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Expressing "some" with question words

The "some" we refer to is the vague, undefined "some" as in "somewhere," "someone," "something," or "sometime." Chinese question words can play this double role.

"Somewhere" with 哪儿

Examples

  • 这个 人 我 在 哪儿 见 过 。Zhège rén wǒ zài nǎr jiàn guo.I met this person somewhere.
  • 这 首 歌 我 在 哪儿 听 过 。Zhè shǒu gē wǒ zài nǎr tīng guo.I've heard this song somewhere.
  • 这 篇 文章 我们 在 哪儿 看 过 。Zhè piān wénzhāng wǒmen zài nǎr kàn guo.I've read this article somewhere.

"Someone" with 谁

Examples

  • 你 让 来 帮 我 一下 。Nǐ ràng shéi lái bāng wǒ yīxià.Ask somebody to help me with this.
  • 这 件 事 我 听 说 过 。Zhè jiàn shì wǒ tīng shéi shuō guo.I've heard someone say this before.
  • 你 找 带 你 进去 吧 。Nǐ zhǎo shéi dài nǐ jìnqù ba.You should find someone to take you inside.

"Something" with 什么

Examples

  • 我们 应该 做 点儿 什么Wǒmen yīnggāi zuò diǎnr shénme.We should do something.
  • 老大 ,你 不 说 点儿 什么Lǎodà, nǐ bù shuō diǎnr shénme?Boss, aren't you going to say something?
  • 我 想 喝 点儿 什么Wǒ xiǎng hē diǎnr shénme.I want to drink something.

"Sometime" with 什么时候

Examples

  • 什么 时候 我们 见面 谈 吧 。Shénme shíhou wǒmen jiànmiàn tán ba.Let's meet and talk about this sometime.
  • 什么 时候 来 我 新 家 玩 吧 。Shénme shíhou lái wǒ xīn jiā wán ba.You should come to my new house to hangout sometime.
  • 我们 什么 时候 去 看看 他 吧 。Wǒmen shénme shíhou qù kànkan tā ba.Let's pay him a visit sometime.

See also

Source and further reading

Books