City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Feb 28 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (34,480 points) | 31 views

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After a statement is made, a tag question can be attached. Such a question is used to seek confirmation/agreement/approval or to make a suggestion.

(a) Confirming a statement

对不对/对吗?is used to confirm a statement. It is similar to a question with the modal

particle 吧.

那个人跟你很像;他是你哥哥,对不对?(= 他是你哥哥吧?)

Nà gè rén gēn nǐ hěn xiàng ;tā shì nǐ gē gē ,duì bú duì ?(= tā shì nǐ gē gē ba ?)

That person looks very much like you. He is your brother, right?

(b) Making a suggestion

好不好/好吗?or 怎么样?is used to make a suggestion.

李:下课以后,我们一起去吃饭、看电影,好不好?

Lǐ :Xià kè yǐ hòu ,wǒ men yī qǐ qù chī fàn 、kàn diàn yǐng ,hǎo bú hǎo ?

Li: Let’s go have lunch and see a movie together after class, OK?

丁:好啊!电影票,你买;吃午饭,我请客,怎么样?

Dīng :Hǎo ā !diàn yǐng piào ,nǐ mǎi ;chī wǔ fàn ,wǒ qǐng kè ,zěn me yàng ?

Ding: Sure! How about you pay for the movie tickets and I’ll treat you to lunch?

(c) Seeking approval/permission

可(以)不可以/可以吗?or 行不行/行吗?is used to seek approval/permission.

儿子:妈,我想跟朋友去游泳,行不行?

ér zǐ :mā ,wǒ xiǎng gēn péng yǒu qù yóu yǒng ,háng bú háng ?

Son: Mother, I want to go swimming with my friends; is it OK?

[1] Yip, P. C., Rimmington, D., Xiaoming, Z., & Henson, R. (2009). Basic Chinese: a grammar and workbook. Taylor & Francis.
answered Feb 28 by Ariel (34,480 points)

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1,454 questions
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