III. Circumstantial elements that the shì ... de construction highlights.

 

3. Focusing on manner

 

3.3 Instrument

 

3.3.1  shì zěnme xiě de xìn? 

你是怎么写的信?

How did you write the letter?

 

3.3.2  shì yòng máobǐ xiě de xìn. 

我是用毛笔写的信。

I wrote the letter with a writing brush. /It was with a writing brush that I wrote the letter.

 

Sentence 3.3.2 could also be an answer to the following questions.

 

3.3.3 shì yòng shénme xiě de xìn? 

你是用什么写的信?

With what did you write the letter?

 

3.3.4 shì yòng máobǐ xiě de xìn ma? 

你是用毛笔写的信吗?

Did you write the letter with a writing brush? /Was it with a writing brush that you wrote the letter?

 

3.3.5 shì shì yòng máobǐ xiě de xìn? 

你是不是用毛笔写的信?

Did you write the letter with a writing brush? /Was it with a writing brush that you wrote the letter?