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  5. "你们不是中国人吗?"

"你们不是中国人吗?"

Translation:Aren't you Chinese?

November 17, 2017

150 Comments


[deactivated user]

    Are you Chinese? Should be accepted because the meaning is the same... Also, it's often difficult to literally translate Chinese to English. Additionally, '你们' doesn't mean 'guys', it's the plural form of 'you'. The English is way too informal!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

    "Are you Chinese?" and "Aren't you Chinese?" are certainly not interchangeable.

    I don't know what standard of formality you're hoping for from an app with a green owl as a mascot and that for its biggest courses puts the sentences in the mouths of cartoon characters, including zombies.


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

    In chinese, does the version with the 'not' symbol indicate that the answer is likely "Yes I am Chinese"?

    Because that's that the 'not' means in English (expresses the expectation or understanding of the speaker)


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

    what the not means*


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

    They are mostly interchangeable. "Are you Chinese" could be looking for an affirmative or a negative, However "Aren't you Chinese" and "Are you not Chinese" are not interchangeable (one wants confirmation in an affirmative, one suggests a negative" so this question should be changed to clarify


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

    You got a point, what's a good alternative?


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

    There is no word for "yes" in this language. The answer would usuallybbe in this case either "shi" or "bu shi" So there is no difference between both english sentences


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/285SABwW

    The word that creates a negative 'bo' is mentioned so I think your answer needs a negative as well. 'Aren' t' satisfies this. :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ClaudioEst416478

    It's not the same in China, in fact it's the opposite, Chinese people are very literal. If you are Chinese and you are asked Aren't you Chinese? You will answer No, which is the correct answer. Even in English it's debatable if they are the same. I would argue they're not, and it's commonly misused.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KTo228

    The connotations would be different for someone who is obviously not Chinese. I'm Chinese so if I was asked this question it would be rhetorical and a mild rebuke. Maybe I've done something or expressed an opinion that could be considered un-Chinese.


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

    No it shouldn't because there is a 不是 in there and that is no so using the whole sentence, it's "Aren't you Chinese?" As "Are you Chinese" is "你是中国人吗?"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nar781477

    You need to translate it in your head literally, and think about it. It says "You not are Chinese person?" Thats not the same as asking "Are you Chinese person?". It's implying that you assumed they were Chinese, and now you're questioning it. Remove the "Bu" from the question, and then your answer would have been correct. We have this same context in English.


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

    It was accepted today 13/2/19


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DjClements1

    I'm not sure if this is the correct answer


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JonathanGr895247

    "Are you Chinese?" means you are asking a SINGLE person if they are Chinese. These phrases ask a GROUP of people if they are Chinese: "Are you all Chinese?" , "Are you guys Chinese?" or in the south of the US "Are y'all Chinese?"


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

    Not true. The English word "you" is both singular and plural.


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

    You DO NOT need GUYS in that sentence.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Svetlana0777

    Yes you NEED because with English "you" you don't know is this "you" to single person or you address to several people.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jules158348

    "You" is both plural and singular. In other answers where "you guys" is accepted, "you" by itself is also accepted. Requiring "guys" is inconsistent with those, and also inconsistent with how English is used because you can say it either way in daily life depending on context.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sophiekoala17

    You would know if you were actually saying it.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David442942

    I just wrote "Aren't you Chinese?" and it accepted it...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidCorba5

    Why do some have it accepted and others not. I didn't get that accepted. Are you better looking than me? (That probably wouldn't be unlikely!)


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

    Same and that should definitely not be the answer.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/patrick95743

    I understand that the translation is "Aren't you Chinese?" but I don't understand if "Are you Chinese" 你们是中国人吗? and "Aren't you Chinese" 你们不是中国人吗? mean nearly the same thing as they do in English. If I ask some people who are Chinese "你们不是中国人吗?" would they respond affirmatively or negatively? ("Yes, we are Chinese" or "No, we are Chinese")


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

    They would answer 我们是中国人 or 我们不是中国人。


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nar781477

    They seem the same, but they are two different questions. It may seem trivial, but it's not. One is a direct question, the other implies that you previously made an assumption, or have additional information.


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

    They would have probably have first said that they aren't Chinese then you ask that. This will be an example Like this: You show your Asian friend some Chinese from your Whatsapp group and you ask if he could translate it.

    Friend: I'm not Chiease so I can't translate it.

    You: Aren't you Chinease?

