"Who is your dad?"


November 19, 2017

This discussion is locked.


Native speakers, what's the difference between “谁是你的爸爸” and “你的爸爸是谁”? Is there a subtle difference in what each means or implies?


Hello, native speaker here. The slight difference lies in the focus of the sentence (generally speaking, the difference is quite negligible). 谁是你的爸爸 has more emphasis on the "who" : Who, in the entire world of people, is your father? 你的爸爸是谁 has more emphasis on the "you" : who is YOUR father? As suggested by another user, this can sometimes be used as a sarcastic statement for let's say, you meet someone who is acting all high and mighty. In English, it would be like asking, "Is your father the king/somebody important?" sarcastically. Hope that gives a better idea.


I could be wrong in this, but growing up, I perceived a subtle difference (though the translation would ultimately be the same). I usually heard the former in situations where it might be a general inquiry (like, out of all the people in China, which one is your dad?) and the latter in situations where the speaker may have been making some haughty assertion (like, and who, exactly, IS your dad?). Not sure if this is universal though.


This one confused me too, because to me there IS a subtle difference, at lest there is in the languages I know. Usually, whatever comes before the verb is the subject – something we already know and we are talking about – and whatever comes after the verb is further explanation about the subject. So when I see "your father" in the subject position, I assume we already know who he is (as in which one of many other people), and what we're actually asking is who he is, that is what does he do (e.g. whether he's a doctor, or a teacher). But when I see "who?" in the subject position, I perceive it in a different way: that we don't know which person is the speaker's father, and this is the thing we are asking about. We are trying to find a person who matches the description located after the verb. Does this work this way in Chinese too? Or the 是 linking verb is perfectly symmetric and does not distinguish its sides? I suppose it isn't perfectly symmetric, since I've seen sentences like 他是我的爸爸, but not 我的爸爸是他 :q


Still hoping someone answers this!


No idea of when this question was posted... I just asked my gf (native speaker), she says there's NO difference, both work


I used the sequence in the first in another exercise and Duolingo gave me "red" response unless Duolingo is becoming human on us.....the ability to be confused.


I think directly translating it will mean

Who is your father

你的爸爸是谁 Your father is who

But don't worry I'm not a native speaker, just sharing my understanding.


I looked it up on the internet and I found a sea of results for 你的爸爸是谁. I am pretty sure that way is also right.


The same question


My native speaker wife says the first one is just plain wrong.


"Who's your Daddy?"


I want to know if it will accept this answer. It certainly should!


well on this one you have to answer in Chinese, but on the other one, where you translate "shei shi ni de baba" back to english, it will indeed accept "Who's your daddy" as an answer. That one made me laugh, because the discussion thread was full of memes.


Is 你的爸爸是谁 correct?


Yes, accepted for me


I answered that way and it was accepted.


No. I answered this and got wrong :'(


This exercise accepts both 谁是你的爸爸 and 你的爸爸是谁. The exercise before it (Who is that person-那个人是谁) does not accept the same reversal of sentence structure. Why does it work for one but not the other? Is there some secret rule that duolingo doesn't go into at work here?


An angry woman found where his husband’s secret lover lives, went there and saw a child...

Oops sorry, 你的爸爸是谁? is correct too.


...and what does he do?


It's not a too·muhr!


Why there was no need to add 吗 as a qustion mark at the end?


The question here is "Who?"
吗 is for Yes-or-No questions.


ooooh thx cuz i got confused on that


That clears up a lot.


Who's yo' daddy?!


那是你的爸爸谁? What does that literally translate to? I am having trouble with this section of Chinese


that is your father who? (which doesn't make sense of course)


Shei isn't used the same way ma is used. Ma only means "this is a question." Shei means "who." You wouldn't end this question with the word "who" in English or Chinese.


This kinda sounds like "that is who is your father?"


I feel like it's uncommon to start a sentence with "Shei." Is it acceptable?


Arghh I missed this one. Write in Chinese: Who is your dad? YOUR RESPONSE: 你的爸爸谁 CORRECT RESPONSE: 谁是你的爸爸?



I know that the normal way for structuring sentences in chinese is like backwards english, so why is this one like this should it not be 'Your father is who?'


Por que nao tem o ma no final? se e uma pergunta.


Porque no es una pregunta de sí or no, sino una pregunta que pide una respuesta con más información (quién). Si la pregunta fuera "¿Esta persona es tu padre?" tendría la "ma". (Y no hablo portugués, pero tal vez entiendas mi respuesta en español.)

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