Why do you ask if I'm...

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by mesannepada, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. mesannepada New Member

    If someone where to ask me in Chinese "are you (something)?"
    How could I ask them back "why do you ask if I'm..."

    for example if someone where to ask me:


    and i wanted to know the reason for asking me this, can i simply say:

    Is this incorrect? Is there a better way to say this?
    also, does it sound impolite? could it be made more polite?

    Thanks, in advance
  2. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie Senior Member

    English (UK)
    A general question for your purpose is:
    可以问你吗?你为什么问我这个问题?((May I ask?) Why do you ask me this question?)

    Just as the English question, it can sound impolite (All direct questions are impolite in principle, that is why we have to say "I'm wondering...", "May I ask...") but you can't change it to a less direct question because you want to use the same simple question for all occasions. Note that I've added "May I ask" to your question just to make it more polite :)
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  3. Lucia_zwl

    Lucia_zwl Senior Member

    -忙/还行/不忙,有什么事吗?(similar to "what's up")
    I think this is more polite and common.
  4. mesannepada New Member

    Thank you both for your replies! I'll work on these sentence constructions
    Do you guys think this sounds a bit better? any grammatical errors?
    忙/还行/不忙, 可以问你吗?你为什么问我忙?

    Sorry for extending this thread for longer than necessary, its just that I haven't studied chinese for very long and I have to be on the sure side of things

    I love this forum!:)
  5. BODYholic Senior Member

    Chinese Cantonese
  6. mesannepada New Member

    Thank you for your response BODYholic

    all of this gave me a lot to work with
  7. winddancer New Member

    Houston, TX
    I would say “挺忙的/还可以(还行)/不算忙。什么事儿/啥事儿”?
  8. Lucia_zwl

    Lucia_zwl Senior Member

    Hi mesannepada,

    I would suggest you learn some authentic Chinese expressions instead of coining a new expression or literally translating any from English (or whatever languages you're familiar with). In most occasions, word-by-word translation doesn't make sense when you're learning a foreign language (though I have to admit I used to do the same when learning English:p). Your sentence is a good try, but it sounds weird and not really "Chinese" to me.
    Oh, and welcome to the forum!:D
  9. mesannepada New Member

    Yup, exactly! I guess it's the lack of declensions in chinese that throws me off, but it's nice not having to learn endless lists of verb tenses and noun cases, though:) oh and thank you very much for all the help i've received from you guys! I'm sure I'll need it again some time:eek:
  10. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    I don't think we usually say 你为什么问我…… which sounds redundant.
    The common way is: 什么事? / 怎么了?
  11. keung Senior Member

    HongKong, China

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