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  5. "What's her telephone number?"

"What's her telephone number?"


November 21, 2017



"她的电话号码是多少" is incredibly awkward phrasing, it translates to "how much is her phone number." "她的电话号码是什么" would be the way I'd phrase it.


她的电话号码是多少 sounds quite natural in Chinese if you ask me. I guess 多少 is not exactly the same as “how much”. “how much” can only ask for an amount, but 多少 asks for a number, no matter if that number refers to an amount or if it is used for identifying something.


My friend from China said "她的电话号码是多少?" sounds fine.


That sounds fine to me, but I think 什么 is also fine.


Yeah ive noticed that while learni g Chinese that a lot of things are based on context. So iff someone asks about your phone in the same sentence, something that use to ask for an amount turns into asking for a number.




I think that's personal, a few other people I asked would use 他的电话号码是多少


Yeah I talked to my Chinese friend and he also said that saying "什么" is a more natural way of phrasing it.


多少 more formal used for people from abroad.



This is what I've learned:

  1. 你的电话号码是多少
  2. 你的电话(号码)(是)几号? (This version is common without "是", but it also occurs with it.)
  3. 你的电话号码是什么?

Native Mandarin Chinese speakers have their individual opinions about these, because China is a big place, not to mention the outlying Chinese-speaking countries and regions, and this is a colloquial sentence influenced by local dialects and by quirks of history.

1 is somewhat more northern, but common in a lot of China, and perhaps most common overall. 2 is perhaps half as common as 1, but it's more southern, and common in Singapore, Taiwan, and Malaysia (and perhaps other places, e.g. the southern mainland or some of it), where people will often swear they've never heard 1 (and likewise, proponents of 1 will often swear they've never heard 2). In each of these two cases, proponents of one version will say why the other isn't logical, and none of their reasons is really very convincing. It seems the usage of one or the other is really about history, habit, and experience.

3 is fairly common, but not as common as 1. It feels unnatural to some speakers (particularly to many who like 1) but not to others (those who like 2 are usually fine with it, as are some who like 1). Those who don't like it will even go so far as to say it sounds like you don't really know what a telephone number is, or even what a telephone is.

Where English has a greater influence, 3 seems like the more correct or formal structure to some speakers. That's not to say that 3 doesn't have inherent support by the rules of Chinese itself, but it's not necessarily the go-to phrasing historically in broad swathes of the Mandarin-speaking world, and some native speakers say they never hear anyone use it. But many native Mandarin speakers will swear that it's the only truly correct option.

There are still other ways to ask this question, including shortening the above sentences, but I would stick with those three choices to begin with.

Here are some Youtube videos teaching the "多少" version (which is the most common version on Youtube):


Its a number so you use duo shao instead if shen me


I agree. I would phrase it that way too. 她的电话号码是什么? However, i remember a chinese guy asking me 他的电话是什么? which is also acceptable.


yes that is way better


All of these sentences need clarification - English and Mandarin have completely different grammatical structure, i did the literal translation of "what is her phone number?" And am wrong, with no clarity as to WHY


Hopefully as the beta develops it'll add more detail. For now we have to go to other websites to teach us more specific grammar and sentence rules, and just get exposed to Chinese more so we get used to things.

Chinese is quite difficult to teach/learn though; I learned in school as a child and never really learned grammar or sentence structure b/c it would be too hard to compare with the English we were learning at the same time. If you really have the heart to learn just try to immerse yourself as best you can :)

Chinese dramas are fun ><


Chinese basic sentence structure is very similar English's: Subject + Verb + Object. You can get more nuanced: Subject + Time + Adverb + Verb + Attributive + Object... still pretty similar to English, but not as flexible.


Everyone should be reminded that Chinese doesn't translate into English grammar-wise word by word (or character by character in this case).


Do you necessarily have to use 是 here? Genuine question.


I don't know whether Duolingo will mark it as correct or not, but 是 isn't necessary in this case.


Can someone explain to me why ''吗'' at the end doesn't work? they replaced it with a question mark and said it was wrong, but I don't understand anything at this point xDDD

[deactivated user]

    吗 is a particle used to make a statement a question. If there's a question word already in use then there's no need for the use of 吗. So in this case, 多少. If a question is already phrased as a question, using words like 什么/啥,怎么,多少,几,谁, 为什么,哪儿/里,then you won't use 吗. Hope this was helpful


    Because although the usage is incorrect here, the characters 多少 (meaning "how much"/"how many") already made the sentence a question. BTW, you should use 什么 ("what") to ask for phone/document numbers.


    @Gamic - it depends on where is the Chinese speaker from. Not a blanket advice. Both 什么 and 多少 may be okay. It is like advising someone to use only "color" as the correct spelling and not "colour".


    嗎 is for closed-ended questions


    "多少" (lit. how much) is a question phrase, similar to "什么" (what) and "怎么" (how) or the "是不是" question pattern: they all indicate a question is being asked so there's no need to add the question participle "吗" at the end.


    the answer is 她的电话号码是多少 , however, I answered 她的电话是多少 and it is also correct. so what is exactly the 好吗 stands for?? thank you


    号码 literally means "number", good for licences, phone numbers, document numbers, apartment numbers, etc. While 电话 can mean "phone number" in context, it refers primarily to the telephone machine (电 = electric, 话 = speech). To remove ambiguity, it's better to add 号码 at the end to specify telephone number.


    I'm pretty sure it means number or numbers


    a more natrual way is 她电话多少? 的 and 是 can often be omit in Chinese

    [deactivated user]

      I feel like giving up. So frustrating!


      I put "她的电话号码多少" and it didn't accept it. I asked my Chinese friend and said you can use both with 是 and without it.



      So what is the right answer


      the answer is 多少,as it refers to a number. 什么 is slightly more awkward; english grammar is very different than chinese. So instead of asking what their phone number is (think of an old man from 1300 asking what a phone number is), you're basically asking what numbers are in their phone number. I hope that helps!


      As a native Chinese speaker from Beijing, 什么 (translation: "what") is the right way of asking for someone's telephone number, NOT 多少 (which refers to quantity).


      You must not get out much, because I hear that all the time (both ways are common).


      it's not awkward at all, that's still proper grammar.


      "她的号码是多少" also Be acepted ↖(^ω^)↗


      The correct answer should be "她的电话号码是什么?" "多少" refers to quantity.


      I went for "她的电话是多少吗?" and it was rejected; but I thought we'd had "电话" stand in for phone number at least once. Have I missed another mistake?


      电话 is telephone and 号码 is number


      Can't you also use ‘機’ ie。他今年幾歲? ”他的電話號碼是幾碼?” Which is asking the replier to fill in the phone number spot, much like his birthday. ie。他今年是(六)歲 "他的電話號碼是(八七六五)。“


      Answered「她的電話號碼是啥」. Please make this a correct answer.


      What's the difference between 她的电话号码是八七六五吗? and 她的电话是八七六五吗?


      I think one is just a shorter way to say it, like how 你叫什么名字 and 你叫什么 are both correct


      号码 literally means "number", good for licences, phone numbers, document numbers, apartment numbers, etc. While 电话 can mean "phone number" in some context, it refers primarily to the telephone machine (电 = electric, 话 = speech). To remove ambiguity, it's better to add 号码 at the end to specify telephone number.


      hayo my friend lo make me wrong

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