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2.8: Lesson 1 Grammar - Questions Ending with 呢 (ne)

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    The particle 呢 (ne) can be used to ask reciprocal questions, also known as "bounce back" questions. 呢 (ne) can also be used to form simple questions asking "what about...?" or "how about...?"


    Topic + 呢 ?

    And it's as simple as that. Say what you want to ask about, then stick 呢 (ne) on the end. A very common way to use this is to return a question after being asked it. The classic example is this exchange:

    • A: 你好吗?
      Nǐ hǎo ma?
      How are you?

      B: 我很好。你呢?
      Wǒ hěn hǎo. Nǐ ne?
      I'm good.  And you?
    • A: 我也很好。
      Wǒ yě hěn hǎo.
      I'm doing well too.


    More 呢 (ne) examples (each of these can be translated as a "what about" question):

    • 这个很好,那个呢?
      Zhège hěn hǎo, nàge ne?
      This one is good. What about that one?
    • 这个用中文怎么说?那个呢?
      Zhège yòng Zhōngwén zěnme shuō? Nàge ne?
      How do I say this in Chinese? And that?
    • 我在家,你呢?
      Wǒ zài jiā. Nǐ ne?
      I'm at home. What about you?
    • 你爸爸是上海人,你妈妈呢?
      Nǐ bàba shì Shànghǎi rén, nǐ māma ne?
      Your father is Shanghainese. And your mom?
    • 你哥哥有工作,弟弟呢?
      Nǐ gēge yǒu gōngzuò. Dìdi ne?
      Your big brother has a job. What about your little brother?
    • 北京下雨了。上海呢?
      Běijīng xiàyǔ le. Shànghǎi ne?
      It's raining in Beijing. How about in Shanghai?
    • 我现在要出去。你呢?
      Wǒ xiànzài yào chūqù. Nǐ ne?
      I'm going to go out now. How about you?
    • 我知道你会说中文。你老公呢?
      Wǒ zhīdào nǐ huì shuō Zhōngwén. Nǐ lǎogōng ne?
      I know you can speak Chinese. What about your husband?
    • 这个周末我想去酒吧。你们呢?
      Zhège zhōumò wǒ xiǎng qù jiǔbā. Nǐmen ne?
      I want to go to a bar this weekend. What about you all?
    • 今天晚上没空?明天晚上呢?
      Jīntiān wǎnshang méi kòng? Míngtiān wǎnshang ne?
      You don't have time tonight? What about tomorrow evening?

    Asking "Where" with 呢 (ne) 

    You'll occasionally hear someone seemingly using 呢 (ne) out of the blue. When this happens, they're usually asking where someone or something is, and they expect that you know what they're talking about and know where that person or thing is.


    [Missing Person / Thing] + 呢 ?


    This one is simple, so just a few examples are needed:

    • 钱呢?
      Qián ne?
      Where's the money?
    • 妈呢?
      Nǐ māma ne?
      Where's your mom?
    • 我的手机呢?
      Wǒ de shǒujī ne?
      Where's my cell phone?

    [adapted from AllSet Learning Chinese Grammar Wiki, Creative Commons License BY-NC-SA 3.0]

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    Any Questions? 

    If you have any questions about this grammar point, please ask in the class forums!

    This page titled 2.8: Lesson 1 Grammar - Questions Ending with 呢 (ne) is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Carl Polley (裴凯).