I love Chinese and I love the way it works. If only I could learn it properly!
In Chinese, you can take a relative clause and stack it in front of the noun.
These are the things [(which) I bought in the supermarket yesterday].
which is periphrasitic and can be left out:
These are the things [I bought in the supermarket yesterday]. In [ ] is the relative clause. It is really just an adjective for 'things'.
English cannot do this:
'These are the [I bought in the supermarket yesterday] things.', but Chinese can:
这是 [我昨天在超市里买] 的 东西。 I think this is really cool!
I take classes where the tests are conversations. where here = in those classes
The real subject of this sentence is the the tests and what kind they are.
the tests are conversations 考试是口试的
I would not like to do the same as above here in Chinese:
I take [where the tests are conversations] classes.
I take classes. In those classes, the tests are conversations.
If I rewrite:
The Chinese classes [which I take] all only have oral tests.
The [which I take] Chinese classes all only have oral tests.
那些【我参加的汉语课】的考试都只是口试型的。That seems a bit long winded.
我汉语课的考试都是口试型的。Less is more, or at least better!
I hope the Chinese readers among you can improve my poor Chinese!