Expressing Alternatives

There are two words that can be used to express alternatives in Chinese: 或者 (huòzhě) and还是 (háishì). The only difference is that 或者 is only used in statements, whereas 还是 is used in questions.

1. 或者

Alternative 1 或者 Aternative 2 吗?
guǒzhī huòzhě kāfēi dōukéyǐ.
果汁 或者 咖啡 都可以。

Either Juice or coffee is fine.

chījiǎozi huòzhě chīniúròumiàn dōuxíng.
吃饺子 或者 吃牛肉面 都行。

Either eating dumplings or eating beef-noodles is OK.

kāichē huòzhě zuògōngjiāo nǐzìjǐ zuò juédìng.
开车 或者 坐公交 你自己 做决定。

Drive car or take a bus, it’s up to you.

2. 还是

S (是) Alternative 1 还是 Aternative 2?
àiwǒ háishì àitā?
爱我 还是 爱她?

Do you love me or her?

jiǔdiǎnshàngkè háishì shídiǎnshàngkè?
九点上课 还是 十点上课?

Do you have class at nine or ten?

shì xiǎng zhǎogōngzuò háishì xiǎng kǎoyán?
想 找工作 还是 想 考研?

Do you want to find a job or continue to study after graduate?

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