Jump to: navigation, search

Reviewing options with "ba"

Chinese-grammar-wiki-Ba.jpg

When 吧 (ba) is used twice in a sentence, it is used to list two options that the speaker is debating. It gives the sentence an indecisive feel, as though the speaker doesn't know which one to choose. This construction often has a negative connotation, since the options usually are not ideal.

Structure

Option 1 + 吧 ,⋯⋯ ;Option 2 + 吧 ,⋯⋯

If this structure doesn't seem clear to you, the examples will help.

Examples

  • 冬天 去 ,太 冷 ;夏天 去 ,太 热 。Dōngtiān qù ba, tài lěng; xiàtiān qù ba, tài rè.If we go in the winter, it's too cold. If we go in the summer, it's too hot.
  • 早 点 去 ,要 等 ;晚 点 去 ,会 堵车 。Zǎo diǎn qù ba, yào děng; wǎn diǎn qù ba, yòu dǔchē. If we go early, we'll have to wait. If we go later, there will be too much traffic.
  • 穿 得 多 一点 ,会 热 ;穿 得 少 一点 ,会 冷 。Chuān de duō yīdiǎn ba, huì rè; chuān de shǎo yīdiǎn ba, huì lěng.If I wear a little more, it will be hot. If I wear a little less, it will be cold.
  • ,要 给 红包 ;不 去 ,他 没 面子 。ba, yào gěi hóngbāo; bù qù ba, tā méi miànzi. I need to give a red envelope if I go early. If I don't go, he will lose face.
  • 不 说 ,他 还 会 做 错 ;说 ,他 肯定 不 高兴 。Bù shuō ba, tā hái huì zuò cuò; shuō ba, tā kěndìng bù gāoxìng.If I don't tell him, he will still do it wrong next time. If I do tell him, he will get upset.
  • 回去 ,机票 太 贵 ;不 回去 ,家人 肯定 会 想 我 。Huíqù ba, jīpiào tài guì; bù huíqù ba, jiārén kěndìng huì xiǎng wǒ.If I go back, the air ticket is too expensive. If I don't go back, my family will definitely miss me.
  • 带 你 去 ,你 总是 不 听话 ;不 带 你 去 ,你 一个人 肯定 无聊 。Dài nǐ qù ba, nǐ zǒngshì bù tīnghuà; bù dài nǐ qù ba, nǐ yīgèrén kěndìng wúliáo.If I take you with me, you will be naughty like always. If I don't take you with me, you will definitely be bored.
  • 见面 ,常常 吵架 ;不 见面 ,还是 会 想 他 。Jiànmiàn ba, chángcháng chǎojià; bù jiànmiàn ba, háishì huì xiǎng tā.If we see each other, we fight a lot. If we don't see each other, I miss him anyway.
  • 不 说 真 话 ,老婆 不 高兴 ;说 真 话 ,老婆 也 不 高兴 。Bù shuō zhēn huà ba, lǎopo bù gāoxìng; shuō zhēn huà ba, lǎopo yě bù gāoxìng.If I don't speak the truth, my wife will be upset. If I tell her the truth, my wife will also be upset.
  • 这个 老 房子 ,卖 ,怕 父母 不 同意 ;不 卖 ,就 没 钱 买 新 车 。Zhège lǎo fángzi, mài ba, pà fùmǔ bù tóngyì; bù mài ba, jiù méi qián mǎi xīn chē.If I sell this old house, I'm afraid my parents will disagree. If I don't sell it, I don't have money to buy a new car.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books