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Making Sense of Grammar
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What are the differences between questions with BA (吧) and MA (嗎)?
asked Apr 24, 2018 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by admin (19,380 points)

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Although questions with BA (吧) and MA (嗎) both indicate that the speaker has made an assumption of the situation and has an expectation as to what the answer will be, 吧 shows a stronger assumption or expectation than 嗎.

你是學法文的吧?

nǐ shì xué fǎ wén dí ba?

You must be studying French, aren't you? (Near certainty.)

你是學法文的嗎?

nǐ shì xué fǎ wén dí ma?

Are you studying French? (Expecting "yes" to be the answer.)

Reference: YUFA! A Practical Guide to Mandarin Chinese Grammar

answered Apr 24, 2018 by admin (19,380 points)
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