Level 1 Lesson 27.1 – What Happened To You? Doctor, Hospital, Medicine

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What's Wrong / What Happened in Chinese with 怎么了
Doctor, Hospital, Medicine in Chinese
怎么样 vs. 怎么样了 in Chinese

In this video lesson we'll learn how to ask what's wrong / what happened in Chinese. We'll also compare the differences between 怎么了 vs. 怎么 in Chinese and 怎么样了 vs. 怎么样 in Chinese.

  • what's wrong / what happened in Chinese with 怎么了
  • 怎么了 vs. 怎么 in Chinese
  • 怎么样了 vs. 怎么样 in Chinese
  • Doctor, Hospital, Medicine in Chinese
  • Go See A Doctor in Chinese 看病 vs. 看医生
  • Phrase 不怎么样: not very good



Grammar 1: What's Wrong / What Happened in Chinese with 怎么了 · HSK 1

We have learned that 怎么 zěnme  is a Question Pronoun asking about (1) manner or method - how or (2) reason - how come, and 了 le is a Modal Particle suggesting an event, an action has already happened or or a state has been realized.

When we put them together, by using 怎么了 zěnmele, we ask what's wrong / what happened in Chinese. The logic behind it is like this: 了 suggests something has happened, and 怎么 tries to ask how and why.

We usually use this structure:

someone/something + 怎么了

For example,

  • zhèwèi bìngrén zěnmele
    this "wei" (of) patient what happened (to them)
  • nǐde gǒu zěnme le
    your dog what happened (to it)
  • zhèr de tiānqì zěnmele
    the weather here what's wrong (with it)


怎么了 can be used in the following structure as well:

something/someone 怎么 + Predicate +

When used separately, 怎么 is asking how come, and 了 is used after the Predicate to suggest a "new situation". For example,

  • tā zěnme shēngbìng le
    how come he is sick (now)
  • tā zuótiān zěnme qù yīyuàn le
    how come she (had) gone to the hospital yesterday?


  • tā zěnme bù gāoxìng le
    how come he (is) unhappy (now)
  • yèzi zěnme hóngle
    how come the leaves (are) red (now)


Grammar 2: 怎么样了 vs. 怎么样 in Chinese · HSK 1

We also learned that 怎么样 zěnmeyàng can be used to ask (1) how about doing something (2) how is something/someone. With 怎么样了 zěnmeyàng le, we can ask questions like how is something/someone now, suggesting that there is a "new situation".

We can use this structure:

someone/something + 怎么样了

For example,

  • tāde bìng zěnmeyàng le
    his sickness, how is (it) (now)
    [how is his sickness now]
  • nǐ hé nǐde nǚpéngyou zěnmeyàng le
    you and your girlfriend, how are (you guys) (now)
    [how are you and your girlfriend now]
  • nǐ xiànzài zài Zhōngguó zěnmeyàng le
    you now in China, how are (you) (now)
    [how's your life in China now]


Grammar 3: Phrase 不怎么样 in Chinese · HSK 1

If someone asks us a question with 怎么样 or 怎么样了, and we want to give a negative or "not so good" opinion, we can use the phrase 不怎么样 bù zěnmeyàng to mean not so good, not so well.

For example,

Q: tāde Zhōngwén zěnmeyàng le
      his Chinese, how is (it) (now)
A: bù zěnmeyàng
      not so good


Q: nǐ hé nǐ nánpéngyou zěnmeyàng le
      you and your boyfriend, how are (you guys) (now)
A: bù zěnmeyàng
      not so well


Q: jīntiān de tiānqì zěnmeyàng
      today's weather, how is (it)
A: bù zěnmeyàng
      not so good


Grammar 4: Go See A Doctor in Chinese 看病 vs. 看医生 · HSK 1

In English we say "go see a doctor". The literal translation would be 看医生 kàn yīshēng in Chinese. However, 看病 kànbìng, which literally means "to see the sickness" is more commonly used when people want to go to a hospital and see a doctor.

If we say 看医生, people can understand, but 看病 is more native for the phrase go see a doctor in Chinese.

Collapse Comments
hailePremium Student August 22, 2020 at 11:00 am

Hi Lily, in the sentence 现在几点了? Is it really necessary and relevant to have 了? This is because the question asked for the timing at the point of “现在”, not related to a state that has changed and there is a new situation. Hope for your explanation. Thank you!

ChineseFor.UsAcademic Team August 25, 2020 at 6:48 pm

现在几点了?and 现在几点?are both correct.
If used, 了 suggests that it’s “already” at a certain time, and not any other previous time “anymore”. Time word “现在” may be translated into English as “now”, which suggests “tense” in English, but Particle “了” is not associated with “tense”, it suggests “aspect”. In Chinese language there is no concept of “tense” but only the concept of “aspect”. (Tense vs. Aspect)

WisecanadianwomanPremium Student February 20, 2020 at 10:21 am

Can you explain the definition of the word hé in the sentence where it is used with bu hé? Thanks.

WisecanadianwomanPremium Student February 20, 2020 at 10:39 am

Ah, I get it. No need to respond. Thanks

JanoPremium Student April 9, 2018 at 8:24 am

I like the additional interaction you add to this lecture with the cloze deletion text.
If you have more ideas to make the videos more interactive please try!

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