I tutored a little 1st-grade Chinese girl for a year in Shanghai. She went to a nice bilingual school and I helped her with her homework in the evenings.

One night, her homework was to learn the words “something” and “nothing”. Pretty advanced for a 1st grader I thought to myself. Oh well! After spending some time describing a water bottle, an orange, pencil, etc.:

Me: “Is this a boy?”
Her: “No!”
Me: “Is it a girl!?”
Her: “No! (giggling) You’re so silly Joe!”
Me: “Ok then! It is “something!/事情 !”shiqing! means nothing!”
Her: “Ok! I understand!”meiyou” and 没有/

Some time passes as she’s thinking. I can see the wheels turning. She then goes, “Joe! I have sssooommmeeettthhhiiinnnggg to tell you!” She leans close and whispers into my ear in a slow and mischievous tone, “you mean NOTHING to me!” She starts laughing and running around the house and I just sat there. Stunned.

Was feeling the love that evening. (;゚︵゚;)


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