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Say It Right Series

Distinctions between 在嗎 and 在這裡嗎

Posted by liujunziyue September 26, 2008 in the Group General Discussion.

Tags: 在吗 在这里吗

First,“吗”marks the sentence's interrogative mood,
"在" or "在这里" can both serve as interrogative elements,they're called Sentence Focus,  to show the unknown information,
 and should get accentuation, that is the pronunciation stress.

Now list some main distinctions of the two,

Point 1: When it is the "A问B,“C在D吗" sentence pattern,
such as, "小王问小李,小张在上海吗",


1.1 When A and B are both in place D, the usual situation is like this,  A just arrived D, and didnot know whether C is there,we can use "C在吗" or "C在这里吗".

1.2 When A isnot in D, B is in D, A want to ask if C is in D,     "C在吗" or "C在这里吗" are both ok.
Under this condition,if A knows C belongs to D, for example, D is C's home or company, "C在吗" is commonly used, because now the place information is relatively fixed, no need to add "这里" to the interrogative components place.

1.3 when A and B are not in D, while their chat is around place D or situation D(such as a party), A wants to know from B
whether C is in D,A may say"C 在吗", "C在这里吗" isnot taken.

1.4 When the location information needs to be stressed,       “在这里吗” is better,
1.4.1 "李明(是)在这里吗?", here "这里" is a focus and get stressed, "是" is a focus mark.
1.4.2 When someone just found one of his friends lives nearby,
he may say"噢,你家也在这里吗?", and                                    "噢,你家也在吗?" is not permitted.

point 2: When there is some verbs ahead of "在",to shape a "V+在" structure, "在吗" by itself isnot self-sufficiency,there must be some other components, such as the object composed of Nouns, so "V在吗"n cannot stand,  and "V在这里吗" is ok.
for example,   你住在这里吗? ----------Do you live here?
                    他睡在这里吗? ----------Do you rest here?
                    车子可以停在这里吗? --- Can i park here?
              
Point 3: When "在" means "existing", "在吗" is proper, while "在这里吗" isnot.
for example,    那面墙还在吗?-------- Is the wall still there?
                     他父亲还在吗?-------- Is his father still there?
                                              or Is his father still alive?

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