1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)

吗 / 么

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by Staarkali, May 18, 2007.

  1. Staarkali

    Staarkali Senior Member


    "吗"和"么"什么不同?我的一个朋友经常用"么":在么?有么?...我问过他,他说这两个字的意思和用法差不多;我还不太确定. 真的一样吗?"可以说"你吃饭了么?""你好么?""你要来么?"等..
    : particle
  2. kirsitn

    kirsitn Senior Member

    Oslo, Norway
    Norway, Norwegian
    According to my dictionary, it seems they may be synonymous, but I don't know if they're interchangeable in all types of sentences. Personally I've only seen "吗" used in the examples that you gave, but I only know a little Mandarin, so hopefully a native speaker can clarify things for us.
  3. ryuusaki Junior Member

    English & Chinese
  4. I_like_my_TV Senior Member

    吗 (ma) and 么 (ma) are basically the same thing but you'd see 吗 much more often. The 么 which is pronounced as /me/ and is part of 什么,怎么,etc. is of course a different 么.
  5. avlee

    avlee Senior Member

    Suzhou, China
    Chinese - P.R.C.
    The later 么 is a bit more colloquial and intimate. Basically, ther're the same thing.
  6. Staarkali

    Staarkali Senior Member

    thanks all, so I assume 么 is used in colloquial language :thumbsup:

    By the way, I haven't found 么 read as ma in my various dictionaries, but as me and as yāo; is it confirmed? (sorry for asking that)
  7. avlee

    avlee Senior Member

    Suzhou, China
    Chinese - P.R.C.
    If 么 is read as ma, I believe it's for emphasizing, in this case most people would tend to write/use 吗 instead. Normally, people read that as me and as yao(which means the last). which you've already seen in the dictionaries.
    (However, dictionaries or books are always trying to be correct and classical, thus, they would rather abandon some tiny trivialities on the languages to save argument. )
    Another thing, common Chinese people seldom think too much about how to distinct these two characters. I guess we'd better have some tolerance while learning a language. Otherwise, you can never really set yourself free. :)
    BTW, your friend is right. And your understanding in using the words in those phrases is also correct. Trust yourself, mate!
    PS: ryuusaki's explanation in Chinese is exactly what I was thinking.
  8. Staarkali

    Staarkali Senior Member

    oki thanks for the tips :) 非常有用!!
  9. ulcer New Member

    China/ Chinese
    对,其实"吗"和"么"的意思差不多, 而"吗"一般来说用于书面, 但有时也会用"么",没有必要分的那么清楚, 都是一样的!
  10. kareno999 Senior Member

    Columbus, OH
    It's almost the same. The consonant "m" is the most important part. The vowel "a" can be reduced to a schwa, and is written by someone as "么".
    I really doubt the character "么" exists in classical Chinese, nor "吗" of course. Few people pay much attention to the correct writing of such modal particles "吗""吧""嘛""啦"
  11. epsilon New Member

    Java, C++
    selon moi,ya pas de difference entre 吗 et 么, ils sont quasiment pareil au niveau sens. si tu veux, je dirais qu'il y a des gens qui préfèrent utiliser l'un que l'autre, c l'habitude de chacun.

    Mais faites attentions à des expressions fixe tel que ''pourkoi为什么" ou ''什么", où on est obligé d'utiliser ''me'' mais pas ''ma'', sinon pour la plupart des cas, tous les deux marchent

    Bon courage!!
  12. epsilon New Member

    Java, C++
    D'ailleur, chuis pas sûr que ''Ma'' soit plus formel que ''Me'' dans l'utilisation, je dirais plutot le contraire. ca m'étonnerait si ya partout de ''Ma'' ds un doc officiel. enfin bref.. c vraiment pas la pein de se prendre la tête avec ce genre de problème
  13. univerio Senior Member

    Vancouver, Cancada
    Mandarin Chinese, China
    In my opinion, 么 is more "rude" and used more often in casual speech. It is rarely written. However, I have seen books with it, and they are a bit old.
  14. avlee

    avlee Senior Member

    Suzhou, China
    Chinese - P.R.C.
    You are making things difficult, man.
  15. univerio Senior Member

    Vancouver, Cancada
    Mandarin Chinese, China
    Chinese is difficult...
  16. NextNoName

    NextNoName Junior Member

    The confusion is due to traditional versus simplified writing. Your friend must be not young and people like that tend to use traditional and simplified writing together without much care which is which. (On top of that in handwriting he would likely be writing in a cursive form, so exactness is not important to him. Just read some of the manuscripts of political figures and you will see how illegible they are.) That is if he is a Mainlander. If he is from Taiwan then naturally he will be more familiar with the traditional writing.

    For simplified Chinese, 么 is only used in very few cases, e.g. 什么, 多么, 怎么, 这么. On the other hand 吗 has a different meaning, as was mentioned above. In traditional Chinese it is (also) written as 么 but pronounced the same way as 吗.

    Simplified Chinese not only simplified some of the characters but also removed redundant or overlapping characters as well as some modifications (exactly what modifications I can't really list them, maybe Chinese experts can list them) to make Chinese more organized and systematic.
  17. kareno999 Senior Member

    Columbus, OH
    Je crois que la syllabe "me" dans les mots "什么" ou "怎么" est juste un évidence, ou plutôt, un vestige des terminaisons syllabiques 'p'&'m' du chinois classique.
    Ces terminaisons existent toujours en Cantonais , mais pas en Mandarin.
    什&怎 se prononcent comme 'sep' et 'zem' en Cantonais(J'suis pas sûr, mais je les ai écoutés prononcer comme ça dans les chansons cantonaises).
    Et bien-sûr, c'est juste ma supposition.

  18. zoe1225 New Member

  19. sanshi34z New Member

    吗is more of a formal way to end a question. 么can end a sentence without making it a question, or at least makes a sentence sounds more informal, suggesting the relationship between the two person talking are casual.
  20. eugenia4it Banned

  21. baosheng Senior Member

    Canada, English
    Does that mean then that 么 can be equivalent to both 吗 (for questions) and 嘛 (for statements)?
  22. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie MOD

    English (UK)
    When it is unofficial, anything goes! :)
  23. Daniela.w New Member

    吗 can be changed with 么
  24. hkenneth Junior Member

    Minneapolis, USA
    Chinese - Mandarin & Shanghainese
    吗 is formal, 么/咩 is colloquial
  25. lyx1692

    lyx1692 Senior Member

  26. hcy300300 New Member

    I agree with 16#

Share This Page