I'm taking private Mandarin classes in Taipei. I'm having trouble referring to the beginning/middle/end of things. I asked my teacher how to say this, and the more I explained the more confused she got. Is this a cultural difference?

After some discussion, this basically seems to be a strange idea to communicate to her. But I'm having a hard time accepting this.

For example I asked how to say "the beginning of the week was rainy" She offered something involving me as the subject: 我剛開始 (wǒ gāng kāi shǐ )... I explained It doesn't have anything to do with me. So now I'm more confused as I look over my notes. For whatever reason, it appears that referring to the beginning/middle/end of things requires a verb in Mandarin? I can accept this if I have to, but could someone help me put the following ideas into Mandarin:

the beginning/middle/end of the week (was hot)
the beginning/middle/end of the book (was exciting)
the beginning/middle/end of the summer (is when students arrive)
the beginning/middle/end of the year (seemed promising)
the beginning/middle/end of the speech (was inaudible)
the beginning/middle/end of the word ....
the beginning/middle/end of the hour
the beginning/middle/end of the movie

Thanks!!

  • How about using 初, 中 and 尽头 to describe the phenomena you are asking about? There are also special words relating to your question, like 初旬, 上旬, 中旬 and 下旬. – user4452 Jun 27 '16 at 19:42
  • 初段(time),中段,尾段(space),末段(time) – user6065 Jun 28 '16 at 0:35

By "the beginning/middle/end", commonly Chinese words 初,开头,开始 /中,中间 /末,末尾,结尾 are related to them.

  • the beginning / middle /end of the week (was hot) 一周初,一周开始/ ? 一周中间(几天) /周末............In Chinese, there's not an commonly used expression for middle of a weekend. we don't say it much.
  • the beginning/middle/end of the book (was exciting) 书的开头 /中间 /末尾,结尾
  • the beginning/middle/end of the summer (is when students arrive) 夏初 /仲夏 /夏末.......... “仲夏” is relatively literary. We don't say “夏中” much, personally I've never seen it before.
  • the beginning/middle/end of the year (seemed promising) 年初 /年中 /年末,年尾,年终..........As “年中” and “年终” share the same pronunciation <niɑ̄n zhōng>, make it clear if you use them in daily oral expression.
  • the beginning/middle/end of the speech (was inaudible) 演讲开始 /中间 /末尾,结尾
  • the beginning/middle/end of the word .... as above
  • the beginning/middle/end of the movie as above
  • the beginning/middle /end of the hour 一小时开头 /半小时(eg. 3:30) / ? .......We don't directly say "end of an hour" much in Chinese, but this: when you wanna say end of an hour like 4:50, just say “快5点” or “接近5点” or “将近5点”

Hope above helps. BTW, it may not be the same as your teacher told you, while I speak Mandarin of mainland China, there's few tiny differences of the language between Mainland and Taiwan, but feel free.

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