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"你叫什么?"

Translation:What is your name?

November 17, 2017

131 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/simontablazon

I believe "me" is the word that makes a sentence a question..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/U.ThorUnde

Ive seen various ways, for example: 你好吗?(How are you?) - 你美国人吗?(Are you american?) The ending with (ma - 吗)。in my another app, it tends to use more 什么(shenme)。Since im still in basic learning I cant really express exactly how to use it properly.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ILostMyCat

吗 makes a statement into a yes-or-no question. 什么 is the "what" in "What's your name"? except the word order is different.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HiMeCriss

Similar to French though, like "Tu t'appeles comment?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yoruji

什么 means what, so you're saying/asking "your name is what"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sadeeeq

Great now I got it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ErikCLO

It's actually "什么" (shenme) which literally translates to "what?", question mark included.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChrisPaisl

I think you're thinking of 吗 (pronounced "ma"), which is the sentence final question particle.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TaliTorbil

什么-shen me means what, thus making this sentence a questions


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pie3636

No, it is not. Here it is shénme (two characters but a single word) that means "what" and makes it a question


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DalilahCassell

I thinks it's the "Shén" and "me" that makes the word "what/what's." Therefor making the sentence a question.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rarguellonthc

Wouldn't it be: 你叫什么名字?not 你叫什么?I mean, thats just how they teach it in my Chinese class.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Emily199875

你叫什么名字? Is more formal. Where as 你叫什么? is used in more casual situations.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jordan760079

Thank you! I didn't hnderstand the difference.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ahHk20

That was exactly my question. Thanks


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thamilagar

Why zi( 字)is required to be mentioned as ming(名)only means 'name, rank, position etc.', and zi(字)means,'character, word etc.'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/missy20201

Chinese sentence structure (at least, so far in my rudimentary studies) are very logical and structured. Duo spices some colloquialusms up, but this literally translates to "you are called what". Looking at the definition of each word and seeing how the position changes the sentence's meaning always helps me with Chinese. Another great app for those interested is Hello Chinese, and for anyone wanting to sit down and figure out hanzi + stroke order I recommend the


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vnucko7

Why is "Who are you?" wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WoolArtist

A near-literal translation of this sentence is "you're called what?", which is a much less existential question than "who are you?" :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SpencerGat

You are called what? is also considered wrong, however.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WoolArtist

yeah, it's not grammatically correct in English, so that makes sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F

There's nothing wrong with it grammatically. It's just not idiomatic.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Will-J-Crawford

It would be if they had just introduced themselves as "Moon Unit" or "Pippin Galadriel Moonchild" :o)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KX3.

Who are you?=你是谁?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanThanDan

This is 你是谁?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gaidup

Whats the difference between "ni jiao shen me" and " ni jiao shen me ming zi" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Emily199875

Adding 名字 (ming zi) makes it more formal


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DraganaIgn

Both correct, just with "ming zi" more formal, and on that question answer must be full name.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hsn626796

Could someone break up the characters into separate literal meanings ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WoolArtist

你 - you 叫 - called/named 什 - what 么 - marker denoting the sentence is a question


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ElMeuNom

Close—什么 is generally considered a single word, translated as "what?" including the question mark.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hsn626796

When said all together, do the "ni", "jiao", "shen", & "ma" become "ni [jaw] [she] ma"

or it's only pronounced as such because he's speaking quickly ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KX3.

It sounds like that, perhaps, but it's pronounced ni3 jiao4 shen3 me


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sairanghae

i'm still confuse about the numbers after the pinyin. what is that for and its purpose?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dim144563

i think the numbers serve as the number of the tone, as sometimes you're lazy enough to spěll ìt prōpérlý.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Emily199875

Just quickly I believe


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BLACKBIRD788

as a son of an native speaker i know from experience that mi does not make it a question. Instead the arrangment of the characters and the meaning of the words make it the question. I hope i calrified this for all of you who are wondering.:)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheDavidCalaz

My chinese girlfriend says that "míngzì" should always be present in the question when asking somebodies name.

Is there a reason why you would ask this way?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AsherKinge1

Is "你叫什么" more of like "what are you" or "who are you" whereas 你叫什么名字 is more literally "what is your name" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Purnimalik

If you add "míng" it will be a formal Question "what is your name?" Whereas, Without 名 it's for asking someone casually.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/simon_medrano

I don't understand what you mean. In English, is "What is your name?" a formal or casual question? How would it be otherwise?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tsen107548

Some else on here wrote

你叫什么 is 'What do I call you?' 你叫什么名字 is 'What is your name?'

