Jump to: navigation, search

Tag questions with "ma"

As well as yes/no questions, you can also form tag questions with 吗 (ma). Tag questions are quick questions that are tagged on the end of a sentence to ask for confirmation. In English, this is often done with "right?" or negatively with "isn't it?"

The easiest way to do this in Chinese is to add some kind of confirmation word and 吗 (ma) on the end of the sentence.

Structure

As you can see below, the pattern typically involves words like 好 (hǎo), 对 (duì), 是 (shì), or 可以 (kěyǐ), followed by 吗 (ma).

⋯⋯, 好 / 对 / 是 / 可以 + 吗?

By placing these on the end of a sentence, you can soften a suggestion or request confirmation.

Examples

  • 这样 做,对 吗Zhèyàng zuò, duì ma?Do it like this, right?
  • 你们 见 过,对 吗Nǐmen jiàn guo, duì ma?You’ve met, right?
  • 他们 昨天 都 没 去, 是 吗Tāmen zuótiān dōu méi qù, shì ma?They didn't go yesterday, right?
  • 你 没 来 过, 是 吗Nǐ méi lái guo, shì ma?You haven't been here, right?
  • 你 喜欢 我妹妹, 是 吗Nǐ xǐhuan wǒ mèimei, shì ma?You like my younger sister, huh?
  • 我们 去 你 家 , 好 吗Wǒmen qù nǐ jiā, hǎo ma?Let's go to your place, OK?
  • 不要 告诉 他 , 好 吗 Bùyào gàosu tā, hǎo ma?Don't tell him, OK?
  • 今天 我们 都 不 喝酒, 好 吗Jīntiān wǒmen dōu bù hējiǔ​, hǎo ma?Let's all not drink alcohol today, OK?
  • 我 现在 想 去 洗手间, 可以 吗Wǒ xiànzài xiǎng qù xǐshǒujiān, kěyǐ ma?I want to go to the bathroom now. Is that OK?
  • 妈妈,我 要 吃 巧克力 , 可以 吗Māma, wǒ yào chī qiǎokèlì, kěyǐ ma?Mom, I want to eat chocolate. May I?

See also

Sources and Further Reading