"I'm Ming Zhang. What is your name?"


November 16, 2017

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Need to teach us first how to make the sentence before asking us to do it.


Additionally, the answer should have audio attached so we know what it is we learned.


This! Hearing the language spoken correctly is the #1 way that I encode the information.


No, by doing this your brain will be actively looking for the answer, this results in more efficient learning :)


At the same time, it doesn't hurt to look at the new tips and notes section! :)


I know right??? So annoying


yeah, i was confused on the word order too


This is really hard


Exactly what I said


Ise additional ressources for maximum effect.


Totally agree


It should be possible to write "我是张明" (wo shi zhang ming), when it asks for "I'm"


To me, this sounds like something you'd say when someone already knows you, but might not recognise you. To introduce yourself, just use 叫


you're saying I yes Ming Zhang


I'm just a beginner so I'm having trouble understanding when "叫" for "called" is needed and when it's not. Could someone help? For example you need it here, but I didn't need it when translating "What is your last name"? It'd be useful if someone could explain this to me. Thanks!


As far as I can tell, 叫 is used for "called" when talking about a full name, such as in the sentence “我叫张明”, which means "I am called Ming Zhang", or "My name is Ming Zhang". When you are only talking about your or somebody else's last name, 叫 is not needed, such as in the sentence "我姓张“, which means "My last name is Zhang".


Shouldnt "ni ne" be accepted?


According to the lesson accompaniment, "呢 ne is placed at the end of a sentence to ask “how about…?/what about…?”. It is normally used as a return sentence after being asked the same question."

The context of this question doesn't indicate whether you are telling your name because someone asked or because you are initiating the introduction so technically you wouldn't necessarily be returning the question.


I don't think "你呢" is accurate here because the English sentence explicitly says "what is your name".

However, you don't have to be returning a question posed by the other person to use "你呢". Just as, in English, "I'm Zhang Ming" could be followed by "and you?", the Chinese "我叫张明" could be followed by "你呢". I.e., the speaker describes himself and then prompts the listener to respond in kind, whether or not he was asked a question first.


This form is less common to use


What form is the most used?


Just 你叫什么?is wrong?


I think that is basically OK but I read elsewhere that it is a bit less polite, like "what are you called" rather than "what is your name"


It should be correct, even if it is less polite, because they're using that phrase as a translation of "What is your name?" here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/25239799


This question would be better if I could listen to the full sentence all at once after putting the characters together.


Omg I'm having that issue too!


The word order is still throwing me for a loop... Why do you say the 什么 before 名字? Shouldn't the question marker go after the sentence?


It's not a mere question marker like the particles "吗" and "呢", but with a slight expansion of the meaning of "question marker", the principle still holds to some extent.

"你叫什么名字" is literally "you are called what name". This is a common structure in which to find "什么". You'll see it, for example, in sentences that translate literally to "you like to eat what dishes (kinds of food)?" ("你爱吃什么菜?"), "you can speak what languages?" ("你会说什么语言?"), etc.

In sentences such as these that use "什么 + noun", if you think of this entire phrase as the "question marker", then it can still be said that the "question marker" often comes at the end, but this expands the meaning of the term quite a bit.

"什么" itself can also appear at the end, for example in sentences that translate literally to "they want what?" ("他们要什么?"), "he says what?" ("他说什么?"), etc. On that note, an alternative way of asking someone's name is "你的名字是什么?" ("your name is what?"), which does have "什么" right at the end.

However, not all questions in Chinese have a question word or phrase at the end. For example, "为什么", or "why", comes before the verb, and "什么样的..." or "what kind of..." can also come before the verb.


Long explaination, but very helpful. Thank you alot. The "your names is what?" will prevent me from repeating to swap ming2zi4 and shen2me


What is this numbers demarcation you use? Not pinyin? Thanks.


The numbers are to indicate the tone being used.


Just curious, conversationally I have heard 你 叫 什 么 名 字? And 你 名 字 叫 什 么 ?

It did not accept the second option. Is this because it is incorrect to say this grammatically or another reason? I'm a Taiwanese American who can speak some Mandarin but I would like to improve. Also I do not know how to write Chinese so thought this might be a way to learn.


It should be 你的名字是什么?but in daily life it doesn't matter as long as you're understood. To be polite, though, add 请问 in front, especially for someone older than you.


This course really is useless by it's self I've found combining the phrases with google translate really helpful, to break down the words and experiment with their meaning.


Just be careful typing full sentences into Google translate. They are often wrong. Also, try hovering over or clicking on each symbol for its' definition


To find out the meaning and pronunciation, it's better to search "(characters)+意义". Google translate isn't always accurate, and that's an understatement!


Just curious if you are using the free or the paid service?


each symbol means different meanings. It seems like the sugested symbols do not match the alternatives to chose from to answer the challenge sentence. Could you please verify these?


Can you give an example?


Should we always use the surname first, and then the first name, when denoting someones full name?


In Chinese, and i believe (not entirely certain) in most Asian languages, individuals are referred to their surname first, than their first name. It's the family honor thing. So yes.