As Purnimamal8 suggests it is down to context. I like to think of it in the format of an interview. First they ask for your name for formal record keeping and then they ask what you would like to be called.

Sadly Duolingo confuses matters my allowing 'What is you name' as an answer to the former. They 'technically' mean the same thing but at this point they should be kept separate.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zacharyyy7

So when does one use, "马," then? Why wasn't it used here? What do shén and me mean by themselves?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Delphinine

Keep in mind that there's a big difference in meaning between (ma) and (mǎ). When it contains a (kǒu - "mouth") radical, it signifies a yes/no question, but when it doesn't, it can mean "horse"!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WoolArtist

It's because 马 just signifies a yes/no question. Here, we're asking for more information than a yes or a no, so we have to use 什么 instead :)

as for shen and me, see frawaradR's response earlier in the discussion.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/landenlingo

Why is it not 你叫什么名字 ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BTSwoahforever

That works too. This is just another way of saying it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cranberry.-.

Is the recording cut off at the beggining? To me itsounded like it said, Yi, rather than ne. Is that a mistake or when pronounced ttogether, Ne Jiun the N falls away?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KX3.

The hanyu(pinyin) is Ni1 jiao4 shen3 me

I generally find the audio correct except when there are special rules and it should change e.g. one is always pronounced yi1 despite the fact that it's pronounced yi2 if the subsequent character is in the fourth tone.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GregShanah

So, it's okay for them to pose the question, "What's your name?" with just those characters, but when we do it, we'll be marked wrong unless we add 名字?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Oblivion21

For some reason 什 is pronounced shí when viewed individually for me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KX3.

I did not experience that.
An interesting point to note is that "mixed rice" i.e. rice and your choice of dishes to go with it, is called 什饭 shi3 fan4. I am not sure how widespread this usage is but in some regions it is very common.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KieliKylpija

If somebody wonders the pronunciation, the third tone (diving tone) is only pronounced as a whole if it end the sentence. If it is followed my another third tone, it is pronounced as rising tone instead. And is it is followed by any other tone than 3rd, it is said only as a half tone. This means that only the falling part is pronounced.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Trvjen

I don't know if I'm wrong, pls correct me if I am, but isn't "你叫什么?" also kinda "Who are you?", not (only) "What is your name?" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BTSwoahforever

No, the correct way of saying “who are you” is 你是谁。 你- you 是- are 谁- who. 你叫什么 only means “What is your name?” 你- you 叫- call 什么- what


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnhDung051199

I think the word order in grammar is various by the different countries. In Vietnamese/Chinese, when the question is being asked, the sentence order is like "your name is what", however in English, it will be "what is your name". You should not translate the whole sentence from this language to another language word by word like a machine, just flexible and soon you will be much easier in studying.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JonathanVa73149

Why is the word for name, "名字 " not used here? Very confused.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FreTre1

Audio is too fast


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KushalPott

What is the difference between shén me seperate and shénme like this


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KushalPott

What is the difference between "shèn me" and "shénme"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/italiano_aprendo

什么= meaning of "what...?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Snowdrop225

What's your name, man? And now I have Hamilton stuck in my head


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TheLingotSpammer

Why did I get this on the first lesson? I think this sentence is defiantly not Greetings 1 content!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/llopez2021

Can this also mean "You're called what?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DuyVnh

I think that happens when you translate the sentence word by word.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OliverBens6

Yes and then when you put "You're called what?" into correct English it becomes "What are you called?" :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mazhira

I said/wrote: your called what? I think that counts, it means basicly the same thing


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brian49619

"your" should be "you're" ( you are ), but, they both sound the same.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HarryGreen120683

I think its wrong. He is not called what.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pahichilla

To any Mainland Chinese speakers, which is more appropriate for a pedestrian on the street: "你叫什么?" or "你叫什么名字?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/1wedfr

Either one is fine, though the latter feels more polite.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sakinah382143

Is it appropriate to ask for one's name in either "你叫什么名字" or "你叫什么". Which is more appropriate?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/babbybobabs

I put you are called what? but it didn't think tht was a good response


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HarryGreen120683

It relies on a solid understanding of English. That sentence is wrong in English so it doesnt understand your answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fueled

Being a French speaker (and I guess this is true for all speakers of western languages) it's really hard not to finish a question with a flat tone (me).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UYEN55298

when do we use "你叫什么?" and "你叫什么名字?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ahHk20

你叫什么 is used in casual situations, but 你叫什么名字 is more formal


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ella788860

What is the difference between 你叫什么 and 你叫什么名字 and 你的名字是什么?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RP4k3

It could also be "You are called what? "


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wang-LunSo

这里还有中国人吗?I,am a Chinese.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KX3.

