In informal English, you can ask a question like, "Tea?" as a shorthand for "Would you like some (more) tea?"

I was wondering if the same can be achieved in (informal) Chinese? Something along the lines of 《茶吗?》

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2 Answers 2


Sure it is, in oral Chinese, you can question someone if they care for tea like


You do not need 吗 as the question marker.

When you use this expression, please make sure, first, both you and the person you are asking are in the same and easily understandable context, like, you holding a teapot and an empty cup in front of that person; second, the person you are asking had better be in a relatively equal standing with you, this is a very casual way of asking!

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    Luckily this word is in 2 tone, what is the intonation is already somewhat questioning. What about e.g 饮料,水?Pronouncing a non-2 tone syllable with questioning intonation is not easy for foreigners, if possible. What do natives use, at least an end particle like 吗?My native friends say 要水吗 / 要茶吗 but maybe we are not super-super close :D Sep 16, 2018 at 2:34
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    @Vitaly That's only true for people who doesn't master the tone yet. I can do questions with any tone. Just increase the whole pitch. Sep 16, 2018 at 8:03
  • @VitalyOsipov That is true, it is hard to sound like questioning and that is why you and the other person has to be in the same and easily understandable context. You also have to be close to the person and in a fairly casual conversation!
    – zyy
    Sep 16, 2018 at 16:32

In this case, I probably brief it as: 要茶吗?; 喝茶吗?; 来点茶?

These phrase are more clear in the context.

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