"Is his telephone number 8765?"
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I opened discussion for the same reason! 吗 (ma) is a question marker; 码 (ma, 3rd tone) indicates a numerical value. I only understood this because I got it wrong, stared at the available answers until I noticed the different radical, then looked up the latter character in a dictionary. 号码 as a compound word means "number." Duolingo's lesson interface is still inadequate for actually learning the meanings of characters. :-\
Posting to see if I can get access to a playback button.
Edit: looks like it's still not available yet. This is very frustrating, why isn't this enabled? It's cumbersome to copy and paste these sentences into external sites for a TTS. I just want to hear each sentence and I don't understand why this hasn't been built in from the beginning.
This course would benefit enormously by just giving the user more information in general, you're supposed to learn characters (a complex system), pronunciations (somewhat context sensitive), meanings (context sensitive, combined with compound words), and grammar (word order, particles, classifiers, degrees of politeness, what have you) all at the same time (compared to eg. European language courses where you're mostly dealing with just meanings and grammar), which compounds the inadequacies of the DL method imho.
Since the verbal is too fast to follow, it would be really helpful if each character (or double characters) would be verbal when one hovered on it, the same as the French course. I can't learn which sound is which when I can't hear the sounds individually; especially since the lessons don't tell me the meanings. The sentences tell the meanings when you hover but not the sound. I need both meaning and sound to learn. It seems obvious to me that a learner would need both the meaning and sound of new words. I don't understand why this Chinese course never seems to have both together.
Duo shao means "how much". (Well, actually it means "a lot, a little"). So, it is used like shen me (what), but for numbers.
So, if you are asking for someone's name, you ask "his name is what?" If you are asking for someone's phone number, you are asking "his phone number is how much?" We dont really ask it that way in english, but it makes more sense in other places that duo shao is used (like, for money, etc).
Does that help?
I find it interesting to see how chinese is taught here. I took a few years of Chinese in school and am trying to relearn the vocabulary that I have mostly forgotten, and eventually learn more. I imagine it must be pretty hard to start from scratch in this app, though.
Use 'ma' if the question is one which could be answered with a yes or a no.
If the question cannot be answered with yes or no, then you must use a different character or phrase, like 'duo1 shao3'; the key there is learning which question-word or phrase goes with which question.
I'm in Shanghai, China right now and trying to use the phrases, but everyone I talk to is telling me that I'm talking like an official type person - basically way, way too formal. I wish this app had a way of actually talking like real Chinese people, i.e. slang speak, cause these phrases that it's teaching me are making it harder to speak to people over here.
If you think your answer is correct, you'll need to report it. The option is usually next to the comments button (the flag icon) that appears after you've answered the question.
Otherwise, commenting that your answer was right without further explanation does nothing for people seeking useful knowledge through the comments. Duolingo will not change their programming by reading the posts, they'll do it through the report button.
是 is used as auxiliary verb, translates as to be.
他是电话 would translate to He is a phone which, although grammatically correct, is a weird statement indeed.
的 is the preposition of, a possessive particle, or an ablative cause suffix used as auxiliary verb.
In this exercise,
的 put after
他 (He) turns it into His.