4 Meanings of 怎么

by | Feb 23, 2020 | Chinese Grammar

Learn 4 meanings of 怎么 (zěnme) with our new video:

1. Greetings

怎么 (zěnme) can be used in a greeting. Next time you run into an old friend, you can say:

  • 嘿,你最近怎么样?
  • Hēi, nǐ zuìjìn zěnmeyàng?
  • Hey, how have you been lately?

2. What’s wrong?

Imagine a friend who’s been acting strangely or looking bad recently. You’re worried about him/her. To ask what’s wrong, you can say:

  • 喂,你怎么了?
  • Wèi, nǐ zěnme le?
  • Hey, what happened to you?

3. What to do?

Imagine you face a problem or a task too difficult to solve. What can you say?

  • 这个题太难了,我该怎么办?
  • Zhè gè tí tài nán le, wǒ gāi zěnme bàn?
  • This task is too difficult. What should I do?

The question 怎么办 (zěnme bàn) is commonly used when people don’t know what in the face of difficulties.

4. How to…?

The last meaning of 怎么 (zěnme) is the most common one, actually. It’s “how”. It can be used to ask how to do something.

The structure is:

[ 怎么 (zěnme) + Verb + ?]

For example:

  • 这个词怎么读?
  • Zhège cí zěnme dú?
  • How to read/pronounce this word?

Did you find these phrases useful?

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