28 November 2013

Chinese disjunctive sentence

When we ask someone something and give two possibilities we must use the following disjunctive structure "or":





subject + verb + A + 还是 + B ?


他是老师还是医生?
Tā shì lǎoshī háishì yīshēng?
He is a teacher or a doctor?

你喜欢踢足球还是打篮球?
Nǐ xǐhuan tī zúqiú háishì dǎ lánqiú?
Do you like to play football or basketball?



The structure 还是 is only used in interrogative sentences. In declarative sentences the structure used is 或者. Subject and verb can be placed before or after the structure.


A + 或者 + B + subject  + verb

明天或者后天我来看你
Míngtiān huòzhě hòutiān wǒ lái kàn nǐ
See you tomorrow or the day after tomorrow

星期六或者星期日我们可以
Xīngqíliù huòzhě xīngqírì wǒmen kěyǐ
Saturday or Sunday we can