现在有没有新的访客(呢)?

yuechu

Senior Member
Canada, English
Hello/大家好,

I was writing down a Chinese sentence just now and was hesitating about usage of the particle 呢. Here is the sentence:

现在有没有新的访客? (I am trying to ask someone if there are any new roommates in the house)

I know that 呢 is used in "how about" sentences.. but is it correct in this sentence? It came to my head but I am not sure whether its usage is justified/or even used/used correctly.
(Is it sometimes used to soften questions?)

Thanks/谢谢!
 
  • SuperXW

    Senior Member
    I think one function of 呢 is for "comparison". We often adding 呢 when there's an other or previous situation to compare with.
    e.g. 之前的访客不多。现在有没有新的访客? It's like "How about now?"
    他会去。你呢?"How about you?"
     
    Last edited:

    Croas

    Banned
    中文
    No,it makes no sense. I think you either say 现在有没有新的访客? or 现在还没有新的访客呢! is better : D
    Both of these sentences are quite different.
     
    Last edited:

    schur

    Member
    Chinese - Mandarin
    I found a definition of "呢". Hope it helps.
    助词,用在句末
    a.表示疑问,如“你干什么~?”
    b.表示确定的语气,如“他没来~”。
    c.表示动作正在进行,如“我正吃饭~”。
    d.使句子略停顿一下,如“今年~,比去年收成好”

    Option a fits your sentence.
     

    SuperXW

    Senior Member
    I found a definition of "呢". Hope it helps.
    助词,用在句末
    a.表示疑问,如“你干什么~?”
    Option a fits your sentence.
    I don't think this explanation is good enough. It's overly simple. It can't answer questions like "how to choose 吗/吧/呢 for 疑问句".
    Also, 你干什么?/你干什么呢?clearly show different moods, the dictionary doesn't explain this.
     

    schur

    Member
    Chinese - Mandarin
    I don't think this explanation is good enough. It's overly simple. It can't answer questions like "how to choose 吗/吧/呢 for 疑问句".
    Also, 你干什么?/你干什么呢?clearly show different moods, the dictionary doesn't explain this.
    I agree with you. It's just for info not an exact explanation.
     

    yuechu

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    Thank you all for your helpful explanations!

    @SuperXW
    In this situation, the number of housemates is pretty much the same, but some of them have changed. Would this situation make it natural to be used? (呢) The combination of roommates is different compared to before. (in a way, there is still a comparison, right?)

    @schur
    Ah, yes!! This is perhaps why I feel like putting it in. I guess I must use it in questions such as "你干什么呢". and it is also 表示疑问. However, Croas says it doesn't make sense in this sentence. I guess it is only certain type of interrogative sentences, eh? (comparison?)

    However, 你干什么呢 isn't comparing, is it?
    I always thought 你干什么呢 sounded "softer" than 你干吗 ma2 (not sure if I wrote the correct character). But perhaps I am confusing feeling for function..

    --

    Also, Croas's example: "现在还没有新的访客呢!", would the 呢 here also be for comparison?

    (Sorry for all the questions! I think it is a bit of a complex particle, isn't it.. )
     

    xiaolijie

    Senior Member
    UK
    English (UK)
    However, 你干什么呢 isn't comparing, is it?
    No, it's used just for expressing the speaker's feelings ("语气"): surprised, annoyed, etc. Can also be used to soften the question.

    Also, Croas's example: "现在还没有新的访客呢!", would the 呢 here also be for comparison?
    No, it's for 语气 again, like a kind of exclamation.
     
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    eelbaby

    New Member
    Mandarin
    I found some examples in the novel I am reading.
    1.“你是狗,你是狗,你才是,我看你连条牙狗也不如......" ( express angry )

    2. 老伴儿还有话说,她以说笑话的口气说:等你从家里回来,别说我们把你的孩子带瘦了就行。
    妇女说:哪能,我们家的小狗都吃的得那么肥。 ( a rhetorical question)

    3. 张桂良把女人的夸奖理解成骂人的意思,她说:"骂人也不是这个骂法儿."她似乎要把骂人的话还回去说:"哼,她们才长得好看!" ( express discontent )

    4.铁门敞开着,狗们不趁机逃窜, 还等什么? (a rhetorical question)

    5. 雄是一个老实、忠厚、性格懦弱的男人;而卖狗肉的则彪悍、野蛮、粗鲁,而且有钱。( it's for pause)

    6. 从远处很难分辨他的实际年龄,有人或许以为他是一个老头! (emphasize)

    7.我先警告那两个人,那两个人并不把警告当真,觉得你们算什么,你们这些煤黑子算什么! ( a rhetorical question)
     
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    meimeifish

    Member
    Chinese
    Hi,

    I am a Mandarin speaker from Taiwan, I hope I could provide you some observation.
    But I only focus on 'A-not A' and 'option-related' interrogative function of '嗎' and '呢', and ignore other functions they might possess.

