The particle 呢 has more uses than 吗, but we’ll look at the most important one here: forming queries, or asking bounce-back questions.

The most common use for 呢 is probably to form simple queries. All you do is put 呢 after the thing you want to query. This is often equivalent to saying “and … ?“, “what about … ?” or “how about … ?” in English. Some examples:

Nǐ ne?
And you?
Wǒ ne?
What about me?
Zhèxiē dōngxi ne?
What about these things?
As you can see, it’s very easy to query things in Chinese using 呢. Just say the thing you’d like to know about, and put 呢 right after it. This is very commonly used to ask ‘bounce-back questions’ in Chinese. This is when someone asks you a question, and you return the question to them after answering it. This is commonly done by simply asking “你呢?”.

There are a few other uses for 呢 in Chinese grammar, but we won’t go into detail about those in this article.