Is it true that 呢 can mean "WHERE"??? If so, then what is the difference between 呢 and 哪儿??? I've seen those sentences and they made me wonder:

"我的杯子在哪儿? - where is my cup?" and "我的杯子呢? - where is my cup?"

The dictionary said that 呢 means "particle indicating that a previously asked question is to be applied to the preceding word ("What about ...?", "And ...?"); particle for inquiring about location ("Where is ...?"); particle signaling a pause, to emphasize the preceding words and allow the listener time to take them on board ("ok?", "are you with me?"); (at the end of a declarative sentence) particle indicating continuation of a state or action; particle indicating strong affirmation".

2 Answers 2


I don't think so as a native speaker.

呢 is only a modal particle while it is pronounced as "ne" in Pinyin.

You can use it for:

  1. Interrogative mood. Use it at the end of a sentence. Sometimes you can use it for probing somebody.

For example:

你在做什么呢? What are you doing?

You can remove 呢; then you are not probing.

Another usage:

我的杯子呢? Where is my cup?

In my view, this is an elliptical sentence. It should be 我的杯子在哪呢?. And 在哪 means WHERE.

哪 is also has interrogative mood. So you can remove 呢 if there is 哪. (or keep it is also ok)

You must keep 呢 if you use the elliptical sentence. Because there is no interrogative mood in the rest of the sentence.

  1. Emphatic mood. Use it at the end of a sentence.

我在跟你说话呢! I am talking to you!

  1. Something or action is happening. Use it at the end of a sentence.

我在学习呢。 I am studying right now.

  1. Indicating a pause.

现在呢,已经完全不一样了。 Nowadays, well it's totally changed.


Yes, that's exactly right.


Translates to "Where's my cup?"

A common one you will hear is:


Which equates to something like, "Where'd you go?" -or- "Where'd he go?" -or- "Where are you?"

  • 1
    This can not explain "你在做什么呢?" In my view, 我的杯子呢? is an elliptical sentence. It should be 我的杯子在哪呢? And 呢 is the only element to make 我的杯子呢? as a question.
    – LiBook
    Apr 1, 2021 at 8:56

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