I got this sentence in my "daily exercise" newsletter, and I really don't understand what's 人 doing there? Doesn't it mean the same when 人 is removed? Could this simply be a typo?


Both sentences are correct. The word "人" is added to add emphasis to the physical location of the person.

You can take 你现在在哪里? to mean "Where are you now?"

And 你现在人在哪里? to mean "What is your current physical location?"

The former is normally used when the asker and the subject are within the same locality (e.g in a shopping mall). The latter is often used when the asker and the subject are far away from each other (e.g. in different countries).

A corresponding response to 你现在在哪里? is 我现在在XX。

A corresponding response to 你现在人在哪里? is 我现在人在XX。

  • This may be a stupid question, but how are the answers to those questions different? Aren't they both asking about physical location? – dr Hannibal Lecter Aug 26 '12 at 14:49
  • @drHannibalLecter, I have updated my answer to clarify the usage. Please take a look. – 杨以轩 Aug 26 '12 at 15:12
  • 1
    I believe in english you could also say "where is your person"? But sounds very formal. In on-flight safety videos they use instruct passengers "remove sharp objects from your person" in case of emergency landing. – Niklas Berglund Aug 27 '12 at 7:59
  • In English, it's more natural to explicitly specify the location - "Where are you in the mall?" or "Where are you in the carpark?" – deutschZuid Aug 27 '12 at 23:32
  • 1
    @drHannibalLecter 张三:“你在哪儿?”李四:“我在freenode.net的#ruby频道。”张三:“你人在哪儿?”李四:“在北京。” – wks Sep 14 '12 at 17:58

Actually, 你现在人在哪里, is more like "where the hell are you now?" but maybe not that strong. I personally will use that sentence if I were kept waiting and had to call someone to ask where he/she is.



A proper analysis should have a bit of a reproachful feeling. For example, if you are late arriving for our date, I might make an angry phone call: “你现在人在哪里!”

  • 1
    Welcome to the site, and thanks for your answer. Answering in Chinese is OK, but try to add a small English translation if you can, especially if the question was in English. – Don Kirkby Sep 27 '12 at 20:12

你现在人在哪里? refers to the physical person, as opposed to "where are you" (intellectually)?

The 人character also separates the two 在s

  • Oh, so "你现在在哪里?" can be used to mean "where are you [intellectually]"? Is it in the sense of "what are you thinking about right now" or "what do you think now [about that issue we talked about earlier]"? I'm guessing the latter..? – dr Hannibal Lecter Aug 28 '12 at 15:02
  • That's my understanding, although it isn't often used that way. – Tom Au Aug 28 '12 at 15:04
  • Also, is it necessary to separate the two 在s? Or is it just something which makes you sound more natural or "more native"? – dr Hannibal Lecter Aug 28 '12 at 15:04
  • I'd say it sounds more natural. It's helpful but not mandatory. – Tom Au Aug 28 '12 at 15:26

Understanding the following sentences may help you resolve your confusion.


It can be parsed like

你的 人 在哪里?

It just like

你的 手机 在哪里?

你的 脑袋 在哪里?

你的 注意力(attention) 在哪里?

你的 精神(like ego in boost one's ego) 在哪里?


你的 现在的 人 在哪里?




现在,你的 人 在哪里

skimming redundant yields

现在,你 人 在哪里

interchange the order of "现在" and "你" to emphasize the latter.

你[现在] 人 在哪里

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.