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Rhetorical questions with "nandao"

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Rhetorical questions use the form of a question to emphasize a point, and, as such, the question does not require an answer. A typical English rhetorical question might be: "you're not saying you actually believe him, are you?" or "just how stupid are you?" In Chinese, 难道 (nándào) is used as a marker to form this kind of question.

Structure

难道 + [Rhetorical Question]

Examples

  • 难道 你 真的 相信 他 吗? You're not telling me you actually believe him?
  • 难道 你 是 我 妈 吗? What are you, my mother or something?
  • 今天 是 我 的 生日,难道 你 不 知道 吗? Today's my birthday; you're telling me you didn't know?
  • 你 父母 这么 关心 你, 难道 你 一点 都 感觉 不到 吗?Your parents care so much about you;You are not telling me that you could't feel it at all?
  • 他 这么 帅,又 这么 有钱,难道 你 不 想 嫁 给 他 吗?He's so handsome and rich;you are not telling me that you don't want to marry him?

Note that 难道 can only be used for rhetorical questions which could be answered with yes or no, and generally end with 吗.

  • 难道 我 应该 给 你 多少 钱?Not a 吗 questionHow much money should I give you?
  • 难道你 还 想 在 这 种 公司 工作 多少 年?Not a 吗 questionHow many more years do you want to work for this kind of company?
  • 难道他们 还 要 再 生 几 个 孩子?Not a 吗 questionHow many more kids do they want to have?

See Also

Sources and further reading

Books

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