Questions with "ne"
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 ？
- B: 我 很 好 。你 呢 ？
- A: 我 也 很 好 。
More 呢 (ne) examples (each of these can be translated as a "what about" question):
- 这 个 很 好 ， 那 个 呢 ？This one is good. What about that one?
- 这 个 用 中文 怎么 说？那 个 呢 ？How do I say this in Chinese? And that?
- 我 在 家，你 呢 ？I'm at home. What about you?
- 你 爸爸 是 上海 人 ，你 妈妈 呢 ？Your father is Shanghainese. And your mom?
- 你 哥哥 有 工作，弟弟 呢 ？Your big brother has a job. What about your little brother?
- 北京 下雨 了 。 上海 呢 ？It's raining in Beijing. How about in Shanghai?
- 我 现在 要 出去 。 你 呢 ？I'm going to go out now. How about you?
- 我 知道 你 会 说 中文 。 你 老公 呢 ？I know you can speak Chinese. What about your husband?
- 这 个 周末 我 想 去 酒吧 。 你们呢 ？I want to go to a bar this weekend. What about you all?
- 今天 晚上 没 空 ？ 明天 晚上呢 ？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 ？Where's the money?
- 你 妈妈 呢 ？Where's your mom?
- 我 的 手机 呢 ？Where's my cell phone?
- Yes-no questions with "ma"
- Tag questions with "ma"
- Softening the tone of questions with "ne" (advanced article)
Sources and further reading
- Integrated Chinese: Level 1, Part 1 (3rd ed) (pp. 23-4) →buy
- Chinese: An Essential Grammar, Second Edition (pp. 137) →buy
- Mandarin Chinese: A Functional Reference Grammar (pp. 300-7) →buy
- New Practical Chinese Reader 1 (新实用汉语课本1) (pp. 87-8) →buy
- New Practical Chinese Reader 1 (新实用汉语课本1)(2nd ed) (pp. 102-3, 251) →buy
- 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课上册） (pp. 97) →buy