Expressing the self-evident with "ma"
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).
Statement + 嘛
- 你 妹妹 很 漂亮 嘛 。She's clearly pretty.Your sister is pretty.
- 他 挺 有钱 的 嘛 。He has shown that's he's rich.He is pretty rich.
- 不 想 去 就 不要 去 嘛 。Clearly you don't have to.If you don't wanna go, don't go.
- 你 别 太 谦虚 嘛 。Obviously you're being super modest.Don't be too modest.
- 大家 有 话 就 说 嘛 。Clearly you can just say it.Guys, just say whatever you have to say.
- 你 跟 他 很 熟 嘛 。You two are obviously well acquainted.You two know each other well.
- 开 慢 点 ，安全 第一 嘛 。We all know: safety first!Drive slowly. Safety first.
- 不用 塑料袋 更 环保 嘛 。You know you should be eco-friendly!It's more environmentally friendly not to use plastic bags.
- 这个 外国人 很 了解 中国 文化 嘛 。He has amazed us all.This foreigner knows a lot about Chinese culture.
- 别 担心 ，一边 工作 一边 学 嘛 。Clearly this takes time to learn.Don't worry. You can learn as you work.
Sources and further reading
- Common Chinese Patterns 330 (汉语常用格式330例) (pp. 225) 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课上册） →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 2, Part 2 (pp. 19) 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课上册） →buy
- Intermediate Chinese - A Grammar and Workbook 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课上册） →buy