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New Post 11/27/2013 12:33 PM
  ChineseTime
831 posts
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Learn Chinese--嘛 

The particle 嘛 (ma) is a sentence-final particle identical in pronunciation to the simple "yes/no question" particle 吗 (ma) you learned back in the day, but with a rather different function. It can be used when the speaker feels what he is saying is obvious (from his point of view).

Sentence-Final Structure

Statement+嘛

e.g.
Zhōnɡ ɡuó rén kǒu hěn duō mɑ.
中国 人口 很 多 嘛。
The Chinese population is huge.

Topic-Marking Structure
An alternate form is: Topic+嘛,+Statement

This basically allows the speaker to state the topic, then gather his thoughts before making a comment on it. In this pattern, the following comment may or may not be one the speaker feels is obvious.

e.g.

Dà xiónɡ māo mɑ, hái zi men dōu hěn xǐ huɑn.
大熊猫嘛,孩子们都很喜欢。
Pandas.Children all like them.


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