"Which country are you from?"


November 24, 2017

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Why it is not like: 你是哪国人吗? Is it not 吗 missing because it's a question?


哪 already is a question word, "which". You don't need another one.

吗 is one possible way of marking yes or no-questions.


Thanks, but i have another question, where is convenient to put in the "wh-Question" in chinese sentences, like 吗 at the end of the sentences?


Unlike English, word order does not change in Chinese between statements and questions. You put the question word in the same place in the sentence that the answer will go.


吗 is for yes or no questions


吗 turns a statement into a yes/no question. This is not a yes/no question.


吗 is for yes or no questions


Why is there a 人, when its asking for country and not the nationality?


Without 人, the Chinese question would mean "which country are you?" and it doesn't make sense.

中国 = China (a physical place)
中国人 = China person, Chinese (a person or people from China)

哪国 = which country ? ( a physical place)
哪国人 = a person or people from which country?

It's the same structure as it would be in a statement except the question word 哪 replaces the name of the country to make it a question.

你是国人。= You are a person from China. / You are Chinese.
你是国人?= You are a person from which country?

Of course the more natural way to say it in English is "what/which country are you from?" English works differently as a language so you can't always expect translations to be word for word or structured the same.

Also, by using the verb 是, you are specifically asking about what a person "is" and not where they "come from." A person cannot literally be (是) a country or a physical place. If you used a different verb, such as 来自, then you wouldn't need to add 人 because it would be asking what place the person comes from.

中国人。= You are a Chinese person.
来自中国。= You come from China.


Thanks. Now I understand


BUt Duolingo never defined '哪'!


(Just to clarify, this isn't me trying to be rude, I'm legitimately trying to help you understand.)

I think the reason for that was to make you mentally figure it out by yourself. That is the best way to learn- you won't learn how to speak fluently if every answer is given to you.


A lot of people here are wondering why 吗 is not used in this sentance. I think I can help.

In Chinese, there are multiple types of question words. 吗 refers to yes-no questions. (So if the question was "are you Chinese" then you would need to use 吗。”你是中国人吗?”)

In this case, you use the word 哪 meaning which. In Chinese, question words will often (but not always) take the place of their answers. Example: Q: 你是哪国人? A: 我是美国人。

Here are a few types of question words that are commonly used in Chinese:

吗(ma): Used to indicate that a statement is a yes or no question. Q: 你会说中文吗? A: 我会(说中文)

哪(nă): means which. It is often used to ask which kind of food you want or which location you hail from, but naturally it has numerous uses. Q: 你是哪国人? A: 我是中国人。

几(ji3): Used to indicate an unknown number of things, typically between 1 and 10. Q: 你几岁? (How old are you?) A: 我是七岁。(I am 7)

There are several types of question words, these are just a few basic ones.


Why is there no question marker? It just says: you are which country. Why isn't there a ma?


"which" is the question word. The question marker that you are thinking of is for yes or no questions.


Is it possible to say: 你从哪国来?


Isn't "你那是国人" correct, too?


No, not even if you change the 那 in your sentence to 哪. That is not the correct word order.


Why is "nar" allowed at the end of the sentence but "na" cant go at the end? One means which and the other is essentially "where in". Both are questions. Whats the grammar rule on nar vs na and the proper word order?


”来自“ should be an acceptable translation of 'to come from'


“你来自哪个国家?” is accepted.


True! Although it is beyond the scope of this lesson. You could ask ”你是来自哪国人?” but this is an advanced way to ask the same question.

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