At about the third lesson, I’d introduce these three powerful musketeers: this, that and which.
这(zhè/zhèi*) → this
那(nà/nèi*) → that
哪(nǎ) → which
*Used in spoken language.
Yes, that’s right, “that” and “which” share the same pronunciation of “na” but differ only at the tones.
So now you can add in sounds for your action when you point at something this time, by adding in the general counting word 个(gè), we have:
这(zhè)个(gè) → this (one)
那(nà)个(gè) → that (one)
哪(nǎ)个(gè)→ which (one)
Plural forms we have:
这(zhè)些(xiē) → these (ones)
那(nà)些(xiē) → those (ones)
哪(nǎ)些(xiē) → which (ones)
When describing locations, we add in the character 里(lǐ):
这(zhè)里(lǐ) → here
那(nà)里(li) → there
哪(nǎ)里(li) → where
Moving forward, we can add in nouns, for example:
这(zhè)个(gè)苹(píng)果(guǒ) → this apple
那(nà)个(gè)苹(píng)果(guǒ) → that apple
哪(nǎ)个(gè)苹(píng)果(guǒ) → which apple
But of course, the counting words in Chinese will give you another headache, let’s not complicate things here.
Next time, when you point to the menu and order at a Chinese restaurant, try this line:
我(wǒ)要(yào)这(zhè)个(ge)。→ (Literally) I want this one.
To sound more polite, add in 谢(xiè)谢(xiè) (Thank you.) at the back.