The Major Differences Between English and Chinese

major differences between English in Chinese


There are some basic major differences between English in Chinese .Be aware of these difference will enable the western mandarin Chinese student both to learn Chinese easier and in addition to take his language abilities some steps further.
This article sums up some major differences between English and Chinese

.English relies on structures to express ideas while Chinese does not.1
The meaning of this is that as long as the sentence structure is grammatically correct,it can be used to express ideas no matter how long and complicated the sentence is very common in English to use very long and complicated sentences for expression
In construct Chinese “wants” the meaning to be understood easily and clearly and therefor doesn’t rely on long structures for expression but instead divides the long sentence into several shorter ones .Therefore it is very common to see long sentences in English using a lot of modifiers ,and in contrast many short sentences in Chinese connecting with comma
The message for the mandarin student is this: when dealing with the Chinese language “Get the meaning, forget the words”

2.English very commonly uses pronouns like: “we”, “you”, “she”,”they”,”that”,”which” in order to make the long sentences clearer and without repeats.Due to the short sentences in Chinese there is no such need to use pronouns and therefore nouns are
Much more in use in Chinese than pronouns

.English uses the passive voice while Chinese uses the active voice.3
chinese hardly uses the passive voice and generally use the active voice for expression.for example ,”it is widely believed that…”
Is expressed in Chinese as :”people generally believe that…”.

.4.there is a different in Verb/Tense aspect.English very commonly uses auxiliaries and by verb inflections like is/are/were
Eat/eats/ate/eaten, etc.Chinese, on the other hand, is an uninflected language and conveys meaning through word order, adverbials or shared understanding of the context. Chinese doesn’t use different tenses and verb forms to express the concept of time.except for cases when the emphasize of the time is necessary ,the time is often understood by the context
For the mandarin student this is a big advantage because it simplifies the Chinese grammar

5.A difference in the vocabulary aspect.the Chinese language is extremely rich and different nuances of the same word in English requires a different word in Chinese.most of the dictionaries don’t make the slight differences between similar Chinese words clear and therefor cannot be completely trusted
For the mandarin student it means don’t rely only on the dictionary to use Chinese
The student can overcome this difficulty by reading,reading and more reading Chinese,listening to Chinese and by taking private lessons with a native Chinese teacher

6.English uses abstract vocabulary for expression much more than Chinese.Chinese often uses definite concrete objects to express abstract ones.this characteristic is a result of the Chinese philosophy which is based on the nature
The message for the mandarin student : put an emphasize on mastering as many Chinese idioms as you can because the Chinese idioms make use of concrete objects to express abstract ideas and in addition make use of allegories while using Chinese.this will make you language abilities some steps higher

.Chinese has no singular and plural.7

8.Chinese does not distinguish between countable and non-countable nouns; one money, one homework, one child

Chinese has no gender forms, other than words for ‘he, she, it’ – which have the same pronunciation
This makes the Chinese grammar easier to learn for the western mandarin student
10.Chinese has no Nominative or Accusative cases. ‘I’ and ‘me’ are the same, as are ‘he’ and ‘him’, ‘she’ and ‘her’

11.Chinese has no Genitive case in either verbs or nouns: One word (de) is used to indicate possession. ‘I de’ is ‘my’ or ‘mine’. Etc

12.the verb “to be” is widely in use in English but not in Chinese.for example: “we will be together” is expressed in Chinese as: ‘we together” is very common in Chinese that a noun is also a verb and/or adjective.this hardly exists in English

.14.Chinese has no negative questions. Never say to a Chinese friend ‘You aren’t going to the party, are you?’ If he’s not going, he will answer, “Yes

Orna taub

The Updated Links of my Kindle Books for Mandarin Chinese Students

English idioms& proverbs and their Chinese equivalents [Kindle Edition]

.English common expressions – how to say it in Chinese?-book 1

.English common expressions-how to say it in Chinese-book2

.Complementary book for mandarin students – Chinese easy stories,humor,culture ,habits,writing letters

.All you need to know to do Business in China: The Chinese Habits, Way & all the Other essential Details

.Chinese current slang

.China- current life and traditional culture

The difference between the words: 豆腐心(dòu fu xīn), 松口(sōng kǒu), 心软(xīn ruǎn)

At first glance maybe these words seem to be alike,but actually they are different from one another.

let’s explain them one by one and look at some examples to get the feeling of each one of them.

