How to do something with "zenme"

Revision as of 06:05, 29 November 2013 by Loganp (talk | contribs) (→‎Examples)

怎么 (zěnme) means "how" in Chinese, and it's not hard to use at all. Learn how to use "how" here!

The Basic "How to Verb" Something


The question word 怎么 is used to ask how in Chinese. It is inserted in front of the verb that's being asked about:

Subject + 怎么 + Verb + Object

Note that the subject can often be omitted from general "how to" questions, and there doesn't always have to be an object.


  • 怎么 去?(Literally: "how go"?)How do you get there?
  • 用中文 怎么 说 "apple"?(Literally: "Chinese how say 'apple'"?)How do you say "apple" in Chinese?
  • 怎么 用 筷子 吃饭?(Literally: "how use chopsticks eat (rice)"?)How do you use chopstick to eat?
  • 怎么 做饭?(Literally: "how cook (rice)"?)How do you cook?
  • 怎么 上班?坐 地铁 吗?How do you go to work? By subway?
  • 怎么 学 中文?How do you study Chinese?
  • 你 知道 怎么 用 手机 上网 吗?Do you know how to use the cellphone internet?
  • 怎么 学 语法?How do you study grammar?
  • 怎么 知道 我 喜欢 旅游?How do you know I like to swim?
  • 我们 应该 怎么 告诉 他?How should we tell him?
  • 怎么 跟 女孩子 说 话?How do you talk with girls?

Topic First

Starting a "how to" question with the topic at the beginning of the question is very common. That is, the thing being asked about is introduced first, then a question is asked about how to do something involving it.


Topic + 怎么 + Verb

The object doesn't have to come after the verb. Sometimes it moves to the front of the question, establishing what the question is going to be about, before getting specific with the "how" question.


  • 超市 怎么 走?How do you get to the supermarket?
  • 芒果 怎么 吃?How do you eat mangoes?
  • iPad 怎么 用?How do you use an iPad?
  • 太极拳 怎么 打?How do you do tai-chi?
  • "apple" 用 中文 怎么 说?How do you say "apple" in Chinese?
  • 用 手机 怎么 上网?Do you know how to use the cellphone internet?
  • 语法 怎么 学 ?How do you study grammar?
  • 我 喜欢 旅游, 你 怎么 知道 ?How did you know I like to swim?
  • 女孩子怎么 追?How do you chase after girls?
  • 这么 多 苹果 怎么 吃 ?How do you eat so many apples?

See also

Sources and further reading