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When to use variations of 那?

那 (nà,nǎ, nèi, núo) has multiple pronunciations. Can someone explain when to use the different sounds?

(images courtesy of

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we now write 哪里 and 哪个 instead of 那里 and 那个 for 'where' and 'which', respectively. This eliminates some ambiguities. As to the rest, you can say na4 in all circumstances; while many native speakers (perhaps not all) actually say [nə] in 那邊(there), 那個(that), etc. – user58955 Jun 3 '14 at 15:05
@user58955 Define "we". I, for instance, never replace 那 by 哪 in written interrogatives. Admittedly, the differentiation between 那 and 哪 does eliminate a few ambiguities, but practically such ambiguities are rare. – user4086 Jun 4 '14 at 10:08
@user1551 sorry, I meant in standard mandarin in mainland China. – user58955 Jun 4 '14 at 13:03
up vote 4 down vote accepted

那 (nà): that, those

e.g 那是什么?What is that?/What are those?

哪 (nǎ): where, which

e.g 你在哪里?Where are you?

那 (nèi): that, those.

The same meaning as the first 那 (nà). But in "Internet Slang", people often write 内(nèi) instead of 那, because 那 is often pronounced as (nà) e.g 那个人 That guy

那 (nuó):【adj】 多,much,many

It is used in archaic Chinese.

More explanations about 那 can be found at:

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Refer to the answers in this question for more information regarding the nèi pronunciation. The link also provides the explanation of its derivation as a contraction of nà yī (那一). – Claw Jun 3 '14 at 17:06

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