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What about 呢? Posted by on May 15, 2010 in Pronunciation, Vocabulary

You may hear a lot of sentences ending with the particle “呢 (ne),” but what is it and what does it mean?  呢 can be used at the end of statements and questions to different effects, see below:

Form: 我才不/没有呢 wo3cai2 bu4/mei2you3 ne
Example: 我才不是呢! wo3cai2bu4shi4 ne! – “I’m sure not the one!”/”It sure wasn’t me!”

Form: __呢 [subject] ne? What about __?/How about __?
Example: 他呢?  “What about him?/”How about him?”
Other 呢 phrases you might encounter:

你在想什么呢? ni3 zai4 xiang3 shen2me ne? “[and] What are you thinking about?”
为什么呢? wei4shen2me ne? “[but] Why?” or “How come?” – Here the use of 呢 is primarily to soften what would otherwise be a blunt “Why?”

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