Various ways to say “Are you sure?” in Chinese

Table of Contents

The common expressions

你确定吗?(Nǐ quèdìng ma?)

The uses in sentences

你确定……?(Nǐ quèdìng ……?)

你确定……吗?(Nǐ quèdìng …… ma?)

你确定……是不是?(Nǐ quèdìng …… shì bùshì?)

The extended phrases to express “are you sure” in Chinese

真的吗?(Zhēn de ma?)

你真的确定吗?(Nǐ zhēn de quèdìng ma?)

你确信吗?(Nǐ quèxìn ma?)

确定无误吗?(Quèdìng wúwù ma?)

你肯定吗?(Nǐ kěndìng ma?)

真的是这样吗?(Zhēn de shì zhèyàng ma?)

The common expressions

你确定吗?(Nǐ quèdìng ma?)

When used on its own, this phrase can be used in almost any situation. For example, a friend decides to make a risky investment. You ask, “你确定吗?”

The subject 你 can often be omitted.

e.g.

A: 我准备买几套海南的房子。(Wǒ zhǔnbèi mǎi jǐ tào Hǎinán de fángzi.) – I plan to buy several houses in Hainan.
B:你确定吗?风险会不会太高?(Nǐ quèdìng ma? Fēngxiǎn huì bù huì tài gāo?) -Are you sure? Is the risk too high?

A:比赛会在十点开始。(Bǐsài huì zài shí diǎn kāishǐ.) – The match will start at ten o’clock.
B:确定吗?那我九点再出门。(Quèdìng ma? Nà wǒ jiǔ diǎn zài chūmén.) – Are you sure? Then I’ll leave again at nine o’clock.

A: 董事会正在考虑投资这个公司。(Dǒngshìhuì zhèngzài kǎolǜ tóuzī zhège gōngsī.) -The board of directors is considering investing in this company.
B: 这个公司虽然技术很厉害,但是他们的资金出现了很大的问题。(Zhège gōngsī suīrán jìshù hěn lìhài, dànshì tāmen de zījīn chūxiàn le hěn dà de wèntí.) – Although this company has great technology, they are experiencing major financial problems.
A: 确定吗? (Quèdìng ma?) – Really?

The uses in sentences

你确定……?(Nǐ quèdìng ……?)

“Are you sure that ……?” When used in a sentence, these patterns are commonly applied in spoken Chinese.

你确定……吗?(Nǐ quèdìng …… ma?)

It’s also common to add the yes-or-no question mark 吗 at the end.

你确定……是不是?(Nǐ quèdìng …… shì bùshì?)

The positive-negative forms “是不是” or “对不对” can be applied to the sentence pattern.

e.g.

你确定十斤苹果只要五块钱?(Nǐ quèdìng shí jīn píngguǒ zhǐyào wǔ kuài qián?) – Are you sure ten pounds of apples only cost five yuan?

你确定你晚上不回家吃饭吗?(Nǐ quèdìng nǐ wǎnshàng bù huí jiā chīfàn ma?) – Are you sure you won’t come home for dinner tonight?

你确定下周要出差是不是?(Nǐ quèdìng xià zhōu yào chūchāi shì bùshì?) – Are you sure you have a business trip next week?

你确定他们公司出问题了吗?(Nǐ quèdìng tāmen gōngsī chū wèntí le ma?) – Are you sure their company is having problems?

The extended phrases to express “are you sure” in Chinese

真的吗?(Zhēn de ma?)

It used to express surprise or skepticism. For instance, a friend claims they won the lottery. You react, “真的吗?”

e.g.

A: 我中奖了!中了100万!(Wǒ zhòngjiǎng le! Zhòng le yībǎi wàn!) – I won the lottery! I won a million!
B:真的吗?(Zhēn de ma?) – Really?

A:听说老板离婚了。(Tīng shuō lǎobǎn líhūn le.) – I heard the boss got divorced.
B:啊?真的吗?(A? Zhēn de ma?) – Ah? Really?

你真的确定吗?(Nǐ zhēn de quèdìng ma?)

It used to emphasize “really”“sure”. For example, a friend decides to quit their job impulsively. You ask, “你真的确定吗?”

e.g.

A: 我要辞职了!(Wǒ yào cízhí le!) – I’m going to quit my job!
B:你真的确定吗?(Nǐ zhēn de quèdìng ma?) – Are you really sure?

