POS - What is the use of color part of speech notation?

The syntax of Chinese language is quite different from that of English. You should not pay your attention only to the number of known/unknown words. There are many aspects involved in knowing a Chinese word, one of which is part of speech (POS). Smart Chinese Reader has a nice feature: it can label parts of speech as "verb", "adjective", "adverb", "noun", or "place name", "person name". This is useful for developing a clearer understanding of Chinese grammar.

Further more, parts of speech of Chinese words in a sentence are marked with colors in SmartCR. With the color POS notation, you can familiarize yourself with the Chinese syntax in a shorter time. It provides a big picture of a sentence, and lets you gain some quick insight into the sentence structure.

Because Chinese sentence patterns are easier to recognize this way, you will become more sensitive to them. Once you learn the basic structures of Chinese sentences, you can make sense of a sentence more easily based on parsing.

Verbs are the headwords in a sentence, and parsing should center on them, therefore they are marked with red color. If there is only one red word in a sentence, it has a simple “subject + verb + object” structure, e.g., 我 练习 技能 . If there are two red words, one of them may function like a participle in English, e.g., 我 练习 写作 技能 (I practice writing skills), or belong to a sub-clause e.g. 我 决定 练习 技能 (I decide to practice skills)

Verb-oriented reading skill is effective not only because verbs convey the major meaning in a sentence, but also in that verb vocabulary is much smaller than noun vocabulary, it is almost a close set. If you spend more efforts on verbs and grasp their uses, your reading skill will improve substantially. If you learn the noun 包子, you only know one more word, which is the name of a food. But if you learn 蒸 as a word of verb, you can make sense of more sentences, for example 馒头 花卷 . Even if you don't know 馒头 or 花卷, you can infer that they must be some kind of food.

Interestingly, you can find some Chinese sentences without any red words. These sentences usually has a green end, which represents an adjective. For example, 问题 很 复杂 (The problem is complex) , 她 头发 很 长 (She has long hair), 局势 对 我们 不利 (The situation is going against us).

Place names are in the underlined blue font. You will notice that the location is placed before the verb in Chinese, whereas it appears afterwards in English, e.g., 我 在 北京 工作.

Bottom line, the goal of color POS notation is to increase your understanding of Chinese grammar in order to improve your Chinese reading skills.