    Friend: No I'm Korean (or whatever)


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

    This Chinese sentence given by the question is the equivalent of saying "You aren't chinese, right?" (Don't attempt to put the "right" in your answer, it won't accept it because computers be computers.) But "Aren't you Chinese?" is the equivalent of saying "You're Chinese, right?" "You aren't Chinese, right?" is used in the context that you already assume they're not Chinese, and "Aren't you Chinese?" is used in the context that you assume they ARE Chinese. MUCH difference, can we get this question fixed already? The correct answer for this question is: "你们不是中国人吗?" = "You aren't chinese?"


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

    This was very clarifying. The English formulation is simply too "idiomatic" to be useful in these simple-worded exercises. Understanding that, one can carry on learning the uncomplicated meaning of the Chinese sentence. Leave the expectations behind and keep the comprehension simple, as is useful when learning simple sentences.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lightning_11

    I think "Are they all not chinese?" should work as the right answer!


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

    你 means you,and 他 means he。


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew599301

    "You all are not Chinese, correct?"


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

    It's been said numerous times already above, but the English "Aren't you all Chinese" is grammatically incorrect for what the Characters are actually asking. A better English translation is "Are you all not Chinese?"


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

    The "not" should be with the subject: "Chinese", as in "not Chinese". In practice the conversation would go like this: "Is none of you Chinese?"


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

    Are you Chinese and Aren't you Chinese has the same meaning in English (different semantics, though).


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

    "Are you Chinese?" makes no assumptions of the other person. You would ask this if you genuinely can't tell or don't know. "Aren't you Chinese?" implies an expectation of "yes" being the answer.


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

    Except this particular sentence is supposed to be more like, "Are you not Chinese." Asking if they are not, is not the same as asking with an expectation that they are Chinese.


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

    @Emily - so a teacher who asks a student "Don't you know this simple thing?" is asking with an expectation that the student should not know it. Is that what you are saying?


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

    Right? It's very misleading


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ClaudioEst416478

    I would argue this is not true, nevertheless, this is an attempt to translate Chinese to English, not English to Chinese. In Chinese the correct translation would be the literal one. If we considered both the same in English when translating to Chinese the correct answer would be the affirmative version regardless of the affirmative or negative is asked.


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

    are y'alln't chinese


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IanSolorza1

    This question can burn in hell. (Jk, I know the Duolingo team is working hard on improvements! :) (Seriously though, fix this. Please.))


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SatyaPraka616744

    Are you all n't Chinese? also accepted.


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

    I understood this sentence to mean "You are not chinese, right?" (assumes they aren't) Which is very different from "Aren't you Chinese?" (which assumes they are). Any clarification would be helpful!


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

    Both "You're not Chinese, right?" and "Aren't you Chinese?" can be right, depending on the context; however, for "You're not Chinese, right?" it's clearer to use 吧 instead of 吗 to indicate that the speaker assumes they're not Chinese.

    For more details about asking questions in Chinese, please check my post here: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/37388504?comment_id=37400318


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

    Almost forgot 不. Well played, Duolingo well played..


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JonathanGr895247

    The Correct answer "Aren't you all Chinese" implies the group is Chinese but you double checking, having the same meaning as both " You are all Chinese. right?" and "You guys are Chinese, right?". Does the Chinese phrase also 你们不是中国人吗? also imply this?


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

    Why is it "nimen bu shi" and not "nimen dou bu shi" here? Help please


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Junno09

    If we add a "dou", that "dou" would mean "all". So the sentence would be "Aren't you all Chinese?" That "all" isn't necessary


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

    Is this asked as an assumption that the person is Chinese?


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

    It can be, but it's also possible it's not really a question. Please check my post for more details about asking questions in Chinese: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/37388504?comment_id=37400318


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aprilina17

    Is "Are you guys Chinese" correct as well, or is it because of 不是 that you use aren't?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarkBennett6

    The "bù" makes it a negative.


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

    不 is a negative that affects the word or phrase that follows it. 不是 is "is not/are not". 不好 is "not good/not well".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rodolfho7

    It's because of the 不


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

    It would be better here to distinguish the "你“ from "你们“ by adding an "all" to the English translation ( "you" vs "you all"). e.g. I would translate it as something like "Aren't you all Chinese?" or "Are you not all Chinese"


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

    Though I agree, it could make people confused when they actually learn the Chinese word for "all"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HardiantiY1

    are you guys nt chinese


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

    I dont know why you got a negative for that... I wrote "are you not Chinese" which was accepted and is acceptable english (even if it does infer the speaker expects a positive response)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew599301

    I think because the chinese expects a negative response.


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

    Does this sentence in Chinese "你们不是中国人吗?" have the same connotations as the English?

