PSLE Chinese Resources for your child:

Chinese Comprehension: A Simple 2-Step Approach To Explaining Phrases

Many students have issues presenting their thoughts and explaining phrases in comprehension passages.


What they are not aware of is this:


There are two aspects to the meaning of phrases, just like the iceberg.




The superficial meaning is represented by the tip of the iceberg while the underlying meaning is represented by the submerged part of the iceberg.


Often, students would explain the superficial meaning of the phrase and neglect its deeper underlying meaning.


To explain phrases in the context of the comprehension passage, your child has to:

  • Explain the choice of words = superficial meaning
  • Explain how they fit in the context = deeper meaning


The 2-Step Approach


For instance, 想到妈妈为他付出的一切,他顿时泪如泉涌

文中“他顿时泪如泉涌”这句话是什么意思?(2 分)


Step 1: Explain the superficial meaning


He cried.


Step 2: Explain the deeper meaning


He was touched by the sacrifices his mother had made for him.

Crying is a release of emotions. There are many reasons why a person cries. It can be that he feels wronged (委屈/冤枉), angry (愤怒), upset (难过), disappointed (失望) and so on. In this case, the author was touched.


Combine 1) and 2):

作者想到妈妈为他付出的一切,非常感动 (1 分),于是哭了起来 (1 分)。

Touched by the sacrifices his mother had made for him, the author cried.


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