There are quite a few, but this is more of a place to post questions, comments, musings and such regarding the language and the learning of it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/whochan

Why they don't add 名字?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joabe09

Name? But name is ming名


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sophie731984

Can somebody explain to me why the word "what's" is in the sentence two times? And why the word "name" isn't even mentioned?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JustinYun7

The literal translation is You are called what?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zach_Factor

Why is "me" pronounced "ma"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ertgvcdzag

你>you ,or your 叫>call ,calling ,or called 什么>everything ,what's ,or what. i think it should be 你叫什么>your called what? not What is your name? i say it should be 什么你名(by the way 名,or名字>name).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/o5XB3Au2

This is confusing. Duolingo makes "我叫钟敏" mean "I AM Ming Zhong" But ”你叫什么“ means "what is your NAME"?

Does 叫 mean "to be" or "name"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kovac031

叫 is a verb, "be called/is called"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/steve145637

Isn't what's the same as what is? Your name?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ILi827059

I wrote "name is what" and got a fail :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CharlieDre8

why is there two ways to ask someone what there name is because there is the longer one and this one, i'm confused


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kovac031

你叫什么? ... what are you called? 你叫什么名字? ... what name are you called? 你的名字是什么? ... what is your name?

There are probably more ways than this, but just like in any language there are more ways than one to say anything. Also keep in mind that translations in Duolingo are not literal. They give you the sentences that a native speaker might say and not the word by word translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EchoMirage

This one is a bit troublesome for a first timer. I like the comments in here that shed more light on how it is to be properly structured and that the characters mean "what?" As in "Your name is what?" / what is your name.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BlueOwl1985

I need to work on it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marleygab

Anyone knows the difference between this and the one with "míng zì" at the end?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joel258583

Thanks for the explanations!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ningjunz

"Who are you?" It's supposed to be right too, isnt it??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KX3.

As stated in the comments above, that would be 你是谁?.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JamesMoran804105

Just mad cause I accidentally didnt type "your" and did "you" instead. Nothing wrong with the question. Just salty


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SocKerMom

How is that the answer


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tsen107548

Surely this is 'Who are you?' And What is your name should be 'Ni Jiao Shi Me Ming Zi'? :/

I haven't come across 'who' yet though so someone might want to pop along...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph.nfskam.438

Come on, follow me.你叫啥?Nǐjiàoshǎ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanialAlgr

So, breaking the literal translation it's " you(r) name what? " right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mina323839

Omg that was hard


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nurulasila2

"She" (shenma) sounds similar to "Shi" for ten. How to differentiate?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MoaAmiiiiii

What is the difference between "What's your name?" and "who are you?"

I see no difference,why didn't dou accepted my answer???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/technamE

what does this 什么 mean/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BTSwoahforever

It means “what.” The sentence literally means “you are called what”, basically another way of asking for your name.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kamila190996

im confused on this one


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eden225608

What would be the contextual use of 你叫什么 vs 你叫什么名字? From what i can understand Ni jiao shen me is casual and Ni jiao shen me ming ze is Formal?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EdwardDov

"Me" is "what" right? It sounds like it is pronounced "ma" which sounds like the hebrew word for "what"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin_Hyatt

I put 'Your name is? ` and was marked wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/melod33us

I think the English translation is supposed to be what the overall message means using proper grammar, as opposed to going word-by-word.

Also, on word-by word level I believe 叫 is closer to "called" (as in "what are you called?") than "name". However, I'm still just a beginner myself so please do correct me if I'm wrong!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lux279434

What's the difference between 你叫什么名字 and 你叫什么??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KaShinjin

When to use ni-jiao-shen-me-ming-zi versus ni-jiao-shen-zi? Why is "me/ma" and "ming" excluded sometimes?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ahmet162470

On numara beş yıldız


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pjj0hns0n

Should also be able to pass with the phrase "your name is?"; not just "What is your name?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph.GHU2n5

We can also write who are you this also means same what is your name but app is taking this wrong idk why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RhianBrews

This is ni jiao shen me? Where is name?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tea994402

im on the unlimited hearts free trial and it just says im right no matter what i say?? i literally said bababooie and it says i was correct. is anyone else having this problem?

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