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Golden Week in Autumn – The Chinese National Day

Autumn is in the air, and what could be a more comfortable time to enjoy China’s most important holiday? 

Today, we’re going to talk about the National Day of the People’s Republic of China (or the Chinese National Day, for short). There are so many interesting things to discover about this holiday, so what are we waiting for?

Let’s dive in!

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1. What is National Day in China?

The Chinese Flag

China’s national day is a 法定假日 (fǎdìng jiàrì), or “public holiday,” commemorating the founding of the new China on October 1, 1949. 

To give you some context, China was engaged in a Civil War that lasted, intermittently, for over two decades (from 1927 to 1949). This war was ultimately the result of a struggle between the Communist Party of China and the Republic of China. It was in 1949 that the CPC gained the upper hand by taking control of mainland China and forcing the ROC into Taiwan. Interestingly, the war never officially ended with a treaty or armistice, leaving room for debate on the status of both parties today.

Despite this ambiguity, the Chinese National Day is a massive celebration in mainland China, with smaller and less elaborate celebrations in Hong Kong and Macau. 

2. Traditions and Celebrations for National Day

In China, National Day celebrations actually last for about a week. This is because it marks the first day of the Golden Week in China, which lasts from October 1 to October 7 (except in 2020, which we’ll talk about later!). 

What is Golden Week in China?

You may be familiar with the term 黄金周 (huángjīn zhōu), or “Golden Week,” already. But for those who don’t know, this is a week-long period of celebration in mainland China that begins on October 1. (There are two other Golden Weeks in China, too, though.)

Because National Day is such a significant holiday for the Chinese, those living in mainland China are given three days off of work and school, which adds up to about seven days when you count the weekends before and after. 

While the Chinese National Day is the most important of these days, you’ll find that all of China is very busy and crowded week-long. Many shops and businesses offer discounts to attract more customers, people travel to visit family or friends, and there are massive celebrations just about everywhere! 

National Day Celebrations

The most important celebrations take place in 天安门广场 (Tiān’ānmén Guǎngchǎng), or “Tiananmen Square,” in Beijing. Tiananmen Square, being located in China’s capital and center of governance, is always very crowded for this holiday, and many large events take place here. In fact, the very first National Day celebration in 1949 took place in the square. Today, many Chinese people gather here for the 升旗仪式 (shēngqí yíshì), or “flag-raising ceremony,” which is a symbol of China’s progress and strength as a country. 

Tiananmen Square also attracts large crowds on National Day for its flowerbeds. Each year, there are new flower decorations based on a unique theme, often having to do with the economy or social development of China.

The Chinese National Day parade is another iconic celebration. People gather from far and wide to watch the 阅兵 (yuèbīng), or “review troops,” perform in a military parade, which is then followed by other common parades put on by the general public. These parades are extra-special on whole-number anniversaries, such as when China celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2009 and 70th anniversary in 2019. 

In China, there’s a well-known exchange between the parade head and its troops for this holiday: “Greetings, comrades!” / “Greetings, director.” / “Comrades, you have worked hard!” / “For the people!”

Popular Chinese National Day foods include traditional treats such as mooncakes, as well as other festive dishes often eaten on holidays. On the night of the National Day, there is a 烟火表演 (yānhuǒ biǎoyǎn), or “fireworks display,” to end the official celebration with a bang and flash of color! 

3. When Major Holidays Collide

Tiananmen Square

Earlier, we mentioned that 2020 will be a special year for the Chinese Golden Week. Why is that?

This year, October 1 is not only China’s National Day, but also the date of the Mid-Autumn Festival. Because both holidays are widely celebrated in China, the Chinese will be given eight days off instead of the usual seven! 

This normally happens one out of every five years.

4. Essential Vocabulary for the Chinese National Day

Chinese Children Enjoying the Chinese National Day Parade

Let’s review some of the Chinese vocabulary from this lesson! 

  • 天安门广场 (Tiān’ānmén Guǎngchǎng) – “Tiananmen Square”
  • 阅兵 (yuèbīng) – “review troops”
  • 中共中央委员会 (Zhōngòng Zhōngyāng Wěiyuánhuì) – “Central Committee of the Communist Party of China”
  • 烟火表演 (yānhuǒ biǎoyǎn) – “fireworks display”
  • 升旗仪式 (shēngqí yíshì) – “flag-raising ceremony”
  • 黄金周 (huángjīn zhōu) – “golden week”
  • 人民英雄纪念碑 (Rénmín Yīngxióng jìniàn Bēi) – “Monument to the People’s Heroes”
  • 国庆节 (Guóqìng Jié) – “National Day”
  • 游行 (yóuxíng) – “parade”
  • 法定假日 (fǎdìng jiàrì) – “public holiday”

Remember that you can find each of these words and phrases along with their pronunciation on our Chinese National Day vocabulary list.

Final Thoughts

What are your thoughts on Chinese National Day? How do celebrations compare to those for your country’s national day? We’d love to hear from you in the comments! 

To learn more about Chinese holidays and culture, see the following articles from

For even more fun and informative content, create your free lifetime account with us today! We publish new lessons often, so you’ll never run out of new things to study. 

Happy Chinese learning!

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Gardeners & Flowers: Celebrating Teacher’s Day in China

Let me just say: I wouldn’t be where I am today if it hadn’t been for a particular teacher who helped me unlock my potential. 

Can you relate? 

If so, you’ll agree that the importance of teachers and their role in society can’t be undermined. 

In China, Teacher’s Day is a major holiday—and it has been for thousands of years! In this article, you’ll learn how the Chinese celebrated teachers in ancient times, what celebrations look like today, and why teachers are compared to gardeners. 

Let’s get started.

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1. What is Teacher’s Day?

a Chinese Teacher Sitting behind a Desk

There’s an old saying that goes: “Three to respect: the emperor, father, and teacher.”

In Chinese culture, people place equal value on those who guide the country, those who raised them, and those who teach them. 

In China, Teacher’s Day is a time for students to show 爱戴 (àidài), or “love and esteem,” for their teachers, both past and present. It became an official holiday in 1985, though the Chinese have long considered teaching to be one of the most 受人尊敬的 (shòu rén zūn jìng de), or “respectable,” professions. 

Ancient Chinese Teacher’s Day Celebrations

In feudal China, people celebrated a similar holiday on the birthday of 孔子 (Kǒng Zǐ), or “Confucius,” one of the greatest thinkers and teachers of all time. During the Eastern Zhou Period, Confucius was held in high esteem, with people calling him a saint and a holy sage. So revered was Confucius that even the Emperor, alongside great intellectuals, would worship him.

