Meanings of 吧 with Different Manner of Speaking

Posted by Rebecca Wu on September 15, 2017

Meanings of 吧 with Different Manner of Speaking
Chinese Word 吧

In this Chinese grammar lesson, we are going to learn “”. In Chinese, “” can have two different meanings: Suggestion and Supposition.

 

When speakers wish to make their points in the form of a suggestion, rather than a direct command, they may put “” in the end of a sentence, to express “Let’s…!” E.g.

 

Wǒmen qù mǎi bɑ!

我们去买吧!

Lets go and buy it!

 

Wǒmen zhōumò qù yóuyǒnɡ bɑ!

我们周末去游泳吧!

Let’s go swimming this weekend.

 

 

In English, when the speaker seeks confirmation of the truth of their statement, they do this to express the meaning of a “tag question”. For example, “You are Mr. Smith, aren’t you?” While, in Chinese, “” functions as the tag question. E.g.

 

Nǐ jīntiān bú qù bɑ?

你今天不去吧?

You are not going today, are you?

 

Nǐmen dōu dǒnɡ bɑ?

你们都懂吧?

You all understand, aren’t you?

 

Resources:

Online mandarin classes

Chinese learning resources

 


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