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"Who is that person?"

Translation:那个人是谁?

November 25, 2017

58 Comments


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

Can it also be said as "谁是那个人"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Heidi453404

In English, question words have to be placed at the beginning of the sentence. This involves changing the word order to allow this rearrangement. In Chinese, using question words is a lot simpler. You simply place a question word in the place of the thing you want to ask about. Nothing needs to be rearranged.

So if the statement is

我 是 小李 。

Wǒ shì Xiǎo Lǐ.

I am Xiao Li.

the question form - "who are you?" - has the same word order:

你 是 谁?

Nǐ shì shéi?

Who are you? (you are who?)

Hope that helps I found it at https://resources.allsetlearning.com


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

Why in another exercise 谁是你的爸爸? was correct, but in this one 谁是那个人? incorrect?


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

In cases where the person being mentioned is at the beginning, it's a demonstrative, or effectively equivalent. In other words, in a notional sense, the speaker can "point to" that person.

In the case of "谁是你的爸爸", the speaker doesn't know who the listener's father is, and therefore has no one specific to "point to". The best that can be done is to point to the vast "anyone" represented by "谁".

To my mind, "你的爸爸是谁" could imply that the speaker knows the father well enough to have someone in mind to "point to" but is inquiring about his social identity.


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

Got it! Thanks for the elaboration! It is very helpful.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SimonWhite1

In grammatical short, 谁是你的爸爸 is a sentence with no object, 那个人是谁 has an object (那个人).


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

In grammar lingo, an "object" is acted on by a verb or a preposition and usually comes after one or the other, so I wouldn't use that term here. In contrast, what comes before the verb, its agent, is called the "subject", which is the role filled by either "谁" or "那个人" if it's in that position.


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

Absolutly the same question.


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

Thats using english grammar, its better to use chinese which would be 那个人是谁


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

How come in 'who is your father' the order was not reversed, then?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Toby526381

那个= that 这个= this

Hope this helps.

who is that person= 那个人是谁 Nàgè rén shì shéi Who is this person = 这个人是谁 Zhège rén shì shéi


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

Sorry it does not reply why in case of "who is your father", 'shei' comes in the beginning unlike other examples!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Toby526381

There are also many other measure words such as the measure word for

flower= 朵(measure words) Duǒ e.g. 一朵花 a flower 張 (zhāng )= 一張桌子 Yī zhāng zhuōzi e.g. a table

And many more, which just have to be learned BTW, I'm from Hong Kong

info: http://www.languagerealm.com/chinese/chinese_measure_words.php

http://www.ctcfl.ox.ac.uk/Grammar%20exercises/Measure%20words.htm


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MeganFlint2

I think its a grammar thing, kind of like how asking your name is your name is what?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nohaha3

I looked online https://www.howtosayinchinese.com/who-in-chinese-shei-shui-mandarin/

You put 谁 in the beginning of the sentence if there are no subject pronouns (he, she, you) and the who question can apply to anyone 谁要去 ?(shui2yao4qu2) who is going

You put 谁 in the end of the sentence if there is a subject pronoun 那个男人是谁 (na4ge4nan2ren2shi4shui4) Who is that man


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

It sounds weird


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph.h3RU9A

In Chinese,yes.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ava5614

As a native Chinese speaker, let me just say that "他是谁?“ sounds more natural. Doesn't it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Toby526381

Yes you can use that as well. But obviously that is for a man (他).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mike371454

Can anybody say why 个 is necessary? It's not the numeral... Why can't we say 那人是谁?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lee238840

个 is a measure word. It is a generic measure word. Mandarin has them commonly when you are counting something but there's more to it I think.

