Chinese Sentence Structure and Word Order IX – Part I

This grammar section is divided into a few sub-sections, and will be described through a few week activities:

SP1. Basic Pattern
SP2. Direct and Indirect Objects
SP3. Prepositional Phrases
SP4. Location and Time Phrases
SP5. Adverbs
SP6. Negation
SP7. Duration
SP8. Noun
SP9. Question
SP10. Particle

SP9 : Question – Yes-No Questions

  • In Chinese, the words order in questions is identical to the order of phrases in statements.   

    Example

    What are you doing?
    zài zuò shén me ?
    ?
    Subject Verb Question Word
    you doing what

    The Anwser:

    I am eating.
    zài chī fàn
    Subject Verb Object
    I eating rice
  • Here are a few types Yes-No Questions that we have learnt so far:
  • Today we will study in details the sentence structure for these Yes-No Questions.
  • For Questions with 吗 and 呢:

    – Statement (subject + verb ) + (particle : 吗 / 呢) ?

    1. Are you Chinese?
    shì zhōng guó rén ma
    ?
    Declarative Sentence
    you are Chinese Question
    Word
    2. I am Chinese, what about you?
    shì zhōng guó rén ne
    ?
    Declarative Sentence Phrase
    I am Chinese you Question
    Word
  • For Questions Verb-Not-Verb, 是否 and either-or (还是):

    – subject + [是否] + predicate ?
    – subject + [ verb + not (不/没) + verb ] + predicate / object ?
    – subject + [ noun phrase/verb phrase/sentence + 还是 + noun phrase/verb phrase/sentence] ?

    1. Are you Chinese?
    shì fǒu shì zhōng guó rén
    ?
    Subject Question
    Word
    Predicate
    you whether are Chinese
    2. Are you Chinese?
    shì shì zhōng guó rén
    ?
    Subject Question
    Word
    Predicate
    you yes or not Chinese
    3. Are you Chinese or Japanese
    shì zhōng guó rén hái shì běn rén
    ?
    Subject Phrase Question
    Word
    Phrase
    you are Chinese or Japanese
  • Here are just a few Yes-No questions. Try the above links to see more examples of questions.
  • Have a nice weekend.
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17 thoughts on “Chinese Sentence Structure and Word Order IX – Part I”

  1. Hi Min Min

    What is the difference between 做 and 作?
    Under what circumstances are each used?

    谢谢你

    1. Hi Βωων Κυαν,
      做 and 作 have the same pronunciation zuò. Many people make mistake while using these 2 words.

      ‘做’ means do and can be used as a standalone verb, example : 做工,做功课,做事。
      ‘作’ seldom used as a single word. Usually it will combine with other characters to produce a new meaningful word, example : 工作,作品,作者。

      I hope this will help. Thanks.

  2. What is meant by 动词 and 名词?

    Can you say 做 such as 做工,做功课,做事 is a verb
    and 作 is a noun such as 工作,作品,作者?

    What is the difference between 候 and 后?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Βωων Κυαν,
      Yes. Most the time, 做 is a verb and 作 is a noun. But in some occasions, 作 can be a verb too.
      For 候 and 后, I think klw has given a good explanation.

  3. 你好敏敏

    情问你可以不可以告诉我“中国通”时什么意思?
    是否是“China Expert”?

    谢谢你的帮助

    万事如意

    陆蓝克

  4. Hi Min²

    How many days old should posts be under the
    “Recent Comments” before you delete them?

    Are there any archives where one can look up
    old posts?

    Thanks

  5. I don’t know if you’re still here, but I want to say that this is the best Chinese-teaching website I have ever found.
    Many thanks.

  6. excellent materials..
    Thank you for sharing.
    Is there anyway to print all of the material at one time ? If so how

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