"Hello? Are you Doctor Li?"
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The context is provided by the question mark. "你好" isn't a question and isn't used where we would say "hello" with a question intonation in English. On the phone it's common enough to hear "喂，你好" together, but not "你好" on its own as a sort of question as we would use "Hello?".
This sentence isn't necessarily being said on the phone, however. That's a likely scenario, but it could also be used if someone were out of sight, e.g. in a room beyond the reception desk in a clinic etc.
I'm also going to add the following comment up here near the top of the page, because people keep complaining about entering the answer correctly but getting marked wrong:
DON'T USE SPACES AFTER YOUR PUNCTUATION IN CHINESE. Duo doesn't allow them, and will mark you wrong. Chinese punctuation has the correct spacing already built in.
And even if you use western-encoded punctuation or no punctuation at all, don't put a space between sentences. For better or worse, Duo won't allow it (at least as of the date on which I'm editing this comment, in August of 2020).
(I'm no longer following this page. If you find this comment helpful, please upvote it to get it closer to the top, so people don't miss it and keep asking the same questions.)
It's not exactly the question mark; it's the space afterwards. Duolingo doesn't allow spaces in Chinese, even between sentences.
As long as you don't add spaces, usually you can get away with no punctuation at all, though I'm not sure this is entirely consistent throughout the course.
Of course if you use Chinese punctuation, you automatically get the right spacing and maybe won't feel the need to add extra. With my keyboard when I'm using the Chinese input I can change the punctuation style with [Ctrl+.] ("control period"), but it may depend on your settings.
Yes, it's a correct option, but it seems that traditional characters aren't accepted for answering in Chinese.
Earlier I saw some commentary saying that they were accepted, but if that was originally true, it doesn't seem to be now. From my tests, if you try to use the traditional set, Duo will only let you pass if all the characters in the submitted sentence are the same as in the simplified set.
2020.6.4 Now that you mentioned it, I agree it should be wei2 for answering the phone.
Great that you spotted that
I checked for examples in Plexo, and they have some audio with wei4 for answering the phones too
Guess, I'll have to wait for some drama scenes to see how it's naturally pronounced. lol
Maybe wei4 is the pissed off way of saying hello on the phone
at first I did it without spaces but it marked that as wrong and I thought it might of been because I didn't put any punctuation, used punctuation but still didn't get accepted, only thing I could see was different was the spacing because for some odd reason or another my chinese keyboard that would automatically space after punctuation doesn't do it anymore so I tried to do it manually, copying exactly what they have as the correct answer.
PeaceJoyPancakes is right. It's the space added after the question mark. I tried the sentence with the different ? Like one person had mentioned and that was still wrong. So then I tried it without any punctuation at all, no spaces, and Duo accepted it. It's all in the spacing. It does get confusing because when you use the simplified Mandarin keyboard it automatically adds the space after punctuation.
Thanks for confirming.
Neither one of my pinyin-based Chinese keyboards, i.e. on my Android phone and my Windows PC, automatically adds a space character after punctuation (the spacing is built into Chinese-encoded punctuation characters, so really nothing extra should be added), but for anyone whose keyboard is causing them trouble in these exercises, it might be easiest just to do without punctuation or spaces, as you did and as others have mentioned.
For this sentence I don't know for sure how a native Chinese speaker might feel about "吗" being left out, but maybe. I'd be more comfortable without "吗" with a shorter version: "喂？李医生？"
To speak in general terms, sometimes it can be left out, i.e. if it's clear from the context and your intonation that you're asking a question, which isn't necessarily easy for a non-native speaker to get a handle on.
Proceed with caution.