Friday, February 19, 2010

Asking Questions (2) - (A-不-A)


Forming a yes or no question may be achieved by including both the positive and negative form of a verb or adjective in a single sentence. This is a common alternative to attaching the word 嗎 (ma) at the end of a statement.

Usually, a positive verb or adjective may be converted into its negative form by attaching the word 不 (bù) in front of it.

Following are some examples:

? = you

= understand

不懂 = not understand
Dŏng Dŏng ?
Do you understand or not?

? = she ; her

= pretty ; beautiful

不 美 = not pretty
Měi Měi ?
Is she pretty or not?

? = is

不是 = is not

= he ; him
ShÌ ShÌ ?
Is it him or not?

? 這樣 = this way

= right; correct

不對 = not right; not correct
Zhè Duì Duì ?
Is this way right or not?

However, one exception must be noted.

The negative form of the verb 有 (yŏu) is not converted by attaching the word 不 (bù). The word 沒(méi) should be used instead to convert the verb 有 (yŏu) into its negative form.

For example:

? = you

= have

沒有 = not have

= money
Yŏu Méi Yŏu Qián ?
Do you have money or not?

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