(ru2 he2) (cai3 si3) (yi1 zhi1) (zhi1 zhu1)
(how to) (step on and kill) (one/a + measure word for spider) (spider)
How to kill a spider
I have a very nice master bedroom and bathroom.
(yin1 wei4) (zai4) (di4 xia4 shi4), (suo3 yi3) (you3) (hao3 chu4) (ye3) (you3) (huai4 chu4)
(because) (at) (ground under room = basement), (so) (to have) (benefit, advantage) (also) (to have) (disadvantages)
Because it is in the basement, there are advantages and disadvantages.
The area has many good qualities.
(mei3 ge.) (fang2 jian1) (dou1) (shi4) (hen3) (da4) (you4) (hen3) (liang2 kuai4)
(every) (room) (all) (to be/is) (very) (big) (also) (very) (cool and comfortable)
Every room is big, cool, and comfortable.
There is one major problem.
(hen3) (duo1) (zhi1 zhu1) (zhu4) (zai4) (na4 li3)
(very) (many) (spider) (to live) (at) (there)
Very many spiders live there.
There are many different kinds.
(ta1 men.) (you3) (yi1 xie1) (shi4) (hen3) (da4 de.), (you3) (yi1 xie1) (shi4) (hen3) (xiao3 de.)
(they) (to have) (some) (to be/are) (very) (large + adjective marker), (to have) (some) (to be/are) (very, quite) (small + adjective marker)
Some of them are very large, some are quite small.
They all have one thing in common.
(ta1 men.) (dou1) (fei1 chang2) (nan2 kan4)
(they) (all) (negative/not/non + common = extraordinary, unusual) (difficult to look = ugly)
They are all extraordinarily ugly.
I can never be sure when one will show up.
(dang1) (wo3) (dei3) (yong4) (wo3 de.) (yu4 jin1) (de. shi2 hou4) (jiu4) (xu1 yao4) (xiao3 xin1) (le.)
(just at) (I) (need) (to use) (my) (bath towel) (when) (just then) (must) (be careful) (emphasis)
When I need to use my bath towel, I must be careful.
I find quite a few of them when I am cleaning.
(na4 shi2 hou4) (wo3) (ke3 yi3) (yong4) (xi1 chen2 ji1)
(that time) (I) (can) (to use) (to absorb/to suck + dirt/dust + machine = vacuum cleaner)
At those times, I can use the vacuum cleaner.
It is worse at night.
(you3 shi2 hou4) (ban4 ye4) (wo3) (qi3 chuang2) (qu4) (ce4 suo3)
(sometimes) (middle of night, midnight) (I) (get out of bed) (to go) (toilet, lavatory, bathroom)
Sometimes I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.
I think they prowl then.
(chang2 chang2) (dang1) (wo3) (yi1) (kai1) (deng1) (de. shi2 hou4) (jiu4) (kan4 dao4) (zai4)
(di4 ban3) (shang4) (you3) (hen3) (da4) (de.) (zhi1 zhu1)
(often) (just at) (I) (as soon as) (open, turn on) (light) (when) (just then) (see) (at)
(floor) (on) (to have) (very) (large) (adjective marker) (spider)
Often, when I turn on the light, I see a very large spider in the middle of the floor.
If it is holding still, it is not so bad.
(bu2 guo4) (hen3) (duo1) (ci4) (yi1) (kai1) (deng1) (de. shi2 hou4)
(ta1) (jiu4) (pao3) (de.) (hen3) (kuai4)
(however) (very) (many) (time, occasion of recurring event) (one, as soon as) (turn on) (light) (when)
(it) (just then) (to run) (adverb marker) (very) (fast)
However, many times as soon as the light is turned on, it runs very fast.
Then, I must make a fast decision!
(wo3) (dei3) (jue2 ding4) (shi4 fou3) (yong4) (guang1 jiao3 ya1) (cai3 si3) (ta1)
(I) (must) (to decide) (positive or negative, yes or no) (to use) (naked feet) (to step on and kill) (it)
I must decide if I will use my bare feet to squish it.
And the whole time another thing is important.
(wo3) (bu2) (yao4) (jing1 jiao4) (er2) (jing1 xing3) (lao3 gong1)
(I) (not) (want) (startle + cry out, shout, scream) (and, indicating causal relationship) (startle wake-up) (husband)
I don’t want to scream and wake up my husband.
I think it helps to make it a game.
(wo3) (hui4) (jiao4) (zhe4 ge.) (wu3) (wei2)
“(wu2 sheng1) (guang1 jiao3 ya1) (cai3 si3) (zhi1 zhu1) (wu3)”
(I)(will)(to call)(this)(dance)(to become, as) “(silent, no sound)(barefoot)(to step on and kill)(spider) (dance)”
I will call this dance “The Silent Barefoot Spider Killing Dance.”
You can follow along with this audio as my tutor and I read the sentences above:
❶ I tried using the word 清涼 (qing1 liang2) here, but was told it is a more measurable “cool,” like for water or things that would be touched. However, the cool refreshment when going down to a basement is more a subjective sense of cool, hence this choice of 涼快 (liang2 kuai4).
❷ Whenever I would use a preposition in English, I am in for interesting Chinese grammar, because Chinese does not use prepositions. So, whereas the English would be “some of the spiders,” the way to say that in Chinese is to indicate the group being referred to as the subject and then specify “some have.” It helps me to think of it as “They (spiders), have some (in the group) that are…” To put it in grammatical terms:
Subject + 有一些 是 。。。
Subject + (you3 yi1 xie1) (shi4) …
Some of them are…
❸ There are actually many “negator” words/characters in Chinese. I should probably write a blog about them all…. In this sentence the negator is 非 (fei1).
❹ The common meaning of (yi1) is “one,” or something to do with the concept of unity. Here, it uses one of its meanings farther down in the dictionary of “as soon as.” The grammatical structure of the sentence is:
一(yi1) … 就(jiu4)
as soon as … then
❺ I think 是否 (shi4 fou3) is a fun word because it strikes me as “Shakespearean.” That is “I must decide: is it to be or not to be that I step on the spider and kill it?
❻ The grammatical structure here is:
(to call) …(as)
When I lived in Taiwan, I got used to hearing people answer the phone saying, “喂 (wei4),” which to my English speaking ear always sounded like a question of “who is calling, please?” My tutor points out that this 喂 (wei4) is 4th tone, but it still sounded like a 2nd tone or question to me. That will help me remember how to use this 叫 (jiao4) 。。。 為 (wei2) grammar, I think.