Besides celebrating the birth of Confucius, the Chinese treated their teachers well on this day. All teachers were given the day off of work, bestowed with gifts of dried meat, and the very best teachers were also given silver coins. Up until the Qing Dynasty, it was common for teachers to get raises or promotions on this day. 

What is the Importance of Teacher’s Day in Modern Times?

While modern-day Teacher’s Day celebrations may not be as lavish as in times past, this holiday still holds an important place in Chinese society. 

The 1985 implementation of Teacher’s Day as an official holiday stemmed from a lack of people in 教育事业 (jiàoyù shìyè), or “educational work,” following the Cultural Revolution in China. Government officials hoped that emphasizing this holiday—and with it, the significance of teachers—would encourage more people to go into the educational field.

Today, 教诲 (jiàohuì), or “teaching,” is still considered one of the most admirable professions. Teachers are respected and held in high esteem by their students—not just on Teacher’s Day, but year-round! 

2. When is Teacher’s Day in China?

Each year, Teacher’s Day takes place on September 10.

In Ancient China, however, the holiday was celebrated according to the lunar calendar. Back then, the date was on the twenty-seventh day of the eighth lunar month. 

3. Celebrations and Traditions for Teacher’s Day

a Chinese Student Giving Flowers to Her Teacher

The most popular Teacher’s Day celebration in China is that of visiting the school or university from which one graduated. This tradition allows previous students to show appreciation for their teachers, who taught them well and prepared them for life.

Students who are still in school may offer Chinese Teacher’s Day cards or other small tokens of appreciation to their teachers. Perhaps the best gift for Teacher’s Day in China is 鲜花 (xiānhuā), or “fresh flowers.” In addition to the beauty and lovely scents of the flowers, they also correspond to an old metaphor about teachers (which we’ll talk about later!). Many schools also allow for class celebrations on this day, which might make up for the fact that teachers don’t get this day off work. 

On Teacher’s Day, China offers recognition for its teachers through awards ceremonies. Schools often gift their best teachers with certificates and flowers for their hard work, and upper-level authorities present exceptional teachers with the Annual Excellent Teacher award. On a smaller scale, students sometimes hold a Western-style competition for “Most Popular Teacher.”

4. The Gardener Metaphor

A Woman Gardening

In China, teachers are often compared to gardeners and students to flowers.

This is because, like flowers, students must be properly nourished and taken care of in order to bloom to their full potential. In a sense, the education and guidance that teachers offer their students serve as that nourishment. 

And, of course, the most skilled gardeners grow the most beautiful flowers! 

5. Essential Teacher’s Day Vocabulary

Commemorative Postage Stamps for Teacher’s Day in China

Let’s review some of the Chinese vocabulary words and phrases from this article!

  • 书桌 (shūzhuō) – “writing desk”
  • 粉笔 (fénbǐ) – “chalk”
  • 纪念邮票 (jìniàn yóupiào) – “commemorative postage stamp”
  • 讲台 (jiǎng tái) – “teacher’s platform”
  • 孔子 (Kǒng Zǐ) – “Confucius”
  • 黑板 (hēibǎn) – “blackboard”
  • 鲜花 (xiānhuā) – “fresh flowers”
  • 擦 () – “erase”
  • 爱戴 (àidài) – “love and esteem”
  • 敬佩 (jìng pèi) – “admire”
  • 受人尊敬的 (shòu rén zūn jìng de) – “respectable”
  • 讲授 (jiǎngshòu) – “teach”
  • 教诲 (jiàohuì) – “teaching”
  • 园丁 (yuándīng) – “gardener”
  • 教育事业 (jiàoyù shìyè) – “educational work”

Remember to head over to our Chinese Teacher’s Day vocabulary list to hear the pronunciation of each word, and add them to your flashcard deck! 

Final Thoughts

Isn’t it fascinating to see how old traditions carry over into modern times? It looks like China’s admiration for teachers won’t go away any time soon

Do you celebrate Teacher’s Day in your country? Let us know in the comments! 

If you want to learn more about Chinese culture and the language, explore and our many useful features. From insightful blog posts like this one to numerous video and audio lessons for learners at every level, we have everything you need to achieve your language-learning goals. We hope to see you around. 😉

Happy Teacher’s Day from the team! 

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100 Classic Chinese Verbs in Daily Life


Verbs are an essential component of a sentence, and they’re at the core of our conversations as they provide key information. Everyone knows that a sentence isn’t complete without a verb! 
It’s not difficult to master the basic rules of common Chinese verbs as they don’t have any conjugation. However, there are additional phrases you can add to the sentence in order to indicate a certain time frame and make the sentence sound more natural. Now, let’s dive right into this simple introduction to common Chinese verbs!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Chinese Table of Contents
  1. Physical Verbs vs. Mental Verbs
  2. Linking Verbs
  3. Helping Verbs
  4. Chinese Verbs and Essentials of Grammar
  5. Conclusion

1. Physical Verbs vs. Mental Verbs

Top Verbs

Some of the most useful Chinese verbs are action verbs, and like in English, there are two kinds of action verbs: physical and mental. We have a list for each one! 

1- Physical verbs

  • To go – 去 (

In Chinese: 我明天去阿姨家给她过生日。

Pinyin: Wǒ míng tiān qù ā yí jiā gěi tā guò shēng rì. 

In English: “I am going to my aunt’s house to celebrate her birthday.”

  • To come – 来 (lái)

In Chinese: 我很期待你来我家做客。

Pinyin: Wǒ hěn qī dài nǐ lái wǒ jiā zuò kè. 

In English: “I look forward to having you as a guest to come to my house.”

  • To look – 看 (kàn)

In Chinese: 快看!这里的景色多美啊。 

Pinyin: Kuài kàn! Zhè lǐ de jǐng sè duō měi a. 

In English: “Look! How beautiful the landscape is here.”

  • To tell – 告诉 (gào sù)

In Chinese: 老师告诉我们要学会培养自己独立思考的能力。

Pinyin: Lǎo shī gào sù wǒ men yào xué huì péi yǎng zì jǐ dú lì sī kǎo de néng lì. 

In English: “The teacher told us to learn to think independently.”

