Learn Chinese for Free - Lesson 44

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Today's Chinese characters:

什么

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

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

Characters' Essentials

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-First character of the word 什么 ("what")
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me
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-Second character of the word 什么 ("what")

Description and Examples

Word
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-What (used to indicate interrogation)
-(Used to indicate something indefinite)
-(Used before or to indicate the absence of exceptions within the stated scope)
-(In a phrase or sentence with one 什么 preceding another, the first 什么 always determines the meaning of the second 什么)
-(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
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And so on, and what not


Dialogue 29

A:
什么
B:
A:
什么
B:
A:
工人
B:
工人医生

Sentence Structure 28
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 什么.

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

    Example

    Question: 什么

    Answer:

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

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

    Examples

    什么? (What sort of person is he?)

    什么工作? (Which job?)


The meaning of: 他姓什么?

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


Exercise

Answer the following questions:

今天

妈妈哥哥姐姐弟弟身体


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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': 什么)
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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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me
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(same as simplified one's)
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me
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-(Used as a suffix to a few words)

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