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Expressing the self-evident with "ma"

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The particle 嘛 (ma) is a sentence-final particle identical in pronunciation to the simple "yes/no question" particle 吗 (ma) you learned back in the day, but with a rather different function. It can be used when the speaker feels what he is saying is obvious (from his point of view).

Structure

Statement + 嘛

Examples

  • 你 妹妹 很 漂亮 Nǐ mèimei hěn piàoliang ma.Your sister is pretty.
  • 他 家 挺 有钱 的 Tā jiā tǐng yǒuqián de ma.His family is pretty rich.
  • 不 想 去 就 不要 去 Bù xiǎng qù jiù bùyào qù ma.If you don't wanna go, don't go.
  • 你 别 太 谦虚 Nǐ bié tài qiānxū ma.Don't be too modest.
  • 大家 有 话 就 说 Dàjiā yǒu huà jiù shuō ma.Guys, you should say whatever you want to say.
  • 你 跟 他 很 熟 Nǐ gēn tā hěn shóu ma.You two know each other well.
  • 开 慢点 ,安全 第一 Kāi màn diǎn, ānquán dìyī ma.Drive slowly. Safety first.
  • 不用 塑料袋 更 环保 Bùyòng sùliàodài gèng huánbǎo ma.It's more environmentally friendly not to use plastic bags.
  • 这个 老外 很 了解 中国 文化 Zhège lǎowài hěn liǎojiě Zhōngguó wénhuà ma.This foreigner know a lot about Chinese culture.
  • 别 担心 ,一边 工作 一边 学 Bié dānxīn, yībiān gōngzuò yībiān xué ma.Don't worry. You can learn while you work.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books

Websites