"What are you doing?"

Translation:你在做什么?

November 24, 2017

29 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

It means "in the course of". It is used for a continuous action.


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

Implies -ing (continuous action)


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

I think it is like "present continuous tense", corresponds to the "-ing"


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

你做什么 (without 在) is idiomatic and should be accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlexisRuss19

I get that 在 is in there to imply continuous action, but does "你做什么?" convey the same meaning?


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

I know this is a year late, but if anyone else comes across this thread, "你做什么?" means "What do you do?" Very different from "What are you doing?" Although a Chinese speaker would not interpret "What do you do?" to mean "What is your job?" they would still understand it very literally.

The real alternative is “你在干什么?“ The new character is "gan4"


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

你在干什么 its the one ill use. It is more frequently used


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

"你做什么" is accepted now, and can be "what do you do" or "what are you doing", depending on context, whereas "你在做什么" is clearly progressive.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bigmac.whooper

ITS NOT ACCEPTED ANYMORE PANIC


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elise711677

Still not accepted when i answered that


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Richard30914

Not accepted Oct '21


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

yes thats what I thought as well


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

How about "你(在)干什么" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/konstantin.05

“你在干嘛”怎么不对啊?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deptage2

What is the difference between 你在干什么 and 你在做什么?


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

I gather "你在干什么" can sound more abrupt than "你在做什么", and perhaps accusatory, but I imagine context and tone of voice have a bearing. Native Chinese speakers?

In Taiwan "你在干嘛" is colloquial and strikes me as generally neutral. "干嘛" on its own is often used colloquially in Taiwan to mean "why" or "what for".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paul165368

Is the position of the verb when using 什么 interchangeable? For "What are you doing?" could I say 你在做什么?and 你什么在做?or slightly other variations? When using a translator this is the same.

The actual question: when do you put the verb before and when after 什么?


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

It's always after the verb if it's the object (meaning that the verb already has a subject). So "你在做什么" is the only possible order for that sentence, "你" being the subject and "什么" being the object.

Notice that in English we say "What are you doing?" even though "what" is the object, and we invert "you" (the subject) and "are". Chinese effectively says "You are doing what?".

"什么" can go in front of the verb if it's the subject, but often in that position it will be participating in a longer phrase such as "什么东西".


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

Why is 你在什么做?wrong? But there are other instances where the question is in this order 什么做


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

Perhaps you're thinking of "怎么做", "how to do it".

"你是什麼做的" is "what are you made of", i.e. what's your chemical composition etc.


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

why cannot be 你在 什 么做?


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

It's because 做 is a verb, meanwhile 书 is a noun. A noun is placed after 什么,a verb befor it. Literally translated you ask "You are doing what?" but ask "You like reading what books?"

(I'm not a native or anything so take this amswer with a pinch of salt)


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

Why is "你干嘛?" not accepted? It's quite often used in chinese


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

I think it should be accepted, but learners should note that it can be not only very casual, but even rather rude, or it can be more likely to denote surprise, whereas Duo's sentence tends to be more neutral as well as more formal.

One thing to note is that certain Chinese-only dictionaries considered to be authoritative recommend writing "干吗" instead of "干嘛" (with the same pronunciation) for the usual meaning of "干什么".

But I think it's safe to say that in common usage most people think of "干嘛" as equivalent to "干什么", and of "干吗" as equivalent to "干不干", and that's the usage distinction I would personally recommend. However, I also think it's safe to say that the "干不干" meaning is rarer anyway, and if you come across either way of writing "干嘛/吗", let context be your guide.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paul165368

ni zai zuo shen me - 你在做什么

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