The Mandarin Chinese word for “what” is shénme. It is most commonly used as a question word, but can also be used in certain expressions like méi shén me – 沒甚麼 (it doesn’t matter).
Shénme has two characters: 甚麼. The first character shén 甚 means “what” and the second character is a non-independent particle which is always used in conjunction with other characters.
Shénme occurs after the verb it references, or when used with a noun, can appear at the beginning of the phrase.
Examples of Shénme
Nǐ yào chī shénme?
What do you want to eat?
Shénme dìfang bǐjiào hǎo wán?
What place is fun?