Speaking Chinese can be hard.
Especially for those just beginning in Chinese, from mastering the tones to picking up the grammar, you may begin to get overwhelmed.
The key to success is to take the right approach to learning Chinese. You should focus on breaking down the different elements and start with mastering one part.
Learning simple Chinese sentence structures is an excellent place to start.
Not only is it the foundation of the spoken language, but it also is relatively simple compared to learning long vocabulary lists or writing complex Chinese characters.
Here are three tips to form simple Chinese sentences to get you started.
Chinese grammar is built on saying exactly what you mean in the least amount of vocabulary. The sentence building structure in Chinese is: Subject + Verb + Object
Here are some examples:
我喜欢画画 Wǒ xǐhuān huà huà (I like drawing).
你喝水 Nǐ hē shuǐ (You drink water).
Once you master this simple structure, you can begin to add in other vocabulary words that you know.
You may be wondering how to specify when things are occurring as there are no tenses or conjugation in Chinese grammar. If you want to express the tense, you will want to add the time instead of changing the verb.
The sentence structure to add time is Subject + Time + Verb + Object.
Here are the examples from the above sentences to include time:
Wǒ xiǎoshíhòu xǐhuān huà huà
(When I was young, I liked to draw).
Nǐ zǎoshang hē shuǐ
(You drink water in the morning).
One of the keys to being able to speak Chinese is to practice. Even without much formal training, many non-native speakers can accelerate at conversational Chinese simply by practicing. When starting out a conversation, understanding and asking questions is key.
The easiest way to ask a question when you are beginning to speak Chinese is to add 吗 Ma to the ending of the phrase. Of course, this is not the only way to ask every question in Chinese. However, you can use it for most questions that have a yes or no answer.
Wǒ xiǎoshíhòu xǐhuān huà huà ma?
(When I was young, did I like to draw?)
Nǐ zǎoshang hē shuǐ ma?
(Do you drink water in the morning?)
These three tips will help you as you start to form simple Chinese sentences so that you can begin to speak and practice!