This website uses cookies. Find out more or .
par. (at the end of a declarative sentence) indicating uncertainty; (at the end of a question) indicating uncertainty with an estimate
Discussion of
To include posts you need to register at
In this post, we compare two particles: 吧 and 吗

- 吧 can be used to form a question. When 吧 is used at the end of a statement, the speaker is not very sure about something but he has an estimate. A question mark is usually used at the end of such a sentence to indicate a mild tone.

- 吗 is a modal particle indicating interrogation. When the speaker does not know about something and expects an answer, he can put 吗 at the end of a statement to form a yes/no question.

Example 1a. 你喜欢听音乐会吧? [phr] You like going to concerts, right?
The speaker already has an estimate that the interlocutor probably likes going to concerts, but he is a bit uncertain. Now if we use 吗 in this sentence instead:

Example 1b. 你喜欢听音乐会吗?
This becomes a real question. The speaker does not know the interlocutor likes going to concerts or not, so he is posing a question and expects an answer.
You you can select to receive personal notifications on the app or via email for important contributions to words that you are learning in the account settings .