豆腐心(dòu fu xīn)


This is a very informal word.It means that based on one’s apparent looking or indulgence  other people might think he also has tough heart or cruelcy. But actually and surprisingly  he has a good heart and compassion and also ready to help people in need.In other words,someone’s looking,engagements etc. make us impressed that he surely is a bad person and cruel. But actually we are surprised to discover that he is a good person with a good heart. Some sort of a contract between the apparent and the actual truth.


(wǒ de yī gè péng yǒu ,zhǎng de wǔ dà sān cū ,zěn me kàn dōu xiàng shì gè hēi shè huì ,dàn qí shí tā yǒu yī kē dòu fǔ xīn ,zhī yào shì péng yǒu men yǒu xū yào bāng zhù de shí hòu ,tā dōu huì bāng zhù tā)
One of my friends really looks like a bully,like one of the undergrownd world.but actually he has a very soft heart.If some friends needs any help he is willing to give him his help.

(lián zài jiān yù lǐ de qiú fàn dāng zhōng yě kě néng yǒu yī xiē yǒu dòu fǔ xīn de rén )
Even in prisom may be a prisoner with a soft heart.

心软 (xīn ruǎn) To be softhearted / to be tenderhearted / to be kindhearted / softened (toward somebody else)

孩子的眼泪使她的心软了。(hái zǐ de yǎn lèi shǐ tā de xīn ruǎn Le) The little boy’s tears melted her heart.

他心软了, 流下了眼泪。(tā xīn ruǎn Le , liú xià Le yǎn lèi )His heart was softened and melted into tears.

祖父是一位心软的老好人;他老是给我们好吃的、好玩的。(zǔ fù shì yī wèi xīn ruǎn de lǎo hǎo rén ;tā lǎo shì gěi wǒ men hǎo chī de 、hǎo wán de) 。 Grandpa is an old softie; he always gives us treats.

松口 (sōng kǒu)to give up and tell someone a secret or admit fault

images images13O1BX67
(gōng sī de cái wù jīng lǐ yīn wéi tān wū shòu dào Le zhǐ kòng ,jīng guò liǎng gè yuè de zhèng zhā ,tā zhōng yú sōng kǒu chéng rèn Le zì jǐ de zuì xíng)
The company’s financial manager has been accused of corruption, after two months of struggle, he finally relented and admitted his crimes.

(jūn rén qiú fàn bèi shé mó yǐ hòu ,yī bān dōu sōng kǒu ,xiè lù chū mì mì )。
After being tortured, captive soldiers generally give up and release army secrets.

The meaning of :你来我往 (nǐ lái wǒ wǎng) and 人来人往 (rén lái rén wǎng)

你来我往 (nǐ lái wǒ wǎng)


Initialy,the meaning was a big crowd of people coming and going.Like in a crowdy street or a big market etc. But over the years this expression lost its initial meaning and now is used in another meaning.
This expression is used to describe any action between two parties (people,institutions,companies,animals etc),
which one party does for the other and then the other returns it (the same action) to him.
* when friends meet in a restaurant,one invites the other and next time the other will invite him.
* In making language exchange, there is mutual help.One time one teaches the other his language and the other time the other will tech him his own.
* Also in the negative sense,one shouts at the other and then the other shouts back at him. also,one beats the other and then the other beats him back.

Example of a sentece:

来跟朋友相帮合作需要懂你来我往 ( lái gēn péng yǒu xiàng bāng hé zuò xū yào dǒng nǐ lái wǒ wǎng)
in order to cooperate with friends one must know Reciprocity.

人来人往 (rén lái rén wǎng)


Nowadays this is the expression to describe a crowd of people coming and going.
for example:
节日的前一天,市场里很热闹,人来人往。(jiē rì de qián yī tiān ,shì chǎng lǐ hěn rè nào ,rén lái rén wǎng) 。
The day before the festival, the market is very lively and bustling

My way to study the Chinese characters


My way to learn the chinese characetrs (although not handwriting) was without any discipline (I was too lazy for that at that time..) but in a very natural and smooth way.I didn’t even notice i was studying them but gradualy mastered more and more with a lot of fun.Actually,i didn’t know the chinese characters for a long time because i was afraid to sit and memorize them.I liked to correspond by email with chinese and taiwanese friends and was able to find the ones (very few,I must say) that were willing to correspond with me using pinyin.I used to delete all the letters which were not written in pinyin.After a while, I started to use the online characters to pinyin convertion tools,so i didn’t have to delete the letters written using the characters anymore.I could read them in pinyin.One day an idea occured to me.while converting the characters to pinyin,i started to keep also the characters so i had the characters and their corresponded pinyin in front of my eyes.from time to time i took a glance on the character corresponds to the pin yin.I realized that I was starting to feel more and more familiar with the characters and slowly started to recognize more and more of them.The point is to gradualy start to make friends with the characters and less and less feel they are aliens.after feeling a bit of this new feeling, I installed the “pinyin input method” and tried to use it for writing to friends.Of course ,I made a lot of writing mistakes (no wonder) ,but being my friends they could forgive me for my mistakes and tolerate it.
Using the pinyin input application was a turn point for me and since then my progress was very fast.
Then I did the same thing with chinese texts in addition to friends letters.I used to write articles in chinese using the chinese characters (in addition to letters to friends) and sent them for free correction in websites like “italki”,”lang-8″ and more. Now I have a sort of feeling as if i always knew the characters.
I know this method is not suitable to anyone,but the ones who do feel this method can be suitable to them and “speaks to their hearts” are invited to adopt it.

this method is not efficient enough to learn to handwriting the characters.for this there is no other way than to practice,practice and more practice.Since practice makes perfect….


costumers reviews on my books

The costumers reviews of my books (in Amazon)

EngineeringStudent reviewed Mandarin Chinese – Fully And Detailed Top Key Language Issues With Pictures and Examples…
I didn’t like the kindle format November 29, 2014
This book goes through basic grammatical structures with example sentences in hanzi, pinyin and English. Suitable for maybe 2nd through 4th year Chinese students, with the beginning of the book more applicable to the 2nd years and the end more applicable to the 4th years. I didn’t like the kindle format, though; found it difficult to flip through without a table of contents and with weird spacing between the letters.
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Jack Howard reviewed English common expressions – how to say it in Chinese?-book 1
Excellent book! October 15, 2014
I also purchased book 2. I highly recommend this series to anyone who wants to know the precise Chinese equivalents of everyday English expressions.
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Jack Howard reviewed English common expressions-how to say it in Chinese-book2 (English common expressions-how…
Terrific list of expressions. October 15, 2014
This book is great. I’ve been looking for something like this for years. Short and sweet and to the point. I strongly recommend it.
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 Nez reviewed Enrichment Textbook for Students Learning the Chinese Language
Well written! October 4, 2014
Very impressive , very well written! Definitely an invaluable resource! The review was done on a comnplimentary Ebook.
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Steve reviewed Mandarin Chinese – Fully And Detailed Top Key Language Issues With Pictures and Examples…
2 of 2 people found the following helpful
Unbelievably comprehensive reference September 22, 2014
While this book is beyond my skill level, it’s impossible to deny the depth and breadth of such a huge reference book. For intermediate and advanced students who require further assistance in a range of grammatical skills as well as a huge cache of idioms, Chinese-centric proverbs, sayings, and idioms, etc., this book is an incredible value.

