Making Sense of Grammar
0 votes

What are the differences between the alternative conjunctions 或(者) and 還是?

asked Apr 20 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by admin (19,380 points)
edited Apr 20 by admin

1 Answer

0 votes

或(者) and 還是 can be translated as “or” in English, but there’s a distinction between these two words.

還是 typically appears in a question which offers choices, while 或者 is normally used in a statement.


qǐng nǐ gěi wǒ yī bēi chá huò ( zhě ) kā fēi

Please give me (either) a cup of tea or a cup of coffee.


nǐ yào qì shuǐ huán shì chá

Do you want soda or tea?

When 或者 is used in a question, it is an affirmative-negative question or a question with the sentence-final particle ma (嗎).

我想喝一點飲料,有沒有茶或者汽水? (=有茶或者汽水嗎?)

wǒ xiǎng hē yī diǎn yǐn liào , yǒu méi yǒu chá huò zhě qì shuǐ

I want to drink something. Is there tea or soda?

Reference: YUFA! A Practical Guide to Mandarin Chinese Grammar

answered Apr 20 by admin (19,380 points)
edited Apr 24 by admin
314 questions
324 answers
3,610 users