"Are you busy?"


November 18, 2017



Is shì needed here?

November 18, 2017


As it is an adjective, you use hěn (我很忙) if it would otherwise stand alone right after the subject. But if there's something in between like 不 or if it is followed by ma you don't need/use hěn. (At least that's how I remember it)

November 21, 2017


It isn't needed but can it be used?

November 21, 2017


No. Shi is used to connect noun + noun, for example "I am (a) student" = 我是学生 If you connect noun + adjective, you usually use "hen 很" (means "very", but in this case it almost lost his meaning and just connects words).

When you ask a general question with this construction "noun + adjective", you don't really need to connect them, so you just say: "you busy [question word]?"

The same with "你好吗?我很好。"

December 2, 2017


是 is needed between nouns but we have an adjective here, so… nope

November 21, 2017


The structure for connecting nouns(pronoun) with "是 shì " is:

Noun 1 (pronoun) + 是 shì + Noun 2

verb "是 shì" means “to be” in English. The structure “Noun1 (pronoun) + 是+Noun2” expresses "Noun 1 is Noun 2"

as far as I know to describe a noun with an adjective u use "很" - "我很高兴” - "I'm happy"

November 21, 2017


I thought 很 meant 'very'. 我很高兴 - I'm very happy. Now I'm very confused.

December 12, 2017


很 does mean very. But it's also the generic filler adverb.

May 27, 2018


eirlana you should have put varies character were you second very is

February 2, 2018


No, in general shi4 is never used for adjectives. And hen3 is not needed because it's a question

November 28, 2017


It would be great if you could point us to a source saying that 很 is used for statements but is not used for questions.

November 12, 2018


I believe 很 'should' be used since it's an adjective phrase

November 18, 2017


how did you put characters on your computer!

February 2, 2018


On Windows, you can install different keyboards. If you install the Chinese keyboard and activate it, you type like usual with English letters and choices appear on the screen. For instance, if I type "shi," (without any tone), a window shows 是,十, 时, 事, and so on. You choose which to type with the numbers that appear by them. If you don't choose a number, it'll type the first one by default. It's a smart keyboard so if you type a full sentence, it can usually tell which characters you want by context.

April 14, 2018


是 is needed between nouns but we have an adjective here, so… nope

November 21, 2017


No, in Chinese, when describing how someone is feeling, you don't need shì for the most part

November 20, 2017


It's basically like this, the Chinese hate two-word "complete" sentences. The sentence has to be at least three words. That's why we can ask 你好吗? But we have to say 我很好 in reply, not just 我好。 Now, affirmations such as 不错 (bú cuò = not bad) are often seen as two-word answers because they're a quick affirmation, rather than a full answer. Like when your teacher tells you, "Not bad!" when you turn in a decent project. So, to form a full sentence, when in doubt, use 很. If it's a question, you can still add it, but it's not really necessary because there are bound to be at least three words. That's what I was taught by my Chinese friend, at least.

December 28, 2017


wonderful clarity and examples easy to follow. Thanks so much

December 28, 2017


Three words or three characters? How do I apply these rules correctly when the subject, the verb, or the adjective is a two-character word?

November 12, 2018


Why isn't 很 (hěn) used here?

December 10, 2017


It isnt necessary on questions, chinese relies heavily on context.

January 7, 2018


I am so grateful that duo is offering Chinese, but its so hard when there is no meaning with all these random characters that I can't remember. With no meaning in the exercises there is no way to get the repetition I need to learn them. And especially in this one where there was no way to tell which to pick, pure random luck. I was wrong but I couldn't even hear the right one to correct and learn it as there was no audio here or after clicking the check button. Very disappointing.

December 16, 2017


Yeah.. you gotta have some parallel study just for learning the characters on their own. I use Tofu Learn to learn characters with little to no context and then turn to Duo when I want to learn some common phrases or when I want to build some context around characters I've learnt.

August 3, 2018


there are exercises on dou just hit the strengthen button

February 2, 2018


I think it should be: 你很忙吗?

January 19, 2018


In that context 很 would be implying if you're very busy. 你忙吗 roughly means "Are you doing something", and keep in mind in English that could also mean "Are you busy", while 你很忙吗 would mean "Are you busy" as well except it's focusing on the 'busy' portion. As in 'are you caught up in a lot of work'.

August 23, 2018


Just about the first rule of Chinese grammar I learned was that you use 很 before adjectives. Is this an exception or is that rule actually overstated?

Elsewhere in this thread I've read that you use 很 in statements but don't need it in questions. Which I guess means it's optional in sentences but I'm not sure.

I also read that you use 很 to flesh a sentence out to a minimum of three characters and/or words, and that since in such a question ending with 吗 will already bring it to three characters/words without 很.

So which of these is true? Both? References would be appreciated.

November 12, 2018


I dident have to add the 吗!:-[ It said it was correct and said another translation was 你忙吗! ???????

December 11, 2018


Does "你忙吗" need "很" or not?

December 23, 2018


It depends on what you say before

December 5, 2017
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