Chinese Doodles

Mandarin secret 1: How to remember Subject + Verb + Noun

I am far better at getting Chinese words in the correct order than learning the actual words, so I am going to share some of my memory secrets. The first is how to remember the order Subject Verb Noun.

I always think of Subject as a type of squirrel, Verb as a sort of owl and Noun as a dragon like creature with short trunk like an elephant.

As squirrels like nuts, owls like eating small rodents that eat nuts, dragons with trunks pick up the nuts, roast them and give them to villagers in return for princesses and damsels.

Using elementary  graph theory techniques we can consider each type of word as having a degree of separation from a nut. Subject 1, Verb 2, Noun 3. So by remembering squirrel, owl, dragon with a short trunk, the word order is easy to deduce.

Subject squirrel, Verbowl and the Dragnoun
Subject squirrel, Verbowl and the Dragnoun