  • To ask – 问 (wèn)

In Chinese: 没有方向感的我经常向别人问路。 

Pinyin: Méi yǒu fāng xiàng gǎn de wǒ jīng cháng xiàng bié rén wèn lù. 

In English: “I have no sense of direction, so I always ask others for directions.”

  • To try – 尝试 (cháng shì)

In Chinese: 我想要尝试更多的亚洲美食。

Pinyin: Wǒ xiǎng yào cháng shì gèng duō de yà zhōu měi shí.

In English: “I want to try more Asian food.”

  • To promise – 承诺 (chéng nuò)

In Chinese: 爸爸承诺我会在我明年的生日送我一部相机。

Pinyin: Bà ba chéng nuò wǒ huì zài wǒ míng nián de shēng rì sòng wǒ yī bù xiàng jī. 

In English: “Dad promised to give me a camera for my birthday next year.”

Group Planning Things Around a Table

In Chinese: 我希望将来可以找一份自己热爱的工作。

Pinyin: Wǒ xī wàng jiāng lái kě yǐ zhǎo yī fèn zì jǐ rè ài de gōng zuò. 

In English: “I hope to find a job that I am passionate about in the future.”

  • To eat – 吃 (chī)

In Chinese: 我很喜欢吃披萨。

Pinyin: Wǒ hěn xǐ huan chī pī sa. 

In English: “I love eating pizza.”

  • To drink – 喝 ()

In Chinese: 在夏天喝橙汁是一件非常享受的事情。

Pinyin: Zài xià tiān hē chéng zhī shì yī jiàn fēi cháng xiǎng shòu de shì qing. 

In English: “It’s a very enjoyable thing to drink orange juice in summer.”

  • To take – 拿 ()

In Chinese: 请拿好您的随身物品。

Pinyin: Qǐng ná hǎo nín de suí shēn wù pǐn. 

In English: “Please take care of your belongings.”

  • To give – 给 (gěi)

In Chinese: 我给了他一封信。

Pinyin: Wǒ gěi le tā yī fēng xìn. 

In English: “I gave him a letter.”

  • To use – 用 (yòng)

In Chinese: 我不知道怎么用这款相机。

Pinyin: Wǒ bù zhī dào zěn me yòng zhè kuǎn xiàng jī. 

In English: “I have no idea how to use this camera.”

  • To find – 找 (zhǎo)

In Chinese: 她很擅长玩捉迷藏,我们每次都要找她很久。

Pinyin: Tā hěn shàn cháng wán zhuō mí cáng, wǒ men měi cì dōu yào zhǎo tā hěn jiǔ.

In English: “She is very good at hide-and-seek; we always take a long time to find her.”

  • To write – 写 (xiě)

In Chinese: 她很喜欢写诗。

Pinyin: Tā hěn xǐ huan xiě shī. 

In English: “She really enjoys writing poems.”

  • To run – 跑 (pǎo)

In Chinese: 我听说兔子跑得很快。

Pinyin: Wǒ tīng shuō tù zi pǎo de hěn kuài. 

In English: “I heard that rabbits run fast.”

  • To hear – 听 (tīng)

In Chinese: 狗可以听到很多人类耳朵听不到的声音。

Pinyin: Gǒu kě yǐ tīng dào hěn duō rén lèi ěr duǒ tīng bú dào de shēng yīn. 

In English: “Dogs can hear many sounds that the human ear can’t.”

  • To dance – 跳舞 (tiào wǔ)

In Chinese: 他跳舞很好。

Pinyin: Tā tiào wǔ hěn hǎo. 

In English: “He dances well.”

A Woman Smiling Brightly
  • To smile – 微笑 (wēi xiào)

In Chinese: 她总是微笑着向每一个人问好。

Pinyin: Tā zǒng shì wēi xiào zhe xiàng měi yī gè rén wèn hǎo. 

In English: “She always smiles and says hello to everyone.”

  • To explain – 解释 (jiě shì)

In Chinese: 请你把这件事的发生过程解释清楚。

Pinyin: Qǐng nǐ bǎ zhè jiàn shì de fā shēng guò chéng jiě shì qīng chǔ. 

In English: “Please clearly explain how this happened.”

  • To buy – 买 (mǎi)

In Chinese: 很多女生都喜欢买包和化妆品。

Pinyin: Hěn duō nǚ shēng dōu xǐ huān mǎi bāo hé huà zhuāng pǐn. 

In English: “Many girls like to buy purses and makeup supplies.”

  • To sell – 卖 (mài)

In Chinese: 这家店卖的很多东西都是二手的。

Pinyin: Zhè jiā diàn mài de hěn duō dōng xī dōu shì èr shǒu de. 

In English: “This shop sells many second-hand items.”

  • To arrive – 到达 (dào dá)

In Chinese: 每个人都准时到达了会议现场。

Pinyin: Měi gè rén dōu zhǔn shí dào dá le huì yì xiàn chǎng. 

In English: “Everyone arrived on time to the meeting.”

  • To pay – 付款 (fù kuǎn)

In Chinese: 请问我应该在哪里付款?

Pinyin: Qǐng wèn wǒ yīng gāi zài nǎ lǐ fù kuǎn? 

In English: “Can you please tell me where I can pay?”

  • To drive – 开车 (kāi chē)

In Chinese: 妈妈总会开车接我放学。

Pinyin: Mā ma zǒng huì kāi chē jiē wǒ fàng xué. 

In English: “My mom always drives to pick me up after school.”

  • To sing – 唱歌 (chàng gē)

In Chinese: 妹妹总喜欢唱歌给我听。

Pinyin: Mèi mei zǒng xǐ huan chàng gē gěi wǒ tīng. 

In English: “My younger sister always likes to sing for me.”

  • To marry – 结婚 (jié hūn)

In Chinese: 他终于和自己心爱的女孩结婚了。

Pinyin: Tā zhōng yú hé zì jǐ xīn ài de nǚ hái jié hūn le. 

In English: “He finally marries the girl he loves.”

  • To wear – 穿 (chuān)

In Chinese: 不是所有女孩都喜欢穿裙子。

Pinyin: Bú shì suǒ yǒu nǚ hái dōu xǐ huan chuān qún zi. 

In English: “Not all girls like to wear dresses.”

  • To walk – 走 (zǒu)

In Chinese: 我很喜欢吃完饭之后在街上走走。

Pinyin: Wǒ hěn xǐ huan chī wán fàn zhī hòu zài jiē shàng zǒu zǒu. 