    E.g. 'Aren't you (guys) Chinese?' expressed in the following case The speaker believes that the listeners are Chinese, and is politely asking for an affirmation of what he/she already believes to be the case. The speaker doesn't expect anything else than the affirmation that the listeners are indeed Chinese.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lena304558

    Reading the comments here, it seems like they changed 'you guys' to 'you all' in the answer. But I do think that 'you guys' is a better translation for '你们' than 'you all', because that would be '你们都'. They should change it back to 'you guys' in my opinion, and allow writing only 'you' as an answer as well.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IdkLol962870

    Yeah, but they still use that in Chinese grammar.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/40driver

    Aren't is a contraction of are you not


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaulG846044

    I agree with others here that "Are you Chinese?" although a little formal is far better than this example of very poor English grammar.


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

    @Paul - poor grammar? So when students across the world don't answer a question, their teachers should stop asking "Don't you know this?" and change it to "Do you know this?"

    Hmmmmmmm


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

    men, the second character, should be removed. It does not make sense


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

    @Valerie - best for you to remove all characters and learn Korean instead. :-)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jerry154325

    Doesn't 你们= you all or y'all???? Why does the answer only talk about one person?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/andrewsutt569126

    Whoever says 'you' can be plural on its own is horribly wrong. The answer is most definitly ~ aren't you ALL chinese? No one in any native english country would expect you are talking to or about multiple people when saying ~ aren't you chinese?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Altf3j

    Can't speak


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kevin3230

    typo, A't does not mean Aren't!!!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/muzech
    • 1068

    Aren't you all Chinese


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

    You all are not chinese. It was accepted


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

    I put what i saw as a literal translation" are you all not Chinese"


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

    is "们" necessary ?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ClaudioEst416478

    Are you Chinese? Is now accepted, but it shouldn't. Native Chinese people will answer the opposite.


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

    你們 is plural. Please update the translations.


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

    @playful - the good news is that "You" is plural as well. So the translation is perfect, no issues with it. But I agree with you that we need to make extra efforts to remember that 你们 is plural; because the limitations of English language (of not having a separate second person plural) prevent us from directly & simply knowing this fact.


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

    Thank you! I learned something new.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidCorba5

    We should go back to "thou" and "ye"!!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/camair1

    This is plural! Wrong answer key.


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

    The answer is correct. In English, the plural of "you" is "you".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hav0x-

    You, plural, not, is/are, chinese, question. These are the characters meaning. The answer is literally. Are you(plural) not chinese? In other words "Aren't you chinese?"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/miggs533461

    Would it be better if "Arent you all chinese?" Ni men?


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

    @miggs - no. 你们 = you (plural). 你们都 = you all.

    Same difference between asking "Aren't they Chinese?" and "Aren't they all Chinese?". If in a group of 10 there are 7,8, or 9 Chinese and if you ask "Aren't you Chinese?" they'll say "Yes we are Chinese except a few". If you ask "Aren't you all Chinese?" they'll say "No. Not everyone of us is Chinese".

    My 2 cents worth of what I think. Though I'm no expert so happy to hear from other native speakers.


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

    I think the difference between the 'you' and 'they' examples is that 'they' clearly demonstrates plurality by itself. 'You' does not. In English, the only one-word term for the plural form of 'you' is in the south (y'all), and is a contraction of 'you all'. Y'all does not functionally mean 'every person in the group' in the same way that 'they all' does.


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

    "You" by itself signifies plural in the rest of the world. Adding "all" just strengthens it to mean every single one of you.

    Agree la?

    [In Singapore, they regularly add a "la" at the end of their sentences. Since you mentioned a regional variant of English, I cheekily brought in another one. Okay la? ;-) ]


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/minous7

    Aren't they Chinese? Should be right....


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

    No. It is not right. There is no "They" in the Chinese sentence.


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

    你們不是中國人嗎?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nar781477

    "You" is actually referring to many. We have no context, but if it's "ni men", it means plural. From what I have learned, it doesn't translate as "you all" or "you guys".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alexandra.Riley

    You by itself can't be plural. So Duolingo why must you improperly translate????


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

    Your understanding is incorrect. You can mean both singular and plural.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JackJones2411

    Since when would you say 'Are you not Chinese' Wouldnt you always say 'Are you Chinese'?


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

    @Jack you will ask "Are you not Chinese?" when you expect them to be Chinese and expecting the answer to be Yes.

