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zěn me
pro. how, why
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When 怎么 means "why", it carries on a different meaning from 为什么 which also means "why". Both 怎么 and 为什么 are used to ask for a reason, and 怎么 can usually be replaced by 为什么, for example:
Example 1: 你怎么还不起床? ---> 你为什么还不起床?(English: Why are you still not getting out of the bed?)
怎么 carries on a wondering tone of the speaker, and we use 怎么 to ask for the reason of something that we deem strange, weird or not normal. So if we want to ask for the reason of something that is quite normal, we cannot use 怎么. Please look at the example below:
Example 2. 天空为什么是蓝色的? (Why is the sky blue?)
In example 2, we cannot put 怎么 in the place of 为什么, because "the sky is blue" -- this is a normal situation. We are simply asking the reason why it is blue. If we say "天空怎么是蓝色的?", it is as if we think there is nothing strange about the sky being blue, which is not the case.
Both 怎么 and 怎样(怎么样) are used to ask questions. In some sentences, they are interchangeable, while in some others only one of them can be used. In this post, we analyse the differences of these two pronouns.

1. When asking the manner in which an action is carried out, we can use both 怎么 and 怎样.
Example 1. 我怎样/怎么去酒店? [phr] How can I get to the hotel?

2. When asking for a reason, we can only use 怎么.
Example 2. 你怎么不穿鞋就出来了? [phr] Why did you come out without your shoes?

3. When expressing a surprised tone, we can only use 怎么. And it has to appear independently in a sentence.
Example 3. 怎么,你现在就得走? [phr] What? You have to go now?

4. When asking for the opinion of the interlocutor, we can only use 怎么样 at the end of a suggestion. 怎么样 is usually separated from the rest of the sentence.
Example 4. 明天一起去游泳吧,怎么样? [phr] Tomorrow let's go swimming together. What do you think?

5. When forming a rhetorical question, we only use 怎么.
Example 5. 您帮了我这么大的忙,我怎么能不感激您呢? [phr] (with respect) You have done me such a big favour. How could I not be grateful to you?

6. When asking for a situation, a condition, or the nature of someone/something, we use both 怎么 and 怎么样 but certain conditions exist in the position of the word in the sentence.
Only 怎样/怎么样 can appear in the position of a predicate (6a) or a complement (6b):
E.g. 6a 今天天气怎么样? [phr] How is the weather today?
E.g. 6b 昨天你考得怎么样? [phr] How was your exam yesterday?
Both 怎么 and 怎么样 can be used in the position of an attributive modifier, but there are different requirements on formats: (6c, 6d)
E.g.6c 她是一个怎样的人?/ 她是怎样的一个人?
E.g.6d 她是怎么一个人?
When forming a question asking for the general situation, we only use 怎么:
E.g. 6e 怎么了? [phr] What's the matter? What's wrong?
怎么 is an interrogative pronoun. But when it appears in a statement, it can be used to denote indefinite indication, emphasising “no exception”. 都 or 也 is often used in the same sentence. For example:
E.g. 1 一谈到交朋友,你再怎么小心也不为过。 [phr] When it comes to making friends, you cannot be more careful.
E.g. 2 这人真难缠,怎么说他都不答应。 [phr] He is a hard guy to deal with. He didn't agree no matter what's said.
E.g. 3 我的电脑怎么修都修不好。 [phr] My computer cannot be fixed no matter how.
The stress of the sentence is on 怎么, and since it is a declarative sentence, the whole sentence should end in the falling tone.
The negative form of such a sentence is made by putting 不 or 没有 between 都/也 and the predicate.
In what situations is 怎么 (zěnme) commonly used?
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How can I use 怎么 (zěnme) in a sentence?
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