Being able to understand sentences using time is important to learning any language, after all, talking about time is a large part of how we communicate. Excellent for beginners who always find themselves struggling when asked about time and dates. Let’s look through these sentence by sentence.

(Hover over the Chinese for pinyin)

1. 今天几月几号?星期几?

几月 means “what month” and 几号 means (in this sentence) “what day”. So the first part is asking “What month and date is it today?”

A common mistake with 星期几 is that people they think it is asking what week of the month it is (as 星期 means week). However, 星期几 is asking what the day is.

2 .现在几点?八点半。

现在 means now and 几点 would be “what time”. Put them together to create “What time is it now?”.

八点半 means 8:30. You can probably guess that 9:30 would be 九点半.

3.你每天什么时候学汉语?

每 can mean “every” or “each” and 天 can mean “day”. Together they form “every day”.

什么时候 simply means “when” so we can now see that the sentence is asking us “When do you X every day?”

Finally we have the verb “to study” in the form of 学习 and lastly the noun which is 汉语 (Chinese).

This sentence can be easily modified in many ways such as 你每天什么时候洗澡.

For beginner learners then I really recommend picking up a level 1 book from the Chinese Breeze series. These books have helped me a lot.

4.我每天早上从七点半到八点半学汉语。

Now we introduce a new sentence structure 从…到…. This can be used to represent from X to X. The sentence is saying that they study Chinese from 7:30 to 8:30 every morning.

5.你明天几点见客户?

Here we have the verb 见 which is “to meet with” or “to see”. 客户 is a client or customer and so from our knowledge of the previous sentences we can see that it is asking “What time tomorrow will you meet your clients?”

6.我后天早上九点在公司楼下等你。

后天 represents the day after tomorrow in the same way that 后年 is the year after next. 楼下 is downstairs. Can you figure out the meaning of this sentence and write it in the comments below?

Thanks for reading

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