1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Chinese
  4. >
  5. "你知道他们为什么生气吗?"


Translation:Do you know why they are angry?

December 6, 2017



Can you say "Do you know why are they angry"?


This is grammatically incorrect in English, and not commonly used.


Can you please explain further


In the subordinate clause, in this case the sentence after "why," we cannot reverse the subject and verb. The correct version is "Do you know why they are angry."


No. This is something only non-native speakers say. My mind even read your sentence as "Do you know why they are angry" originally because I'm so much more used to it


Isn't 为什么 already indicating a question? Why do you need 吗?


It's a somewhat subtle point, but we need the "吗" in this sentence because "为什么" isn't functioning as a question word - the question is whether or not the person being asked (你) knows why (知道为什么) the other group of people (他们) are angry. So a valid response to this question could simply be "我(不)知道" without actually explaining why the people in the other group are angry; but on the other hand the question "他们为什么生气" calls for an explicit explanation of "why they are angry" because in this case "为什么" now functions as a question word.

If we leave off the "吗" in the original sentence, then the sentence becomes the assertion "你知道他们为什么生气" meaning "you know why they are angry".


你知道她们为什么生气吗 should also be accepted for the listening exercise. https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/29456371


Could i also say: 你知道为什么他们生气吗?


Yes it should be correct.


upset is a direct synonym of angry. i am very upset.


I would say angry is stronger than upset.


I believe it's a wider term for negative emotions.


I'm curious as to why this is "Do you know why they are angry?" and not "Why do you think they are angry?"

Is there something semantic I'm missing here? The first line would be looking for a yes or no, but the second one would be looking for the reason. I don't know how to tell from the Chinese characters that that's what they're looking for.


That would be 你觉得/认为/以为(the last sounds like something someone from 'ancient' times would say)他们为什么(会)生气?or simply 他们为什么生气(了)?

Not sure I understand the question, but the main question here is 你知不知道?which is essentially a yes or no question.


First if all, the sentence ends with 吗, which means it is a yes/no question. Also, 知道 means "to know". 觉得 means "to think" or "to feel" (your belief or opinion).

You can look at the sentence in this exercise as: 你知道...吗? (Do you know...?)

The ”他们为什么生气” (why they are angry) is just the specific information we are talking about. This is a yes/no question asking whether or not you know this information.

As its own sentence, ”他们为什么生气? ” means "Why are they angry?"


Thx! Can the 为什么 come before the person? (你知道为什么他们生气吗?) would that be correct or is it weird?


Perfectly fine


It doesn't even sound good: why they are angry. It should be "Why are they angry?" Its a question!!!


Do you know what they're mad about?


I didn't get "why" as a text option l0l


"Do you know why they are so angry".

One of those "this is bs wtf....okay fine, should've removed 'so'"


Do you know why are they angry is also possible. Please consider.


It is not gramatically correct in Standard English. The question in the subordinate clause does not inverse the subject and the verb.


Do you know why they skinned watermelons? Should also be accepted.


It seems to me that the particle 了 is called for here, since the people in question have become angry: 你知道他们为什么生气了吗?In 生气, the 生 is a verb, so by definition if one is angry then the 生 has happened and should past tense.


Why are they angry is supposed to be the correct answer bye


do you know why are they angry...rejected.


That doesn't follow proper English grammar. Switch the order of "are" and "they", and you'll get an answer that is accepted. It should be: Do you know why they are angry?


when asking questions isn't it supposed to be: why are they angry?


If you ask a question that begins with "why" (such as, "Why is the sky blue?") then yes, "Why are they angry" is the correct verb placement. But since the question is "Do you know [something]?" then the proper verb placement is "why they are angry".


Not yet.. 2 Aug 2018.. answer marked wrong. Reported it anyway.

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