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Level 2 Lesson 6.1 – In the Company, Do You Think He Is The Busiest Or Not?

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Affirmative + Negative Questions in Chinese | A不A/A-not-A Questions in Chinese

In this video lesson we'll learn how to ask and answer Affirmative + Negative Questions in Chinese, which are also called A不A/A-not-A Questions in Chinese. We'll also learn about putting Time or Place Adverbial at the beginning of a sentence.

  • Verb 不 Verb
  • 有没有
  • Adjective 不 Adjecctive
  • Time or Place Adverbial at the beginning of a sentence

VOCABULARY


EXPRESSIONS


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GRAMMAR


Grammar 1: Ask Affirmative + Negative Questions in Chinese | A不A/A-not-A Questions in Chinese · HSK 2

Affirmative + Negative Questions in Chinese 正反疑问句 Zhèngfǎn Yíwènjù are a little different from asking a yes or no question in Chinese. A 正反疑问句 follows a special pattern like this:

A-not-A / A-不-A

The "A" here can be either a Verb (phrase) or an Adjective (phrase). And the 不 here has to be changed into the Neutral Tone.

(1) "Verb 不 Verb" Affirmative + Negative Questions in Chinese

  • nǐ dǒngbudǒng zhège Hànzì de yìsi
    你懂不懂这个汉字的意思?
    (do) you understand this character's meaning or not understand
  • tā huìbuhuì kāichē
    他会不会开车?
    (does) he know-how-to drive or not know-how-to

 

(2) "Adjective 不 Adjective" Affirmative + Negative Questions in Chinese

  • nǐde bàngōngshì yuǎnbuyuǎn
    你的办公室远不远?
    (is) your office room far or not far
  • měitiān jiābān lèibulèi
    每天加班累不累?
    every day working overtime (is) tiring or not tiring

 

(3) 有没有 Affirmative + Negative Questions in Chinese

When the Verb is yǒu 有 to have, we can only use 没 for the negative.

  • nín zhège xīngqītiān yǒuméiyǒu shíjiān
    您这个星期天有没有时间?
    (do) you have time or not this Sunday
  • Zhāng xiānsheng yǒuméiyǒu háizi
    张先生有没有孩子?
    (does) Mr. Zhang have child or not have

 

Grammar 2: Affirmative + Negative Questions in Chinese for Two-Character Words · HSK 2

When the Verb or Adjective used to ask Affirmative + Negative Questions is a two-character word, we can ask the questions in two ways.

Suppose the word is formed with Character A+B, we can ask:

① AB-not-AB / AB-不-AB 

For example,

  • nǐ xīwàng bu xīwàng zìjǐ shì jīnglǐ
    你希望不希望自己是经理?
    (do) you hope or not hope (that) yourself is (the) manager
  • měitiān hē kělè jiànkāng bu jiànkāng
    每天喝可乐健康不健康?
    (is) drinking cola every day healthy or not healthy

② A-not-AB / A-不-AB

For example,

  • nín jué bu juéde xiūxi shíjiān tài shǎo le
    您觉不觉得休息时间太少了?
    (do) you think or not think (that the) rest time (is) too little
  • nǐ yígerén zài Běijīng kuài bu kuàile
    你一个人在北京快不快乐?
    (are) you happy or not happy being in Beijing alone

 

Grammar 3: Answer Affirmative + Negative Questions in Chinese | A不A/A-not-A Questions in Chinese · HSK 2

To answer the Affirmative + Negative Questions in Chinese, for yes, we just say the Verb or the Adjective by itself, to answer no, we just say, 不Verb or 不 Adjective.

For example,

Q: wǒ měitiān dōu hěn xiǎng nǐ, nǐ ne? nǐ xiǎng bu xiǎng wǒ
     我每天都很想你,你呢?你想不想我?
     I miss you every day, and you? (do) you miss or not miss me
Y: xiǎng
     想。
     (yes, I do) miss
N: bù xiǎng
     不想。
     (no, I do) not miss

 

Q: háizi, jīntian shì nǐde shēngrì, nǐ gāo bu gāoxìng
     孩子,今天是你的生日,你高不高兴?
     child, today is your birthday, are you happy or not happy
Y: gàoxìng
     高兴。
     (yes, I am) happy
N: bù gāoxìng
     不高兴。
     (no, I am) not happy

 

Grammar 4: Time or Place Adverbial at the Beginning of A Sentence · HSK 2

We learned that we can put the Time Adverbial before the Predicate and after the Subject. When the Adverbial suggest Place or Time, we can also put them at the very beginning of the sentence as well, before everything else.

For example, the following pairs of sentences have the same meaning.

(1) Time Adverbial at the beginning of a sentence

A: zhège xīngqīliù wǒ dǎsuàn  qù yùndòng
     这个星期六我打算去运动。
     this Saturday I plan to do exercise
B: wǒ dǎsuàn zhège xīngqīliù qù yùndòng
     我打算这个星期六去运动。
     I plan to this Saturday do exercise

 

(2) Place Adverbial at the beginning of a sentence

A: zài gōngsī li, tā zhègerén zuì yǒuyìsi
     在公司里,他这个人最有意思。  
     in the company, he this-person (is) the most interesting 
B:  tā zhègerén zài gōngsīli zuì yǒuyìsi
     他这个人在公司里最有意思。
     he this-person in the company (is) the most interesting
"he is the funniest one in the company"

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Lesson Discussions

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T.I.P
Graduated Student
T.I.P

Could somebody please explain the structure used in 你一个人在北京快不快乐? I am not sure about the 你一个人. You one person, what does that suppose to mean? You as a person or simply you? Thanks!

Chuck
Teacher

Lit. You as one person. It stresses the fact that “你” is by themselves(alone) in 北京 , roughly translated: Are you happy being in Beijing by yourself.

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