    Similar to how you said at the end "Would you not always say...?" instead of "Would you always say...?" :-)


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

    Thanks for the good answer, @RajasDaithankar. Another possibility is that the speaker is tempting the listener to say he/she is Chinese.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gray902506

    I typed 'you arent Chinese' by mistake and it said i was correct :') reported


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jasmin735319

    I think you missed out an "o" in the word "Not" You put "n't" instead of N'o't.


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

    It is a contraction. That's why the apostrophe is there.

    (Example - Notice how I wrote "That's" - it is a contraction for "That is")

    Hope it helps.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jasmin735319

    ok cool. 谢谢 你 for explaining it. i was wondering why.


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

    Not a problem, my pleasure.

    Or should I say 不客气 .. :-)


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

    I said "Are they not from China?" and got it wrong :'(


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

    "Are they not from China?" translates into 他们不(是)来自中国吗?.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SGZcH4Qs

    Answered "Are you n't Chinese?" It was accepted.


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

    in my head this just translated like "you are not chinese right?" is that okay?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paola232452

    There is a negative


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jinyoung7jy

    if just are you chinese why got 不in? 不 = Not why not aren't you chinese???


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yiyi717153

    Tamen should be translated as they. Nimen would be you


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ennie1204

    I got wrong so sad


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GcE9c

    Did anyone else fail to find the word 'not' to type in for your answer here? I had to type in the incorrect word 'n't' to get a correct answer.


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

    I keep forgetting '你们' is the plural form of 'you'.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roy491221

    "Aren't you guys Chinese" is interchangeable with "You guys are Chinese, aren't you." In Chinese, "你们是中国人, 对不对." sounds more correct, doesn't it? The Chinese expression as given in the exercise is more a surprised conclusion when finding out that they are indeed NOT Chinese, translated as "You guys are NOT Chinese?"


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

    I feel as though the question particle "ba" is more appropriate in this sentence than "ma"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nayt1491

    Quite weird when translating into English.


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

    Ni men means "you guys"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lightning_11

    No, it just means "you"...


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IdkLol962870

    It can also mean "you guys". Btw nice Minecraft story mode pfp.


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

    I don't like that one


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidCorba5

    I agree with comments on "you". In translating this into English it's far more natural to simply put "you" while thinking it in the plural. "All" may apply naturally in the more limited context of ascertaining or stressing there are no exceptions in a group - that everyone is Chinese. Otherwise it's unnecessary and stilted. I know they want to know we are aware of the plural meaning of nimen. But "Aren't you Chinese?" is definitely a correct translation.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bella138753

    n't is not proper English contraction. . Next time have the words not as oppose to the n and t


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

    ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ thing i have ever read and I am fluent in Chinese


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Christiane200689

    You have a typo! Please correct it.


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

    Why is "Aren't you guys Chinese people?" incorrect?


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

    Because 中国人translates better as Chinese. Of Chinese nationality.


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

    "You guys" is bad English. It sounds like someone is trying very hard to "fit in" to a very informal social grouping as the odd man out.


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

    Actually, in most parts of the United States it's considered perfectly normal English. It's how I'd ask any group of individuals if they're Chinese.


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

    I don't understand why you are getting downvoted. You are absolutely right. I find it so weird that people are making such a fuss out of every question that uses "you guys". In New York we say this dozens of times a day. I almost never say "you all" or just "you" when talking about multiple people.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/piguy3

    I think when the course came out initially it may have actually required "you guys" for 2nd person plural and not even allowed plain "you." This, naturally, peeved people from portions of the Anglosphere where "you guys" isn't indigenous or where it's a more recent arrival and not as thoroughly ubiquitous as it is in much of the U.S. and Canada. And then there are some non-native speakers who were legitimately confused plus an assortment of other gripes.


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

    I think the same thing jonnyb82


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

    None of you are Chinese?


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

    "Are you all Chinese?" Makes more sence.


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

    @CProetti - "He is German" also makes perfect sense and is grammatically correct. Neither of our sentences are translating the actual given Chinese sentence though :-)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tzan32

    Aren't they chinese should also be accepted.


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

    tzan:

    There's a difference between 你们 (in the given sentence), and 他们 (what you seem to be thinking of).

    Look closely.


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

    In case tzan32 hasn't figured it out -

    • 你们: you (plural)

    • 他们: they


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

    I wrote, "Aren't you guys Chinese individuals?" and it considered it wrong. 人 is a person or individual. I know it's not a common question, but for this question it should be accepted, especially if they're going to put the word "individual" as an option, despite the fact that they haven't even taught it yet.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PalomaPrie6

    I cannot change the first part of the sentence.

    Learn Chinese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.