There is a related question which I read, under which someone answered that the 的 makes it feel more natural. Is there a grammatical reason for the character, or is it a matter of emphasis?

3 Answers 3


could you give context?

If this is just a single sentence, I don't think you need to add "的“ at the end, contrary to your review, putting 的 at the end of this sentence makes this sentence more unnatural.

99% of Chinese would say 我不知道他什么时候会再来 instead of the sentence that you gave

  • 1
    So, what makes the 1% Chinese add the "的“, because if we take the population of China as 1.2B, then that would be 12M Chinese in China alone? :) Apr 15, 2022 at 7:34
  • 1
    "用在陈述句的末尾,表示肯定的语气:这件事儿我知道~。"(quoted from 现代汉语词典), so you put "的“ at the end of an affirmative sentence instead of a negative sentence,"我不知道他什么时候会再来" is a negative sentence. "我知道他什么时候再来的” is natural ,“我不知道他什么时候再来的” is unnatural
    – CN.hitori
    Apr 16, 2022 at 4:23

As a native speaker I think both works, they mean the same thing. Most case we add “的” in the end when we tryna say "when did he come" or "when did he arrive" which is "他什么时候来的“, but in this case I think it is trying to say "when will he come again" which is "他什么时候会再来"

  • So, you belong to both the 99% and 1% Chinese? Apr 16, 2022 at 7:32
  • it doesn't matter whether 99% or 1% I belng to, it's because they mean the same thing! "i dont know when will he come again" is the same as " i dont know when will he come again, no" Apr 16, 2022 at 18:47

Personally, not scientifically, I believe this usage stems from the Chinese penchant for wrapped phrases. There are many such collocations.

If you ask, people will say, this 的 is just a tone help.

A: 你知道他什么时候会再来吗?

B: 她什么时候会再来,我也不知道。



Now [something] is wrapped betwixt 我不知道 and 的 and this is pleasing to the Chinese ear.


Where I live people often ask: 啊懂啊?,懂 neatly wrapped in two 啊

  • Since you are not native Chinese, I presume, you do not belong to either the 99% or 1%? Apr 16, 2022 at 7:34

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