1

你家的房子是什么样的呀

I'm messaging a native Chinese speaker on hellotalk. And there's a few things that I'm not quite understanding.

Don't 家 and 房子 mean the same thing? Why have they said 家的房子?

The Google translation for this is "what does your house look like?" What part of the sentence refers to the look of the house?

And why is there a 的 at the end?

5 Answers 5

2

家 can either be a concrete concept (the real estate) or an abstract concept. When it is used in the abstract sense, it refers to everything that is owned or associated with a family. 我/你/他家的X refers to a specific object that is owned or associated with a family. Hence:

  • 你家是什么样的?(The concrete sense, the building you live in.)
  • 我家的存款有30万。 (The abstract sense, 存款 bank saving belongs to my family, hence 我家的存款)
  • 你家的房子是什么样的? (The abstract sense, 房子 building belongs to, or at least occupied by your family, hence 你家的房子)

"是什么样的" is used to ask about "what something is like." 的 is necessary here because the simplest declarative response would be "是漂亮的", "是宽敞的", etc. You can't just say "是漂亮", "是宽敞", etc. You can memorize it as a fixed phrase.

1

你家 = "your family". e.g. 你家的狗狗 (your family's dog); 你家小明 (Xiao Ming from your family )

房子 = "house"

你家的房子是什么样的呀

How does your family's house look like?

The Google translation for this is "what does your house look like?"

"your family" --> "your". e.g. 你家的狗狗 (your dog); 你家小明 (Your Xiao Ming)

1

While 家 can mean house (such as in 我不在家 = "I'm not home"), here 家 means "family", and 你家 = "your family". This is one of the cases when the possessive 的 is dropped (你的家 -> 你家). So we have

你家的房子...
Your family's home...

or as Google translate gives: "your house"; it's assuming you live there too.

Here 什么样 translates to "what kind?" So the full question is:

你家的房子是什么样的呀?
[direct translation] Your family's house is what kind?
What kind of house do you live in?

Now the anticipated answer to such a question might often be some kind of description:

我家的房子很大。 (My family's house is big.)
我家的房子很豪华。 (My family's house is luxurious.)

So perhaps Google translate is interpreting the question as "What does your house look like?"

However there are other possible answers:

我家的房子是离这里很远的。 (My family's house is far away.)
我家的房子是位于奥克兰的。 (My family's home is in Auckland.)

It might be better translated to e.g.:

What's your family home like?

1
  • Auckland eh, I am in New Zealand, does it say that on my profile haha? Thanks for the response
    – Sam Law
    Oct 21, 2023 at 8:22
0

I remember hearing an old hit song a few times on the radio, not sure who the singer was:

家人: family

因为我们是一家人
because we are one family

相亲相爱的一家人
(we are) one inseparable family

Like the others said, 你家 in this context is your family and 房子 is house.

你家的房子是什么样的呀.
What is your family's house like?

0

你家的房子是什么样的呀 = What does your house look like?

Your house belong to your family,it is simple to understand.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.