Inviting/Making a Suggestion in Mandarin

New Words

    • [table id=6 /]
  • Asking if Someone Busy


Nǐ máng ma?

If you are very busy, you can answer:


If you are not busy, your answer should be:


Remember that you don’t need to translate the ‘be’ (English) into Mandarin because the word 忙(máng) is an adjective. So we don’t need the be (shì). We usually use (shì) to connect subject and noun. For example:



Here, we need (shì) because 印度尼西亚人( Yìndùníxīyǎ rén) and 老师 (lǎoshī) are nouns. Subject and noun need (shì) to connect.

Let’s see some other examples of adjectives in sentences.


Tā de rìyǔ hǎo ma?


Tā de rìyǔ hěn hǎo.


Tā de rìyǔ bù hǎo.

Now, let’s insert the time words into the sentences. ( You can see them in the table above).


Nǐ jīntiān máng ma?

Are you busy today?


Nǐ míngtiān máng ma?

Are you busy tomorrow?

In Mandarin, we put the time word (今天,明天) after the subject.

  • Inviting/Making a Suggestion

Usually, if someone asks you if you are busy, he/she plans to spend sometime with you. He/she may want to invite you to have dinner or watch a movie, etc.

Then you can ask him/her back by using the following expression to know why he/she asks you so.

怎么了 (zěnme le)? which means what’s up?

Then if he/she wants to, for example, invite you to watch a movie, he/she will say the following expression:


Wǒmen qù kàn diànyǐng ba!

Let’s watch a movie!

If he/she wants to invite you to have dinner together, then he/she will say the following sentence:


Wǒmen yīqǐ chī wǎnfàn ba!

Let’s have dinner together!

Actually, we put the word 吧 (ba) at the end of the sentences to indicate a suggestion.

If you think the suggestion is good, you can say ‘好 (hǎo)!’ to respond. But if you think that the suggestion is not only good but fantastic, you can say ‘好啊!(hǎo a)’ 啊 (a) here is to express enthusiasm, that you really like the suggestion. To make it more clear, let’s see the following dialogue:

X: 你今天忙吗?

X: Nǐ jīntiān máng ma?

Y: 我今天很忙。

Y: Wǒ jīntiān hěn máng.


X: Nǐ míngtiān máng ma?


Y: Wǒ míngtiān bù máng zěnmele?


X: Wǒmen qù guàng guàng ba!


Y: Qù guàng guàng nǎlǐ?


X: Wǒmen qù gōngyuán ba!


Y: Hǎo a!

Filed under: Mandarin Chinese

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