1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Chinese
  4. >
  5. "你明白吗?"

"你明白吗?"

Translation:Do you understand?

November 24, 2017

24 Comments


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

我不明白你的意思。


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jad498154

明=bright

白=clear

明白 = bright+clear = enlightened = understand


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jad498154

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/CX948

明白 can also mean clear, unequivocal or coherent, according to Train Chinese.


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/kmhowitt

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/NataliiaVesikko

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/a.rna27

Can we use "Are you understand" in English ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jan863662

There is a bug. I chose exactly the right words, identical to the solution and it was nevertheless marked incorrect. It did not offer me the option to report that my answer should have been accepted. Kaput.


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

How were you able to ever finish the exercise?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NickA.12

Do you see the LIGHT??!!


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

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

Learn Chinese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.