Common Conversational Words and Phrases in Chinese

If you need to ask an information question, useqngwn; for example,qngwn,do bijng fndin znme zu?(Excuse me, how do you get to the Beijing Hotel?)

fichng gnxe.(I appreciate it.)

qng n zi shu yc, homa?(Can you repeat, please?)

*w shu yngwn.(I speak English.)

The personal pronouns in Chinese are

tmen(they [masculine or mixed group])

n/nn(you [informal/formal])

qng(please) In Chinese, you would rarely use qng (please) by itself. It is usually used as part of a question or request.

By mastering the basics of conversation in Chinese, you put yourself and the person youre talking to at ease. Everyone should learn essential Chinese conversational words and phrases before traveling to a Chinese -speaking location. These words and expressions are sure to come up in most everyday conversations.

The usual way to say Yes, thank you is to use the verb in the question and xixie. For example, Would you like some tea?nyo hch ma?Yes, thank you.yo, xixie. To say no thank you, sayb yo, xixie.

Sub-bullets have numbers over/under them

When meeting people in Chinese-speaking locales, be sure to use the appropriate formal title. A man would be calledxinsheng,which is the same as Mr. or Sir. A married woman is calledtitai[informal]/fren[formal]. The Chinese equivalent for Ms. isnshand Miss would bexioji.

Common Conversational Words and Phrases in Chinese

In some instances, you can also simply repeat the main verb of the question to answer Yes, or negate the verb (b / mi + verb). For example, n q mi dngxi ma? (Are you going shopping?) q. (Yes.) bq. (No.)

w zi zho jidin.(I am looking for the hotel.)

w de zhngwn shude bho.(I do not speak Chinese well.)

w b zhdo zi nr.(I dont know where it is.)

The next most common way to refer to people is by using personal pronouns. In Chinese, the pronounyouis complicated by formality and youll use slightly different variations of the word depending on who you are referring to.

If you are trying to get someones attention or just pass through a line, usedubqandloji.

Westerners sayxixie(thank you) all the time, and the Chinese find it somewhat quaint and they dont use it that often. In fact, the wordbkqi(Youre welcome) actually means Dont be so polite!

Excuse me is a common phrase that is used several different ways in English, but in Chinese, there are actually three different ways to say excuse me depending on the situation:

If, however, when want to get the attention of a store clerk, waitress, or waiter, just use the persons title, such asfwyun(waiter/waitress) orshuhuyun(salesclerk).

du, w zhdo.(Yes, I know.)

How to Say Dates and Times in Chinese

dubuq. wbzhdo.(I am sorry. I dont know.)

Being polite is important anywhere you go, here or abroad, because it shows respect for the person and the culture. The following words and phrases cover most of the pleasantries required for polite conversation in Chinese:

Now that youve learned the basics of polite conversation, its time to take it a step further. There are some phrases that are particularly helpful to international travelers. Below are several phrases that might come in handy during your stay in a Chinese-speaking country.

byngxe. (Youre welcome.)

w ml le.(I am lost.)

w b dng.(I dont understand.)

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