"What country are they from?"


November 23, 2017



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?")

November 27, 2017


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".

March 9, 2018


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.

November 27, 2017


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

December 14, 2017


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.

March 21, 2018


Thanks so much makes it so much clearer

January 18, 2018


What is the Na in this context?

November 26, 2017


na can be used mostly for yes/no questions

November 27, 2017


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?"

December 2, 2017


哪國 is asking which country.

December 6, 2017


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

November 26, 2017


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!

November 27, 2017


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.

December 6, 2017


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

December 11, 2017


Ren means person

March 10, 2018


Why is ’他们都是哪国人?‘ wrong?

January 10, 2018


What about ma in the end?

April 3, 2018


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

February 17, 2019
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