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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.

Lesson Discussions

Premium Student

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

Premium Student

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

Graduated Student

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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