The use of Taiwanese Mandarin "hui"

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In standard Mandarin, (huì) is considered an auxiliary verb, but in Taiwan 会 has an additional usage associated with asking simple yes/no questions.


Subj. + 会 + Predicate + 吗 ?


The following examples shows the differences between Taiwanese Mandarin and Standard Mandarin.

  • 冷 吗 ?means 你 冷 不 冷 ?huì lěng ma?Are you cold?
  • 这个 辣 吗 ?means 这个 辣 不 辣 ?Zhège huì là ma?Is this spicy?

会 in this context is equivalent to the English verb "to be." However, it’s the adjective to follow 会 is usually negative. So you would never say 这会好吃吗?because most people like to eat delicious food. If you do say this, the speaker is usually expressing doubt. This usage of 会 can confuse native Chinese speakers as well as Chinese learners. Some could think that the 会 is referring to things in the future or conditional.

See also

Sources and further reading