A modal or exclamative particle is an important grammatical concept in Chinese. Adding different exclamative particles at the end of your sentences can help you make your speech more vivid – and consequently, make conversations more effective. Using appropriate Chinese exclamative particles, combined with correct intonation, is an essential way to share your feelings with other people.
In this article, let’s look at 3 most common exclamative particles.
啊 a is often used in exclamation sentences to indicate a stronger degree of positive or negative emotions. So feel free to add 啊 at the end of your statement – whenever you are, let’s say, inspired by the magnificent natural scenery of China, or surprised by something unpleasant.
Let’s now have a look at some examples:
你今天真漂亮啊！Nǐ jīntiān zhēn piàoliang a! You look so beautiful today!
这本书好贵啊！Zhè běn shū hǎo guì a! This book is so expensive!
啦 la is a very popular modal particle among Chinese girls, and its function is to make sentences softer and create a friendly atmosphere. However, boys are advised not to regularly use this word as it makes a sentence sound girly.
Here are a couple of examples with the use of 啦 lā:
你真好，太谢谢你啦。Nǐ zhēn hǎo, tài xièxiè nǐ la. You’re so kind, thank you so much.
他明天就来啦。Tā míngtiān jiù lái la. He is coming tomorrow.
吧 ba is used at the end of a statement to form a suggestion. For instance, if you would like to invite your friends to a movie, add this particle at the end of your sentence:
我们去看电影吧。Wǒmen qù kàn diànyǐng ba. Let’s go watch a movie.
In addition, 吧 ba can be also used at the end of a question, which means that you are 80% sure about something, and you want others to know you’re sure about it:
他是中国人吧？Tā shì zhōngguó rén ba? He’s Chinese, right?
你会说英文吧？Nǐ huì shuō yīngwén ba? You speak English, don’t you?
Was this topic interesting? What other Chinese particles would you like to learn more about?
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