This very indignant kid seems destined to be a vegetarian.

Learn Chinese Reading: Beginner Practice Exercises for Mandarin Chinese: Children's EssaysI’d say the most difficult phrase in this little passage is: 家里人都吃得很香. The beginning of that sentence is no problem: 家里人都 “Everyone in the family…”, but 吃得很香 is a bit more difficult, as we don’t have sentence structure similar to this in English. Let’s break it down:

吃 – chī – To eat
得 – de – Grammar word, which kind of acts as a bridge between “吃” and “香”, indicating that the result of 吃 (eating) is that it was very 香 (savory)
很 – hěn – Very
香 – xiāng – Savory

Another interesting thing about this sentence is the word 香, which can mean both “fragrant” (smells good) and / or “savory” (tastes good). I find it particularly interesting that the Chinese recognize in language the interconnectedness of good taste and smell.

One other notable point is the word 又, which means “again”. But did you know that in Chinese, there are two ways to say “again”? There’s 又, and there’s also 再. It’s a little alien to a native English speaker that there might be two different ways to say “again”, so let me explain the difference:

又 – Indicates that the action has already been repeated in the past. Example: “You forgot your homework again? You’re going to get in trouble.” The person being scolded forgot their homework once, then already forgot it again (maybe many times). The forgetting of homework again has already happened. So we use 又.

再 – Indicates that something will happen again in the future. An example of this would be: Don’t forget your homework again or you’ll get in trouble. In other words, you forgot your homework at least once already, don’t repeat that action again in the future. Another example of this is would be a sentence like, “When will I see you again?” The seeing again hasn’t yet happened – it may happen in the future. So we would use 再.

The Chinese title of this text is 爸爸是个大坏蛋.

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青蛙 – qīng wā – Frog
害虫 – hài chóng – Harmful pests (insects, etc.)
庄稼 – zhuāng jia – Farm crop
消灭 – xiāo miè – Nasty, vile
能手 – néng shǒu – Put an end to, annihilate
煮 – zhǔ – Cook, boil
却 – què – But, however
可怜 – kě lián – A pity




Frogs catch pests, so they’re a farm crop’s good friend. But my dad goes out during the day and catches frogs.

I said to dad: “Frogs are experts at annihilating pests, you can’t catch them!” But my dad only smiled and said: “Children should stay out of adult business.” I’m very worried.

Once again, dad caught several frogs and boiled up a pot of frog meat. Everyone in the family ate up the savory [food], but I didn’t even want to eat a little. I thought: here we are eating frog meat, that means there are many small frogs with no mama, surely they’re crying for their mother, it’s such a pity! My dad is a big scoundrel!

9 comments to "My Dad is a Scoundrel!"

  1. 感谢你这个故事。 我学习汉语, 这个博客真帮我。我想学习都口语和汉字。 我知道我的语法有时不对, 可是我还是很喜欢学习。
    再次感谢你。 希望许多故事。


  2. There are typos in vocabulary: list
    消灭 – è liè – Nasty, vile
    能手 – xiāo miè – Put an end to, annihilate

  3. 第二句中的“在天”恐怕应该是“成天”吧,“在天”明显讲不通(相信我,我是中国人……)

  4. Great site Kendra! This site has some really good stuff.

    • Welp, I feel a little silly saying “thanks” in answer to every post, but feel rude not doing it so: thanks!

  5. I like my new word: 大坏蛋. Thanks!

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