(#36) How / 多

There was a reason why I inserted a many / 多 lesson in the middle of seemingly nowhere.

Why you compose ‘how’ questions, sometimes you want to know the status of a person, as seen in the 你有没有怎么样 example in the last entry.

Sometimes you want to know how to do something as in the 怎么去 example.

This entry tells you how to ask ‘how’ questions to ask for quantities or amount.

多快 duo1 kuai4 how fast
多忙 duo1 mang2 how busy
多生气 duo1 sheng1 qi4 how angry
多大 duo1 da4 how big
多少 duo1 shao3 how little

That brings me to a set phrase. To ask for a price, you say 多少钱 duo1 shao3 qian2. Of course you can point to something and ask 这个多少钱? zhe4 ge4 duo1 shao3 qian2? to say how much is this, or 那个多少钱? na4 ge4 duo1 shao3 qian2? how much is that.

And let’s revise. If you want to be a bit more polite, since you are pretty much talking to a stranger, you can add a word (hint: two characters) to the front of the sentence to say:

Can I ask how much is this?

Hope you got it correctly, the answer is 请问.

请问这个多少钱? qing3 wen4 zhe4 ge4 duo1 shao3 qian2?

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