In English: “I like to walk on the streets after finishing a meal.”

  • To travel – 旅行 (lǚ xíng)

In Chinese: 他喜欢去有田园气息的地方旅游。

Pinyin: Tā xǐ huan qù yǒu tián yuán qì xī de dì fang lǚ yóu. 

In English: “He likes to travel around rural places.”

  • To study – 研究 (yán jiū)

In Chinese: 这位科学家研究了很多学术性论文。

Pinyin: Zhè wèi kē xué jiā yán jiū le hěn duō xué shù xìng lùn wén. 

In English: “This scientist has studied many academic papers.”

A Woman Sitting Down and Playing a 
  • To learn – 学习 (xué xí)

In Chinese: 我突然一时兴起想学习吉他了。

Pinyin: Wǒ tū rán yī shí xìng qǐ xiǎng xué xí jí tā le. 

In English: “On a whim, I suddenly wanted to learn guitar.”

  • To stop – 停 (tíng)

In Chinese: 一只小蝴蝶停在了花朵上。

Pinyin: Yī zhī xiǎo hú dié tíng zài le huā duǒ shàng. 

In English: “A butterfly stopped on a flower.”

  • To stay – 留下 (liú xià)

In Chinese: 吃完饭后,有几个朋友在我家留下打游戏。 

Pinyin: chī wán fàn hòu, yǒu jǐ gè péng yǒu zài wǒ jiā liú xià dǎ yóu xì. 

In English: “After we ate, a few friends stayed at my house to play games.”

  • To send – 发送 (fā sòng)

In Chinese: 我已经把简历发送出去了。 

Pinyin: Wǒ yǐ jīng bǎ jiǎn lì fā sòng chū qù le. 

In English: “I already sent my resume.”

  • To sleep – 睡觉 (shuì jiào)

In Chinese: 每次一吃完饭我就想睡觉。

Pinyin: Měi cì yī chī wán fàn wǒ jiù xiǎng shuì jiào. 

In English: “Every time I finish a meal, I want to go to sleep.”

  • To say – 说 (shuō)

In Chinese: 可以请你再说一遍吗?

Pinyin: Kě yǐ qǐng nǐ zài shuō yī biàn ma?

In English: “Can you please say that again?”

  • To get – 得到 (dé dào)

In Chinese: 我很想得到这款限量版的球鞋。 

Pinyin: Wǒ hěn xiǎng dé dào zhè kuǎn xiàn liàng bǎn de qiú xié. 

In English: “I really want to get this pair of limited edition shoes.”

  • To own – 拥有 (yōng yǒu)

In Chinese: 我真想拥有一只小狗。

Pinyin: Wǒ zhēn xiǎng yōng yǒu yī zhī xiǎo gǒu. 

In English: “I really want to own a puppy.”

  • To receive – 收到 (shōu dào)

In Chinese: 你收到我的邮件了吗? 

Pinyin: Nǐ shōu dào wǒ de yóu jiàn le ma? 

In English: “Did you receive my email?”

  • To protect – 保护 (bǎo hù)

In Chinese: 我们都要有保护小动物的意识。

Pinyin: Wǒ men dōu yào yǒu bǎo hù xiǎo dòng wù de yì shí.

In English: “We should all have the sense to protect animals.

  • To provide – 提供 (tí gòng)

In Chinese: 这家店提供免邮的服务。

Pinyin: Zhè jiā diàn tí gòng miǎn yóu de fú wù. 

In English: “This shop provides free shipping service.”

  • To read – 读 ()

In Chinese: 他很热爱阅读,经常随手带着一本书。

Pinyin: Tā hěn rè ài yuè dú, jīng cháng suí shǒu dài zhe yī běn shū. 

In English: “He loves to read and always takes a book with him wherever he goes.”

  • To put – 放 (fàng)

In Chinese: 请你在读完这本书之后把它放回图书馆。

Pinyin: Qǐng nǐ zài dú wán zhè běn shū zhī hòu bǎ tā fàng huí tú shū guǎn. 

In English: “Please put this book back in the library after you are done with reading.”

  • To play – 玩 (wán)

In Chinese: 很多小孩都喜欢在沙滩边玩沙子。

Pinyin: Hěn duō xiǎo hái dōu xǐ huan zài shā tān biān wán shā zi. 

In English: “Many kids like to play in sand at the beach.”

An Upset Man with His Hand in His Fist on the Wall
  • To lose – 失去 (shī qù)

In Chinese: 很多时候我们只有在失去了之后才会珍惜。

Pinyin: Hěn duō shí hou wǒ men zhī yǒu zài shī qù le zhī hòu cái huì zhēn xī.

In English: “Very often, we only start to cherish something after we lose it.”

  • To leave – 离开 (lí kāi)

In Chinese: 妈妈在上班离开家前叮嘱我要记得吃药。

Pinyin: Mā ma zài shàng bān lí kāi jiā qián dīng zhǔ wǒ yào jì de chī yào. 

In English: “Mom reminded me to take the medicine right before she left home to go to work.”

  • To invite – 邀请 (yāo qǐng)

In Chinese: 姐姐邀请了很多亲戚去参加她的婚礼。

Pinyin: Jiě jie yāo qǐng le hěn duō qīn qi qù cān jiā tā de hūn lǐ.

In English: “My older sister invited many families to go to her wedding.”

  • To help – 帮助 (bāng zhù)

In Chinese: 爸爸是个很善良的人,他很喜欢帮助别人。 

Pinyin: Bà ba shì gè hěn shàn liáng de rén, tā hěn xǐ huan bāng zhù bié rén. 

In English: “My dad is a very kind person, he really likes to help others.”

  • To cook – 做饭 (zuò fàn)

In Chinese: 现在很多人都忙得没有时间做饭,经常叫外卖。

Pinyin: Xiàn zài hěn duō rén dōu máng de méi yǒu shí jiān zuò fàn, jīng cháng jiào wài mài. 

In English: “Many people nowadays are too busy to have time to cook; they always get take-out.”

2- Mental verbs

  • To know – 知道 (zhī dào)

In Chinese: 很多人明知道抽烟是不健康的,还是忍不住经常抽烟。

Pinyin: Hěn duō rén míng zhī dào chōu yān shì bú jiàn kāng de, hái shì rěn bú zhù jīng cháng chōu yān. 

In English: “Many people know that smoking is unhealthy, but they still can’t help smoking.”

