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  5. "我喝什么?"


Translation:What do I drink?

April 2, 2018



Would there be a difference here between 'What do I drink?' and 'What am i drinking?' Does Chinese make a difference between the present continuous and the simple present?


There are no verb tenses in Chinese, but if you want to emphasize that it is present continuous, you can add ‘在’ before the verb. So 'What am I drinking?' would be ‘我在喝什么?’


No verb tense? Wow


Well, I wouldn't say they don't have any tenses. They have a word for past tense, I think it was "le", and I'm sure they have a word for futere tense, too, but we haven't learned it in school, unfortunately..


Those aren't tenses. For insteance, 了 does not denote past tense, it denotes a completed action.


There aren't any actual verb tense conjugations, unlike that Latin-Germanic languages. In Chinese, you can say that you're doing something by adding 在 in front of the verb. But in normal conversation, even without 在 people will still assume you're talking about a present action. If you add 了 behind the verb on the other hand, then that becomes a past action. If you want to talk about something in the future, then add 會 in front of the verb. These are applicable to all the verbs that I can think of on top of my head.

The only things that tend to stump foreigners are when you start adding conditions in your sentence, such as "What time did you eat? What time will you eat?" But this is quite easy, just put the time directly in front of the verb itself, and the problem is solved. TBH it's kinda hard to just think of issues that people might have so feel free to ask.


What is the pinyin for the characters that emphasize the tenses please? Past, present continuous, and future. Thank you!


Hey, you can look up specific characters on ArchChinese.com. 在 is "zai" with a downward tone. 會 is "hui" with a downward tone. 了 is "le" with no accentuated tone.


"I'm drinking WHAT?" -- Socrates


Wow, I just came here I clarified my questions reading you guys. Please keep helping :)


The character that makes the sound "ma" is used to indicate that the sentence is a question


I am not sure why your comment appears here, in the context of this particular exercise; because, the question in this exercise is a "what" question rather than a "yes or no" question, and therefore does not involve the interrogative particle 吗 ("ma").

The 么 of 什么 is pronounced more like "me," (not the English word "me" but "me" in pinyin) and is part of the word for "what;" whereas, the interrogative particle 吗 (pronounced "ma") is appended to a sentence to indicate a "yes or no" question. 我喝什么? is not a "yes or no" question, and accordingly does not involve 吗 ("ma"); rather, it is a "what" question, and accordingly involves the word 什么 ("shenme"):

我喝什么?= ”What am I drinking?" (or "What do I drink?")

我喝吗?= "Am I drinking?" (or "Do I drink?")


Very helpful. Thanks.


This was helpful, thanks :)


I know it doesn't make sense.


I do wish "I drink What?" would have been accepted. It's valid English (modulo the uppercase, but honestly I wish Duo didn't give us that hint, it always feels like cheating and I do my best to ignore it).


Valid English, yes. Relevant to the sentence, no.


Capital letter in middle of sentence. Don't know what it's for?


The program should be flexible to include other answers, such as "What should I drink?" or "What will I drink?" since these could also be implied by this statement.


Agreed, especially since the English form 'what do I drink' is almost never used in conversation. Questions to ones self are typically rhetorical questions that aren't spoken.


What am I drinking? was accepted


The characters are so hard to understand!


Useful remarks on grammar, thank you, guys


Isn't "What do i drink?" And "What will I drink?" The same???


No. Future vs. Present tense. This is the latter, so "Do" is used.


It accepets 'I drink what?'


Isn't it a little too useless in real life to be one of the first lessons? You're asking yourself what drinks you prefer?


What should i drink? Is not accepted, im confused...


There is no "should" in the question; the question is simply "What do I drink?" (or "What am I drinking?") rather than "What should I drink?" To ask the latter question, you could use the word 应该 (pronounced ying1gai1), which means "should," "ought to," or even "must" in Chinese:

我应该喝什么?= What should I drink?

我喝什么? = What do I drink? (or What am I drinking?)


It should be. That is clearly a mistake. I lived in Beijing for 8 years and I even speak Chinese at home sometimes. This is a common expression.


This could also mean: What should I drink? Intonation is important to meaning.


I don't think "what do I drink?" is grammatically correct... But icr i'm italian ahahahahah


So i just realized the ending of the question is in reverse

  • 346

I think "What shall I drink?" is more natural.


What should i drink is the same as What do i drink? same question. plz correct?


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