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Love Characters in Mandarin Lesson Plan

written by: Sujanti Djuanda • edited by: Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch • updated: 9/5/2013

Chinese beginners often confuse the usages of love character in Chinese: 爱 【ài】and 喜欢 【xǐhuān】, 爱情 【àiqíng】 and 爱心 【àixīn】. They also ask how to say "I love you" in Chinese. If you are a new teacher, this lesson plan will help you teach these words and explain how they are similar and different.

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    1. Explain the similarities and differences between 爱 【ài】 and 喜欢 【xǐhuān】.

    2. Explain the similarities and differences between 爱情 【àiqíng】 and 爱心 【àixīn】.

    3. Explain Chinese love-related words 谈恋爱 【tánliàn'ài = dating】 and 失恋 【shīliàn = heart broken】 with examples.

    4.Learning Activities: Home Exercises

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    I. Explain the Similarities and Differences Between 爱 【ài】 and 喜欢 【xǐhuān】

    a. 爱 【ài = love】 as a verb.

    Example:

    I love you.

    我 【wǒ = I】 爱 【ài = love】 你【nǐ = you】。

    我 爱 你。

    b.喜欢 【xǐhuān = like, love】as a verb

    Example:

    I like you.

    I love you.

    我 【wǒ = I】 喜欢 【xǐhuān = like, love】 你 【nǐ = you】。

    我 喜欢 你。

    Chinese people usually say, " 我 【wǒ = I】 喜欢 【xǐhuān = like】 你 【nǐ = you】" to express love in a less direct way. Here “I like you" means “I love you." However, Chinese has been influenced by the English expression "I love you" so "我 【wǒ = I】 爱 【ài = love】 你 【nǐ = you】" has become popular now.

    " 我 【wǒ = I】 喜欢 【xǐhuān = like】 你 【nǐ = you】" can also mean that person just likes someone, not loves her/him.

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    II. Explain the Similarities and Differences Between 爱情 【àiqíng】 and 爱心 【àixīn】

    a. 爱情 【àiqíng = love feeling, love (between man and woman)】 as a noun.

    The Chinese character 爱情 【àiqíng】 is formed by the element 爱 【ài = love】and 情 【qíng = feeling】, it means “love feeling (only between man and woman)."

    Example:

    I think love is the most beautiful feeling.

    我 【wǒ = I 】 觉得 【juéde = think, feel】 爱情 【àiqíng = love feeling, love (between man and woman)】 是 【shì = is】 最 【zuì = most】 美妙 【měimiào = beautiful】 的 【de】 感觉 【gǎnjué = feeling】。

    我 觉得 爱情 是 最 美妙 的 感觉。

    b. 爱心 【àixīn】 is formed by the element 爱 【ài = love】 and 心 【xīn = heart】, it means “loving heart (for certain people or everyone)."

    Example:

    You're really kind.

    Literally means," You really have loving heart."

    你 【nǐ = you】 真 【zhēn = really】 有 【yǒu = have】 爱心 【àixīn = loving heart】。

    你 真 有 爱心。

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    III. Explain Chinese Love-Related Words 谈恋爱 【tánliàn'ài】 and 失恋 【shīliàn】 with Examples

    Example 1:

    When you are dating, you need to be rational.

    你 【nǐ = you】 谈恋爱 【tánliàn'ài = dating, have a love affair】 的 【de】 时候 【shíhòu = moment】 要 【yào = need】 理智 【lǐzhì = rational】!

    你 谈恋爱 的 时候 要 理智!

    Example 2:

    His heart is broken.

    He has been jilted.

    他 【tā = he】 失恋 【shīliàn = heart broken, be disappointed in a love affair, be jilted】 了 【le】。

    他 失恋 了。

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    IV. Learning Activities: Home Exercises

    a. 她 【tā = she】 不 【bù = not】 爱 【ài】 你 【nǐ = you】。

    她 不 爱 你。

    b. 她 【tā = she】 不 【bù = not】 喜欢 【xǐhuān】 你 【nǐ = you】。

    她 不 喜欢 你。

    Answer:

    The first sentence means “She doesn’t love you (she may like you as a friend)." The second can have the same meaning as the first or “She doesn’t like you (she may love you)."

    2. What is the difference between these two sentences?

    Mike gave her a love chocolate gift on Valentine’s Day.

    a. 情人节 【qíngrénjié = Valentine day】 的 【de】 时候 【shíhòu = moment】,迈克 【màikè = Mike】 送 【sòng = give】 她 【tā = she】 爱心 【àixīn】 巧克力 【qiǎokèlì = chocolate】。

    情人节 的 时候,迈克 送 她 爱心 巧克力。

    b. 情人节 【qíngrénjié = Valentine day】 的 【de】 时候 【shíhòu = moment】,迈克 【màikè = Mike】 送 【sòng = give】 她 【tā = she】 爱情 【àiqíng】 巧克力 【qiǎokèlì = chocolate】。

    情人节 的 时候,迈克 送 她 爱情 巧克力。

    Answer:

    The first sentence, 爱心 【àixīn】 means “loving heart (for certain people or everyone)" so Mike can be her family, friend, boyfriend or anyone.

    The second, 爱情 【àiqíng】 means “love (between man and woman)" so Mike can be her boyfriend, husband or someone who loves her.

    3. Fill the blanks with the appropriate words.

    Will a love affair surely end with a broken heart?

    (a)...... 一定 【yīdìng = surely, certainly】 会 【huì = will】(b)......吗 【ma】?

    Answer:

    a. 谈恋爱 【tánliàn'ài = have a love affair】

    b. 失恋 【shīliàn = heart broken】

References

  • Nciku dictionary 爱 【ài】, http://www.nciku.com/search/zh/detail/%E7%88%B1/1300045
  • Nciku dictionary 爱心 【àixīn】, http://www.nciku.com/search/zh/detail/%E7%88%B1%E5%BF%83/1300058
  • Nciku dictionary 爱情 【àiqíng】, http://www.nciku.com/search/zh/detail/%E7%88%B1%E6%83%85/1300055
  • Nciku dictionary 喜欢 【xǐhuān】, http://www.nciku.com/search/zh/detail/%E5%96%9C%E6%AC%A2/1316353
  • Author's Own Experience

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