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Home > Your assistant > Learn chinese > Lesson 6 - Who is he/she?
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Interrogative pronoun “shenme” - “what”
In lesson 5 you have learned the first interrogative pronoun "shei" - "who". In this lesson you will learn the new pronoun "shenme", which means "what".

Sentences with interrogative pronouns:

[shéi] - who

他是谁?                          他是我爸爸。

Tā shì shéi?                   Tā shì wǒ bàba.

Who is he?                     He is my father.

 

谁是你妈妈?                   她是我妈妈!

Shéi shì nǐ māma?        Tā shì wǒ māma!

Who is your mother?     She is my mother!

 

什么 [shénme] - what

 

这是什么?                       这是报纸。

Zhè shì shénme?           Zhè shì bàozhǐ.

What is this?                    This is a newspaper.

 

Above examples shows you that the interrogative pronoun should be placed on the place of the part of the sentence, you want to ask for. When answering, the sentence does not change it construction. You simply have to replace the pronoun with the proper answer, i.e.:

1.

他             是             谁?

Tā             shì           shéi

He             is             who

 

他             是             老师。

Tā            shì            lǎoshī

He            is             a teacher

2.

谁             是             你妈妈?

Shéi         shì           nǐ māma

Who          is            your mother

 

她             是             我妈妈。

Tā            shì            wǒ māma

She          is              my mother

3.

这            是               什么?

Zhè         shì             shénme

This         is               what

 

这            是               报纸。

Zhè         shì             bàozhǐ

This         is               a newspaper

 

“What is this”?
这是什么? Zhè shì shénme? What is this?

那是什么?Nà shì shénme? What is that?

Demonstrative pronoun "zhe" is used like english "this" and "na" just like english "that".

Possesive pronouns: “my, mine...”
To create the possesive pronouns you need to add the particle "de" after it, i.e.:

我 (wǒ, I, me) + 的 (de) = 我的 (wǒde, my, mine)

你 (ni, you) + 的 (de) = 你的 (nǐde, your, yours)

When talking about the family members or people close to us you can omit the particle "de", i.e.:

我妈妈 wǒ māma, my mom √ - 我的妈妈 wǒde māma X

我爸爸 wǒ bàba, my dad √ - 我的爸爸 wǒde bàba X

我男朋友 wǒ nánpéngyou, my boyfriend√ -我的男朋友 wǒde nánpéngyou X

Possesive pronouns does not have the plural form.

Try to fill the blanks with proper possesive pronouns:

              singular                                         plural

  1. 我的 wode (my)                           1. ______ ( )

  2. ______ ( )                                    2. ______ ( )

  3. ______ ( )                                    3. ______ ( )

             ______ ( )                                        ______ ( )

             ______ ( )                                        ______ ( )

Exercise

Ask about the marked part of the sentece with a proper interrogative pronoun or answer the question (suggested answer in a bracket):

1. 他是我爸爸。 Tā shì wǒ bàba. odp. 他是谁? Tā shì shéi?

2. 她是我妈妈。 Tā shì wǒ māma. odp. ____________________?

3. 他是我老板。 Tā shì wǒ lăobăn. odp. ____________________?

4. 他是谁?(董事长) odp. ____________________?

   Tā shì shéi? (dǒngshìzhǎng)

5. 谁是你的秘书?(她) odp. ____________________?

    Shéi shì nǐ de mìshū? (Tā)

6. 这是什么?(报纸) odp. ____________________?

    Zhè shì shénme? (bàozhǐ)

7. 这是名片。 Zhè shì míngpiàn. odp. ____________________?

New words and supplementary words
Words to the lesson:

谁 [shéi] - who

爸爸 [bàba] - father

妈妈 [māma] - mother

老师 [lǎoshī] - teacher

什么 [shénme] - what

这 [zhè] - this

报纸 [bàozhǐ] - a newspaper

那 [nà] - that

的 [de] - here: the possesive particle

男朋友 [nánpéngyou] - boyfriend

老板 [lăobăn] - boss

秘书 [mìshū] - secretary

名片 [míngpiàn] - business card

Supplementary words:

哥哥 [gēge] - elder brother

弟弟 [dìdi] - younger brother

姐姐 [jiějie] - elder sister

妹妹 [mèimei] - younger sister

女朋友 [nǚpéngyou] - girlfriend