Orna lists each item using Chinese symbols, pinyin, and English translations….Read More
While this book is beyond my skill level, it’s impossible to deny the depth and breadth of such a huge reference book. For intermediate and advanced students who require further assistance in a range of grammatical skills as well as a huge cache of idioms, Chinese-centric proverbs, sayings, and idioms, etc., this book is an incredible value.

Orna lists each item using Chinese symbols, pinyin, and English translations. Given the scope of what she’s compiled in her research, I would be very surprised if you didn’t find what you were looking for inside. Additionally, Ms. Taub lists contact information for questions, links to her blog, and other information for those who wish to find answers beyond the textbook.

If you are a student of Mandarin Chinese who needs a handy and amazingly inexpensive resource for a ton of grammar questions as well as a powerful tool to go beyond the limits of most language curriculum, you can’t go wrong with this book.Show Less
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6. S. Maness reviewed Mandarin Chinese – Fully And Detailed Top Key Language Issues With Pictures and Examples…
1 of 4 people found the following helpful
I had started reading through this reference. So far … July 18, 2014
I had started reading through this reference. So far it seems very well written. I had received an advance reader copy of this book from Story Cartel in exchange for an unbiased review.

Reviewed By Paula Tran for Readers’ Favorite
Review Rating: 5 stars! 

As China is growing vastly economically, many businessmen as well as ordinary people are being exposed to the Chinese language. In North America, the number of Chinese language courses provided in elementary schools to colleges have increased over the years, making it a very popular language. However, because of its complex grammar as well as its long historical background, this language is very hard to learn, and Taub is ready to help you achieve that goal.

Mandarin is a language composed of symbols and various complex tones. It can be daunting for a beginner, and growing up in Taiwan I definitely felt that fear (my first language is English). Taub did a really good job illustrating not only the basics of the language, but also the more complicated aspects. In the beginning, the explanations of the tones were detailed, precise, and accurate, but also not to the point where it chokes the reader. Later in the book, she also points out common words and phrases used in colloquial speech, which not many Chinese language books do today. Throughout the whole book, Taub also makes use of pinyin to illustrate how a particular word is supposed to sound, a good tool for any learner no matter where they are from.

Although simple in design, the book is straightforward and that is the main purpose. Without the fancy schematics, people are able to learn Mandarin quickly and in a time saving manner. However, maybe a fancier cover page will capture the attention of passersby in a bookstore, because first impressions are (sadly) everything.

Reviewed By Gisela Dixon for Readers’ Favorite
Review Rating: 5 stars!

Mandarin Chinese – Fully And Detailed Top Key Language Issues With Pictures and Examples: For Intermediate & Advanced – Book One by Orna Taub is a comprehensive Mandarin Chinese language book for learners who are at least at an intermediate level in learning to speak Chinese. Orna Taub herself has an extensive background as well as practical experience in speaking Mandarin. Since she is not a native speaker of the language either, she is able to relate to the struggles and challenges one can sometimes face while learning a new and complex language. The book is clearly split into neat chapters while providing tips and information on the intricacies of language such as: the use of idioms, colloquial Chinese, common expressions and slang, the rules of changing of tone, grammatical nuances, prepositions and conjunctions, and more. All of the text is accompanied by several pictures or illustrations to better clarify the concept. There are also numerous examples provided throughout the book.

Mandarin Chinese – Fully And Detailed Top Key Language Issues With Pictures and Examples: For Intermediate & Advanced – Book One by Orna Taub is an extremely handy book to have around for any learner of the Mandarin Chinese language. The book is not designed for beginners or learners who don’t know a word of Chinese. Instead, this book is meant to help people who already have a basic knowledge of Chinese to help improve and grow in their use of the language. Orna Taub has done a great job adding to the literature in this field and it is especially important considering the fact that more and more people are learning Chinese nowadays. All in all, a great book and one that I would recommend!