  • To think – 认为 (rèn wéi)

In Chinese: 我认为你这么做是不对的。

Pinyin: Wǒ rèn wéi nǐ zhè me zuò shì bú duì de. 

In English: “I think it is not right for you to do it.”

  • To want – 想要 (xiǎng yào)

In Chinese: 我想要环球旅游。

Pinyin: Wǒ xiǎng yào huán qiú lǚ yóu. 

In English: “I want to travel all over the world.”

  • To believe – 相信 (xiāng xìn)

In Chinese: 我相信总有一天我的梦想会实现的。

Pinyin: Wǒ xiàng xìn zǒng yǒu yī tiān wǒ de mèng xiǎng huì shí xiàn de.

In English: “I believe that my dream will come true one day.”

  • To expect – 期待 (qī dài)

In Chinese: 小孩子总是很期待自己的圣诞节礼物。

Pinyin: Xiǎo hái zi zǒng shì hěn qī dài zì jǐ de shèng dàn jié lǐ wù. 

In English: “Children always look forward to their Christmas gift.”

  • To understand – 明白 (míng bái)

In Chinese: 长大后,我逐渐明白了很多事。

Pinyin: Zhǎng dà hòu, wǒ zhú jiàn míng bái le hěn duō shì. 

In English: “I started to understand many things while growing up.”

  • To like – 喜欢 (xǐ huān)

In Chinese: 我非常喜欢读书。

Pinyin: Wǒ fēi cháng xǐ huan dú shū.

In English: “I like reading very much.”

  • To hate – 讨厌 (tǎo yàn)

In Chinese: 我曾经很讨厌吃西兰花。

Pinyin: Wǒ céng jīng hěn tǎo yàn chī xī lán huā. 

In English: “I used to hate eating broccoli.” 

  • To love – 爱 (ài)

In Chinese: 爱是一件于人类而言不可缺少的东西。 

Pinyin: Ài shì yī jiàn yú rén lèi ér yán bù kě quē shǎo de dōng xi. 

In English: “Love is something that is necessary for humans.”

  • To remember – 记得 (jì de)

In Chinese: 我仍然记得自己大学毕业的那天有多么兴奋。

Pinyin: Wǒ réng rán jì de zì jǐ dà xué bì yè de nà tiān yǒu duō me xìng fèn. 

In English: “I still remember how excited I was on the day I graduated from college.”

  • To wish – 祝愿 (zhù yuàn)

In Chinese: 今天是奶奶的生日,我祝愿她可以长命百岁。

Pinyin: Jīn tiān shì nǎi nǎi de shēng rì, wǒ zhù yuàn tā kě yǐ zhǎng mìng bǎi suì.

In English: “Today is my grandmother’s birthday; I wish her to have longevity.”

  • To respect – 尊重 (zūn zhòng)

In Chinese: 我们可以不认同别人的选择,但一定要学会尊重。

Pinyin: Wǒ men kě yǐ bú rèn tóng bié rén de xuǎn zé, dàn yī dìng yào xué huì zūn zhòng. 

In English: “It’s okay not to agree with other people’s choices, but we should at least learn to respect them.”

  • To trust – 信任 (xìn rèn)

In Chinese: 我的朋友们都非常信任我。

Pinyin: Wǒ de péng you men dōu fēi cháng xìn rèn wǒ. 

In English: “My friends trust me a lot.”

  • To agree – 同意 (tóng yì)

In Chinese: 爸爸终于同意让我一个人去旅行了。

Pinyin: Bà ba zhōng yú tóng yì ràng wǒ yī gè rén qù lǚ xíng le. 

In English: “My dad finally agreed to let me travel alone.”

  • To fear – 害怕 (hài pà)

In Chinese: 我弟弟很害怕坐过山车。

Pinyin: Wǒ dì di hěn hài pà zuò guò shān chē. 

In English: “My younger brother fears being on a roller coaster very much.”

Baby’s Hands on the Hands of Its Parents and Grandparents
  • To support – 支持 (zhī chí)

In Chinese: 我的父母很支持我去学跳舞。

Pinyin: Wǒ de fù mǔ hěn zhī chí wǒ qù xué tiào wǔ. 

In English: “My parents support me in learning to dance very much.”

  • To encourage – 鼓励 (gǔ lì)

In Chinese: 我经常鼓励我的朋友们去尝试新鲜事物。

Pinyin: Wǒ jīng cháng gǔ lì wǒ de péng you men qù cháng shì xīn xiān shì wù.

In English: “I always encourage my friends to try new things.”

  • To reflect – 反省 (fǎn xǐng)

In Chinese: 每个人犯了错之后应该好好反省。 

Pinyin: Měi gè rén fàn le cuò zhī hòu yīng gāi hǎo hǎo fǎn xǐng. 

In English: “Everyone should reflect upon his mistake after it’s made.”

  • To regret – 后悔 (hòu huǐ)

In Chinese: 我很后悔自己当初没有好好努力学习。

Pinyin: Wǒ hěn hòu huǐ zì jǐ dāng chū méi yǒu hǎo hǎo nǔ lì xué xí. 

In English: “I really regret that I did not study hard before.”

  • To miss – 想念 (xiǎng niàn)

In Chinese: 我很想念曾经在学校的日子。

Pinyin: Wǒ hěn xiǎng niàn céng jīng zài xué xiào de rì zi. 

In English: “I miss the days when I went to school.”

  • To let – 让 (ràng)

In Chinese: 在我的帮助下,妈妈终于答应让妹妹出去玩了。

Pinyin: Zài wǒ de bāng zhù xià, mā ma zhōng yú dá yīng ràng mèi mei chū qù wán le. 

In English: “With my help, mom finally let my younger sister go out to have some fun.”

A Woman with Pleading, Hopeful Hands in Front of Chest
  • To hope – 希望 (xī wàng)

In Chinese: 我希望世界可以永远和平。 

Pinyin: Wǒ xī wàng shì jiè kě yǐ yǒng yuǎn hé píng. 

In English: “I hope this world will be forever peaceful.”

  • To guess – 猜测 (cāi cè)

In Chinese: 我猜测凶手可能是这个人。

Pinyin: Wǒ cāi cè xiōng shǒu kě néng shì zhè gè rén.

In English: “I guess that the criminal is this person.”

  • To express – 表达 (biǎo dá)

In Chinese: 我希望每个人都能勇于表达自我。

Pinyin: Wǒ xī wàng měi gè rén dōu néng yǒng yú biǎo dá zì wǒ. 

