How To Make Questions in Chinese Using 吗 (ma)

Lesson 1: Making Questions in Mandarin Chinese


Welcome to Speedy Vocab and the beginning of your Mandarin Chinese language journey! Just beginning with the basics of Chinese is a big step towards reaching Mandarin Chinese fluency. Are you ready? Let’s Begin with some grammar!


Making Questions with Ma


Using 吗 (ma) to make questions in Chinese

Speedy Vocab's Very First Video Lesson! Creating Questions Using 吗.

Posted by Speedy Vocab on Wednesday, 1 August 2018

 Watch our video lesson on YouTube


你吃饭了吗?(Nǐ chīfànle ma?) Have you eaten today? This is a common greeting in Chinese culture and is a great example of this lesson’s vocabulary point! In this lesson, we are learning about how to use the Chinese word to ask a question.


The Chinese word 吗 (ma) doesn’t mean anything on its own, but when used at the end of a sentence, it can change a simple statement into a question. For example:


好吃 (Hào chī ) means “delicious”

好吃吗?(Hào chī ma? ) means “is it delicious?”


他是中国人 (Tā shì zhōngguó rén) means “he is Chinese”

他是中国人吗? (Tā shì zhōngguó rén ma?) Means “is he Chinese?”


(Rè) translates to hot

热吗?(Rè ma?) Translates into “is it hot?” or “are you hot?”


It is a very easy way to create questions in Mandarin Chinese. The reply is also very easy too! The easy way to reply yes to a question is to repeat the question without


好吃吗?(Hào chī ma? )  Is it delicious?

好吃 (Hào chī )  Yes it’s delicious!


他是中国人吗?(Tā shì zhōngguó rén ma?)  Is he Chinese?

他是中国人 (Tā shì zhōngguó rén)  Yes he is Chinese


热吗?(Rè ma?) “Are you hot?”

(Rè) “Yes I’m hot”


As you can see using (ma) to turn your statements into questions is incredibly simple. What do you think? “学习中文很容易吗?” (Xuéxí zhōngwén hěn róngyì ma?) “Studying Chinese is easy?”


Be sure to let us know what other Mandarin Chinese grammar points you would like to know how to use and we will show you the way!




Good Bye!


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