Thanks SweerParad!


i think in chinese it's ParadSweer


Too many symbols that i have no clue what they mean. Please teach individual words first.


I am also confused but I am persevering.


All the best! If you have any questions you'd like to ask in the discussions, please do and everyone will try their best to answer them. :)


in patience is the key...


When the man says "shén me", it sounds like he says "shí me". Is it really how you pronounce that?


Hahahahahahaha my brain feels like its gonna crack open anytime soon


Is it really necessary to learn Ming Zhang?


Both characters are commonly used in other contexts so you're not learning anything out of the ordinary.


I wish you could hear the sentence while putting the words together. especially since you can't hear the real answer.


As a workaround until Duolingo pulls itself together, you can go to the discussion page, copy the correct answer and paste it into Google Translate, and play the sound of the sentence there.


You can now, at least in the desktop version!


I am about to give up on Duolingo. I've tried to get through this lesson for days, but the sudden jump that expects me to remember what the characters looked like so that I can write the sentence is too much of a leap for me.


Isn't "你 叫 什么“ also a correct way to ask for someone's name? It said that "我 张 明。你 叫 什么?" was wrong.


I wrote: 我叫张名。你叫什么名字?

and it replied with : You used the wrong word. 我叫张明,你叫什么名字?

basically I used 名 instead of 明.

how can I know? they are both ming2


There's no way to know for sure, but 明 is a common name, whereas I imagine no one's name is 名.

But the important part is really the rest of the sentence(s), so you just have to memorize a couple of extra characters to get past this question. Fortunately they're common ones.


我见张明, 你叫什么?should be fine to be honest


I think I agree, subject to correction by a native speaker. Apart from typo in the first half of your sentence, that is. ("见" means "see".)


The second part is kinda demanding and so isn't idiomatic, and the first part should be 我叫张明.


I'm Chinese and my dad even says it's wrong. (I don't know that much Chinese OK)


but it ain't impossible... Good Luck Eli, you're gonna achieve :v


A complete beginner here, so find this challenging, My words are sometimes in wrong place. The addition of some more audio for the correct answer can help I think but am grateful for the opportunity to learn.


I am also a complete beginner and found it extremely challenging at first. However I kept going and it is falling into place slowly. This reversing of names though is confusing and I wish they would explain why someone would say their name in one order and write it in another. Good luck, keep going.


Just note that it's not that there's a difference between the spoken order and the written order. It's that there's a difference between the Chinese order and the English order. "张" is the family name and comes first in Chinese, but when speaking English, and especially when living in an English environment or context, people will often adopt the English convention and put the family name last.

On the other hand, when hearing about Chinese political figures etc. on the news, the Chinese name order is usually maintained. That's why we hear names such as "Xi Jinping" in relation to China (or "Kim Jong-un" in relation to North Korea, because Korean uses the same convention – though I recently heard someone on a current affairs show call him "Un", as if that were his last name).


cant you also say 你叫名字什么? Ik was thought that 么 must be placed at last in a sentence


No, you can't. You might be thinking of "吗", which would typically come at the end of a sentence. This isn't generally true of "么", which isn't used on its own as a question word.

Check out these articles, which talk about the placement of question words that use "么":

And here's one that discusses "吗":


Maybe your are confusing this me with ne (the latter is used in case you return a question with "...and you?")


Why is 你叫名字 not correct here?


Because it means "you are called name". You're missing the "what".


I literaly tried EVERITING they have to put pistas thats clues in spanish


Why do you write "your" before "what is"?


There's no "your" in the Chinese. The Chinese translates literally to "you are called what name".


Okay! Thanks for the help


My dad even says it's wrong


This is crazy. We are learning basic sounds and then this long sentence. I laughed out loud


How does this even work this is so difficult teach us how to form sentences first


Me disculpo por no escribir en inglés, pero mi nivel no es tan bueno. En el computador de escritorio se puede instalar el paquete de idioma de chino simplificado, y en los ejercicios de escritura escoger "use keybord", así se puede practicar la escritura en pinyin y seleecionar con el teclado numérico el caracter correcto.


What is differnce between shen me and ming zi


The character tiles you click on in this lesson have repeatedly used the word for "ten" instead of the "shen" in "shen me."


Um, I got this right. But it tells me I'm wrong?


if you don't understand back at lessons you press the lesson theirs a light bulb click it it will teach you the words


Need to let us whzt the new characters mean in english before imyrofuving them, otherwise we are kust guessing


very difficult to decipher the characters as they are small and cramped in the answers


If you're using a web browser, consider increasing the zoom. (Not sure if this is possible in the mobile app.)


Leaving the two last words/characters out will also result in successfully answering the question. It would be helpful if such ambiguities would be explained


This is set out in the tips/notes for the "Name" skill.

You can see the tips/notes in the web browser version. Just click on the skill and then on the light bulb. Or you can go here:


Ming Zhang is not 张明


This correct. And say that not correct is..


Have you considered taking the English-from-Chinese course first?

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