In English: “I hope everyone is free to express themselves.”

  • To decide – 决定 (jué dìng)

In Chinese: 我决定今天一个人去购物。

Pinyin: Wǒ jué dìng jīn tiān yī gè rén qù gòu wù.

In English: “I decided to go shopping by myself today.”

  • To accept – 接受 (jiē shòu)

In Chinese: 我接受你的选择。

Pinyin: Wǒ jiē shòu nǐ de xuǎn zé. 

In English: “I accept your choice.”

  • To change – 改变 (gǎi biàn)

In Chinese: 与其尝试去改变别人,倒不如学着去去理解和接受。

Pinyin: Yǔ qí cháng shì qù gǎi biàn bié rén, dào bù rú xué zhe qù qù lǐ jiě hé jiē shòu. 

In English: “Rather than changing people, we should learn to understand and accept.”

  • To admit – 承认 (chéng rèn)

In Chinese: 他终于承认了自己的错误。

Pinyin: Tā zhōng yú chéng rèn le zì jǐ de cuò wù. 

In English: “He finally admitted his own mistake.”

  • To allow – 允许 (yǔn xǔ)

In Chinese: 我不允许这种事情再发生。

Pinyin: Wǒ bù yǔn xǔ zhè zhǒng shì qing zài fā shēng. 

In English: “I won’t allow this kind of thing to happen again.”

2. Linking Verbs

More Essential Verbs

More Chinese language verbs you should know are the linking verbs. These are verbs that allow you to connect two ideas through a type of action. Read the Chinese verbs list below and the accompanying examples to get a better idea of how they work.

  • To see – 看 (kàn)

In Chinese: 我只相信我的双眼所看到的真相。

Pinyin: Wǒ zhǐ xiāng xìn wǒ de shuāng yǎn suǒ kàn dào de zhēn xiàng. 

In English: “I only believe in the truth that I see with my own eyes.”

  • To smell – 闻 (wén)

In Chinese: 我妈妈做的饭闻起来可香了。

Pinyin: wǒ mā mā zuò de fàn wén qǐ lái kě xiāng le.

In English: “My mom’s cooking smells really good.”

  • To taste – 尝 (cháng)

In Chinese: 快来尝尝我做的这道点心吧。

Pinyin: Kuài lái cháng chang wǒ zuò de zhè dào diǎn xīn ba. 

In English: “Come and try the pastry I just made.”

  • To sound – 听起来 (tīng qǐ lái)

In Chinese: 这首歌听起来节奏很欢乐。

Pinyin: Zhè shǒu gē tīng qǐ lái jiē zòu hěn huān lè. 

In English: “This song sounds very cheerful with these beats.”

  • To feel – 感觉 (gǎn jué)

In Chinese: 我感觉不太舒服。

Pinyin: wǒ gǎn jué bú tài shū fu. 

In English: “I don’t feel very well.”

  • To appear – 显得 (xiǎn de)

In Chinese: 她总是显得自己很有钱。

Pinyin: Tā zǒng shì xiǎn de zì jǐ hěn yǒu qián.

In English: “She always makes herself appear to be like a rich person.”

  • To turn/open – 打开 (dǎ kāi)

In Chinese: 能不能帮我把风扇打开?

Pinyin: Néng bu néng bāng wǒ bǎ fēng shàn dǎ kāi. 

In English: “Can you turn on the fan for me?”

Additional notes: In Chinese, we use the same word for “turn” and “open.”

  • To become – 成为 (chéng wéi)

In Chinese: 我希望长大之后成为一个对社会有用的人。

Pinyin: Wǒ xī wàng zhǎng dà zhī hòu chéng wéi yī gè duì shè huì yǒu yòng de rén. 

In English: “I hope I will become someone who is helpful to our society after I grow up.”

  • To seem – 似乎 (sì hū)

In Chinese: 他似乎不想和我们一起出去吃饭。

Pinyin: Tā sì hū bù xiǎng hé wǒ men yī qǐ chū qù chī fàn.

In English: “He doesn’t seem like he wants to eat out with us.”

3. Helping Verbs

Now we’ll talk about Chinese helping verbs because these are words you’ll need to use all the time. There are two types of helping verbs: modal and auxiliary.

Woman Talking with Her Coworkers

1- Chinese Modal Verbs

  • Can – 能 (néng)

In Chinese: 请问我能借用一下你的手机打电话吗?

Pinyin: Qǐng wèn wǒ néng jiè yòng yī xià nǐ de shǒu jī dǎ diàn huà ma?

In English: “Can I borrow your phone to make a call, please?”

  • May – 可以 (kě yǐ)

In Chinese: 你可以先吃完饭再给我回电话。

Pinyin: Nǐ kě yǐ xiān chī wán fàn zài gěi wǒ huí diàn huà. 

In English: “You may finish your meal first and then call me back.”

  • Must – 必须 (bì xū)

In Chinese: 你必须在凌晨十二点之前回家。

Pinyin: Nǐ bì xū zài líng chén shí èr diǎn zhī qián huí jiā.

In English: “You must come back home before 12 A.M.”

  • Will – 将 (jiāng)

In Chinese: 我相信你将会是最棒的。

Pinyin: Wǒ xiàng xìn nǐ jiāng huì shì zuì bàng de.

In English: “I believe that you will be the best.”

  • Shall – 应当 (yīng dāng)

In Chinese: 我们应当去别的地方谈谈这件事吗?

Pinyin: Wǒ men yīng dāng qù bié de dì fang tán tan zhè jiàn shì ma? 

In English: “Shall we go somewhere else to talk about it?”

  • Should – 应该 (yīng gāi)

In Chinese: 你应该把捡到的钱包送到警察局。

Pinyin: Nǐ yīng gāi bǎ jiǎn dào de qián bāo sòng dào jǐng chá jú.

In English: “You should take the purse you found to the police station.”

  • Would – 将会 (jiāng huì)

In Chinese: 我经常在想,如果当初没有遇见你,现在的我将会是怎样的呢?

Pinyin: Wǒ jīng cháng zài xiǎng, rú guǒ dāng chū méi yǒu yù jiàn nǐ, xiàn zài de wǒ jiāng huì shì zěn yàng de ne? 

In English: “I always wonder if I hadn’t met you, what would happen to me?” 

  • Might – 也许 (yě xǔ)

In Chinese: 我也许不会选择出国留学。

Pinyin: Wǒ yě xǔ bú huì xuǎn zé chū guó liú xué.

In English: “I might not choose to go study abroad.”

2- Chinese Auxiliary Verbs

  • To be – 是 (shì)

In Chinese: 他是一个善良的人。

Pinyin: Tā shì yī gè shàn liáng de rén.

In English: “He is a kind person.”

  • To do – 做 (zuò)

In Chinese: 我喜欢做家务。

Pinyin: Wǒ xǐ huan zuò jiā wù.

In English: “I like doing housework.”

  • To have – 有 (yǒu)

In Chinese: 你有订书器可以借我一下吗?

Pinyin: Nǐ yǒu dìng shū qì kě yǐ jiè wǒ yī xià ma? 

In English: “Do you have a stapler that I can borrow?”

  • To need – 需要 (xū yào)

In Chinese: 我需要你的帮助。 

Pinyin: Wǒ xū yào nǐ de bāng zhù.

In English: “I need your help.”

4. Chinese Verbs and Essentials of Grammar

Negative Verbs

So, how do Chinese verbs work?

As we mentioned before, there’s no conjugation in Chinese verbs, and common Chinese verbs placement is just as simple as it is in most other languages: Subject + Verb Phrase + Object. 

However, since no conjugation is required for common verbs in Chinese, we usually use aspect particles to modify verbs so that they specify the time and make a sentence sound more natural. For example, 了 (le), 着 (zhe), and 过 (guò) are the most common ones that can be added after a verb. 了 (le) and 过 (guò) are used to indicate past tense, while 着 (zhe) is used to indicate the current time.

Here are some examples to help you better understand this Chinese verbs grammar point:

  • In Chinese: 我在看着你的孩子呢。 

  Pinyin: Wǒ zài kān zhe nǐ de hái zi ne. 

  In English: “I am babysitting your child right now.”

  • In Chinese: 你吃过药了吗?

  Pinyin: Nǐ chī guò yào le ma? 

  In English: “Did you take your medicine?”

  • In Chinese: 昨天我看见了一只流浪狗。

  Pinyin: Zuó tiān wǒ kàn jiàn le yī zhī liú làng gǒu. 

  In English: “I saw a street dog yesterday.”

When you want to use an adverb to modify a verb, you can use this formula: Verb + 得 (de) + Adverb. 

  • In Chinese: 他跑得快。

Pinyin: Tā pǎo de kuài. 

In English: “He runs fast.”

Lastly, if you ever want to negate verbs in your sentence, the adverbs 不 () and 没 (méi) are commonly used to negate a verb. In general, the difference between these two words is that 不 () is used more for the future tense or a habitual action, while 没 (méi) is used to refer to the past tense.

  • In Chinese: 我昨天忙得都没来得及吃午饭。

Pinyin: Wǒ zuó tiān máng de dōu méi lái de jí chī wǔ fàn. 

In English: “I was too busy to eat lunch yesterday.”

  • In Chinese: 我不想今天去购物。

Pinyin: Wǒ bù xiǎng jīn tiān qù gòu wù. 

In English: “I don’t want to go shopping today.”

5. Conclusion

Don’t get overwhelmed by these Chinese verbs and essentials of grammar just yet. As long as you keep practicing, they’ll become a piece of cake before you know it. Chinese language is an art that you can never learn enough of because there’s so much diversity. Go to, and as you continue learning there, you’ll master these common verbs in Chinese and many more beautiful words to enrich your sentences. 

Before you go, let us know in the comments how you feel about Chinese verbs now. Are there any essential Chinese verbs that you still want to know? We look forward to hearing from you! 

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Personal Pronouns and More: A List of Chinese Pronouns


Quiz: Can you list all the pronouns you know? They don’t have to be Chinese pronouns; they can be in English or your native language. 

Now, what would be the first five pronouns on your list? 

Naturally, most of us first think of pronouns like “I,” “me,” “you,” “he,” and “they,” which are all personal pronouns. We sometimes forget that the list of pronouns goes on. 

There are possessive pronouns like “his” or “her,” demonstrative pronouns like “this” or “that,” interrogative pronouns like “what” or “where,” and so on.

Before we move on to this big, extensive, and complete list of all pronouns in Chinese, get a sneak peek at the essential list of the most useful pronouns on to see how many you already know! 

Ready? Let’s learn Chinese pronouns!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Chinese Table of Contents
  1. Chinese Personal Pronouns
  2. Chinese Demonstrative Pronouns
  3. Chinese Interrogative Pronouns
  4. Conclusion

1. Chinese Personal Pronouns

Introducing Yourself

Personal pronouns are the most frequently used type of pronouns. Imagine how you would invite your friend to your party without using personal pronouns: “Adam wants to invite Nick to Adam’s party this weekend. Would Nick like to come?” That’s amusingly wordy.

Personal pronouns can be further broken down into smaller categories. 

1- Singular Personal Pronouns 

Let’s first sum up all the singular forms of Chinese personal pronouns. 

Keep in mind that all Chinese pronouns can be used as a subject or an object in a sentence. There’s no different forms for different parts of the sentence, like the difference between “he” and “him” in English. 

1. First Person Singular

In Chinese:
In English: “I” or “me”

Example sentences:
  • In Chinese: 我是玛丽。
    Pinyin: Wǒ shì Mǎlì.
    In English: “I’m Mary.” 
    (我 as a subject)

  • In Chinese: 你是在笑我吗?
    Pinyin: Nǐ shì zài xiào wǒ ma?
    In English: “Are you laughing at me?”
    (你 as an object)

2. Second Person Singular

In Chinese:
In English: “you”

Example sentences:
  • In Chinese: 你是谁?
    Pinyin: Nǐ shì shéi?
    In English: “Who are you?” 
    (你 as a subject)

  • In Chinese: 我爱你。
    Pinyin: Wǒ ài nǐ.
    In English: “I love you.”
    (你 as an object)

When speaking with people who are senior in age or social status, such as teachers, supervisors, customers, or even strangers, it’s more polite and respectful to use the other form of 你, which is:

In Chinese:
Pinyin: nín
In English: (honorific/formal) “you”

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 谢谢您的建议。
    Pinyin: Xièxie nín de jiànyì.
    In English: “Thank you for your advice.”

3. Third Person Singular

In Chinese:
In English: “he” or “him”

Example sentences:
  • In Chinese: 他在找你。
    Pinyin: Tā zài zhǎo nǐ.
    In English: “He is looking for you.”

