Answering a Yes or NO Question (ma(吗))

As mentioned in the previous blog, it is possible to questions which either have a yes or no answer by simply adding the word ma(吗) at the end of the question. When answering the questions you generally don’t answer with yes or no, but you repeat the verb from the question and repeat the asked sentence again without ma(吗) and changing the person in the sentence when needed if the answer is positive.

Here is an example

Are you Chinese? – nĭ shì zhōngguó rén ma?( 你是中国人吗?)

If you would like to say, Yes I am Chinese the answer should look the following:

Shì, wŏ shì zhōngguó rén. (是, 我是中国人.)

If the answer is negative, you use the negative version of a verb ( ex. I am not), and either repeat the question in a negative form or correct it straight away.

So to the same question a negative answer could be:

Bù shì, wŏ shì měi guó rén rén. (不是, 我是美国人.)

ma

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