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"Excuse me, is the bathroom here?"

Translation:请问,洗手间在这里吗?

August 7, 2018

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaximeVH1

What would be wrong about "请问,这里有洗手间吗”?


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

That would be "Is there a bathroom here", rather than "Is the bathroom here". With the first, you don't know if there's a bathroom in the vicinity at all. With the second, you know there is, but you don't know if it's right where you are.


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

Why is nali a question word but juli isn't? Why does 这里 requre 吗 but 那里 doesnt require it?

Or is it only 哪里that doesnt require 吗?


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

It seems you are confusing nàlǐ 那里 (over there) and nǎlǐ 哪里 (where?). The first syllable in 哪里 is in third tone rather than fourth (which just goes to show that tones are indeed as important as vowels and consonants).

哪里, being a question word, usually doesn’t combine with 吗. I say “usually” because you can have both in the same sentence under certain circumstances, but you won’t encounter those until you get to subordinate clauses a bit later in the course. But for the moment you can memorize the rule that 哪里/哪儿 doesn’t go with 吗, and only worry about the exception later.


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

请问, 洗手间在这里吗? How is htis wrong? Can somebody explain me? This is bugging me so much


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

Duo marked it wrong for the space after the comma. Be careful about that. There are no spaces in Chinese.


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

That is the recommended solution.


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

Why is 请问,这里在洗手间吗 wrong?


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

That would be “Excuse me, is here in/at the bathroom?“

在 is (in this case) a verb meaning “to be (located) at/in (a place)”, so 在洗手间 “to be in the bathroom”. Whereas 洗手间在这里 “the bathroom is here/at this place” (literally “at here”, but English doesn’t use a preposition with “here/there/where”). Add 吗 and you get the corresponding yes-no question: “Is the bathroom here?”

An alternative would be 这里是洗手间吗 “is this the bathroom”. Here you have to use 是 instead of 在 because you’re not asking where “here” is located. You’re basically asking “this place = bathroom?” That being said, this way of asking sounds to me like both you and the addressee are already in the bathroom when you’re asking the question (it’s the kind of formulation you’d use when you’re unsure of where you are, a bit like English “what is this place?”), whereas with 洗手间在这里吗 you’re probably standing outside the door pointing at it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Abby684964

"Excuse me, here is the bathroom?" Would be the literal translation of your answer. That would be more of confirming that you are at the bathroom, rather than asking where it is in the first placr.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Abby684964

'Na li' is a question word and as such, you do not need 'ma' at the end to signify you are asking a question


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

Why do we need to use 里 here. Can we say 洗手间在这吗?


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

Colloquially people do sometimes say that. But according to textbook grammar, 这 means “this”. “here” is 这儿 or 这里 (the former more common in the North, the latter more in the South).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jihel5

Now they switched from there to here so I missed it...

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