"她们怎么样?"

Translation:How are they?

November 19, 2017

72 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/carla.lazzari

Can someone please break down the meanings of the three "zen ma yáng"? I got that together they mean "how", but what could they mean separately?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gabrielle145359

怎么样 is a set phrase that means something like "How's it going?" or "How are you?" (but without specifying "you").

怎么 means "how". It's one word. (Like 什么 means "what".)

样 is hard for me to explain. It means something like way/type/kind of thing/manner of being.

Other examples of 样 include 一样 (literally "one kind") means "the same". 这样 (literally "this kind" or "this way") used to express things like "Oh, this is the way it is!"


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

I am giving you a lingot because I have got a greater understanding because of your explanation, thank you.


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

Why are people talking about these lingots in this threat in particular? Can you eat it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/deco900

he is just saying that he is rewarding for the explanation. if you dont know lingot is a virtual currency in duolingo with you can buy power-ups


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

One lingot for you. 你很友善!


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

Good explanation.. thank you


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

What I'm getting from comments so far is that yang refers to an attached concepts state of being


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

I should mention that the pronunciation is zěn mé yàng


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Charlie298884

In the audio, the mé is inaudible.


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

If so it's been fixed. You can play the slower version too.


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

I really want this for everything. It's often fun to see how the idiomatic expressions sort-of make sense when broken down, and I find it more memorable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/captainclutch281

Respectfully, yet another case where 他 should be accepted in addition to 她


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

Oh, come on Duolingo! 他 and 她 are both pronounced ta in the first tone. You should consider both since you only asked to type in Chinese Characters the pronunciation without specifying the gender of the subject.


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

Could they refer to either people or things/situation as in English, or would the Chinese meaning be limited?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CelestialWings17

No they in the sentace refers to people if they as in inaminate objects or animals is它


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

And only female people, right?


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

In Chinese, 她 means "she/her", 他 means "he/him".

However, both 她们 and 他们 can only be translated into "they" in English. In addition, it has exact matches for the two words in French, as 她们 equals to "elles" and 他们 equals to "ils".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Noah321607

Am i mistaken or is the pronunciation for both roughly identical and if not is should be taking EXTRA prcautions to do them absolutely correctly?


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

Both 她 and 他 own a pronunciation [tā], while both 她们 and 他们 own a pronunciation [tā men] (们 is read gently thus with no tone symbol above "men"). The pronunciations are exactly the same, respectively.

In fact, there are so many groups of characters owning the same pronunciations in Chinese. And that is one of the most amazing facts in Chinese which makes it easier to learn : D

e.g.

[yī]: 一(one), 衣(clothes), 医(doctor), and many others

[qī]: 七(seven), 妻(wife), 期(period), and many others


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/keshavgold9841

The third person has three forms in singular and plural, one for male, one for female and another for animals (which is sometimes used for inanimate objects too, but this is rare).

For males we use:

  • 他 — he

  • 他们 — they (if all male, or mixed group)

For females we use:

  • 她 — she

  • 她们 — they (if all female)

And for animals we use:

  • 它 — it (similar, but not the same as “it” in English)

  • 它们 — they (if all animals)

Usually we don’t use personal pronouns for inanimate objects, we rather use demostrative pronouns like 这 (this) or 那 (that) and the right measure word.


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

No, 它 doesn't refer to just animals, it can refer to anything non-humanoid —「我已經把它燒掉了。」

他 is not just "he" but also used by default for people of ambiguous gender/sex too.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jefferson405954

If it's things or situations which is non-living, we use 它们instead


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

i just typed 他们怎么样 as my answer for the listening exercise and was marked wrong! am i supposed to be able to tell which one it is by audio?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Th3_D4rk_Kn1ght

The male version of "they" (他们) should be accepted here! Still not as of 20190608.


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

I got this wrong for answering “他们怎么样。” instead of "她们怎么样?“. I was using the keyboard instead of the word bank. Assuming the difference was 他 vs 他, is there anyway to tell the difference from the spoken form?


