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How to ask someone’s nationality

Speaking about citizenship is part of self introduction.

Speaking about citizenship is part of self-introduction. First, let’s take a look at the following words about countries and citizenship.


“你是哪国人?(Nǐ shì nǎ guó rén?)” is used for asking someone’s nationality. “哪(nǎ)” means “which.” “国(guó)” means “country.” “人(rén)” refers to “people.”

Here is an example of how to answer this question.

  • 你是哪国人? (Nǐ shì nǎ guó rén?)
  • 我是中国人。(Wǒ shì Zhōngguó rén.)
If you have known somebody’s nationality and you want to know his or her hometown, you may ask “你是哪里人?(Nǐ shì nǎli rén?)”.
  • 你是哪里人? (Nǐ shì nǎli rén?)
  • 我是北京人。 (Wǒ shì Běijīng rén.)

“你是北京人吗? (Nǐ shì Běijīng rén ma?)” is a general yes/no question. “吗(ma)” is a question marker for this kind of question.

If the answer is affirmative, we say “是(shì)/对(duì)”, “对(duì)” just means “correct” or “right” which is more casual sometimes. If the answer is negative, we say “不(bù)”.

If you still have any difficulties about speaking your country and citizenship, please let us know by giving us comments.

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Learn Chinese: Introduction to Chinese Conversation

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