Where do people use 来着 a lot? Is that typical of 北京 or where?

来着 seems to be a kind of substitute for 吗 (是几号来着?). Is that correct?

  • I don't think it's strictly a regional thing. I hear it from people from all over the country
    – blackgreen
    Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 10:19
  • 2
    It's more like "again" or "even though/but" or expressing surprise in many cases (for modal purposes). 春节是几号来着? = (I forgot/I probably should've known this but), what's the date for Chinese New Year again? 他不是想走来着?= (In response to some question saying someone is staying:) Didn't he want to leave?
    – xngtng
    Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 11:14
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    I love this term, I wish there was an English equivalent, especially for, 你叫什么来着 - "I know you've told me your name - but what is it again?" (i.e.: I haven't really forgotten, but can you remind me).
    – Mou某
    Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 12:35
  • @user3306356 is correct. 来着, an oral term, is often used to describe something the speaker knows but could not remember at the moment. It came from Beijing or somewhere northern part of China. Now it's a nationwide term because it's convenient and catchy.
    – Nathan
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 22:47
  • Another occasion of 来着 is to be used purely as an auxiliary suffix to describe something could have been done but not. 本来要去你家来着 - I originally wanted to go to your house (but I didn't go).
    – Nathan
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 23:36

2 Answers 2


Well, I can tell it's been widely used in the northern areas. And you would hear it in TV shows. Of course, it's an oral term.

It's not used to substitute for 吗. It's been used when you can not recall something from your mind, and then you ask out while you are still trying to think it out. For example, 几号来着? means you can't recall 几号, and then you ask while you are still trying to think it out. In this case, you are expecting someone could remind you while you're thinking. 几号来着? is kind of like saying "那是几号了?"




It is used at the end of a sentence.

It represents the completion of a specific behavior or event.

  • I think the pure dictionary definition is a bit misleading here, although it might be grammatically correct. Since the term mostly appears in colloquial speech, I would go with a more practical explanation like @dan's.
    – blackgreen
    Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 10:28

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