Main Site Blog Help

对不对/懂不懂/ 好不好 etc

Hi @YuQinCai, @Constance_Fang @Fiona and the ChinesePod team, my question is this:

Happy new year! Hope you all had a good break.
May I ask why sometimes people say 对不对,懂不懂 or 好不好? Are these set phrases? But I don’t think we can say 错不错, isn’t it? Please help.

Hi Jeremy,

It’s just like English. We ask “is it correct?”, “understand?”, and “ok?”. If you want to say “is it wrong?”, it would be 错了吗?


Thanks Betty! :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

1 Like

Hi Betty, you mean 对没对 and 对不对,they are the same like English, " is it correct" ? also have these words, 吃不吃,吃没吃?

I think there’s a slight difference between 对不对 and 对没对.

对不对 is literally “correct or not correct”, like when you ask “You live in China, correct or not correct?”. It’s very easy to use when asking if something is true.

对没对 on the other hand I would use more for example during an exam. It’s more like “did I get it right or not”. You wouldn’t use it in the context above. You could use it during a quiz when you ask “did I get the correct answer on that question?”.


Hi @gracechen7874, @Susanna330666400

The structure of “V 没 V” can only be used in an “already-happened situation”. For example:

  • 我忘記我今天吃沒吃飯了
    [Wǒ wàngjì wǒ jīntiān chī méi chīfànle]
    I forgot whether I have had a meal or not.

And because 对 is not an action verb, we don’t say 对没对. Hope my explanation is clear. If there’s still any question, feel free to leave them down here.


understand now, thank you.

I can remember I’ve seen these words in the same structure:


So 对没对 is completely incorrect?

I’ve definitely heard it used before, but every language has those expressions that are commonly used even though they’re kind of wrong :smiley:

I would translate it like this:

對不對: Right?
懂不懂: Understand?
好不好: OK?

Not sure if I’m qualified to help with Chinese but I’ll try. Native speakers please feel free to correct if there are errors:

讓我講完,好不好?Let me finish talking, OK?
這個人很奇怪,對不對? This person is weird right?
你到了醫院左轉,懂不懂? Turn left when you reach the hospital. Understand?

Hi @Jeremypu2019,

You’re right. And these action verbs are those that we can find that “it already happened”.

Hi @Susanna330666400 ,

You’re right. Sometimes even it’s grammatically wrong, people still use it. So if you want to check whether people say so or not, you can just type it in Baidu like I did. I typed 对没对, and found no one use it.

Hi @jasonporta,

Of course you’re qualified to do it. And you’re sentences are correct. But just notice that 懂不懂 sometimes makes people feel uncomfortable if the intonation is aggressive, so to avoid that, we would prefer to say 你到了醫院就左轉,知道了嗎?or 知不知道.


Hi Jason,

I think what you mentioned are all correct except the usage of 懂不懂. When someone puts 懂不懂 at the end of a sentence, it implies that the person is impatient to somebody. So we probably need avoid this structure and just ask 清楚了吗/明白了吗 instead.

1 Like

Great discussion here, all verbs can be used in this way? like v+没/不+v?

Hi Grace,

If you are talking about action verbs, yes, it can be used in both ways.

thank you so much for your response!

1 Like