1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Chinese
  4. >
  5. "这是不是王老师的妻子?"

"这是不是王老师的妻子?"

Translation:Is this Teacher Wang's wife?

December 7, 2017

67 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/antun.krljan

If this is the translation, how do you ask: "Is this not Teacher Wang's wife?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rk5I3

Take the statement "This is not Teacher Wang's wife" and add "ma" :)


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

This was my answer which was marked incorrect


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael251895

Mine too. I got it incorrect. I said "Is this not teacher Wang's wife?" There are so many ways to say it in English.


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

Your answer, "Is this not Teacher Wang's wife?" was marked incorrect; because, that answer is incorrect.

A correct answer is, simply, "Is this Teacher Wang's wife?" because, that is what the Chinese question asks. Putting "not" between "this" and "Teacher" changes the question from a simple, straightforward, "affirmative" or "positive" question into a negative question, which the Chinese question is not:

这是不是王老师的妻子 means "Is this Teacher Wang's wife?"
这是不是王老师的妻子 does not mean "Is this not Teacher Wang's wife?"

DuoLingo is correct to accept "Is this Teacher Wang's wife?" and is correct to reject "Is this not Teacher Wang's wife?"

"Is this Teacher Wang's wife?" and "Is this not Teacher Wang's wife?" are not two ways to ask the same question in English: the two questions differ in tone, implication, and expectation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Qbz10

这是不是王老师的萋子吗


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

Rk513 is correct.
这是不是王老师的妻子 = Is this Teacher Wang's wife?
这是王老师的妻子吗 = Is this Teacher Wang's wife?
这不是王老师的妻子 = This is not Teacher Wang's wife.
这不是王老师的妻子吗 = Is this not Teacher Wang's wife?
这不是王老师的妻子吗 = Isn't this Teacher Wang's wife?


[deactivated user]

    Types of Questions: Yes-No using 吗 ma; 是否 shìfǒu question; or with verb-not-verb structure that is formed by repeating the first verb of the verb phrase in affirmative and negative form.


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

    What does 是否 means ? Look like kongfou panda's master name


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

    I'd appreciate an explanation as to how the meaning of this differs from: Zhe shi wang laoshi de qizi ma?


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

    Hey! There are two ways of asking questions in Mandarin -

    "Is that your wife?" (Ma at the end)

    Or "is or isn't that your wife?"

    I prefer using the form you quoted - I think most people tend to use that from my experience.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rk5I3

    There's three, actually! The third way is by intonation. It sounds very easy, but it actually is the hardest one of these because you have to keep the right tones at the same time you keep raising your voice higher until the end. Maybe some day I'll be able to do it...


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

    The meaning is completely the same. Are you going to use 是不是 or normal statement+吗 is your choice. I translated this sentence as 'Is this wife of teacher Wang?' and my answer was denied. I suppose I could say it like that in English, right?


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

    English requires an article: Is this the wife of teacher Wang?


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

    If you were going to ask it that way I'd say, "Is this the wife of Teacher Wang?"


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

    No, i don't think that sounds right in English.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PatrickTrentin88

    "Is this the wife of Teacher Wang?" should be accepted


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kwis20171

    That doesnt sound natural in english


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PatrickTrentin88

    It is not colloquial, but it abides to any English Grammar rule I know. If you know better, please let me know and I will comply to it by erasing my suggestion.


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

    I actually studied in my English grammar class that unless you have a specific reason to use the form "x of y" when ysing possessive; using "x of y" instead of "y's x" is ungrammatical. So no, "The wife of teacher Wang" is not correct in English.


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

    I typed "Is that" instead of "Is this" and it was marked as a wrong answer. Is there a hard distinction between the two in Mandarin?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StephanieB87596

    "That" and "this" have different words "is this/is that"= 这是, depending on a question particle being in the word. "That is/is that"= 那是

    这=this 那=that


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StephanieB87596

    sorry, i typed it wrong_ correction to first sentence : "is this/this is"= 这是 ”is that/that is”= 那是


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

    Why use 不(bu) if nothing is being negated?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PatrickTrentin88

    Look here and here, the form

    Verb + 不 + Verb

    is a common way to formulate questions asking confirmation in 中文.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Simato1

    Why is my answer wrong " is this not teacher wang's wife? Can't i use negation when it's 是不是


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

    why do they use "bu" here, if the question is "is that teacher Wang's wife"? .. i mean then it should be "isn't that Wang's wife?" right? can anyone give me the correct answer please!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KyleWalton1991

    I dont understand why my answer was denied i used "Is this not teacher Wang's wife?" Which makes sense to me at least in English.


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

    Why does the sentence not have negative in it? "Is this not Teacher Wang's wife?" How do we know that it is a question, and not an assertion?


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

    这是不是王老师的妻子?means "Is this Teacher Wang's wife?"
    这是王老师的妻子吗? also means "Is this Teacher Wang's wife?"

    We know that the first sentence is a question because the verb is immediately followed by the negation of the verb: 是不是; we know that the second sentence is a question because the sentence ends in 吗.

