Asking about degree with "duo"
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.
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]?"
- 她 多 高？How tall is she?
- 你家 多 大？How large is your house?
- 你 的 孩子 多 大？How old is your child?
- 黄河 多 长？How long is the Yellow River?
- 你 家 离 这儿 多 远？How far is your house away from here?
- 你 要 在 美国 待 多 久？How long are you going to stay in the USA?
- 这些 东西 多 重？How heavy are these things?
- 你 知道 我们 现在 多 胖 吗？Do you know how fat we are now?
- 你 知道 这里 的 冬天 多 冷 吗？Do you know how cold it is here in winter?
- 你 知道 上海 的 房子 多 贵 吗？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.
Sources and further reading
- HSK Standard Course 1 (pp. 33) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- HSK Standard Course 2 (pp. 12) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Chinese: An Essential Grammar, Second Edition (pp. 135-7) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 1, Part 1 (3rd ed) (pp. 233) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar: A Practical Guide (pp. 207-210, 301) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy