Auxiliary Verbs in Questions

Questions can be formed by using the positive-negative form of verbs. However, when Auxiliary Verbs like 会 (huì), 能(néng) and 可以 (kěyǐ) are used in the positive-negative form, it is the Auxiliary Verb, not the main Verb that is doubled. And the “positive-negative” comes before the main Verb.

S AV 不-AV V-O
huì búhuì shuō zhōngwén?
不会 说 中文?

Can you speak Chinese?

néng bùnéng kàn diànshì?
不能 看 电视?

Can I watch TV?

dàjiā huì búhuì tiào wǔ?
大家 不会 跳 舞?

Can everybody dance?

When the Auxiliary Verb is a two-syllable word, e .g. 可以 (kěyǐ), 喜欢 (xǐhuān), 需要 (xūyào), the positive Auxiliary Verb is usually shortened to the first syllable only.

S AV (first syllable) 不-AV V-O
bùkěyǐ chī língshí?
不可以 吃 零食?

Can I eat snacks?

tāmen bùxǐhuān pǎo bù?
他们 不喜欢 跑 步?

Do they like running?

bùxūyào mǎi fáng?
不需要 买 房?

Do you need to buy a house?

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