Use of /ne/ 呢 ?
In chatting with Chinese friends by text, I've noticed they often write 呢 at the end of statements. In my study of Chinese so far, I have only been introduced to 呢 in the context of "你呢？" ("what about you?")
What does 呢 accomplish when placed at the end of a statement?
The return question with the particle 呢 (ne). Using the particle 呢 (ne), one can ask the return question. The particle 呢 (ne) has a lot of meanings. It can also be used to create questions like “what about?”, “How about?”, “Where” (... 在 哪儿？ ... Zài nǎ'er?）. The last version of the question is possible if there is no context. The sentence is built according to the following scheme: that (or who), about what (about whom) you want to say + 呢 (ne) at the end of the sentence.
if you put it at the end of a question it doesn't change the meaning. like 你想吃什么 and 你想吃什么呢. when I speak chinese it just really depends on whether I'm feeling lazy or not for adding 呢 at the end of a question. However, to me, native speaker, adding 呢 at the end of a question makes it sound brighter to me
Thanks. So when would you add it? Is it just "one of those things that people do"?
I seem to remember learning once that a lot of such "particles" are added at the end of sentences in Cantonese, to add to the expression. I think one reason for this is that one wants to maintain the proper tone on all the meaningful words, but that one can then add a particle and inflect it (tonally) how one wishes to express whatever (surprise, doubt, firmness, etc.) without interfering with meaningful tones. Is it the same in Mandarin?
If not using it as 'what about' or 'how about,' then it doesn't, at least from my experience, have any meaning. Sometimes le, la, lou, or ne will be added at the end of a sentence. The best I can figure, it's a colloquialism used just to make it sound better; much like hen（很） is used when 'very' wouldn't be.
I'll try to remember to ask around for a better answer and get back to this thread. (I live in China.)