Affirmative-negative questions: We have learned that to form a simple question in Mandarin Chinese, we can just adding the question particle 吗 to a statement, without making any change in the word order. For example: 你是中国人吗？ Another way of framing questions is by putting together the affirmative and negative forms of the verb. For example: 你 是 不是 中国人？ Are(or aren’t) you Chinese? Aff. Neg. 她 去 不去 台湾？ Will she (or won’t she) go to Taiwan? If the verb consistes of two syllables such as 认识,, 学习,there are two ways to make up the affirmative-negative: 1. 认识不认识 学习不学习 介绍不介绍 2. 认不认识 学不学习 介不介绍 If the verb, no matter whether it is monosyllabic or disyllabic, is modified by an adverb such as 都,也,很, there is no way to form an affirmative-negative question. One exception is with the adverb 常. When 常 modifies a verb, the affirmative-negative form falls on 常 instead of the verb. For example: 你常不常去看你妈妈？ Do you often (or not) go to visit your mom? When there are verbal constructions in series in the sentence, the first verb is always the one used to form an affirmative-negative question. For instance: 她来不来这儿看电视？ Will (or won’t) she come here to watch TV？ 你们坐不坐车去？ Do (or don’t) you go by bus? To moderate the tone, 呢 or 啊 can be used at the end of an affirmative-negative question. For example: 美国车好不好呢？ Is an American car good (or not good)? 你说不说啊？ Will you (or won’t you) speak? Indirect questions: It is relatively easy to form an indirect question in Chinese. You just insert the clause carrying the question in the outer frame, as if it were being quoted. For example: 她问："谁是中国人？" 她问谁是中国人。 She asks who is Chinese. 老师问我："你喜欢什么？" 老师问我你喜欢什么。 The Teacher asked me what you like There are no shifts and turns in word order. Simply take off the quotation mark, and change the question mark into a period. Some more examples: 妈妈问："你为什么不喝咖啡？" 妈妈问你为什么不喝咖啡。 Mom asked why you don’t drink coffee. 哥哥问我："妈妈的朋友住哪儿？" 哥哥问我妈妈的朋友住哪儿。 Older brother asked me where mom’s friend lives. But if you want to turn a direct simple question into an indirect simple question, you must change a question having the particle 吗 into affirmative-negative format. For example: 她问我："老师忙吗？" 她问我老师忙不忙。 She asked me whether the teacher is busy. 江华问我 ："你认识她吗？" 江华问我(我)认识不认识她。 Hua Jiang asked me if I know her. 我问她："你哥哥吸烟吗？" 我问她哥哥吸不吸烟 。 I asked her whether her older brother smokes. You can also see that that there is no equivalent in Chinese of “if” or “whether”. 3. The conjunctions 因为, 所以: 因为 (yīnwèi) is an equivalent of English “because”, which introduces a clause of reason, cause, etc. For example: 她常常去纽约，因为她的爸爸妈妈在纽约。 Tā chángcháng qù Niŭyuē, yīnwèi tā de bàba māma zài Niŭyuē. She goes to New York often, because her parents are in New York. 所以 (suŏyǐ is an equivalent of English “so”, which introduces a clause of result, effect, etc. For example: 他常常说中文，所以他的中文很好。 Tā chángcháng shuō Zhōngwén, suŏyǐ tā de Zhōngwén hĕn hăo. He speaks Chinese all the time, that’s why his Chinese is good. In Mandarin Chinese, the conjunctions 因为，所以 can appear as a pair in a sentence. When they work together, 因为always goes first to give a reason or cause, and 所以 always follows to present an outcome, or an effect. For example: 因为我很忙，所以今天不看电视。 Yīnwèi wǒ hĕn máng, suŏyǐ jīntiān bú kàn diànshì. I’m busy, so I won’t watch TV today. 因为我是她哥哥，所以我知道她不喜欢玩电脑。 Yīnwèi wǒ shì tā gēge, suŏyǐ wǒ zhīdao tā bù xĭhuan wán diànnăo. Because I’m her older brother, I know she doesn’t like to play computer.