How to pop the question?

For those who are planning to propose in the near future, here are a few ways to pop the question:

妳愿意做我的终身伴侣吗?
Nǐ yuànyì zuò wǒ de zhōngshēn bànlǚ ma?
Will you be my lifelong companion?

妳愿意嫁给我吗
Nǐ yuànyì jià gěi wǒ ma?
Will you marry me?

嫁给我, 好吗?
Jià gěi wǒ, hǎo ma?
Marry me, all right?

我们结婚, 好不好?
Wǒmén jiéhūn, hǎo bù hǎo?
Let’s get married, okay or not?

愿意 (yuànyì) means to be willing to.
(jià) is to transfer or marry into another’s family, usually said of a woman.
(qǔ) is to take a wife, usually said of a man.
结婚 (jiéhūn) is to get married.
终身 (zhōngshēn) means lifelong.
伴侣 (bànlǚ) is a companion or a mate.

As you can see, there are several ways to ask a question in Chinese. We will mention two today.

VI. a) Statement + (ma) + “?” = Question

This is the easiest way to form a question. For example:

你高興吗?
(Nĭ gāoxìng ma?)
Are you happy? Are you pleased?

下雨了吗?
Xiàyǔ le ma?
Is it raining?

你喜欢看电影吗?
Nĭ xǐhuān kàn diànyǐng ma?
Do you like to watch movies?

喜欢 (xǐhuān) means to like somebody or something, or to enjoy doing something.
电影 are movies, and 电视 are television shows.

VI. b) Statement + “Okay or not?” = Question (request)

请小声一点, 好吗?
Qǐng xiǎoshēng yīdiǎn, hǎo ma?
Please lower your voice (or the volume of noise), all right?

我们去散步, 好不好?
Wǒmen qù sànbù hǎo bù hǎo?
Let’s go for a walk. Okay or not?

(shēng), or 声音 (shēngyīn), means a sound.
小声 (xiǎoshēng) means “in a low volume of sound”.
一点 (yīdiǎn) means “a bit”.
(qù go) is the opposite of (lái come).
(bù) is a step one takes in walking.
means to disperse, dissipate or scatter. As an adjective, it indicates a state of being random, disorganized or undisciplined. 散步 is leisurely walking,

Now, Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday.

五月的第二个星期天是母亲节.
Wǔyuè de dì èr gè xīngqītiān shì mǔqīnjié.
The second Sunday of May is Mother’s Day.

(yuè) is the character for “moon”. It represents the months, which are ordered from one to twelve in a year. So, 五月 (wǔyuè) is the fifth month of the year, or May. Adding the word particle (de) to any noun or pronoun turns it into one in the possessive case. Therefore, 五月的 (wǔyuè de) means “of May”, or “belonging to May”. 星期天 (xīngqītiān) and 星期日 (xīngqīrì) both refer to Sunday.

Whereas in English you’d say, “the second Sunday of May”, in Chinese you’d say, “May’s second Sunday”. In English, you could say, “my friend” or “a friend of mine”, in Chinese you’d always say, “my friend”, or 我的朋友 (wǒ de péngyǒu). This simple rule should be easy to keep in mind.

Stories and verifiable records abound to show that behind many a great personage in history there was a great mother. At the tender age of eleven, John Quincy Adams, while accompanying his father on a diplomatic mission to Europe, received a letter from his mother, Abigail Adams, that contained these lines: ” … I would much rather you should have found your grave in the ocean that you have crossed, or that any untimely death crop you in your infant year, than see you an immoral, profligate, or graceless child.” On the other hand, I believe the majority of present-day affectionate and loving mothers, or 慈爱的母亲 (cíài de mǔqī), would be contented just to know that you love her, that you are eating right, sleeping 8 hours a day, and doing 20 minutes of exericse at least three times a week, and that you are working hard at learning Chinese.

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