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请问 means "please", but 请 alone means "please" like in 请开门, and 问 means "to ask" So if you want to say "please ask", does it become "请问"?

Also, 大家 means "everybody". However, 大 alone means "big" and 家 alone means "family" So if you want to say "big family", how should it be said in order not to create ambiguity?

2

Yes, "请问" can indeed be ambiguous, because it can mean

"may I ask ..."

Example: 请问您找誰?

May I ask who you are looking for?

or it can mean:

"please ask (someone) ..."

Example:

這個我也不明白,请问老師。

I don't understand this either. Please ask the teacher.

How do you know which is which? Well, as with pretty much everything language, context is the key. Context will make everything sufficiently clear. And if there is a need to add clarity still, you can always add the word "you" to the second example. 這個我也不明白,请问老師。

And here's another "clue" you can look for in a sentence to help you tell the difference.

When 请问 is followed by a question, it mean "may I ask ..."

More examples:

请问你認識他嗎? May I ask if you know him?

请问這個字怎樣寫? May I ask how to write this character?

请问您貴姓? May I know your last name?

When 请问 is followed by a noun, mostly likely a person, then it is "please ask ..."

Some examples:

今天有什麽功課,请问老師。 Please ask the teacher what we have for homework today.

你想借錢,请问銀行。 (If) you want to borrow money, please ask the bank.

Answer to your other question: 大家 is not ambiguous. A big family is 大家庭 not 大家, as explained in another answer.

3
  • No offense but I find the last two sentences kind of unusual. 「今天有什麽功課,请问老師」sounds like one is talking to a peer student. In that case, I'd use 「請去問老師」,not 「請問老師」。「请问老師,今天有什麽功課?」is acceptable because now the question is directed to the teacher. Likewise, I'd use 「請去問銀行」.
    – joehua
    Sep 16 at 23:30
  • 「今天有什麽功課,请问老師」sounds like one is talking to a peer student. - Yes, one is talking to a fellow student.
    – monalisa
    Sep 16 at 23:48
  • In that case, I'd use 「請去問老師」 - Use「請去問老師」if you have to go somewhere to ask the teacher. In my example, perhaps the teacher is right there with the two of you.
    – monalisa
    Sep 16 at 23:49
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When someone says 我想问一个问题 (I want to ask a question), I may reply 问吧/请问吧 as "please ask", or more formally 请提出你的问题

When I wanna say "big family" , it'll be 大家庭. A single 家 is always regarded as house, rather than family. For example, 我的家还蛮大的 means my house is big, 我的家庭挺大的 means my family is big.

个人观点,仅供参考

0

请问 - Please allow me to ask. "me" is not required, because the audiences know well who is asking the question.

大家 - everybody.

Put the above together, 请问大家 - Please allow me to ask everybody ....

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