City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Nov 21, 2022 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Tong Yu Tung (220 points)
edited Nov 21, 2022 by Tong Yu Tung | 21 views

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Generally, foreigners often reduce the frequency of using modal particles in Chinese to avoid making mistakes. Modal particles in Chinese and interjections in English have similar roles and functions. Both convey the speaker’s mood, activity, attitude, or response to a circumstance. However, unlike English, Chinese modal particles can be placed at both sentence-initial and final positions. To better understand the usage of modal particles in Chinese, it is better to grasp the critical role of context, mainly to guide international students who are learning Chinese to express the content and mood they want to communicate clearly. While speaking the content clearly, they can experience the difference between different modal particles and then deeply understand the difference between correct and incorrect placement of using modal particles. For example: In our daily life, if we want to ask a friend for dinner. It would be great to put our thoughts and feelings into words. The question ''你吃飯了嗎?'' indicates that the speaker is not sure whether “你” has eaten or not. ''你吃飯了啊?'' indicates that the speaker knows that “你” has eaten and asked for confirmation. ''你吃飯了?'' indicates that the speaker is not sure whether “你” has eaten or not. ''你吃飯吧!'' is manipulating “你” to eat dinner.

Reference:

 梁詩韻:〈華語線上師生互動中的句末語氣助詞研究 A Study of Chinese Utterance-Final Particles in Online Interaction:between Students and Pre-service Teachers〉(國立台灣師範大學華語文教學研究所碩士論文,2017年)。

answered Nov 21, 2022 by Tong Yu Tung (220 points)

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