Continuation with "hai"
Although 还 (hái) has many meanings, the basic meaning of "still" to indicate a continuing action is essential to mastery of the word.
Usage of 还在
Often the auxiliary verb 在 (zài) will appear with 还 (hái), as it is natural to talk about continuous actions that are still happening.
Subj. + 还在 + [Verb Phrase]
- 这 件 事情 我 还 在 考虑 。I am still thinking over this matter.
- 已经 中午 了 ，他 还 在 睡 ？It's already noon and he's still sleeping?
- 她 还 在 生气 吗 ？Is she still mad?
- 你 怎么 还 在 用 那个 旧 手机 ？How come you're still using that old cell phone?
- 你 还 在 玩 游戏 ？明天 不是 有 考试 吗 ？You're still playing video games? Don't you have an exam tomorrow?
Usage of 还是
Here 还是 (háishì)--not literally "still is"--indicates what happened or will happen, despite the situation. The 是 (shì) here doesn't have a clear meaning here independent of 还 (hái).
⋯⋯ ，(但是 / 可是 +) Subj. + 还是 + [Verb Phrase]
- 我 让 他 不要 买 ，他 还是 买 了 。I told him not to buy it, but he still bought it.
- 他 不 想 离婚 ，但是 最后 还是 离婚 了 。 He didn't want to get divorced, but in the end he still ended up getting divorced.
- 父母 不 同意 他 去 ，可是 他 还是 去 了。His parents didn't agree to it, but he still went.
- 医生 不 让 她 喝酒 ，她 还是 喝 。The doctor told her to stop drinking, but she still drinks.
- 老师 生病 了，但是 她 还是 来 上课 了。The teacher is sick, but she still come to class.
When you put 不 or 没 after 还 (hái) in a question sentence, it can be used to emphasize the idea of what should be happening in a more idiomatic way.
Subj. + 还 + 不 / 没 + [Verb Phrase]
- 我们 等 了 半 个 小时 了 ，老师 还 没 到 。We've been waiting for half an hour, but the teacher still hasn't arrived.
- 电影 已经 开始 了 ，你 还 没 出门 ？The movie has started already, and you still haven't left the house?
- 你 已经 四十 多 了 ，还 不 想 结婚 ？implying the listener should get married nowYou're in your forties, and you still don't want to get married?
- 我 解释 了 这么 多 遍 ，你 还 不 懂 ？I've explained it so many times, and you still don't get it?
- 我 对 你 这么 好 ，你 还 不 高兴 ？implying the listener shouldn't be so upsetI treat you so well, but you're still not happy?
Sources and further reading
- HSK Standard Course 2 (pp. 52) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 1, Part 2 (3rd ed) (pp. 122) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 2, Part 1 (pp. 157) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- New Practical Chinese Reader 3 (新实用汉语课本3) (pp. 103) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy