Learn Chinese Grammar Lesson 5


This is the fifth of five free lessons about Chinese language grammar.

Ask Questions 5

In this lesson you are going to learn how to use the following very common interrogative words.


shéiWho
什么shén meWhat
哪里nǎ liWhere
How many (used to ask about an estimated number smaller than 10)

An interrogative word may be used to raise a question and 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. Let's see some examples:


Question 1:

shéishìlǎoshī?
老师?
whoisteacher


Answer 1:

mǎlìshìlǎoshī.
玛丽老师。
Maryisteacher


Question 2:

shìshéi?
sheiswho


Answer 2:

shìwǒmāma.
我妈妈
sheismy mother

Please note that the word order is the same in both answers and questions. The interrogative word has been replaced in the same position by the answers "Mary" and "my mother".


Question 3:

chīshénme?
什么
youeatwhat


Answer 3:

chīpíngguǒ.
苹果
Ieatapples


Question 4:

nǎli?
哪里
yougowhere


Answer 4:

běijīng.
北京
IgoBeijing


Question 5:

háizisuì?
孩子岁?
yourchildhow manyyears old


Answer 5:

háizisuì.
孩子岁。
mychildfiveyears old

Click here for the next series of lessons on Mandarin Chinese tones.

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