I've seen 是的 used multiple times as a "yes" answer to a question.

As in the following interaction:

A: 这只猫是你的吗?

B: 是的。

How is it different than just 是 by itself?


3 Answers 3


Both right, but 是的 is more common in spoken language. The 的 in here is called a modal particle.


I believe there is no semantic difference between 是。 and 是的。when used in answers. Both are very common, but using just one word / phoneme to reply colloquially can be a little bit too spartan / less polite sometimes.


是的 is the formal usage, while is informal, and short. And 是的 has the self-sufficient feel, as if it had a period attached to it, while , on the other hand, feels like it has a comma attached, inviting both sides to expand on it. For example:

A: 这只猫是你的吗?
B: 是。
A: 它是什么品种的?
B: 虎斑。

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