In Chinese will we say, "Beijing zai nār/nali?". Because I just learned to say, "Lundun zai Ying Guo." Plus, "Where is your home?" is, "Nide jia zai nar?" So using these rules, is it acceptable?

What about, "Beijing shi nar/nali?"

And can we also say "Beijing zai na guo?" (Which country is Beijing in?")

Are these sentences grammatically correct?

  • users recommend searching dictionaries or even web as a whole using e.g. "E phrase 中文",北京在哪里?is valid, 北京是在哪里?exists esp. with adverbs like 究竟、到底 (after all)北京究竟是在哪里?or starting with 那么 so, 那么北京是在哪里? 北京在哪个(什么)国家? also exists, for including 是 see preceding example
    – user6065
    Jun 19, 2018 at 8:43
  • All of your sentences are ok, except "Beijing zai na guo". Better say "Beijing zai na ge guo jia".
    – dan
    Jun 19, 2018 at 8:48
  • To be honest, although Běijīng shì nǎr/nǎlǐ? grammatically correct, it sounds weird to me. Mostly questions containing shì usually collocates with shénme or shéi.
    – Reynaldi
    Jun 19, 2018 at 16:15

1 Answer 1


The examples you gave are all grammatically correct, but they are slightly different in meaning.

Beijing zai nār/nali?

This sentence is asking where is Beijing, the person who will be answering the question will tell you the location of Beijing. If I were to answer the question, I will tell you Beijing is physically in Hebei province, in the east part of China.

Beijing zai na guo?

This question is asking which country is Beijing in, and will be answered by justing telling you Beijing is in China.

Beijing shi nar/nali?

This is a little different with the previous two, it is not only, or, exactly asking the physical location of Beijing, it is asking about Beijing itself. I will answer as the following, Beijing is the captical city of China, its population is 13 millon and it is in the east part of China and so on.

  • Thanks a lot :D (lol last part though)
    – Isabel
    Jun 19, 2018 at 13:36
  • Like using shi, I am asking what are things like in Beijing? Situation in beijjng?
    – Isabel
    Jun 19, 2018 at 13:40
  • @Isabel By the last question, you are asking about Beijing generally, therefore the answer really depends.
    – zyy
    Jun 20, 2018 at 3:20

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