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I resumed my Chinese studies and got a native speaker to help me. She mentioned that to agree with a suggestion with "ne" (呢), I should respond with it and just changed the tone. I cannot find any grammar article describing that.

Q:我们一起吃饭呢?

A:我们一起吃饭呢.

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  • No. I guess she is a Taiwanese with the famous Taiwanese style of soft talk. The Q & A are not good sentences/examples. I'll revise the Q to 我们到那兒吃饭呢? A: (jokingly)我们到這兒吃饭呢. Yes, the tone changes from light in Q, and heavy in A. It is more common that the answer will not use 呢 in the ending. – r13 May 25 at 17:06
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If the question 我们一起吃饭呢? is meant to suggest, then the response 我们一起吃饭呢。 is wrong, no matter what tone is applied on the second .This suggestion can be made with several endings. In term of the strength of suggestion, from strong to weak:

我们一起吃饭吧?/!(Strong suggestion, with request)
我们一起吃饭呀?(Suggestion)
我们一起吃饭呢(呐)?(Suggestion)
我们一起吃饭吗?(Only asking, with very weak suggestion)

Please don't torture yourself to remember all these differences. Acquire them naturally. If you have to answer with the same characters as much as possible from the question, it should be:

A:我们一起吃饭吧。/! (Let's have meal together./)

The original answer you mentioned has a different meaning:

我们一起吃饭呢。
We're having meal together (at this moment of speaking).

Now it's the complicated part: 我们一起吃饭呢? can be understood in different ways:

  1. Suggestion:
    我们一起吃饭呢?(呢 sounds more like 呐/na/)

Suggesting that we can have a meal together.

  1. Fact checking:
    我们一起吃饭呢?

This sentence is used to fact-check if we are having meal together:" We are having meal together at this moment, is that true?" But this is so weird in practical dialog, because nobody ask the face-to-face person whether they are indeed together. For a lame grammatical game, it's fine thought. If this is the case, then the answer 我们一起吃饭呢。(We are having meal together at this moment.) is a correct answer.

So a better version could be:

Q: 他们一起吃饭呢?
Q: They are having meal together at this moment, is that true?

A: 他们一起吃饭呢。
A: (Yes.) They are having meal together at this moment.

As you can see, I have to use "at this moment" a lot in this explanation. Because in English, "be doing" can mean 1) doing at this moment, or 2) on the way of doing but not yet in progress. This also happens to German, a brother of English, and it's even more ambiguous because German merges both the meanings into simple present tense "somebody do". However, Chinese doesn't have this ambiguity in tense, because you can use different positions of and other small characters such as (at this moment), (is going to) to explicitly express what you mean.

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    我们一起吃饭呢? As a question, this sentence is incorrect and will not be used by a native speaker. 嗎 is the correct ending for this case. – r13 May 26 at 15:33
  • Hi r13, as what I explained in my answer, 我们一起吃饭呢?is indeed grammatically correct, although it doesn't make sense because nobody ask them self whether they are together. However, from the depict of the original question, 我们一起吃饭呢?我们一起吃饭呢。seems to be a lame grammar game. – Shrinetown May 26 at 21:35
  • I think you understand and would agree, the same as English, that an incorrect sentence can be grammatically correct with the wrong choice of word. – r13 May 27 at 3:00
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我们一起吃饭呢?

This sentence is probably grammatical, but why would we ask ourselves the question? 呢 is usually used in a wh- question, such as what, when, where, etc. E. g. 你干什么呢? 你什么时候去的呢?你在哪里找到他的呢?

我们一起吃饭呢。

This sentence is correct. It expresses we are currently eating. Somehow, this use of 呢 suggests the progressive tense. E. g. 我们看书呢 suggests 我们正在看书呢。

The rule probably makes sense in this scenario.

A: 你吃饭呢?B: 我吃饭呢。

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  • 我们一起吃饭呢?is grammatically correct. Please read my answer. – Shrinetown May 26 at 0:50
  • @Shrinetown I edited my answer. – dan May 26 at 2:40

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