Expressing "in the end" with "jiujing"
When someone asks you "what on earth are you doing?," "究竟 (jiūjìng)" is used by the speaker to intensify the question. In this case, 究竟 is similar to 到底, but a bit more formal.
Using 究竟 in Questions
Using 究竟 in Targeted Questions
These questions are aimed at finding out a specific piece of info, such as a name or time.
究竟 + Question Word
- 这 个 人 究竟 是 谁？Who on earth is this guy?
- 你 究竟 是 做 什么 的？What exactly is it that you do?
- 他们 究竟 什么 时候 到？When exactly are they arriving?
- 我们 究竟 还 要 等 多久？How much longer do we still need to wait?
- 你们 究竟 想 让 我 怎么 做？What on earth do you want me to do?
Using 究竟 in Yes/No Questions
究竟 ＋ Verb ＋ 没 / 不 ＋ Verb
- 你 究竟 来 不 来？Are you coming or not?
- 你们 究竟 能 不 能 帮 我？Can you guys help me or not?
- 她 究竟 是 不 是 你 女朋友？So, is she your girlfriend or not?
- 你 究竟 喜 不 喜欢 我？So, do you like me or not?
- 经理 究竟 同 不 同意？Did the manager agree or not?
Using 究竟 in Affirmative Sentences
究竟 can also be used with 是 for an emphasis of a fact, which is similar to 毕竟, meaning "after all."
Fact ＋ 究竟 + 是 ＋ Fact，……
- 孩子 究竟 是 孩子，总是 想 着 怎么 玩。Kids are kids after all, always thinking about how to have fun.
- 上海 究竟 是 上海，生活 成本 就是 高。Shanghai is Shanghai after all. The living expenses here are just high.
- 年轻 人 究竟 是 年轻 人，精力 真 好。Young people are young, after all. They are so full of energy.
- 生意人 究竟 是 生意人，对 他们 来说，赚钱 是 最 重要 的 。Businessmen are businessmen, after all. The most important thing to them is making money.
- 家人 究竟 是 家人，也许 你 不 喜欢 他们，但 你 还是 会 爱 他们。Family is family, after all. You may not like them, but you still love them.
Sources and further reading
- How to Use the Adverb 究竟? (Transparent Language Chinese Blog)