In this video lesson we'll learn how to ask where in Chinese and also the usage of the phrase 哪里哪里 in Chinese.
There are two ways of how to ask where in Chinese: 哪儿/哪里 nǎr/nǎlǐ. If we have to say their difference, 哪儿 is slightly more common in spoken Chinese.
Most commonly, we use 哪儿/哪里 to ask "where is something?" With questions like this, we use the word zài 在 (①v. to be in/on/at + somewhere ②prep. in/on/at + somewhere), following this structure:
Be careful that the position of nǎr/nǎlǐ 哪儿/哪里 differs depending on which member of sentence it functions as - whether it is the Subject, the Object or some other member.
哪儿/哪里 as the Subject
哪儿/哪里 as the Object
哪儿/哪里 as the Attribute
哪儿/哪里 as the Adverbial
In traditional Chinese culture, being modest is considered a virtue. So instead of "xièxie 谢谢 thank you" as a response to a compliment, we can say "nǎli nǎli 哪里哪里".
The phrase 哪里哪里 literally means "where-where", basically saying "I don't see where the compliment is coming from." The reason behind it is that traditionally, "refusing" someone's compliment is considered an act of being modest.
A: nǐde nǚ péngyou tài piàoliang le
your girlfriend (is) so pretty
B: nǎlǐ nǎlǐ
A: nǐde nán péngyou fēicháng shuài
your boyfriend (is) very handsome
B: nǎlǐ nǎlǐ
The most common words for pretty, beautiful and handsome in Chinese are: piàoliang 漂亮 and shuài 帅.
帅 is used for boys and men as to describe "good-looking" or "handsome".
Compared with 帅, 漂亮 has a broader meaning in Chinese. It is used for girls and women to describe "pretty" or "beautiful" in Chinese.
Apart from that, 漂亮 can also be used to describe a lot of other things, such as rooms, clothing, hair, paintings and scenery. Just like in English "beautiful" can be used to describe people and also a lot of other things.
For example, with words that we've learned before:
Or with words that we haven't learned before: