12Sentences.com is inspired by Tim Ferriss' grammar 'deconstruction' method from ‘The 4 Hour Chef' - his book on accelerated learning.


Tim's method includes having a native speaker translate sentences like 'I give John the apple' - to help decode the building blocks of a language.

Some kind language speakers have added their translations and recordings to this project. To suggest which languages to add next - vote in the poll.


Tim's method includes having a native speaker translate sentences like 'I give John the apple' - to help decode the building blocks of a language.

Some kind language speakers have added their translations and recordings to this project. To suggest which languages to add next - vote in the poll.

Tim Ferriss' 12 Sentences to deconstruct 🇨🇳 Mandarin grammar

Translations and recordings by Clytie Yuan (袁家晟), Chinese language teacher and curriculum designer at GoEast Mandarin

1. The apple is red. 这个苹果是红色的。
Zhège píngguǒ shì hóngsè de.
2. It is John’s apple. 这是John的苹果。
Zhè shì John de píngguǒ.
3. I give John the apple. 我把这个苹果给John。
Wǒ bǎ zhège píngguǒ gěi John.
4. We give him the apple. 我们把这个苹果给他。
Wǒmen bǎ zhège píngguǒ gěi tā.

Speed up your learning with 🇨🇳 Mandarin video lessons on italki.

5. He gives it to John. 他把这个给John。
Tā bǎ zhège gěi John.
6. She gives it to him. 她把这个给他。
Tā bǎ zhège gěi tā.
7. Is the apple red? 这个苹果是红色的吗?
Zhège píngguǒ shì hóngsè de ma?
8. The apples are red. 这些苹果是红色的。
Zhèxiē píngguǒ shì hóngsè de.

🍎 Get your own sentences translated by an experienced Mandarin teacher on italki.

9. I must give it to him. 我必须把这个给他。
Wǒ bìxū bǎ zhège gěi tā.
10. I want to give it to her. 我想把这个给她。
Wǒ xiǎng bǎ zhège gěi tā.
11. I'm going to know tomorrow. 我明天就知道了。
Wǒ míngtiān jiù zhīdàole.
12. I can't eat the apple. 我不能吃这个苹果。
Wǒ bùnéng chī zhège píngguǒ.
I have eaten the apple. 我吃了这个苹果。
Wǒ chīle zhège píngguǒ.

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