Learn Chinese for Free - Lesson 44

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Today's Chinese characters:

Today we introduce the first "interrogative word". You're going to learn another way of asking questions.

Character Knowledge Meter
Today with this lesson your knowledge of Chinese characters will reach 21.6% of all the Chinese language usage! 21.6%

Characters' Essentials

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-First character of the word shen2me5shen2me5 ("what")
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me5
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-Second character of the word shen2me5shen2me5 ("what")

Description and Examples

Word
shen2me5
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-Used to indicate interrogation
-Used to indicate something indefinite
-Used before ye3 or dou1 to indicate the absence of exceptions within the stated scope
-In a phrase or sentence with one shen2me5shen2me5 preceding another, the first shen2me5shen2me5 always determines the meaning of the second shen2me5shen2me5
-Used to indicate surprise or displeasure
-Used to indicate reproach
-Used after a verb to indicate disapproval
-Used before parallel words or phrases to indicate enumeration
Word
shen2me5de5
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And so on, and what not


Dialogue 29

A:ni3hao3ni3xing4shen2me5shen2me5
B:wo3xing4chen2
A:ta1xing4shen2me5shen2me5
B:ta1ye3xing4chen2
A:ta1ye3shi4gong1ren2gong1ren2ma5
B:ta1bu2shi4gong1ren2gong1ren2ta1shi4yi1sheng1yi1sheng1


Sentence Structure 27
Interrogative Word “什么”

An interrogative word may be used to raise a question and it is placed where the answer is expected. Therefore, the word order of the answer is the same as that of the question, with the interrogative word being replaced by the corresponding answer. Here we pay special attention to the interrogative word shen2me5shen2me5.

  1. shen2me5shen2me5, when used alone as interrogative word, refers to things.

    Example

    Question: ta1xing4shen2me5shen2me5

    Answer: ta1xing4liu2

    Please note that the word order is the same in both answer and question. The interrogative word shen2me5shen2me5 is in the same position of the part being questioned (that is the surname liu2).

  2. shen2me5shen2me5, when used as interrogative word before nouns, refers to things or persons.

    Examples

    ta1shi4shen2me5shen2me5ren2 (Who is he?)

    shen2me5shen2me5gong1zuo4gong1zuo4 (Which job?)



The meaning of: 他姓什么?

It is used for asking another person's name. One shouldn't say "ta1gui4xing4".



Exercise

Answer the following questions:

jin1tian1jin1tian1ni3lai2ma5

ni3ma1ma5ma1ma5ge1ge5ge1ge5jie3jie5jie3jie5di4di5di4di5shen1ti3shen1ti3hao3ma5

ni3mang2bu4mang2


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Characters' Details

Chinese Character 90 of 1000

appearance score: # 156
frequency: 0.1384307%
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4
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-First character of the Chinese word for "what": shen2me5shen2me5
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-Assorted; varied; ten

This character has a different traditional version.

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(same as simplified one's)

Chinese Character 91 of 1000

appearance score: # 63
frequency: 0.2470072%
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3
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-Used as a suffix to a few words
-Used in songs for balance or euphony

This character has two different traditional versions.

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me5
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(same as simplified one's)
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me5
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-Used as a suffix to a few words

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