Vocabulary

Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Hēi, dàjiā hǎo, wǒ jiào Mǎ Yànrú. Hi everybody! I’m YanruMa.
Welcome to ChineseClass101. com’s “Sān fēnzhōng Hànyǔ”. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Chinese.
In the last lesson, we learned how to ask "Who" questions in Chinese.
This time, we are going to ask questions with the interrogative word "Why?"
Imagine your boss is giving you a call because you are not at work today. . . He will certainly ask you Nǐ wèishénme bù lái bàngōngshì ?
[slowly] nǐ wèishénme bù lái bàngōngshì ?
So let’s break down this question.
First we had-
nǐ, which is “you”,
and then wèishénme, which is the basic translation of "Why" in Chinese.
bù lái, as we learned in Lesson 15, which is the negative form of the verb lái
And finally bàngōngshì which is "the office"
Altogether it is Nǐ wèishénme bù lái bàngōngshì? meaning “Why didn’t you come to the office?”
So in Chinese, wèishénme is the exact translation of "Why", used to ask the reason for something.
So for example, if your boss is asking you "Why are you late?" he will say Nǐ wèishénme chídào?
Here, he uses "Why" in order to get explanations and reasons.
Let’s say your friend tells you that he can’t go to a party tonight, and you want to know the reason. In this situation of course, we can use Wèishénme for “why?” But if you are worried that maybe something has happened to him, you can also say Zěnme le? which literally means “What’s wrong?” instead to show your concern for him.
Now it’s time for Yanru’s Insights.
Because we have learned how to say both “why” and “not” in Chinese, you might think you know how to say “Why not?” as well, right? Well, technically it can be Wèishénme bù? But that’s actually not the real Chinese style. Although it makes sense, people don’t usually say it, and will choose to say something different instead, depending on the situation. So just remember to be careful about using it!
-
This lesson is the last lesson of this Absolute Beginner video series.
But it’s hopefully not the last you learn about the Chinese language! To take your language ability to the next level, check out ChineseClass101. com, the fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Chinese. Thanks for joining me for this series, everyone!
zàijiàn !

5 Comments

Hide
Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi listeners! Can you tell us in Chinese why are you learning Chinese?

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Saturday at 08:54 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

你好 robert groulx,


谢谢 for commenting. We are very happy to have you here. Let us know if you have any questions.


Kind regards,

雷文特 (Levente)

Team ChineseClass101.com

robert groulx
Monday at 01:01 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

thank you for the lesson transcript


favorite phrase is nǐ wèishénme bù lái bàngōngshì ?


robert

ChineseClass101.com Verified
Wednesday at 04:00 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi alejandro,


Both mei2 and bu4 are ok. It depends on the situation. If you are now in the office and expecting sb, but he didn't show up, you can call him and ask 你怎么不来. If it's the next day, you can ask him 你怎么没来.


Echo

Team ChineseClass101.com

alejandro
Monday at 12:33 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

I though that Why didn't you come? would use mei instead of bu for the negation since they're talking a bout an action that didn't take place :open_mouth::open_mouth: