Chinese Question Words

How to Say “Who, Whom, Whose” in Chinese?

谁 Shuí / Shéi in Mandarin



How to Say Who, Whom, Whose in Chinese?

| Shuí or Shéi For All Three Terms

Who in Chinese –  | Shuí or Shéi is one of the Chinese Interrogation words. Whom and whose also share the same word  Shuí / Shéi in a different placement. In another word,  Shuí or Shéi can be either one the followings in a sentence.

① Subject Pronoun (Who)
② Object Pronoun (Whom)
③ Possessive Pronoun/Adjective (Whose)

There are two Chinese Pinyin to pronounce Shuí / Shéi. You can enunciate in any sound you want as both are correct. “Shuí” is more common in Chinese literature reading. Click on the link to hear both pronunciations.

If you are using Google Translate to listen to the Chinese pronunciation, you will hear the “Shuí” intonation, but the written Chinese Pinyin is “Shéi”.

On a Chinese keyboard using Pinyin on a mobile phone, you can get the Chinese character  by either the spelling of “shui” or “shei”.


How to Say “Who Are You” in Chinese?

How to say Who Are You in Chinese? If you lost your mind (insane), you can also learn to say Who am I in Mandarin.

 

How to Say Who in Chinese?

 Shuí or Shéi is an Interrogative Pronoun which you ask Who in Chinese questions to identify the other person in the background.


When No Subject Pronoun or Person is Mentioned

 Shuí / Shéi is the most typical Chinese word to represent Who in Chinese. When no Subject Pronoun (eg. I, He, She) or another person is mentioned in a sentence, Who in Chinese  acts as a Subject Pronoun. Usually, we place the word at the beginning of simple sentence construction.

Who is who?

谁是谁?
Shuí shì shuí?


Who wants to go?

谁要去?
Shuí yào qù?


Who did it?

谁做的?
Shéi zuò de?


Who wants to go travelling?

谁想去旅行?
Shuí xiǎng qù lǚ xíng?


Who does not want to have a good job?

谁不想有一份好的工作?
Shuí bù xiǎng yǒu yī fèn hǎo de gōng zuò?


Who is your Chinese teacher?

谁是你的中文老师?
Shuí shì nǐ de zhōng wén lǎo shī?


Who is shouting so loudly over there?

谁在那里喊那么大声?
Shuí zài nà lǐ hǎn nà me dà shēng?


Who has taken his things away?

谁拿走了他的东西?
Shuí ná zǒu le tā de dōng xī?


Who steals your heart away?

谁把你的心偷走了?
Shuí bǎ nǐ de xīn tōu zǒu le?


Who makes her sad?

谁使她伤心?
Shuí shǐ tā shāng xīn?



When Subject Pronoun or Person is Mentioned

When a Subject Pronoun or a person is mentioned in a sentence, we place them first preceding Who in Chinese –  Shuí / Shéi. The position is different from English which starts with Who first.

Who is that man?

那个男人是谁?
Nà gè nán rén shì shuí?


Who are you looking for? 

你们要找谁?
Nǐ men yào zhǎo shuí?


Who is the person that he wants to marry? / Whom does he want to marry?

他要娶谁?
Tā yào qǔ shuí?


Who is the person that she likes?

她喜欢的那个人是谁?
Tā xǐ huān dì nà gè rén shì shuí?


Do you know who did the job? / Do you know who the culprit is?

你知道这件事是谁干的吗?
Nǐ zhī dào zhè jiàn shì shì shuí gàn de ma?



 

How to Say Whom in Chinese?

Whom is an Object Pronoun that can be replaced by me, him and her. Nowadays, people are not using much Whom in spoken English because it is formal. They rather replace it with Who.

Whether to use Whom or Who correctly is an English grammar issue, but it does not affect the use of Whom in Chinese –  Shuí / Shéi as an Object Pronoun here.

Whom did you call just now?

你刚刚打给谁?
Nǐ gāng gāng dǎ gěi shuí?


With whom did you eat?

你和谁一起吃饭?
Nǐ hé shuí yī qǐ chī fàn?


You gave whom the puppy?

你把小狗给了谁?
Nǐ bǎ xiǎo gǒu gěi le shuí?


Whom you want to invite to your house?

你要请谁来你家?
Nǐ yào qǐng shuí lái nǐ jiā?


To whom did you give the keys?

你把钥匙交给谁?
Nǐ bǎ yào shi jiāo gěi shuí?


How to Say Whose in Chinese?

Whose signifies possession belonging to people. We use it either as a Possessive Pronoun or a Possessive Determiner/AdjectiveWhose in Chinese –  Shuí or Shéi together with the word  De associate ownership between a person and the property.

  1. The first example below is an illustration of  Shuí Shéi as a Possessive Pronoun because there is no noun.
  2. The rest of the sentences are instances where  Shuí / Shéi is a Possessive Adjective/Determiner with  De + Noun.

Whose is this? 

这个是谁的?
Zhè ge shì shuí de?


Whose book?

谁的书?
Shuí de shū?


Whose wife?

她是谁的老婆?
Tā shì shuí de lǎo pó?


Whose car is this? / Whose car?

这辆车是谁的?/ 谁的车?
Zhè liàng chē shì shuí de? / Shuí de chē?


Whose thing has dropped on the floor?

谁的东西掉在地上?
Shuí de dōng xī diào zài dì shàng?


Whose dirty hands ruined my painting?

谁的脏手弄坏了我的画?
Shuí de zàng shǒu nòng huài le wǒ de huà?


In this class, whose spoken mandarin is the best? / Who speaks the best Mandarin?

在这班,谁的中文讲的最好?
Zài zhè bān, shuí de zhōng wén jiǎng de zuì hǎo?



 

Summary of Shuí / Shéi

Here is a mini table to help you summarise the position of  Shuí / Shéi in general. If the Chinese question construction gets complicated, the table may not always apply.

Subject PronounWho谁 + Info
Object PronounWhomSubject (Pronoun) + Info + 谁 (+ Info)
Possessive PronounWhoseInfo + 谁的
Possessive Determiner / AdjectiveWhose(Info +)  谁的 + Noun (+ Info)

Continue to the next post on Chinese Interrogation – How to Say What in Chinese?

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