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What is the difference between 是不是吃了蛋糕? and 吃蛋糕了没有?

or

是不是喝酒了? and 喝酒了没有?

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Are those pair of expressions the same? If not, I'd suggest a different question (it's allowed and actually it's better). –  Alenanno Sep 3 '12 at 20:35
    
The structures of the corresponding sentences are the same, @Alenanno, and Paul's asking about the difference in structure within each pair of sentences. A single question makes sense to me. –  Don Kirkby Sep 6 '12 at 16:15
    
@DonKirkby My Chinese level doesn't allow me to check directly, so I'll trust you on this. :) –  Alenanno Sep 6 '12 at 16:16

8 Answers 8

up vote 13 down vote accepted

The first expression is usually used when the speaker has a feeling that the other person had done something, so he's making a guess, while the second could be either a simple question or suggestion.

In the first case,

你是不是吃蛋糕了?

can be used when the speaker noticed a cream stain on the other person's shirt or something like that. The speaker is guessing if the other person has had a cake.

你吃蛋糕了没有?

can be used when the speaker wants to suggest the other person to have a nice piece of cake or simply query whether he has had cake.

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Your wife asks "你是不是到外面泡妞啦". Your brothers ask "你到外面泡妞了没有".

In case you missed the point: "你是不是到外面泡妞啦" means your wife does not know whether you were flirting with other women, but she strongly thinks you were. This is because most women in love are paranoia. "你到外面泡妞了没有", on the other hand, is a neutral question without any guesses. Your brothers ask in this way because they trust you.

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哈哈 这个例子挺有意思。 我给你加一分。可是你最好加一些解释,翻译你的例子。 –  BertR Sep 6 '12 at 5:52
2  
liuyang, can you add more detail and explanation? This answer is quite short. –  Alenanno Sep 6 '12 at 9:32
    
@Alenanno "你是不是到外面泡妞啦" means your wife does not know whether you were flirting with other women, but she strongly thinks you were. This is because most women in love are paranoia. "你到外面泡妞了没有", on the other hand, is a neutral question without any guesses. Your brothers ask in this way because they trust you. –  wks Sep 20 '12 at 8:28
    
@wks Mind to add that to the answer? :) Thanks. –  Alenanno Sep 20 '12 at 11:21
    
I disagree with the edit for the second part. "你到外面泡妞了没有" is actually a question cum invitation by your brothers to go "泡妞" with them if you haven't already done so. –  杨以轩 Sep 20 '12 at 14:38

“是不是吃了蛋糕?” ——这句话强调的是一个人“是否”吃蛋糕了

“吃蛋糕了没有?”——这句话强调的是一个人是否“吃蛋糕”了

总的来说两句话意思其实是基本一样的,现实生活里的效果是一样的:)


“是不是吃了蛋糕?” This sentence's emphasis is on whether or not the person ate cake.

“吃蛋糕了没有?” This sentence's emphasis is on whether the person ate cake or something else.

Generally speaking, the two sentences have fundamentally the same meaning. In real life, the result is the same.

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Thanks for Don Kirkby's translating, I'll use english to answer questions next time:) –  Zhenchao Jia Sep 12 '12 at 14:45
    
You're welcome. You can answer in Chinese, but please add at least a short English translation, especially if the question was in English. –  Don Kirkby Sep 27 '12 at 19:53

The first one is a yes-or-no question, the point is whether you drank or not. The second one is a question also. It means if you didn't drink, we can go drink together.

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Welcome to the site. Thanks for your answer. –  Don Kirkby Sep 27 '12 at 19:35

你是不是吃蛋糕了? 就好像他确定你吃了然后再来问你。

你是不是吃蛋糕了? This is as though the asker is suer you have eaten, but still asks you.

吃蛋糕没有? 是在问你吃蛋糕没。

吃蛋糕没有?This is asking if you have eaten the cake or not.

不过,他们得到的结果都是一样的。

Regardless of this, the asker still gets the same answer.

一般如果你喝酒了,闻到你身上的酒味了,就会问;"是不是喝酒了?"。如果没有闻到的话,就会问:“ 你喝酒没有?”。

General if you drink and someone can smell it you will be asked "Have you been drinking?". If there is no smell someone might ask: "Have you had a drink?".

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Please include explanations other than examples. –  Alenanno Sep 28 '12 at 10:04

是不是喝酒了? is stronger than 喝酒了没有?

是不是喝酒了? means I doubt that you drunk wine.

喝酒了没有? doesn't have this meaning.

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是不是喝酒了 refers to "state." IS someone drunk (or sober)? 喝酒了没有 refers to "action." HAS someone drunk (or not)?

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You don't know he has a cake or not, but you are guessing, then you use the first one.

You know that he has a cake, you just want to make sure did he eat it or not, then you use the second one.

Both of them are asking yes or not, but the first one is asking about the thing, is it a cake or a biscuit? The second one is asking about the action, have you eaten it or not?

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