"你明白吗?"

Translation:Do you understand?

November 24, 2017

26 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

Can anyone here explain the etymology of 明白? "bright white"? from "to be enlightened" maybe?


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

Pretty much. It's "clear and bright", so your guess was very good.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Naasei
  • 1280

我不明白你的意思。


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/j.duo498154

明=bright

白=clear

明白 = bright+clear = enlightened = understand


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/j.duo498154

你明白吗?:p


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YuJin382387

Pretty funny because that in Korean means "clear(ly presented)" not "to understand." Amazing!


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

Same in Japan. In languages, generally older usage is preserved in peripheral areas.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew-Lin

你明白嗎? The Taiwanese pronunciation is "nǐ míngbái ma" and "ma" actually sounds like "mā" here.
If you are interested, there are many words the last syllable of which is pronounced in "light tone" in mainland China (colloquial) but the original tone in Taiwan.


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

Is there a difference between 你明白吗 and 你明白了吗?


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

The 了 makes it past tense. So "do you understand?" VS "did you understand?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarAdal3

It doesn't necessarily have to have happened in the past to add 了. It just indicates a completed action, so you might "have understood", but that could be right now or a few minutes ago. There is no past tense in Mandarin.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KX3.

ni3 ming2 bai3 le ma


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

Please explain, what's the difference between 明白 and 懂?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarAdal3

明白 is to understand a situation while 懂 is (hearing and) understanding the words a person says. At least in theory, native speakers may use them interchangeably


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MitchBales1

I was wondering the same thing, thanks for clarifying!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterCross7

At least one source I've seen indicates that 不明白 and 不懂 are interchangeable.

"不懂 (bù dǒng) may also be swapped out with 不明白 (bù míngbai)." Source: https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/Potential_complement_%22-bu_dong%22_for_not_understanding


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

So whats the difference between "zhi dao" and "ming bai"? As far as i knew zhi dao meant understand?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CX948

知道 means "to know".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DamianRice2

according to the HSK radical chart, bai2 is white...what makes bai2 'understand' here? https://www.hsk.academy/en/learn/the-chinese-radicals


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarAdal3

I think 明白 literally means "(the situation) is clear to me, cause that would make sense; 明 means bright after all, and I think together with 白, they mean bright and clear. "understand" as one word would be 懂, but I remember reading somewhere that it means more like understanding what the person said, the words they used. I imagine 明白, or more specifically “你明白了吗?” being used after a long (or short) explanation of the situation one's in.


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

do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth!? Come on!! am I the only one here that loves that line?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mkim9494

The recorded audio doesn't seem to be pronouncing the bai using the 2nd tone. Sounds more like 4th tone to me. Is there a pronunciation rule for why that might be or can I continue to pronounce mingbai using 2nd & 2nd tone?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/r.na_

Can we use "Are you understand" in English ?


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

"Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth" was marked wrong!


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

Hmm. The translation in Duolingo for 明白 says "see", yet they don't accept the answer for it...

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