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In lesson 13 we will cover the cardinal directions north, east, west, and south
as well as central or middle.
We will also learn how to ask where in a country someone is from.
13.01 The major cardinal directions
The cardinal directions are all used in place names that we have already covered or that should be familiar to us.
北 běi, meaning north is used in the city name 北京 Běijīng, meaning literally "North Capital". Likewise, 南 nán meaning south is used in the city name 南京 Nánjīng, meaning "South Capital".The capital of Japan, 东京 Dōngjīng contains the character 东 dōng meaning East*, so likewise Tokyo literally translated means "Eastern Capital". 西 xī means west and is used in the city name 西安 Xī'ān the famous home of the terracotta warriors. Finally, 中国 Zhōngguó China itself contains the character 中 Zhōng meaning middle. *The Kanji for Tokyo uses the traditional character 東 for east, so in Japan "Tokyo" is written 東京.
13.02 North or south, east or west...or the middle? - example sentences
Notes: The pattern is (nation) (cardinal direction)+(area), with the nation acting as a modifier of the area. In English we use a somewhat similar pattern when talking about the American Midwest, but usually the pattern is the opposite, with the nation acting as the headword.
13.03 What part of the country are you from?
Notes: 你从什么地方来? Nǐ cóng shénme dìfang lái？ has two meanings, based on context. If it is the first time people meet each other, than it has roughly the same meaning as 你来自什么地方? Nǐ láizì shénme dìfāng? This sentence asks for the place, so the answer should be the name of place, as in 我从美国华盛顿来。Wǒ cóng Měiguó Huáshèngdùn lái. However, if you are already know the other person, then 你从什么地方来? Nǐ cóng shénme dìfang lái？ has the meaning, “Where did you come from (just now)?” For instance, if you just visited some place and your friend wants to know where you visited, they can ask 你从什么地方来? Nǐ cóng shénme dìfang lái？ to get the answer. In English, this question lacks ambiguity due to the differences in verb tense used – present simple connotes a question about your permanent identity, whereas the simple past connotes an inquiry into your recent activities.
13.04 What part of England are you from? - Dialogue practice
13.05 What you are a person from what part of the country?
Notes: 你是美国什么地方人？Nǐ shì Měiguó shénme dìfang rén? From point of view of grammar, this is a predicate adjective sentence. The emphasis in the sentence is on the person, with the place modifying the individual's identity. Since this sentence asks about a person, so the answer should add 人 rén, as in 我是美国华盛顿人。 Wǒ shì Měiguó Huáshèngdùn rén. But normally people just answer with the place, like 华盛顿 Huáshèngdùn.
13.06 Northerner or Southerner? - vocabulary introduction
Notes: Normally people just use the 长江 Chángjiāng or Yangtze river to separate South and North, but strictly speaking the 秦岭 Qínlǐng Qinling Mountains and the 淮河 Huái Hé Huai River are the dividing line.
13.07 Northerner or Southerner? - example sentences
13.08 Are you from the North or the South? - Concept review dialogue
A Transcribe the characters below into pinyin
B Translate the pinyin into English
C Transcribe the following sentences into pinyin
D Translate the following sentences
E Circle the pinyin for the character
F Fill in the blanks
G Arrange the words into sentences
H Write questions for the following answers