City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Dec 15, 2020 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (31,850 points) | 128 views

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In answer to questions, an abbreviation of the initial questions, in the form of the verb with or without a negative, is normally used rather than ‘yes’ or ‘no’:

你喝酒吗?

Nǐ hē jiǔ ma ?

Do you drink?

喝。

Hē 。

Yes. (lit. drink)

你抽烟吗?

Nǐ chōu yān ma ?

Do you smoke?

不抽。

Bú chōu 。

No. (lit. don’t smoke)

他来了没有?

Tā lái le méi yǒu ?

Has he turned up?

来了。

Lái le 。

Yes. (lit. has come)

你明天去不去游泳?

Nǐ míng tiān qù bú qù yóu yǒng?

Are you going swimming tomorrow?

去。

Qù 。

Yes. (lit. go)

你是不是这儿的服务员?

Nǐ shì bú shì zhè ér de fú wù yuán ?

Are you a waiter here?

是。

Shì 。

Yes. (lit. am)

你有没有手电筒?

Nǐ yǒu méi yǒu shǒu diàn tǒng ?

Have you got a torch?

对不起,没有。

Duì bú qǐ ,méi yǒu 。

Sorry, no. (lit. sorry, haven’t got)

If a modal verb is present it should be used in the answer:

你想不想去看电影?

Nǐ xiǎng bú xiǎng qù kàn diàn yǐng ?

Do you want to go to the cinema?

想。

Xiǎng 。

Yes. (lit. want)

你要上市场买东西吗?

Nǐ yào shàng shì chǎng mǎi dōng xī ma ?

Would you like to go shopping in the market?

不要。

Bú yào 。

No. (lit. not want)

我能借一下你的打火机吗?

Wǒ néng jiè yī xià nǐ de dǎ huǒ jī ma ?

May I borrow your lighter for a moment?

能。

Néng 。

Yes. (lit. may)

In answer to question-word questions, as with most languages it is possible to supply an abbreviated response containing only what is relevant to the question being asked:

她是谁?

Tā shì shuí ?

Who is she?

我的朋友。

Wǒ de péng yǒu 。

My friend.

你有几个孩子?

Nǐ yǒu jǐ gè hái zǐ ?

How many children have you got?

两个。

Liǎng gè 。

Two.

这是谁的钱包?

Zhè shì shuí de qián bāo ?

Whose purse is this?

我的。

Wǒ de 。

Mine.

火车什么时候到?

Huǒ chē shí me shí hòu dào ?

What time is the train due?

下午三点半。

Xià wǔ sān diǎn bàn 。

Half past three in the afternoon.

[1] Yip, P. C., Rimmington, D., Xiaoming, Z., & Henson, R. (2009). Basic Chinese: a grammar and workbook. Taylor & Francis.

answered Dec 15, 2020 by Ariel (31,850 points)

1,392 questions

1,688 answers

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1,392 questions
1,688 answers
14 comments
9,526 users