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Dear fellow community members, I recently encountered the wording 是。是在那儿 to express "yes. it is there" as a response to the question "是在这儿吗?" . I was wondering if this is correct? Is simply 在那儿 not enough? Is the use of 是 in the question and the answer not superfluous? Thanks for your answers.

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Welcome from another (quite new) fellow community member.

The usage of "是" is complex. There are at least 32 ways to use it. In the sentences you provided, both in the question and in the answer it is used to emphasize the truthfulness or authenticity of what is said.

You said:

I was wondering if this is correct?

Yes, absolutely.

Is simply 在那儿 not enough?

Yes, but the emphasis would be gone.

Is the use of 是 in the question and the answer not superfluous?

No, absolutely. To give emphasis means to give force and intensity to what you say. And emphasis is what we clearly feel in the question and answer you provided.

Please note: "是在那儿" is not equivalent to "是,在那儿".
"是,在那儿" would mean "Yes, it's there".
"是在那儿" is completely different. In the answer is given emphasis to "在那儿!" that in the most likely scenario would serve to tell the one asking that she/he was wrong in her/his assumption.

是在这儿吗?Is it here, right?
是在那儿 No, it's over there! (pointing another place)

Anyway, a less likely scenario might be:

是在这儿吗?Is it here, right?
是在那儿 Sure it's there! (implying something like "Are you still asking? This is the 1000000th time I tell you that it's there!")

In any case, the emphasis given cannot be ignored.

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  • Thank you for this very clear answer! This really helps! Jun 30 at 14:39
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是在这儿吗?// Is it here?

是在那儿。 // Yes, it IS there

在哪儿?// where?

在那儿 // there.

Basically, the use of 是 here is for confirmation(to confirm the aforementioned information). Another example:

A: 这事是他干的吗?// Is it he who has done it?

B: 是的,是他干的。Yes, it is.

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  • Thank you for the answer! Jun 30 at 14:40
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The proper response to the question "是在这儿吗?" (Is it in here?") should be "是在那儿" (Yes, it is there). In this conversation, the person is asking for the "confirmation" that the item in question is located in the specific location he/she thinks it should be, and you are confirming his/her thought.

The question corresponding to the answer "在那儿" (It is there.) should be "東西放那儿了?" or "東西在那儿?" (Where is it?). In this case, the person is asking for direction/help, as he/she has no clue where the item is located, and you are pointing out the whereabouts of the item.

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  • Thank you for your answer. This helped a lot! But is the 是 necessary in the first question and answer, or can it be left out without loss of meaning? Jun 21 at 7:21
  • Yes, usually in conservation, 是 can be/is left out without changing the tune or meaning. "在这儿吗?" will be responded with "在这儿", or "不在这儿, 在那儿". When adding "是", the questioner is adding "eagerness" in knowing the whereabouts of the item.
    – r13
    Jun 21 at 15:39

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