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Stepping Stones Lesson Ten

Audio Immersion  |  Audio Practice  |  Vocabulary Study  |  Vocabulary Review
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Reading Practice

Practice reading the entire story aloud, with comprehension, using only the unannotated Chinese text.

If you get stuck, you can click on any character to display the pinyin and meaning of the character. Use the audio player to review the pronunciation of the text.

Grammar Notes

Dependent Clauses

In English, dependent clauses come after the noun they modify. That’s why we call them “dependent” clauses. Here is an example of a dependent clause from our English translation.

                                          the horse that was raised by his family

Please note that in Chinese, dependent clauses ALWAYS precede the noun they modify. With that in mind, please look at the same sentence in Chinese:


If this were to be literally translated into English, it would be rendered as “his family raised horse.” Please keep in mind that Chinese is essentially a “front-loaded” language, where adjectives, adverbs, and dependent clauses always precede the noun or noun phrase. English can operate either way, but people most often use “back-loading” with adverbs and dependent clauses.

“Er” enging, 者

者 is a verb suffix. It turns verbs into nouns. It functions somewhat similarly to the English “er” ending. For example: runner. In Chinese, it is possible to say 跑者 to mean runner. In this chapter, we have 长者. Literally translated, this means “the one who has grown.” It means “elder.”

来 and 去

来 means “to come,” indicating motion toward the speaker. 去 means “to go,” indicating motion away from the speaker. These two particles are considered complements (results) and are therefore placed after the verb. For example, 跑来 means “to come running”; 跑去 is “to leave running.” “To run to and fro” is 跑来跑去。

Once you can read the story through (congratulations!), you're ready to go on to the next step.