Zhēnde ma?

Zhēnde ma?

If a Chinese friend says something surprising, or perhaps unbelievable, you can respond with “Zhēnde ma?”. Even if you are not exactly clear about what they said, they are likely to clarify or at least repeat.  

In the scenario below, one bear says “Zhèlǐ méiyǒu yú!” (这里没有鱼, “Here not have fish!”).  Surprised and disappointed, the other bear responds with: “Zhēnde?” (真的吗?, “Really!!?).

Dialog

PinyinHanziEnglish
第一熊Zhèlǐ méiyǒu yú!这里没有鱼!Here not have fish!
第二熊 Zhēnde ma?真的吗?Really?
第一熊 Zhēnde.真的Really.

Vocabulary

   
HanziPinyinEnglish
这里zhèlǐhere
没有méiyǒunot have
fish
zhēnreal
真的zhēndereally
ma(request for confirmation)
第一dìyīthe first
xióngbear