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
- Adjective 不 Adjecctive
- Time or Place Adverbial at the beginning of a sentence
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
(do) you understand this character's meaning or not understand
- tā huìbuhuì kāichē
(does) he know-how-to drive or not know-how-to
(2) "Adjective 不 Adjective" Affirmative + Negative Questions in Chinese
- nǐde bàngōngshì yuǎnbuyuǎn
(is) your office room far or not far
- měitiān jiābān lèibulèi
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
(do) you have time or not this Sunday
- Zhāng xiānsheng yǒuméiyǒu háizi
(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
- nǐ xīwàng bu xīwàng zìjǐ shì jīnglǐ
(do) you hope or not hope (that) yourself is (the) manager
- měitiān hē kělè jiànkāng bu jiànkāng
(is) drinking cola every day healthy or not healthy
② A-not-AB / A-不-AB
- nín jué bu juéde xiūxi shíjiān tài shǎo le
(do) you think or not think (that the) rest time (is) too little
- nǐ yígerén zài Běijīng kuài bu kuàile
(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.
Q: wǒ měitiān dōu hěn xiǎng nǐ, nǐ ne? nǐ xiǎng bu xiǎng wǒ
I miss you every day, and you? (do) you miss or not miss me
(yes, I do) miss
N: bù xiǎng
(no, I do) not miss
Q: háizi, jīntian shì nǐde shēngrì, nǐ gāo bu gāoxìng
child, today is your birthday, are you happy or not happy
(yes, I am) happy
N: bù gāoxìng
(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
this Saturday I plan to do exercise
B: wǒ dǎsuàn zhège xīngqīliù qù yùndòng
I plan to this Saturday do exercise
(2) Place Adverbial at the beginning of a sentence
A: zài gōngsī li, tā zhègerén zuì yǒuyìsi
in the company, he this-person (is) the most interesting
B: tā zhègerén zài gōngsīli zuì yǒuyìsi
he this-person in the company (is) the most interesting
"he is the funniest one in the company"