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ChineseEdit

tenth (used in fractions) dimi.
trad. (什麼/甚麼/什麽/甚麽) / /
simp. (什么)
variant forms
 
拾沒拾没 obsolete
是物 obsolete
是勿 obsolete
是沒是没 obsolete
甚物 obsolete
甚沒甚没 obsolete
甚摩 obsolete
甚謨甚谟 obsolete
什摩 obsolete

EtymologyEdit

Corruption of medieval 是物 (MC d͡ʑiᴇX mɨut̚, “why”) (Yuan et al., 1996: 318–324).

PronunciationEdit


Note: Many other variant pronunciations exist.

PronounEdit

什麼

  1. (interrogative) what
    什麼 / 什么  ―  Zhè shì shénme?  ―  What is this?
    平時喜歡什麼 [MSC, trad.]
    平时喜欢什么 [MSC, simp.]
    Nǐ píngshí xǐhuān zuò shénme? [Pinyin]
    What do you like doing in your spare time?
    不知道什麼 [MSC, trad.]
    不知道什么 [MSC, simp.]
    Wǒ bùzhīdào tā shì shénme rén. [Pinyin]
    I don't know what kind of person he is.
  2. something
    什麼 / 什么  ―  Nǐ xiǎng chī diǎn shénme ma?  ―  Would you like something to eat?
  3. anything; whatever
    什麼知道 / 什么知道  ―  shénme dōu bù zhīdào.  ―  I don't know anything
    什麼 / 什么  ―  shénme yě bù pà.  ―  I'm not afraid of anything.
    可以什麼什麼 [MSC, trad.]
    可以什么什么 [MSC, simp.]
    Tā kěyǐ xiǎng zuò shénme jiù zuò shénme. [Pinyin]
    He can do whatever he wants.
  4. (used to express surprise or anger) what
    什麼事兒 / 什么事儿  ―  Gàn de shì shénme shìr!  ―  What a thing to do!
  5. (used before an enumeration) thing like; such as; and so on; and what not
  6. (used to express disapproval, disagreement)

SynonymsEdit

Dialectal synonyms of 什麼 (“what”) [map]
Variety Location Words
Classical Chinese
Formal (Written Standard Chinese) 什麼
Mandarin Beijing 什麼, 嗎兒
Taiwan 什麼
Tianjin
Harbin
Shenyang 什麼,
Jinan 麼兒, , 什麼
Muping , 麼個
Luoyang
Wanrong
Xi'an
Xining
Xuzhou , 啥子
Yinchuan
Ürümqi
Wuhan 麼事
Chengdu , 啥子
Guiyang 哪樣
Liuzhou 什嗎
Kunming 什麼
Nanjing 什麼
Hefei 哄個
Nantong 甚呢
Cantonese Guangzhou , 乜嘢, 乜嘢嘢, , 咩嘢
Hong Kong , 乜嘢, 乜嘢嘢, , 咩嘢
Taishan
Dongguan , 乜嘢
Yangjiang , 乜嘢
Gan Nanchang 什哩
Lichuan 什仔
Pingxiang 咋個
Hakka Meixian 麼個
Xingning 麼個
Huidong (Daling) 麼個
Qujiang 麼個
Lianshan (Xiaosanjiang) 麼個
Changting 麼個
Pingyu 麼個
Wuping 麼個
Liancheng 麼個
Yudu 子個
Ruijin , 唔幾
Shicheng 什麼
Shangyou 哪個, 哪項, 個哪
Miaoli (N. Sixian) 麼個
Liudui (S. Sixian) 麼個
Hsinchu (Hailu) 麼個
Dongshi (Dabu) 麼個
Hsinchu (Raoping) 麼個
Yunlin (Zhao'an) 麼個
Huizhou Jixi 麼仂
Jin Taiyuan
Xinzhou
Min Bei Jian'ou 孰事, 孰麼
Min Dong Fuzhou 什乇, 什名, 什乇名, 面乇名
Matsu 什乇
Min Nan Xiamen 什物, 啥物, 啥貨
Quanzhou 什物, 啥物,
Zhangzhou 哪貨仔, 哪貨, 哪仔, 哪物仔, 哪物, 什物, 啥物, 啥貨
Taipei 啥貨, 啥物,
Kaohsiung , 啥貨, 啥物
Tainan 啥物, 啥貨
Taichung
Hsinchu
Lukang 啥物, 啥貨
Sanxia
Yilan 啥貨
Kinmen 啥貨, 啥物, 物代
Magong 啥貨, 物代
Penang 何物
Singapore 什物
Philippines (Manila) 啥物
Medan 何物
Chaozhou 乜個,
Haikou , 個乜
Leizhou
Pinghua Nanning , 哪門
Wu Shanghai , 啥個
Suzhou
Hangzhou
Wenzhou 何呢
Chongming
Danyang 點高
Jinhua ,
Ningbo
Xiang Changsha 麼子
Shuangfeng 麼子
Loudi 麼子

Derived termsEdit


JapaneseEdit

Kanji in this term
いん
Hyōgaiji

Hyōgaiji
Irregular

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From spoken Middle Chinese 恁麼 (nyimX muɑ, what?, archaic, literally think + something tiny and insignificant).[1] The spelling shifted to include the Chinese synonym 什麼 (modern Mandarin reading of shénme), while keeping the inmo reading for 恁麼, instead of the expected shūma reading for 什麼.

Imported into Japanese by Zen monks who had studied in China.[1] Generally restricted to use by Zen practitioners.[2]

PronunciationEdit

  • (Irregular reading)

PronounEdit

什麼 (hiragana いんも, rōmaji inmo)

  1. (rare) what
    天地 (てんち) (われ)什麼 (いんも)交渉 ( こうしょう)かある。
    Tenchi to ware to inmo no kōshō ka aru.
    What kind of relation between universe and I?

Usage notesEdit

Generally followed by the possessive particle (no) and used as an adnominal, with a meaning of what kind of.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  2. ^ 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN