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Differences between “吗, 吧, 呢” in Chinese

吗,吧,呢 的区别.jpg

“吗”(ma) and “呢”(ne) are modal particles. Generally speaking, they are used at the end of interrogative sentences. "吧" (ba) is used to soften a request.

“吗” (ma)

It is used to answer yes/no questions. When added to the end of a sentence, it turns a statement into a question.

Statement: 他是中国人 Tā shì zhōngguó rén

Question:他是中国人吗? Tā shì zhōngguó rén ma?

“吧” (ba)

吧 is a modal particle indicating suggestion or surmise (asks for confirmation). It is placed at the end of a sentence. For example:

Surmise: “你是学生吧?” Nǐ shì xuéshēng ba?

Suggestion: 我们喝茶吧? Wǒmen hē chá bā?

If you want to agree with someone's suggestion, you can say “好吧”

“呢” (ne)

This is a particle indicating that a previously asked question is to be applied to the preceding word ("What about …?", "And …?"). It is also used to:

Inquire about location ("Where is …?");

Signal a pause, to emphasize the preceding words

Example: Where is the restroom?

洗手间在哪儿呢?Xǐshǒujiān zài nǎ'er ne?

2016-06-21

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