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mfchung

吗 and 呢

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mfchung

help...

I'm really cofused about 吗 and 呢. I'm trying to figure out when I can use one or the other.

for instance I can say :-

你做吗?- you going to do it? - normal question

你做呢?- you doing it? - rhetorical question

But I can't say :-

你吃呢?

I don't know why I can use 呢 in some places and not others. I also don't understand how 呢 is used. It seems to be a rhetorical question sometimes and not others.

Like... if someone asks. 你好. 我好你呢? The 呢 here is not rhetorical at all since it demands an answer.

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Quest
for instance I can say :-

你做吗?- you going to do it? - normal question

你做呢?- you doing it? - rhetorical question

But I can't say :-

你吃呢?

你做吗? is a weird sentence.

你做呢? is wrong.

I think ma is for yes and no questions. ne demands an explanation/answer, so more open ended. (I could be wrong to summarize them like that, I just went through a few scenarios in my head, and it seemed like that ---> wait for better answers)

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amego

Hi, that's what my dict says...(pardon me for any lousy translations :mrgreen: )

1) 〔助词〕 表示疑问,用于特指问句,句中有疑问词“谁,什么,怎么,哪”等:你找谁呢?| 他怎么不回家呢?| 他们吵架到底为了什么呢?| 昨天你上哪儿去了呢?【注意】 a) 句中有了疑问句,也可以不用“呢”,例如“你找谁?”B) 句中也可以不用疑问词,例如“我的字典呢?”意思是字典不知放在什么地方了。又例如,“他受伤以后呢?” 意思是问受伤以后怎么样。

Used when questioning, after words like "who, what, how, where": Who are you looking for? | Why is he not going home? | Why on earth are they quarreling? | Where did you go yesterday? NOTE a) “呢”may be omitted when question words are present. B) Question words may be absent.

2) 〔助词〕 表示疑问,用于选择文句:你吃面条呢,还是面包呢?| 你是看电影呢,还是看话剧呢?| 你喜欢听京戏呢,还是喜欢听昆曲呢?【注意】 全句终了时也可以不用“呢”。

Used when introducing alternatives: Are you having noodles or bread? | Are you watching movie or drama? NOTE “呢”may be omitted at the end of the sentence.

3) 〔助词〕 表示疑问,用于肯定和否定的选择:你到底同不同意呢?| 他这样做好不好呢?

Used in affirmative and negative alternatives (???): Do you agree ornot? | Do you think he did the right thing?

4) 〔助词〕 用于反问:何必大惊小怪呢?| 我们怎么没有听说过呢?我哪里知道会出这么大的问题呢? 【注意】 是非文句不能用呢,例如不能说“今天是星期一呢?”

Used at the end of an interrogative sentence: Why are you making a fuss over such minor issues? | How come we've never heard of it? | How do I know such big problem will arise?

NOTE "呢" can't be used in yes-no sentences.

5) 〔助词〕 用于陈述句,表示指明事实,语气略带夸张:她唱歌可好呢 | 春节庙会上人多得很呢 | 京剧晚场七点半钟才开罗呢。

Used at the end of a declarative sentence to conform a fact: She can sing really well. | Many will attend the festival tonight. | The show will only start at 7.30 pm.

6) 〔助词〕 用于陈述句,表示持续状态:他关在屋里写文章呢 | 她正在后台化妆呢 | 外头下着大雪呢。

Used at the end of a declarative sentence,indicating the notion that an action or situation is in progress. He is locking himself up at home writting essays. | She is at the backstage putting on her make-up. | Its snowing outside now.

7) 〔助词〕 用在句中停顿的地方,表示例举或对举:如今呢,比以前的生活好多了 | 这几个同学都喜欢文学创作。小张呢,喜欢写诗;小王呢,喜欢写小说;小李呢,喜欢写散文。

Used to indicate a pause: Life is getting better now. | These students all like literature pieces. Zhang likes to write poems; Wang likes writing fictions; as for Li, he likes to write essays.

你做呢?- you doing it? - rhetorical question

Hmmm should be 你做啊? "You are doing it?"

Take note that 你做呢,还是他做? means "Are you doing it or him?

Hope its helps :mrgreen:

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yingqun

How about this...

ni du ji er ma? => are you hungry?

wo du ji er, ni ner? => I am hungry. How about you?

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hakkaboy

呢 has different meanings in Kunming dialect according to my dictionry of KM dialect, broadly correspoding to 的地得

我呢书 = my book

是红呢 = it's read

慢慢呢吃 = eat slowly, enjoy your food

说呢很好= speak well

In KM dialect 呢 is a 1st tone pronounced 44 in terms of tone value.

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timkunming

Hakkaboy,

I've also heard it used like this: it's practically a replacement of 的 it seems. But then again I'm not nearly the linguist you are :mrgreen:

I've often heard it used in many ways like this: such as "ni ne pengyou ne?" of things like that. I had never noticed it was said with the first tone - I'll have to keep my ears open for it!

On another interesting note, the other evening I went to buy yogurt from the local shop downstairs in my building. I asked for "suan nai" and the owner said in heavy Kunming dialect, "Suah leh gah?" So now I've discovered Kunming dialect for yogurt. Very happy! 8)

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