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Making Sense of Grammar
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Are particle questions with sentence-final question particle like Ma (嗎) equivalent to English yes/no questions?

asked Jan 16, 2018 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by admin (25,520 points)
retagged Mar 14, 2018 by admin | 7,114 views

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Particle questions are somewhat equivalent to English yes/no questions. However, in answering the Chinese yes/no question, one usually does not answer with the English equivalent of a yes, du`I (對) or sh`ı (是). For a positive short answer, one can simply repeat the verb or the auxiliary verb. For instance, an appropriate short answer to the question 我該去嗎? (w˘o g¯ai q`u ma/ Should I go?) is simply 該 (g¯ai/ should).

For a more complete answer, one can repeat either just the verb phrase, 該去 (g¯ai q`u/ should go) or the entire sentence with some adjustment with the pronoun, 你該去 (n˘ı g¯ai q`u/ you should go).

Reference: Chinese: a linguistic introduction by Chao Fen Sun

answered Jan 16, 2018 by admin (25,520 points)
edited Apr 25, 2018 by admin

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