Site Feedback

Resolved questions
how do you say '' yes and no '' in chinese(mandarin)?

For learning: Chinese (Mandarin)
Base language: English
Category: WK087

Share:

0 comments

    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.

     

    Answers

    Sort by:

    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    Hi sewwandi,

    I don't think there's a cure-all answer to your question.
    A 100% accurate counterpart to "yes and no" in Mandarin doesn't exist because strictly speaking, there's neither yes nor no in Mandarin.

    I'll give you some examples. The following dialogs are in English but the logic is in Mandarin.

    (1) Are you cold? Not cold. / (Very) cold.
    (2) Do you often drive? Often (drive). / Not often (drive).
    (2) Do you like this book? Like. / Not like.
    (3) Is he your boyfriend? Not is. / Is.

    See? We simply use adjectives, adverbs or verbs to answer Y/N questions (, which is actually a concept in English).

    "Yes and no" in English means that you can't give a definite answer. When a Mandarin speaker can't give a definite answer to a Y/N question, possible phrases could be:

    還好 (hai2 hao3) / 還行 (hai2 xing2)
    也對也不對 (ye3 dui4 ye3 bu2 dui4) / 也是也不是 (ye3 shi4 ye3 bu2 shi4)
    有時 (you3 shi2) + Verb, 有時不 (you3 shi2 bu4) + Verb
    不盡然 (bu2 jin4 ran2) / 不一定 (bu4 yi2 ding4)

    I'm sorry I can't give you their literal translations in English because they'll be odd; neither the rules for when to use which, because they'll be complicated for now. But at least you get the idea.

    Perhaps there'll be someone with a better answer. Let's just wait and see.

    Hello Sewwandi,

    Antman's answer is a very good.
    As a non Chinese learning it , I could add some observations.
    There is no identical equivalent to the English "Yes" and "No", but there are several words and expressions to affirm or negate a statement such as:

    *是的 shide
    It means " Yes" .

    *对 dui
    It means "right" to affirm a statement or confirm it .It could be substituted by "yes" in English.

    *不 bu
    it is a negative prefix meaning "not" or "no"

    *不是 bushi
    means "no" , "is not" , "not".

    hello Sewwandi:

    Cherry's answer is very good too.
    but here i want to give my answers simply.

    yes=shi de(是的) / dui (对)
    no=bu shi(不是的) / bu (不)

    Sample:
    are you hungry? (你饿了吗=ni e le ma?)
    Yes, i am hungry. (是的, 我饿了= shi de, wo e le)
    No, i am not hungry. (不, 我不饿=bu, wo bu e)

    do you want to go shopping? (你想去逛街吗=ni xiang qu guang jie ma)
    yes, i do. (是的, 我想去=shi de, wo xiang qu)
    no, i don't want to. (不, 我不想去=bu, wo bu xiang qu)

    Submit your answer


    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.

    If you copy this answer from another italki answer page, please state the URL of where you got your answer from.