‎Book‬ Review of ‪#‎MandarinChineseFullyAndDetailedTopKeyLanguageIssue‬ from ‪#‎ReadersFavorite‬ –…/mandarin-chinese-fully-and-de

Reviewed by Emilija Ryks for Readers’ Favorite

Mandarin Chinese: An Explanatory Guide to Key Language Issues is written by Orna Taub. This is a resource for Mandarin students by someone that has painstakingly sought the help of native speakers and masters, and seeks to impart her knowledge to anyone that can benefit by it. The book contains clarifications of particles, common words, words for special occasions, slang etc. It is full of examples for each point and it includes the Chinese characters as well as the English letter spelling and the translation in English. Cases where the term used is not usually said are noted in the text. If you already have some learning under your belt about how to speak/read/write Mandarin, this is an excellent guide to some things they likely didn’t teach in the grand scheme of the lessons. There is a fair amount of material that would be natural to a native speaker, but not common if you didn’t grow up in that culture since formal learning tends to be more formal in style.

This is not a ‘teach yourself Chinese’ book – it is an aid for furthering one’s understanding and Orna Taub has given us a great deal to look into in this book. It is like reading someone’s advanced language notes and that really is what it is. I very much enjoyed the range of the examples used for each item in the vocabulary section that takes up most of the bulk of the last section of the book. Orna gives multiple examples of how the words work in a real sentence, though sometimes the sentence is more for an example and, while I don’t think I would ever use it in real life, they are rather entertaining. She includes some pictures as well to further clarify several points. It is a good book to have as a permanent fixture if/when learning Mandarin. Mandarin Chinese contains a lot of information that will take both time and practice to get a handle on, but the benefit to the speaker is great in the long run.


my biography

Orna Taub was born in Haifa,Israel in 1957 to a happy family with a twin sister.
After the army service she studied pure mathematics in the Technion in Haifa.after receiving the MS.c she studied four years chinese medicine and some subjects in alternative medicine.She worked in her own clinic for several years.In a certain point she started to feel an unexplained very strong attraction to china and as a result started to learn mandarin by her own.This strong feeling towards china only gets stronger and she uses every opportunity to base and deepen her knowledge and mastery in the chinese language,history,culture and life.the chinese language is her main hobby and occupation and recently she decided to share her knowledge in insights with other students and wrote some textbook for students based on her own long learning experience.Orna learning experience includes attending mandarin courses in sichuan (china),1-1 advanced lessons on skype with chinese teachers,advanced courses in israel and many hours of self study using online and offline stuff.Orna completed a chinese/english translation course and has a certificate from BLCU, China.

Chinese writing letter format


Chinese writing letter format

1. A letter to a friend

亲爱的 ...





2.A formal letter

E mail:


The topic



地址                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               ertyu

A chinese famous short story – 东施效颦 (dōng shī xiào pín) Ugly Woman Trying To Imitate A Famous Beauty

A chinese famous short story

东施效颦 (dōng shī xiào pín) Ugly Woman Trying To Imitate A Famous Beauty



yuè guó zhù luó yǒu wèi xìng shī de měi nǚ ,yīn wéi jiā zhù ruò yē xī xī àn ,suǒ yǐ cūn lǐ rén jiào tā xī shī 。ruò yē xī dōng àn yě yǒu wèi xìng shī de gū niáng 。tā zhǎng dé hěn chǒu ,cūn lǐ rén guǎn tā jiào dōng shī 。yǒu yī tiān ,xī shī xīn kǒu téng ,zǒu lù de shí hòu shuāng shǒu wǔ zhù xiōng bù ,bìng qiě zhòu zhe méi tóu 。cūn lǐ rén jiàn tā zhè gè mó yàng ,dōu tóng qíng dì shuō :“qiáo zhè gū niáng de mó yàng ,zhǔn shì téng dé nán shòu ,zhēn shì kě lián !”

Xi Shi, a famous beauty, had a pain in her bosom, so she had a frown on her face when she went out. An ugly girl who lived nearby saw her and thought she looked very beautiful. Therefore when she went home, she also put her hands on her bosom and had a frown on her face.

