Lesson 1

Lesson 2

Lesson 3

Lesson 4

Lesson 5

Lesson 6

Lesson 7

Lesson 8

Lesson 9

Lesson 10

Lesson 11

Lesson 12

Lesson 13

Lesson 14

Lesson 15

Lesson 16

Lesson 17

Lesson 18

Lesson 19

Lesson 20

Lesson 21

Lesson 22

Lesson 23

Lesson 24

Lesson 25

In the tenth lesson we will learn a new interrogative form, called the affirmative-negative form. This form has the following pattern:

verb not verb - 是不是

attributive not attributive - 累不累,忙不忙

If
this sounds complex, it isn't, we swear. We'll take a look at some concrete examples here in a second.

First, we want to explain both the nuances and use of this form. For starters, it is a bit more conversational than the ...吗?form; secondly, it is a bit more rhetorical, meaning that the person giving the question in the affirmative-negative form usually expects one answer or the other (or is even upset, see below).

10.01 Question forms with comparison

老师吗?
Nǐ sh lǎoshī ma?   
Are you a teacher? 
是不是老师?
Nǐ sh b sh lǎoshī?
Are you a teacher?
日本人吗
Tā sh Rběnrn ma?
Is she Japanese?
是不是日本人?
Tā sh b sh Rběnrn?
Is she Japanese?
张老师青岛人吗?
Zhāng lǎoshī sh Qīngdǎorn
ma?
Is Teacher Zhang from Qingdao?
张老师是不是青岛人?
Zhāng lǎoshī sh b sh
Qīngdǎorn?
Is Teacher Zhang from Qingdao?

10.02 Not everyone is an American!

A: 你是不是美国人?
Nǐ sh b sh Měigurn?
大卫: 不是,我是英国人。
B sh, wǒ sh Yīnggurn.
A: 你是不是老师?
Nǐ sh b sh lǎoshī?
大卫: 不是,我是商人。
B sh, wǒ sh shāngrn.

10.03 Affirmative-negative form with attributives

李小姐忙吗?
Lǐ xiǎojiě mng ma?   
Is Ms. Lee busy? 
李小姐忙不忙? 
Lǐ xiǎojiě mng b mng?
Is Ms. Lee busy?
他累吗?
Tā li ma?
Is he tired?
他累不累?
Tā li b li?
Is he tired?
你饿了吗?
Nǐ le ma?
Are you hungry?
你饿不饿?
Nǐ b ?
Are you hungry?
孩子渴了马?
Hizi kě le ma?
Is the child thirsty?
孩子渴不渴? 
Hizi kě b kě?
Is the child thirsty?

10.04 Is China good or not good?

A: 你是哪国人?
Nǐ sh nǎ gurn?
李智慧: 我是韩国人。
Wǒ sh Hngurn.
A: 你是留学生吗?
Nǐ sh lixushēng ma?
李智慧: 是,我是留学生。
Sh, wǒ sh lixushēng.
A: 中国好不好?
Zhōnggu hǎo b hǎo?
李智慧: 很好!
Hěn hǎo!

10.05 Are you or aren't you a man?

你是不是男人?
Nǐ sh b sh nnrn?
Are you or aren't you a man?
你是不是女人?
Nǐ sh b sh nǚrn?
Are you or aren't you a woman?
你是不是老师?
Nǐ sh b sh lǎoshī?
Are you or aren't you a teacher?