Prep for that class

Tonight as I trotted off to class I got to thinking that some of my lessons are great whilst others really stink for some reason.

I’ve been trying to find the right way to prep for my (private) classes, as there’s nothing more frustrating for me than spending (wasting?) an hour with my teacher banging my head against the table. Last week it was trying to distinguish when you use: 才cai, 再zai, and 就jiu.

One of the things I like to do while on my way to class is flip some Bach on the iPod, particulary Glenn Gould’s Goldberg Variations. That seems to get my synapses firing and puts me in the mood for learnin’

What do you do to get psyched for class?

I like to do all my studying in the morning when possible, first thing. Once the afternoon hits and drags into the evening hours, the old muscle upstairs takes a lot of prodding to do the work, much less pay attention.

才 can be translated as “only then” or “before”:

“You have to pass the entrance exam before you can go to college.”
“You have to pass the entrance exam; only then can you go to college.”

cai2 = “then and only then, later than expected”
zai4 = “once more, after something that will happen in the future”
jiu4 = “sooner than expected”

This was drummed into me during first-year Chinese and it seems to have stuck pretty firmly. The advantage of having an English-speaking teacher (i.e., I took first year in the States) is that this sort of basic thing can be easily taught in English without resorting to head-banging example series. :smiley: