I am learning Chinese on Duolingo and recently saw a translation of "Who is your dad?" as 谁是你的爸爸.

When I used Google translate I got a similar answer.

I have learnt (in the basics) that we put the question words like 什么 or 多少 in the ending of the question.

Based on the current knowledge I thought the correct translation of "Who is your dad?" as 你的爸爸是谁.

Please clear out my confusion as to what is a more appropriate translation and if there are some other grammar rules I don't know about.

  • In colloquial conversations, 你的爸爸是谁 -- is a straight forward even-tonal, innocent question seeking basic information. But, 谁是你的爸爸, is often times spoken with a louder emphasis on 谁是, whether to display an aggressive disbelief or intimidation. Same, I suppose with "Who is your daddy"? and "Your daddy is who"? Apr 6, 2020 at 6:23
  • Thanks a lot. In the case there are many men standing and you want to ask "who is your dad?", which one of the above will be a better choice?
    – aymusbond
    Apr 6, 2020 at 17:49
  • Also, do native speakers also put other question words like 什么 in the beginning of the sentence for emphasis?
    – aymusbond
    Apr 6, 2020 at 17:51
  • "...question words like 什么 in the beginning of the sentence...." Yes, not necessarily for emphasis though, like 什么 办呢? -- “what to do"? But if reversed, 办什么 呢?, it becomes "what shall /should we do"? Quote:- 'In the case there are many men standing and you want to ask "who is your dad?" -- it should be 谁是你的爸爸, and the tone of voice would of course determine whether any hostility was intended. Apr 7, 2020 at 3:30
  • As for 什么 办呢?, it is used when there is an urgent need for help or permission. Apr 7, 2020 at 4:03

2 Answers 2


Both of 谁是你的爸爸 and 你的爸爸是谁 are accepted. Note that when the two words put in the former place written as 谁是, while put them in the latter place written as 是谁. As long as you don't write it as 是谁你的爸爸 or 你的爸爸谁是 there will be no problem for you to use both of 谁是你的爸爸 and 你的爸爸是谁.


你的父亲是谁?Who is your father? 你的爸爸是谁?Who is your dad? 你的爸是谁? Who is your da? 你爸是谁?Actually you don't need 的 for family members. 你爸是谁啊? Throw in an Ah sound for a more authentic Chinese feel :)

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