A:我不想和他结婚了,准备明年出国留学。(Wǒ bùxiǎng hé tā jiéhūn le, zhǔnbèi míngnián chūguó liúxué.) – I don’t want to marry him anymore, I’m planning to study abroad next year.
B:你真的确定吗?(Nǐ zhēn de quèdìng ma?) – Are you really sure?

Or someone claims they can finish a large task in one day. You doubt, “真的确定吗?”

e.g.

A: 这个合同我们今天一天就做完了。(Zhège hétong wǒmen jīntiān yī tiān jiù zuò wán le.) – We will finish this contract in just one day.
B:真的确定吗?(Zhēn de quèdìng ma?) – Are you sure?

A:借我一万块钱吧,我要买股票。(Jiè wǒ yī wàn kuài qián ba, wǒ yào mǎi gǔpiào.) – Lend me ten thousand yuan, I want to buy stocks.
B:真的确定吗?(Zhēn de quèdìng ma?) – Are you sure?

你确信吗?(Nǐ quèxìn ma?)

It is used when seeking confirmation. For instance, in a meeting, someone proposes a new plan. You inquire, “你确信吗?”

A: 我们预计下年度的产量将增加30%。(Wǒmen yùjì xià niándù de chǎnliàng jiāng zēngjiā 30%.) – We expect that next year’s production will increase by 30%.
B: 你确信吗?(Nǐ quèxìn ma?) – Are you sure?

A: 公司现在已经资不抵债。(Gōngsī xiànzài yǐjīng zī bù dǐ zhài.) – The company is now insolvent.
B: 你确信吗?(Nǐ quèxìn ma?) – Are you sure?

确定无误吗?(Quèdìng wúwù ma?)

It’s used to ensures there is no mistake. For example, before sending an important document, you check, “确定无误吗?”

e.g.

A: 我今天下午就把这份合同发过去。(Wǒ jīntiān xiàwǔ jiù bǎ zhè fèn hétong fā guòqù.) – I will send this contract over this afternoon.
B: 确定无误吗?(Quèdìng wúwù ma?) – Are you sure there are no mistakes?

A: 对方公司欠了我们一千万人民币,加上利息一共是一千一百二十万。(Duìfāng gōngsī qiàn le wǒmen yī qiān wàn rénmínbì, jiā shàng lìxī yīgòng shì yī qiān yī bǎi èrshí wàn.) – The other company owes us ten million yuan, plus interest, for a total of eleven million two hundred thousand.
B: 确定无误吗?(Quèdìng wúwù ma?) – Are you sure there are no mistakes?

你肯定吗?(Nǐ kěndìng ma?)

It’s very similar to 你确定吗? When someone decides to go back home late at night, you ask, “你肯定吗?”

e.g.

A:我要回家了。(Wǒ yào huí jiā le.) – I’m going home.
B:已经那么晚了,你肯定吗?(Yǐjīng nàme wǎn le, nǐ kěndìng ma?) – It’s already so late, are you sure?

A:我昨天看到你老公和一个女人一起吃饭。(Wǒ zuótiān kàn dào nǐ lǎogōng hé yīgè nǚrén yīqǐ chīfàn.) – I saw your husband dining with a woman yesterday.
B:你肯定吗?他告诉我他昨天在公司吃外卖。(Nǐ kěndìng ma? Tā gàosù wǒ tā zuótiān zài gōngsī chī wàimài.) – Are you sure? He told me he had takeout at the company yesterday.

真的是这样吗?(Zhēn de shì zhèyàng ma?)

It’s used to seek clarification. For example, hearing surprising news, you ask, “真的是这样吗?”

A: 我们公司要被卖了。(Wǒmen gōngsī yào bèi mài le.) – Our company is going to be sold.
B:真的是这样吗?那我要准备找新工作了。(Zhēn de shì zhèyàng ma? Nà wǒ yào zhǔnbèi zhǎo xīn gōngzuò le.) – Is that really the case? Then I need to start looking for a new job.

A:他们俩上个月分手了。(Tāmen liǎ shàng gè yuè fēnshǒu le.) – They broke up last month.
B:真的是这样吗?我怎么上个星期还看到他们一起逛街?(Zhēn de shì zhèyàng ma? Wǒ zěnme shàng gè xīngqī hái kàn dào tāmen yīqǐ guàngjiē?) – Is that really the case? How come I still saw them shopping together last week?

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