西施的病态正好被东施瞧见了。她一边看,一边默默记住她难受的姿态和动作。回到溪东后,也模仿西施的模样,双手捂住胸部,同时皱着眉头。东施的这副模样,使村里人大吃一惊,富人紧闭大门不出来,穷人也带着妻儿躲开。 东施只知道人家皱着眉头很美,却不知道为什么皱着眉头会美。东施的这副模样,使村里人大吃一惊,富人紧闭大门不出来,穷人也带着妻儿躲开。 东施只知道人家皱着眉头很美,却不知道为什么皱着眉头会美。

xī shī de bìng tài zhèng hǎo bèi dōng shī qiáo jiàn Le 。tā yī biān kàn ,yī biān mò mò jì zhù tā nán shòu de zī tài hé dòng zuò 。huí dào xī dōng hòu ,yě mó fǎng xī shī de mó yàng ,shuāng shǒu wǔ zhù xiōng bù ,tóng shí zhòu zhe méi tóu 。dōng shī de zhè fù mó yàng ,shǐ cūn lǐ rén dà chī yī jīng ,fù rén jǐn bì dà mén bú chū lái ,qióng rén yě dài zhe qī ér duǒ kāi 。 dōng shī zhī zhī dào rén jiā zhòu zhe méi tóu hěn měi ,què bú zhī dào wéi shí me zhòu zhe méi tóu huì měi 。dōng shī de zhè fù mó yàng ,shǐ cūn lǐ rén dà chī yī jīng ,fù rén jǐn bì dà mén bú chū lái ,qióng rén yě dài zhe qī ér duǒ kāi 。 dōng shī zhī zhī dào rén jiā zhòu zhe méi tóu hěn měi ,què bú zhī dào wéi shí me zhòu zhe méi tóu huì měi 。

When a rich man in the neighbourhood saw her, he shut his doors tightly and did not go out. When a poor man saw her, he took his wife and children and gave her a wide berth.She only knew Xi Shi’s frown looked beautiful but she did not know the reason for its beauty.


תמונה 001My name is Orna taub.I was born in Israel in1957.
My big interesting in China and the Chinese language started after I graduated from Chinese medicine school in Israel
And complemented my study in another school of Chinese medicine to study two years Chinese herbs.
One of my instructors was a native Chinese doctor who came from chengdu and only spoke Chinese.
The meeting with him evoked in me a sudden  and great attraction to China and a big passion to learn Chinese.
I started to learn chinese by myself using textbooks.
Gradually friendly relationships started to develop between me and my Chinese instructor ,and since he could only speak Chinese, I had no other choice but to break my teeth to speak Chinese with him. As I progressed in Chinese I started to help him in his everyday life communication and after a while  also joined him to his patients homes to serve as a translator. Eventually I became his translator in his classes too.In the following years I continued to study by myself  .After a few years I made my first trip to China and stayed in Chengdu (Sichuan province) for three months attending the Normal University and taking classes in Chinese language with other foreign students. During that time I spoke only Chinese and made great progress in my language studies.
Since I came back to Israel and on I use every possible way to study Chinese and deepen my knowledge in the language.

In the recent years I have taken one-on-one lessons using skype studying colloquial Chinese in advanced level with a native Chinese teacher from Beijing ,practice speaking with another teacher in chengdu and directly contact with Chinese native speakers friends by speaking and writing.Recently I graduated from the Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU) after 8 months of studying  Chinese translation (1-1 lesson by skype), and got a certificate.
After years of very diligent studying I decided to make use of my long time experience as a student and share my knowledge and insights with the worldwide mandarin students.Being a long time enthusiastic student myself let me experience the problems and difficulties of the mandarin student and my wish is to share the worldwide students with my knowledge and insights gained by my own efforts to overcome the difficulties and language issues I encountered. Till now I wrote several digital books for students which may be very beneficial for students who already have a basic knowledge in mandarin Chinese.
I hope the mandarin student will be benefited from my books.