    The 是不是...? construction and the 是...吗? construction are simply two functionally equivalent ways of asking the same question: they mean exactly the same thing, and neither implies a negative: neither sentence means "Is this not Teacher Wang's wife?"; rather:

    这不是王老师的妻子吗?(without the first 是, but with 吗 at the end) does mean "Is this not Teacher Wang's wife?"

    这是王老师的妻子。 means "This is Teacher Wang's wife," and is a positive assertion rather than a question (是 rather than 是不是, and no 吗 at the end).
    这不是王老师的妻子。 means "This is not Teacher Wang's wife," and is a negative assertion rather than a question (不是 rather than 是不是, and no 吗 at the end).

    The 是不是...? and 是...吗? forms are used for questions that can be answered with a simple affirmation or negation. In the case of either 这是不是王老师的妻子? or 这是王老师的妻子吗?, the answer would be either 是 (for "yes") or 不是 (for "no").


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

    But the 是不是construction could be translated as "is this not xxx." it is, " this is or is not" xxx? So why is the affirmative form of the question OK but not the negative.


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

    Your premise is mistaken: actually, no, the 是不是 construction could not correctly be translated as "is this not xxx." Adding the "not" to the English translation changes the tone (implication, suggestion) of the Chinese question, which is not negative to begin with.


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

    不 means not or no in Chinese. So what exactly does 是不是 mean in your book? You keep telling people they are wrong, but not explaining why exacly 不 has no meaning of not or no in this sentence. Other members have confirmed that indeed this sentence could be read in the vain of 'Is that not teacher Wang's wife?'


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

    You translate too literally. 是不是 is just another way to mark a question. I guess you could see this more like asking " Is this (是) or is this not (不是) Teacher Wang's wife?" If you wanted to get the same tone as "isn't this?" in English you would say "这个不是王老师妻子吗?" I think.


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

    "is this the wife of teacher wang?" not accepted 24th December 2018


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KennethVog1

    Why may I not use "that" instead of this??


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PatrickTrentin88

    Because 這 (zhè) is this and 那 (nà) is that. The sentence starts with 這, not 那.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lois106894

    I typed Wong by mistake and it was marked wrong, but I also typed "Is THAT teacher Wong's wife?" Is there a different word for this and that? Sometimes the answer tells me there is a typo and gives me credit.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PatrickTrentin88

    This is 这个 (simpl.) / 這個 (trad.), it reads "zhe4ge".

    That is 那个 (simpl.) / 那個 (trad.), it reads "na4ge".

    Notice that the same difference exists between here/there, these/those, etc.


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

    When I read it: This to be not to be Wang Teacher wife?

    Than I write what it expects in English Me: Is that Teacher Wang's wife ? (incorrect)

    Duolingo: Is this Teacher Wang's Wife ? (correct)

    I guess I am going to have to play the English one too !


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

    Your mistake is on the "That" that is 那 = More distance ( emotional or spatial, ex: over there) than "This" 这 (here)


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

    I need input, I totally don't get the audio in the "王老师的" part, is it just that I need to keep working on my listening skills or is the audio kind of off?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StephanieB87596

    He's saying Wang Lao Shi de. The literal translation is Wang teacher's, the grammatical translation is Teacher Wang's. 王= Wang, 老师= teacher 的= belonging to('s)/possessive part of speech referring to nouns


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Giorgio182480

    I also get the lao3 garbled (Android). It sounds like just "a", making it "Wanga shi de".


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

    Doesn't using 是不是 mean that we're saying "isn't" rather than "is"???


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PatrickTrentin88

    Not in this case, read this link: Affirmative-negative questions.

    The meaning you have in mind is used when 是不是 appears after a sentence, to ask confirmation: Tag questions with "bu"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arn58929

    This does not look right to me. 不是 = "is not". There are too many of these anomalies in this app. I will be switching to another.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PatrickTrentin88

    Look here and here, the form

    Verb + 不 + Verb

    is a common way to formulate questions asking confirmation in 中文.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anas698788

    Why don't they accept "Is THAT Teacher Wang's wife?"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Feilipu2

    why : "is she teacher Wang's wife" is not accepted. We are speaking about a person not a thing.


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

    Teacher Wang or Wang Teacher both sound weird in English, so both might as well be accepted as okay reapinses. I keep getting the order wrong because I live in Japan where it is surname then title.


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

    Oops responses


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

    Does 是不是 indicate that you suspect the answer may be false, or not?


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

    No: 是不是 is merely an alternative to the 吗 form to ask yes/no questions.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bNs76

    I belive the changed word order is also correct !!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ahmad505278

    "Isn't this Teacher Wang's wife?" Why is it wrong?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rk5I3

    The question is literally "Is this or is this not Teacher Wang's wife", which translates simply to "Is this..." in English.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adurkin88

    The answer I got said "Miss Wang". The rendering of the translation for teacher and professor needs to be consistent.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joonas01234

    Teacher has always been accepted, just use that. It only gives you something else if it's trying to give an answer as close as possible to the one you provided.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Chris387368

    I hate this section the most.


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

    Mr. Wong should be translated either as 王先生or 王生

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