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"What country are they from?"

Translation:他们是哪国人?

November 23, 2017

51 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sergio687

It seems this language doesn't really use a different syntax when asking questions compared to making an affirmation. So, for example, 你是学生 means "You are a student", while 你是学生吗 means "Are you a student?". But not all questions require 吗 to know they're questions. Sometimes 什么, meaning "what" creates a question too, for example 你喝什么, literally meaning "You drink what" but really meaning "What do you drink?" or "What are you drinking?".

In this case I assume 哪 is just one of those particles you use to "substitute" for the very thing you're asking in the question, like a "which" or something similar. 国 means "country" and 国人 means "from X country", so, as we don't know which country you're from, we can't say, for example, 我是中国人 ("You are Chinese") or 你是美国人 ("You are American"), so we ask 你是哪国人 instead (literally "You are from which country", meaning "What country are you from?")


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

It's good they have these comments so I can find out more information, as to why my answer was wrong.

I kind of wish though, that this website gave a little more of an explanation and had more info I could read and study, as opposed to just repeatedly doing these "tests".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sergio687

I made a mistake, folks. In my example I put 我是中国人, which is, of course, "I am Chinese", not "You are Chinese". My sincerest apologies.


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

Right, pretty sure 吗 is used only to create yes or no questions.


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

Yeah, 哪国 means "which country" here. 哪 is for questions about place. I agree the presentation here is somewhat impenetrable. Check out the free program called Anki and a free deck called "SpoonFedChinese". I've only done 200 or so of those cards (out of 10000 and they keep getting more complex!) and they make everything here seem very simple, even when I don't already know the vocabulary. I think I would really have struggled to do this Duolingo course without that Anki list.


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

I made a mistake too, the question was about only the country but not to a person or citizenship. Now, Im confused.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sergio687

I'm sorry, folks. I made a mistake here. I put 我是中国人 as an example and said it meant "You are Chinese". Of course, it means "I am Chinese" instead. My sincerest apologies. Happy learning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Warlord324

Thanks so much makes it so much clearer


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NahumRomer9

Just what i was thinking. Lol


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/infiniteho1

What is the Na in this context?


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

哪國 is asking which country.


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

na is questions about places for example, 洗手间在哪里 (xi shou jian zai NA li) "where is the bathroom. "


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

na can be used mostly for yes/no questions


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

哪 In this context means "which", I don't think you're referring to the same thing... literal translation is like "they are which country's people?"


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

You're thinking of 嗎/吗, ma.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Qbz10

How you write 'ma' in cangjie samsung keyboard? I only get 马 instead of 吗


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/horizon241

I did 他们是哪国?and it was marked wrong. Does anyone know why 人 is required here?


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

国 means country, and 国人 means citizen (or "country-people"). If my understanding is correct, your answer might be translated as : "What country are they?" I'm learning this for the first time, so please correct me if i'm wrong!


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

美國 = America and 美國人 = American. When you add the人 at the end of the county you get that's county's people. 中國= China, 中國人 = Chinese.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BridgettFo5

The last character by itself guo - 国 means country or nation, ren - 人 means person, so without the 人 you are saying which country are you? Rather than which nationality are you? (Literally: which countries person are you?) So you need the 人 to be correct


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

美国= America 人= Person 美国人 = America Person/American


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

Just from the literal meanings, I guess that would translate to "You are which country?".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Warlord324

It signifies someones nationality....i think may be wrong


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

Newbie question: how are you folks getting the Chinese symbols in your questions below? Do you have a Chinese keyboard?


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

sorry for the late answer; you can download and use a predictive keyboard with chinese characters in both windows and mac Os, i use both of them and they work fine


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

you don't have to download anything, it's already built in


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AndreyPodp1

What about ma in the end?


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

那 (na4) already shows that it is a question, so 吗 (ma) would be redundant. 吗 is only used for yes-no questions.


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

Ma 吗 is only required for yes/no questions. For example: 你是中国人吗?(Are you Chinese?) So you basically make a statement and add 吗.

In this sentence, the word indicating the question is 哪, which in this context means sth like which. So you don't need 吗. :)


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

I think my answer of 他是哪国人 should be accepted but i was marked as wrong. should this be marked as correct? they can refer to one person it doesn't have to be a plural therefore 他是哪国人 makes sense as the translation.


[deactivated user]

    I understand what you mean, but the main context of the question pertains to a plural of “them,” so your answer should’ve been《他们》instead of just《他》considering the questions in here are mostly being specific with their pronouns.


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

    Is there a difference between asking about nationality and what country someone is from? Because while the English translations ask about the country, doesn't 国人 mean nationality?


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

    It's sort of a loose translation. 国 (guo2) means "country" and 人 (ren2) means "person", so 国人 means "country-person" or "person from this country". 他们是哪国人?literally means "They are which country person?".


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

    他们从哪个国家来的?should be accepted.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChocolateButton5

    Why is ’他们都是哪国人?‘ wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kim765719

    that would mean "both of them are from which country", which was not what was being asked.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JeffreyGuo3

    我说:“你是什么国家来的” 它听不懂。


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

    Why doesn't the 哪 go on the end?


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

    "You are person from what country" when translated literally if I'm not wrong here.


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

    If they refers to a mixed group of males/females, which character takes preference? 他 or 她?


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

    Is it just wrong to add 吗 at the end?


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

    Yes. You can't use 吗 for any question, it's only used in yes/no questions. With 吗, you basically add it to the statement you want confirmed/falsified.

    It's wrong to put it if the question is where, what, which, why, when, ... (or if there is already a 是不是 in the sentence)


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

    Upon doing this one, I figured i wanted to know what 哪 meant. It is annoying that there's insufficient built-in dictionary compatibility in this kind of task.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bill949306

    Ugh. You don't tell us what words mean and then ask us to put symbols in a sentence.


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

    You might benefit from first learning vocab with memrise


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bill949306

    I am so confused.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bill949306

    I hate this language. Sometimes the interogative us at the and sometimes in the middle? Wtf


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NatureSheriff_7

    I don't know which cases you're referring to, but the location of the interrogative in the sentence depends on what it is you're trying to say.

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