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  5. "Are they Chinese?"

"Are they Chinese?"

Translation:他们是中国人吗?

January 10, 2018

21 Comments


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

why do some times i need ma but other times i dont need it to ask a question?


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

吗 (ma3) is used to indicate a yes/no question (i.e., a question that is answered by 'yes' or 'no'). Basically, take a statement and add 吗 at the end and it becomes a question as to whether that statement is true or false.

For yes/no questions, you can use an alternate structure that repeats the verb along with a negation. This structure makes the 吗 redundant.

Here are some examples of what this means in practice:

她们是中国人。They are Chinese. (statement of fact)

她们是中国人? Are they Chinese? (yes/no question)

她们是不是中国人? Are they Chinese? (also yes/no question)

Questions that are not yes/no questions typically have a question word (e.g., 谁 (shei2, who), 哪里 (na3li3, where), 什么 (shen2me, what) to act as a placeholder noun. These replace the subject or object in the statement sentence, for example

她是?Who is she?

她是我妹妹。She is my younger sister.

This is really complicated and something Duolingo does not teach well, so I would recommend looking into serious grammar books, if you're really interested in learning about the grammar.


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

I think of ma as "is that correct?" Or "right?" So, you take a statement, and add ma at the end to turn a statement into a yes/no question.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gtg061r

Thanks; I was coming here to ask this too. I think this answer is rather important.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Morales.Bruno

I'm sorry I can't give you ingots for your comment anymore


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

Thanks for this! But when is 多少 used then? Cause when asking for a phone number duolingo uses 多少 is in that example 什么 then also correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Liz534461

hey, thank you a lot, hope you're still learning :') good vibes


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

This sentence is a good example of the limitations of the English language. With Mandarin, you can see they are a group of females, whereas in English you wouldn't immediately know the gender of the group "they."


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

Well nowadays it's often better not to assume


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu.8zPhLTPxIubF5

explain to me how that works


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

What do you want to know? Sentence structure? Asking questions?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IanSolorza1
  1. Subject (Plural) - They
  2. Verb - Are (comes first in English with interrogatives)
  3. Adjective - Chinese
  4. Nominative - people
  5. Interrogative (implies a request for knowledge).

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/2lingo12

i agree -_- Why are there two?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/2lingo12

ok I get it now! Thanks for... being there. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NasuSamaruk0

Also correct for specificity of describing the subjects, using 都:

  • 他們都是中國人嗎?
  • 她們都是中國人嗎?

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

Duolingo does not teach the character "都“ in this lesson.


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

I'm having problems to pronounce 'rén'. How is it really pronounced? Like 'hun'?


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

Is "shì (是)" a conjecture? Im so confused on the appropriate use of 是, is it always added after the pronoun?


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

”是“ is like a linking verb. It acts as the English equivalent of "to be." Forms of "to be" are "is, are, am."


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

It's telling me to "write this in Chinese." I'm writing the pinyin because I don't have a Chinese keyboard plugin, and it's telling me it's wrong. Sheesh.


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

How to get 吗 in cangjie keyboard, i only get 马?

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