
Nǐ liz nǎli?
  Where are you from?
Tā liz...
  ...is she from?
Tā liz nǎli?
  Where is she from?

>> Listen to the MP3 (right click to save)

12.04 Where are you from? - Concept review dialogue

A: 你来自哪里?
Nǐ liz nǎli?
马特: 我来自美国。你是中国人吗?
Wǒ liz Měigu. Nǐ sh Zhōnggurn ma?
A: 当然是!
Dāngrn sh!
马特: 你是哪里人?
Nǐ sh nǎli rn?
A: 我是北京人。
Wǒ sh Běijīngrn.
马特: 北京好不好?
Běijīng hǎo b hǎo?
A: 非常好!
Fēichng hǎo!

Vocabulary point:

当然 dāngrn means of course, 当然是 Dāngrn sh means "Of course I am."

非常 fēichng is an intensifier that means extremely, it precedes verbal predicates such as 好 hǎo.

12.05 Where do you come from?

Nǐ cng...
  ...you from...
Nǐ cng nǎli ...
  Where do you....from?
Nǐ cng nǎli li?
  Where do you come from?

>> Listen to the MP3 (right click to save)


你从哪里来? Nǐ cng nǎli li? could be translated as "Where are you from?" It could be considered non-standard because of the ambiguity of the question, since it can be taken to mean "Where did you just come from?"

Vocabulary point:

cng is a preposition, it means from in the sense of "movement from a location", there is another Chinese verb for talking about distance without movement, l. We will discuss this second preposition in a later lesson.

A Transcribe the characters below into pinyin

1.) 哪里 _________________ 2.) __________________
3.) 非常 _________________ 4.) 当然 _________________
5.) _________________ 6.) 来自 _________________

B Transcribe the following sentences into pinyin

1.) 她来自哪里?


2.) 你是哪里人?


3.) 北京好不好?


4.) 当然是!


C Transcribe the characters into pinyin and then translate into English

1.) 北京人  _____________    ______________
2.) 南京人  _____________    ______________
3.) 上海人  _____________    ______________
4.) 留学生  _____________    ______________
5.) 再见  _____________    ______________

D Fill in the blanks for the dialogue

A: Nǐ liz ________?
马特: Wǒ ________ Měigu. Nǐ ________ Zhōnggurn ma?
A: _________ sh!
马特: Nǐ sh nǎli _________ ?
A: _________ sh Běijīngrn.
马特: _________ hǎo b hǎo?
A: _________ hǎo!

E Circle the two characters that are not the same

你 学 来 从
日 商 里 美              
学 日 美 商
从 你 来          

F Write questions for the following answers

1.) _______________________________________________________?

       我身体很好。 Wǒ shēntǐ hěn hǎo.

2.) _______________________________________________________?

      我们都很忙。 Wǒmen dōu hěn mng.

3.) _______________________________________________________?

      我来自英国。 Wǒ liz Yīnggu.

4.) _______________________________________________________?

      我是北京人。 Wǒ sh Běijīngrn.

G Circle the character that matches the pinyin

cng : 京     自     我     从 hǎi : 海     是     自     也
z : 老     心     兴     自  jīng : 很     非     当     京 
dāng : 很     北     当     吗  nn : 美     南     人     你