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

There's no way to tell the difference. It's a big problem with Duolingo if you want to practice typing in Chinese. Whenever I hear a ta1 I make sure to switch to word bank mode and quickly check if it's 他 or 她, then back to keyboard mode. I imagine this issue will be magnified when I get far enough to have to deal with 它 too.


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

I'm using typing and not word bank, so it only gave the audio cue. It marked "他们怎么样" incorrect, despite them sounding exactly the same.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WesMartin17

Should "are they okay?" be accepted?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ssdd_1744

怎么样 is "how" (question word), so it specifically needs an answer to "how", that will replace it in the answer. 你怎么样?我很好。(You how? I [am] good)

Are they okay? is a general question, that can be answered with "yes". You can ask it as "她们好吗?是。她们很好" ( They good [question word]? Yes. They [are] good.)


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

I don't think so. I think that would be 他们好吗?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eyal111027

So what's the difference between this frase and ni Hao ma?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thomas.Zach

The phrase "nĭhăoma / 你好吗" means "Are you good?". "tāmen zĕnmeyàng / 他们怎么样" means "How are they?".

The primary difference is that the first is asking "you", the singular person I'm talking to and the latter asks "they", the multiple that may not be who I'm talking to. By way of example I could simplify "how are those people over there doing?" to "how are they?", but I could not do that for "are you good?".

In a literal sense 你好吗 also presupposes you're doing good, whilst 他们怎么样 is neutral (think about the potential difference between asking "are you feeling good?" to "how are you feeling?" when someone is obviously upset). In practice 你好吗 functionally means "How are you doing?" so the primary difference is between you and they.


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

all of these sound too fast. Duolingo, can you have a feature that slows down the speech?


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

"how are they"is that even a sentence!!?


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

yes; it's like "How are you?" but for "them"


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

她们都 should be they all. In this case, 她们 just refers to 'they'。


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Krstna12

Can this question be translated to "what is up with them?" in English?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thomas.Zach

I would say that's probably 他们怎么了 not 他们怎么样.

"What is up with them?" seems to be asking why they are in that mood, not what mood they are in. That is if someone is really happy or really sad I might ask "what's up with them?", but I would not ask "how are they" - because I can already tell they are happy or sad.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anne233166

Yes, more meaningful.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mwhiter1

For listening exercises, 她 and 他 should be accepted, because it's impossible to differentiate.

What are the chances this will actually be changed?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Timothy430820

他们怎么样? should be accepted. And this is the case throughout the entire Chinese course.


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

I've noticed this a lot throughout this Chinese course, for some reason whoever made it regularly to 「她們」 not 「他們」 even when referring to an ambiguous group of people. Usually, 「他」 is the default when you don't know the gender.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanBurns14

should it also take 他? or is there a difference in pronunciation I'm missing?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sani590084

How are they or how they are isn't the same????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wayne417741

it is very annoying that 他们怎吗样 is not accepted


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

Please fix this question... Without a context it's impossible to know whether it's 他们 or 她们 but ultimately both mean "they". So if you say “他们怎么样?" or "她们怎么样?“ both answers should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MinhMinh40hrs

What is the difference between '她们怎么样?' and '她们好吗?'? Does the meaning still the same? Thank you :'(


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

I'm trying to pronounce skowly so i can get the right tone, why is duolingo onl th giving me 2 seconds to practice speaking. I get half way through a sentence and it stops!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChrisChang923436

Isn't the translation "How are you all doing?" close enough?


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

I just can't understand...mine only was a typing error...that's not fair


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

If 'How are they doing?' is acceptable then I would think "How are they going?' should also be acceptable. It is an informal way to ask how someone's life is progressing good/bad/ok, etc.


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

Interesting, in my dialect that only works with "it." "How are they going?" would only have the literal meaning of "By what means are they travelling?"


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

Same as piguy3. "How are they going" is not a phrasing that works in my dialect of English (US, East & West Coast).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rodina960140

Same as the above 2 people for the southern US.

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