    The following sentences are both eligible and only have subtle difference in meanings to me and to my friends I inquired.

    A. '現在有沒有新的訪客呢?' -> soften than B
    B. '現在有新的訪客嗎?'

    1. In A, '有 沒有'-> Exist or doesn't exist -> provide two options -> you can answer '有' or '沒有'
    In B, '有' -> Exist -> provide only one option, and the other possible option need to be inferred by your self -> you can answer '有' or '沒有'

    2. '有沒有', as in A, can only go with '呢' but not '嗎'
    '有', as in B, can only go with '嗎' but not '呢'

    The difference lies in that '呢' goes with questions which explicitly states out 'all possible options', while '嗎' doesn't.
    '嗎' is the real 'A-not A' question marker, having only two options in meaning, although it only states out one option, and the other is omitted.

    Therefore,
    C. (O) '你喜歡小美, 小玲, 或是 小橋 呢?' -> you ask the speaker to 'pick one' from the options you provide (but of course you can said 'none of the above')
    'Do you like girl A, girl B, or girl C?'

    D. (OX)'你喜歡小美, 小玲, 或是 小橋 嗎?' -> Most of my friends find it weird, but they accept this one under one condition that the listener view the
    sentence as a condensed sentences consisting three independent Qs (你喜歡小美嗎?你喜歡小玲嗎?你喜歡小橋嗎?)
    In English this kind of condensed sentence is like 'I gave Mary a book, John a coke.' to omit the repetition.

      However, when we change '或是' to '還是'.
    E. (O)'你喜歡小美, 小玲, 還是小橋 ?' -> eligible and same with C.
    F. (X)'你喜歡小美, 小玲, 還是小橋 嗎?' -> not eligible, because '還是' imply that 'you need to pick up one' , and thus rules out the the possibility of the
    interpretation of condensed sentence as that in D.


    I hope they make sense to you. Although I am a native Chinese speaker, I am interested in the hidden rules that we're not aware of.
     
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    yuechu

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    Thanks xiaolijie, eelbaby and meimeifish for your help (and research)!

    I was indeed trying to soften the question (I think I often use it in this way.. perhaps sometimes incorrectly). I noticed that Croas (a native Chinese speaker) said that "现在有没有新的房客?" (I had mistakenly written "访客" instead of "房客/舍友") doesn't make sense whereas Meimeifish says that it is acceptable (or perhaps is it acceptable but not necessarily natural?).
    Would this perhaps be regional? Also, would other people find [the 呢 in my above sentence natural-sounding] or rather, like Croas, [that it doesn't make sense/sounds unnatural?] I am still a bit intrigued by it (and appreciate everyone's help!). It looks like it has many functions, as was mentioned above..
     

    SuperXW

    Senior Member
    Thanks xiaolijie, eelbaby and meimeifish for your help (and research)!

    I was indeed trying to soften the question (I think I often use it in this way.. perhaps sometimes incorrectly). I noticed that Croas (a native Chinese speaker) said that "现在有没有新的房客?" (I had mistakenly written "访客" instead of "房客/舍友") doesn't make sense whereas Meimeifish says that it is acceptable (or perhaps is it acceptable but not necessarily natural?).
    Would this perhaps be regional? Also, would other people find [the 呢 in my above sentence natural-sounding] or rather, like Croas, [that it doesn't make sense/sounds unnatural?] I am still a bit intrigued by it (and appreciate everyone's help!). It looks like it has many functions, as was mentioned above..
    It totally makes sense. Sometimes when you ask a native speaker without any context, the speaker may automatically think about a very standard sentence as printed in a textbook, forgetting their special or oral usages.
    It's ok to add 呢 here to soften the question.
    Basically, the more words you add (except swearing words...), the more politeness you show.
     

    yuechu

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    Thanks, SuperXW! Oh it must have been that then. I know I do the same thing in English sometimes too (especially since one can't hear the intonation when reading).
    谢谢大家 :)
     

    xiaolijie

    Senior Member
    UK
    English (UK)
    "现在有没有新的房客呢?"
    Out of context, this can be judged both as ok and not ok, depending on what the hearer considers to be your intention in using 呢 here (= 呢 has many uses and some of them are not appropriate in some contexts).
     

    eelbaby

    New Member
    Mandarin
    To me, with or without "呢“("现在有没有新的房客?") in the sentence both sounds fine. It depends on the context and the speaker's preference.
    It's a good question. Now I pay more attention to this word and learned a lot.
     
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