Eg. You don't say '四人' for 'four people' you say '四个人'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Toby526381

There are also many other measure words such as the measure word for

flower= 朵(measure words) Duǒ e.g. 一朵花 a flower 張 (zhāng )= 一張桌子 Yī zhāng zhuōzi e.g. a table

And many more, which just have to be learned BTW, I'm from Hong Kong

info: http://www.languagerealm.com/chinese/chinese_measure_words.php

http://www.ctcfl.ox.ac.uk/Grammar%20exercises/Measure%20words.htm


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GabrieleDi403843

We really need some grammar tip here or rule, cause I think many if us are just guessing. They the word order is reversed compared to English? To me other similar sentences with "who" has instead the same order. Could someone please leave a comment with some explanation? Thanks in advance :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Toby526381

那个= that 这个= this

Hope this helps.

who is that person= 那个人是谁 Nàgè rén shì shéi Who is this person = 这个人是谁 Zhège rén shì shéi


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JackDaniels124

Am I supposed to guess the order?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ana983529

how does one know the difference between this and that in Chinese? is there any or do they just use the same characters?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cloudsdale4ever

这 = this, 那 = that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PrakashJos18

What is the difference between "Na" and "Na ge"


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

So, this should literally be written "that person is who?" :/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryEllen246097

Yes. Chinese word order is different than English word order. This is not surprising as this is the case all over the world - different word orders. Just think "that person is who?" when you write out the Chinese sentence. But translate it to "Who is that person?" when you write it out in English.


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

Na ge ran shi shei?


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

I had the same question!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Toby526381

那个= that 这个= this

Hope this helps.

who is that person= 那个人是谁 Nàgè rén shì shéi Who is this person = 这个人是谁 Zhège rén shì shéi


[deactivated user]

    That person is who? Talking backwards like Yoda I am.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Toby526381

    那个= that 这个= this

    Hope this helps.

    who is that person= 那个人是谁 Nàgè rén shì shéi Who is this person = 这个人是谁 Zhège rén shì shéi


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Toby526381

    那个= that 这个= this


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WangDeFu1

    Multiple times i have seen the app change a word in the sentence, after i click check. Like from 这 to 那。 On english answers i have seen the answer i gave changed to one that i overrode autocorrect on.


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

    The spelling and the sound of the word谁 'shui' is incorrect. (its really getting on my nerves)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DMd619327

    All my dictionaries state that both "shui" and "shei" are correct alternative readings. I guess they may be used in different regions.


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

    It could be regional, but I've never heard a native Chinese speaker say "shuí" in a natural context, no matter where they're from. (I've only heard it in teaching materials, e.g. Pimsleur Chinese.) Granted, I could always be surprised in the future, but these days I believe "shuí" should be listed as formal or poetic (and really I think it's verging on obsolete).


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SamanthaMi11252

    It's bothering me too. Omg.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gerald562590

    Stop saying the hearts are to enhance learning. It's just a cheap trick to sell more subs. People are starting to hate you for it. It's ruined Duolingo.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Victor24Prats

    Can't I say 他是谁?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidKhan12

    What confuses me is, why is it Nàgè and not just Nà? Na means That, and Nàgè means: That one. So in this case, 那个人是谁 = That one person is who? But the translation is Who is that person.

    If it was Who is that one person, then I'd use the 个


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

    Well, that's exactly it, and you're on exactly the right track. In Chinese you have to say "That one person is who?"

    If it were the case that we could just transliterate one language into another, word for word, we wouldn't need to learn languages, per se, only a whole bunch of new words, and we'd all be polyglots in no time!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Craig83923

    None of these who, what, that questions make any sense to me. It seems like evry one follows a different rule


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

    Why this is wrong:"那人是谁?" Unlike the other exercise?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cloudsdale4ever

    I guess you forgot the measure word 个 before 人 .


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryEllen246097

    那 个人是谁? Shouldn't this answer be accepted - i used the keyboard entry instead of the Word Bank.


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

    Duo often doesn't accept spaces between Chinese characters. You seem to have typed one after "那".


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/M92Y3

    那个人是谁


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jerry161819

    That is what I entered. I have had several of these problem in a row when I decided to tell you. I will lose all of the credit if I sign out, but I dare not continue. I will sign again in a few seconda and if this continues, I will have my computer checked out.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Toby526381

    There are also many other measure words such as the measure word for

    flower= 朵(measure words) Duǒ e.g. 一朵花 a flower 張 (zhāng )= 一張桌子 Yī zhāng zhuōzi e.g. a table

    And many more, which just have to be learned BTW, I'm from Hong Kong

    info: http://www.languagerealm.com/chinese/chinese_measure_words.php

    http://www.ctcfl.ox.ac.uk/Grammar%20exercises/Measure%20words.htm

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