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Asking about degree with "duo"

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How big? How busy? How cold? Ask questions like these regarding the degree of an adjective with 多 (duō). This is just one of the many uses of this word.

Structure

多 (duō) is often used to ask about the degree or extent of something.

Subj. + 多 + Adj. ?

This is an easy way to ask "How [adjective] is [subject]?"

Examples

  • 高?duō gāo?How tall is she?
  • 你家 大?Nǐ jiā duō dà?How large is your house?
  • 你 的 孩子 大?Nǐ de háizi duō dà?How old is your child?
  • 黄河 长?Huánghé duō cháng?How long is the Yellow River?
  • 你 家 离 这儿 远?Nǐ jiā lí zhèr duō yuǎn?How far is your house away from here?
  • 你 要 在 美国 待 久?Nǐ yào zài Měiguó dāi duō jiǔ? How long are you going to stay in the USA?
  • 这些 东西 重?Zhèxiē dōngxi duō zhòng?How heavy are these things?
  • 你 知道 我们 现在 胖 吗?Nǐ zhīdào wǒmen xiànzài duō pàng ma?Do you know how fat we are now?
  • 你 知道 这里 的 冬天 冷 吗?Nǐ zhīdào zhèlǐ de dōngtiān duō lěng ma? Do you know how cold it is here in winter?
  • 你 知道 上海 的 房子 贵 吗?Nǐ zhīdào Shànghǎi de fángzi duō guì ma?Do you know how expensive housing is in Shanghai?

大 (dà) and 小 (xiǎo) can also be used to describe ages. The question phrase 多大 (duō dà) is often used to ask "how old." However, it is an informal way to ask, usually reserved for peers, close friends, or children. The phrase 几岁 (jǐ suì) is most often used for children young enough to display their ages on one hand. Adults do not normally directly ask each other's ages in a formal setting.

See also

Sources and further reading