City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Dec 16, 2020 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (17,790 points) | 14 views

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The sentence particle 吧 ba, which we have seen used in surmise questions, may also occur in rhetorical questions when a more emphatic tone is adopted. It makes an enquiry which itself suggests the answer:

她是老师吧?

Tā shì lǎo shī ba ?

She is a teacher, isn’t she?

她不是老师吧?

Tā bú shì lǎo shī ba ?

She isn’t a teacher, is she?

他们会溜冰吧?

Tā men huì liū bīng ba ?

They know how to skate, don’t they?

我们不是明天去见经理吧?

Wǒ men bú shì míng tiān qù jiàn jīng lǐ ba ?

We aren’t going to see the manager tomorrow, are we?

[1] Yip, P. C., Rimmington, D., Xiaoming, Z., & Henson, R. (2009). Basic Chinese: a grammar and workbook. Taylor & Francis.
answered Dec 16, 2020 by Ariel (17,790 points)

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1,162 questions
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