I was watching a drama and in the scene, the coach was speaking to her team:

Coach: 希望每个队员都能拿出最好的状态。能不能做到 (I know all of you can do your best。 Can you do that?)

Team: 能!(Yes!)

Coach: 都没吃饭吗 (Not loud enough!)

Can someone please explain to me why "都没吃饭吗" can mean this? Would you ever use that to ask if your friends have eaten? Thank you!!

  • 3
    Hint: haven’t eaten implies no energy, hence lack of enthusiasm.
    – dROOOze
    Commented Aug 7, 2020 at 1:21

2 Answers 2


It means the coach thinks the players are not energetic enough as if they were hungry.

This sentence can only be used in some situations:

  • a coach blames the players being not energetic enough
  • an officer blames the soldiers being not powerful enough
  • fighter ridicule the opponent being so weak

or similar. Always considered as a blaming or ridiculing.

If you ask a friend about eating, it would be “吃饭了吗?” instead of “没吃饭吗?”.

  • Very helpful explanation, thanks!!
    – Em 玲菲
    Commented Aug 7, 2020 at 20:08

The expression can be used every time that one thinks another doesn't take their necessary efforts to achieve something as if saying: you can't make it because you haven't eaten your meal so you don't have that energy.

It can be used as a hurry-up to urge someone to put more energy/effort on something.

It can be a blame, ironic, etc depending on how you use it.

However, 没吃饭吗 can also be taken literally. We should understand it accordingly.

  • Thank you!! It makes a lot more sense now.
    – Em 玲菲
    Commented Aug 7, 2020 at 20:09

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