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Answers to Essential Chinese: How to Ask and Answer Questions

Jan. 15, 2015

Correct Answer: A

Learning how to ask and answer questions in Chinese is very important in day to day life for a Chinese learner. The text below will help you learn several structures for asking questions in Chinese and how to answer them.

First, using the particle “吗(ma)” at the end of a statement is a simple way to make the sentence into a yes/no question without changing the word order. Your answer to such a question should start with “是的(shìde) yes,” or “不() no.”

Structure:

Question: Statement Sentence + 吗( ma)?

Answer: 是的(Shìde)/不(bù),……

Examples

Linda:   Nǐ xǐhuan tiàowǔ ma?
Linda: 你 喜欢   跳舞     吗?
Linda: Do you like to dance?

Zhāng Xīn: Shìde, wǒ xǐhuan tiàowǔ.
张        心: 是的,我  喜欢    跳舞。
Zhang Xin: Yes, I like to dance.

Liú Wěi: Nǐ jīntiān xiàwǔ qù chāoshì le ma?
刘 伟:你 今天 下午 去 超市 了吗?
Liu Wei: Did you go to the supermarket this afternoon?

Tom: Bù,  wǒ méi qù chāoshì, wǒ qù le túshū guǎn.
Tom:不,我  没  去   超市,   我 去  了 图书   馆。
Tom: No, I didn’t go to the supermarket. I went to the library.

The second, alternative type of question is also a very important question format. It uses the affirmative form plus the negative form to raise a question, such as “是不是(shì bú shì) to be or not,” “有没有(yǒu méi yǒu) have or not,” “知不知道(zhī bù zhī dào) know or not,” “应不应该(yīng bù yīng gāi) should or not,” etc. The listener is expected to answer the question in either the affirmative or negative, but the answer should not start with “是的(shìde) ” or “不()/没(méi).”

Structure:

Question: Subject + Verb + 不/(没) + Verb +…?

Answer: “Subject + Verb” or “Subject + 不()/没(méi) + Verb”

Examples

Liú Gāng: Nǐ zhī bù zhīdào Mǎ Yún.
刘   刚:   你 知  不  知道    马   云?
Liu Gang: Do you know Ma Yun or not?

Bruce:  Wǒ zhīdào! Tā shì Zhōng’guó de shǒufù.
Bruce:我  知道!   他 是    中国          的 首富。
Bruce: Yes, I know of him! He is the richest man in China.

Kathy:  Qǐngwèn, nǐ yǒu méiyǒu língqián.
Kathy:请问,    你 有   没有      零钱?
Kathy: Do you have any small change?

Yáng Hóng: Bù hǎo yìsi,    méiyǒu.
杨      红:   不  好   意思 ,没有。
Yang Hong: Sorry, I don’t have any.

In our test, Wang Hong asks “Do you like learning Chinese?” and David answers, “Yes, I like learning Chinese.” Option A is not correct because its answer would require David to start by saying “是的(shìde).” Option C is not correct either as it means “Don’t you like learning Chinese?”

In our test, the sentence given means, “my house is next to the park.” This sentence lacks a verb. So the answer is A.

<<Back to “Essential Chinese: How to Ask and Answer Questions “

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