Words like

  • OK

  • 好的

are often used in response to other people's requests, proposals and the like.

In Chinese they're often referred to as 应答用语.

Is 应答用语 a part of speech? If so what would it be abbreviated as? ?

Is it more likely to just be an interjection? 感叹词?

  • 1
    It doesn't fall into any kind, so your question makes no sense, at least from the Chinese perspective.
    – dan
    Commented Feb 8, 2018 at 0:16
  • Yes, it's 叹词(Interjection) . see here : zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – Ray
    Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 3:58
  • @Raymond You might as well make that an answer.
    – Mou某
    Commented Jul 13, 2018 at 4:03

2 Answers 2


I'm not an linguist so here's only my personal opinion.
According to a modern classification described in Wikipedia, words for a short answer should belong to interjections in English. Note that interjections in English are further divided into primary and secondary interjections, with the former serve only as interjections (e.g. "Yes", "Hoorah!"), and the latter may be consist of one or more words that serve as another part of speech in other contexts (e.g. "No", "Bloody hell!"). The same criteria is also valid for Chinese ("哎呀!""呜呜呜……"vs. "我的天!""不!").
The definition of interjection in Chinese is: "Interjections are words that express various emotions. They have no grammatical connections to the context. " Therefore, all the words or phrases you listed as 应答用语 are undoubtedly interjections.


It is not intended to be a 感叹词. I consider them more like a slang for 应答用语:

哦 哎 嗯

These words are may sounds like 感叹词 but they should never be used as 感叹词. They are just a form of yes or acknowledged.

  • So what's the part of speech then?
    – Mou某
    Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 16:23
  • It is part of the speech as it is serving the function of "yes", "ok" unless you have a different definition from me what "a part of speech" is. The question is, would you ever consider "yes" and "ok" part of the speech? Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 16:26
  • In English yes should be a function word (虚词).
    – Mou某
    Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 16:28
  • from wikipedia: "The words yes and no are not easily classified into any of the eight conventional parts of speech. Although sometimes classified as interjections, they do not qualify as such, and they are not adverbs. They are sometimes classified as a part of speech in their own right, sentence words, word sentences, or pro-sentences, although that category contains more than yes and no and not all linguists include them in their lists of sentence words. Sentences consisting solely of one of these two words are classified as minor sentences." It turns out that they are not. Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 16:28

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