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...?"
General Questions with 呢 (ne)
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?
- B: 我 很 好 。你 呢 ？Wǒ hěn hǎo. Nǐ ne?
- A: 我 也 很 好 。Wǒ yě hěn hǎo.
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?
- 你 妈妈 呢 ？Nǐ māma ne?Where's your mom?
- 我 的 手机 呢 ？Wǒ de shǒujī ne?Where's my cell phone?