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  • Demonstrative adjectives
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这 zhè is 'this'

It is often followed by a measure word such as 个 ge:
这个是苹果;那个是香蕉;哪个是橘子? Zhège shi píngguǒ; nàge shi xiāngjiāo; nǎge shi júzi?

When it has an abstract meaning, it may be used on its own as a noun, as with 'this' in English:
这是我爸爸;那是我妈妈;哪位是王老师? Zhè shi wǒ bàba; nà shi wǒ māma; nà wèi shi Wáng lǎoshī?
'This is my father; this is my mother; which person is teacher Wang?
Note that the measure word 位 wèi is used instead of 人 rén to indicate respect to him/her as a teacher.

那 nà is 'that'

这些是中国人; 那些是英国人; 哪些是美国人?Zhèxiē shi zhōngguórén; nàxiē shi yīngguórén; nǎxiē shi měiguórén?
'These people are Chinese; those people are British; which people are the Americans?'
Note that 些 may be used to indicate the plural.

哪 nǎ is 'which'


There are alternative pronunciations: zhèi, nèi and něi. These are common, for example, in Beijing and sound less formal than zhè, nà and nǎ.

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