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Explain zenme formal and informal

Hi ChinesePod team, my question is this:

Could you please help me understand how to use zenme “怎么” in a sentence using future and past tense? Also, is there a formal or informal version of this word?

Hi Alanna,

In Chinese, 怎么 [zěn me] can have different meanings. Most commonly, it means “how”.

  • 我们怎么过去?
    How do we get there?

怎么 [zěn me] can mean “what happened” as well:

  • 怎么回事?
    What happened?

The term by itself can have the same meaning as well, but this is mainly used in informal situations:

  • 怎么了?
    What happened?
    What just happened?

More detailed explanation, you can check out the lesson link that @podster shared.