5 ways to use 了 to express emphasis in Mandarin Chinese, with Peppa Pig Examples

There are numerous uses of 了 in Mandarin Chinese. And they’re often hard to interpret, let alone use! In this article, I will focus on five uses of 了 to express some sort of emphasis, which are not related to the past tense that 了 is commonly associated with.

These uses of 了 can catch beginners off guard: “Why the heck is there a 了 there?“ “Do I really need a 了 here?”. I will analyze the instances where 了 is used in expressions for emphasis and hopefully you can also observe the common theme.

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Learn how to use 为什么 (Wèishéme) in a sentence, through examples from Peppa Pig! It could be tricky.

为什么 (Wèishéme) means why and it’s a phrase you’ll come across constantly.

In the Peppa Pig episodes I’ve covered so far, 为什么 has showed up three times. In this post I want to explain a few different usages of 为什么 within contexts. It could get pretty tricky.

I also want to show you in a simple example why contexts and intonations are crucial for understanding the spoken Chinese language.

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How to interpret and use 起来 QiLai in Chinese

起来 or Qǐlái in Chinese can be interpreted and used in many ways. Sometimes it’s really hard to explain what 起来 means exactly, even for a native speaker (perhaps especially for a native speaker like me, because most of the time I don’t think about what it means at all!). You would have to interpret 起来 in a sentence or a context.

In this post I will talk about the most basic meaning of 起来, and go over a few instances of 起来 that have popped up in Peppa Pig so far.

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What’s the difference between 想 (xiang), 要 (yao), and 想要 (xiangyao) in Mandarin Chinese?

想 = Xiǎng, 要 = Yào and 想要 = XiǎngYào can all be translated into “want” or “want to” sometimes. However, they’re not exactly the same across all contexts. (Otherwise, why would there be three terms instead of one?!) You may be wondering: What are the differences? When can they be used interchangeably or not? Which one should I use and when?

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