Things To Do

Sports and pastimes

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nǐ píngshí xǐhuān zuò shénme ? / 你平时喜欢做什么 - What do you like doing in your free time?

To say that you do something in Mandarin is very easy:

wǒ yóu yǒng。/ 我游泳 - I swim.

wǒ kàn shū。/ 我看书 - I read.

wǒ chàng gē。/ 我唱歌 - I sing.

Can you see? In Mandarin verbs don’t have an infinitive form or different tenses. Simple!

To say what you can do is really easy too - you say wǒ huì / 我会 (I know how to/I can) and then the verb.

wǒ huì yóu yǒng。/ 我会游泳 - I know how to swim.

wǒ huì dú。/ 我会读 - I know how to read.

wǒ huì chàng gē。/ 我会唱歌 - I know how to sing.

The same is true for saying you like to do something, except this time you say wǒ xǐhuān / 我喜欢 (I like) before the verb.

wǒ tiào wǔ。/ 我跳舞 - I dance.

wǒ xǐhuān tiào wǔ。/ 我喜欢跳舞 - I like to dance.

wǒ xǐhuān kàn shū。/ 我喜欢看书 - I like to read books.

wǒ xǐhuān chàng gē。/ 我喜欢唱歌 - I like to sing.

wǒ xǐhuān tī zú qiú。/ 我喜欢踢足球 - I like to play football.

wǒ huì dǎ bǎn qiú。/ 我会打板球 - I know how to play cricket.

Did you notice how you use tī/ 踢 to play football, but dǎ / 打 to play cricket?

That’s because if it’s a sport you play with your feet, you use the verb tī / 踢 while if it’s a sport you play with your hands you use the verb dǎ / 打

So, when you play on the computer do you use tī / 踢 or dǎ / 打

That's right, dǎ / 打! Because you use your hands!

wǒ xǐ huān dǎ diàn nǎo。/ 我喜欢打电脑 - I play on the computer.

For general sport, use the verb zuò / 做.

wǒ zuò yùn dòng。/ 我做运动 - I play sport.

Here are some other things you might do:

wǒ kàn diàn shì。/ 我看电视 - I watch TV.

wǒ kàn shū。/ 我看书 - I read.

wǒ qí zì xíng chē。/ 我骑自行车 - I ride a bicycle.

wǒ liū bīng。/ 我溜冰 - I roller skate.

If you want to show off a bit and say what you’re good at doing, you can use the following structure in Mandarin:

My | Sport | Verb |  de / 得 | hěn hǎo / 很好 (very good or well)

wǒ yóu yǒng yóu de hěn hǎo。/ 我游泳游得很好 - I’m good at swimming (literally: My swimming swims well).

wǒ zú qiú tī de hěn hǎo。/ 我足球踢得很好 - I’m good at playing football

And to say you’re not good at something? That’s right, simply change the adverb from ‘very good’ (hěn hǎo / 很好) to ‘not good’ (bù hǎo / 不好)!

wǒ wǎng qiú dǎ de bù hǎo。/ 我网球打得不好 - I’m not good at playing tennis (literally: My tennis plays not good).