176 To Have Free Time

Harvard University student Stephen Turban manages to find some time to discuss the question of having or not having time, with ShaoLan! This phrase, like many others, has a very interesting background, while the structure of the question actually helps you to learn how to ask a whole host of other questions in Chinese. As usual, ShaoLan makes sure that the cultural context is clear so that you know how to reply to the question in a polite way. Don’t miss this episode!

The Chinese sentence for “do you have time” is 有空嗎/有空吗?. 有 is the verb “to have,”  means “space” or “free time and 嗎/吗 is simply the verbal question mark, so 有空嗎/有空吗 means “do you have time?.”

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To have free time
yǒu kòng
To have
Space, leisure, free time
Don't have, not have
沒有 / 没有
méi yǒu
Are you free or not?
有沒有空? / 有没有空?
yǒu méi yǒu kòng
Are you free?
有空嗎? / 有空吗?
yǒu kòng ma?
Have time
yǒu kòng
Don't have time
méi kòng
Now, at present
現在 / 现在
xiàn zài
I am sorry; Excuse me.
bù hǎo yì si.
Wait a moment
děng yī xià
What time is it?
現在幾點? / 现在几点?
xiàn zài jǐ diǎn?
How many?
幾 / 几
Dot, o'clock
點 / 点

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