  • In Chinese: 你认识他吗?
    Pinyin: Nǐ rènshi tā ma?
    In English: “Do you know him?”

In Chinese:
In English: “she” or “her”

Example sentences:
  • In Chinese: 她不会来。
    Pinyin: Tā búhuì lái.
    In English: “She won’t be here.”

  • In Chinese: 我记得她,但是她不记得我。
    Pinyin: Wǒ jìde tā , dànshì tā bú jìde wǒ.
    In English: “I remember her, but she doesn’t remember me.”

In Chinese:
In English: “it” (animal or object) 

它 () is often used to refer to an animal or an object that’s been mentioned, regardless of gender.

Example sentences:
  • In Chinese: 这是大白。它是一个机器人。
    Pinyin: Zhè shì Dàbái. Tā shì yí ge jīqìrén.
    In English: “This is Baymax. It is a robot.”

  • In Chinese: 大家都很喜欢它。
    Pinyin: Dàjiā dōu hěn xǐhuan tā.
    In English: “Everybody likes it very much.”

You may have noticed that Chinese has three different words for the third personal pronoun. 他 () is for men, 她 () is for women, and 它 () is for non-humans. However, they’re all pronounced the same way, which could make listening a little tricky. Make sure you check the context in case of confusion. 

Also be careful with the 他 () for “he” and the 她 () for “her” in Chinese characters. The right side of these two characters is the same. What you need to pay attention to is the radicals on the left side. 他 has the radical 亻which is often used to indicate “person” or “man,” whereas 她 has the radical 女 () which means “woman.”

If you’re interested in learning more about Chinese characters, check out this video lesson on that shows you the common way to decipher Chinese characters.

As for the non-human “it,” 它 () can’t be used as an impersonal pronoun to serve as a subject in a sentence. For example, in English, we can say “It’s raining,” or “It’s difficult.” In Chinese, the “it” doesn’t translate to 它. In fact, the “it” in these two sentences is often omitted in Chinese translation.

2- Plural Personal Pronouns 

Making plural personal pronouns in Chinese is simple and convenient. You only need to stick the word 们 (men) after each singular pronoun. 

1. First Person Plural

In Chinese: 我们
Pinyin: wǒmen
In English: “we” or “us”

Reminder: The pinyin for “we” (wǒmen) may look the same as “women” in English, but they’re not the same! Don’t forget that Pinyin is not English.

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 你看见我们了吗?
    Pinyin: Nǐ kànjiàn wǒmen le ma?
    In English: “Do you see us now?”

2. Second Person Plural

In Chinese: 你们
Pinyin: nǐmen 
In English: “you” (plural)

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 你们去哪?
    Pinyin: Nǐmen qù nǎ?
    In English: “Where are you going?”

The plural form of the honorific 您 (nín) is still 你们 (nǐmen), not 您们 (nínmen). You might have seen the word 您们, but it’s an incorrect word! Yep, even native speakers make mistakes when speaking Chinese. 

In order to be more polite when addressing a group of people, use phrases like 您二位 (nín èr wèi) and 您几位 (nín jǐ wèi), which are the more courteous ways to say “you two” and “you guys.”

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 抱歉让您几位久等了。
    Pinyin: Bàoqiàn ràng nín jǐ wèi jiǔ děng le.
    In English: “Sorry to have kept you guys waiting.”

3. Third Person Plural

In Chinese: 他们
Pinyin: tāmen
In English: “they” or “them”

This word is often used to refer to more than one male, or a mixed group of males and females.

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 他们终于到了。
    Pinyin: Tāmen zhōngyú dàole .
    In English: “They are finally here.”

In Chinese: 她们
Pinyin: tāmen
In English: “they” or “them” (female)

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 我低估了她们。
    Pinyin: Wǒ dīgū le tāmen.
    In English: “I underestimated them.”

In Chinese: 它们
Pinyin: tāmen
In English: “they” or “them”  (animals or objects)

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 你给它们洗澡了吗?
    Pinyin: Nǐ gěi tāmen xǐzǎo le ma?
    In English: “Did you give them a bath yet?”

3- Possessive Personal Pronouns

Making Chinese possessive pronouns from the personal pronouns is also quite easy. In this case, you need the possessive particle 的 (de) after all of the personal pronouns. 

“Personal pronoun + 的 (de)” can be used the same way as an adjective before a noun, or they can be used as a noun by themselves. 

Here’s an example of the possessive form of the second singular pronoun:

In Chinese: 你的
Pinyin: nǐde
In English: “your” or “yours”

Example sentences:
  • In Chinese: 你的新衬衫很好看。
    Pinyin: Nǐ de xīn chènshān hěn hǎokàn.
    In English: “Your new shirt looks great.”

  • In Chinese: 这个新衬衫是你的。
    Pinyin: Zhège xīn chènshān shì nǐ de.
    In English: “This new shirt is yours.”

An example of first plural possessive:

In Chinese: 我们的
Pinyin: wǒmen de
In English: “our” or “ours”

Example sentences:
  • In Chinese: 她是我们的老师。
    Pinyin: Tā shì wǒmen de lǎoshī.
    In English: “She is our teacher.”

  • In Chinese: 这排位子都是我们的。
    Pinyin: Zhè pái wèizi dōu shì wǒmen de.
    In English: “This row of seats is all ours.”

In some circumstances, the particle 的 can be omitted. A very common situation for 的 to be dropped is in colloquial speech, when possessive pronouns are used before close relationships, such as one’s family members, friends, home, or office. For example, it’s grammatically correct to say:

  • In Chinese: 我的妈妈回来了。
    Pinyin: Wǒde māma huílai le.
    In English: “My mom is back.”

But it sounds a bit formal. In everyday conversations, people are more likely to say:

  • In Chinese: 我妈回来了。
    Pinyin: Wǒ mā huílai le.
    In English: “My mom is back.”

In this sentence, not only is the word 妈妈 (māma), or “mom,” shortened and casualized to 妈 (), or “ma,” but the possessive pronoun 我的 (wǒde), meaning “my,” is also shortened to 我 (). 

Here’s another example of when 的 is dropped in a possessive pronoun in everyday language:

  • In Chinese: 他公司离这里不远。
    Pinyin: Tā gōngsī lí zhèli bù yuǎn. 
    In English: “His company is not far from here.”

Instead of using 他的公司 for “his company,” 他公司 is more often used in casual situations. 

4- Reflexive Personal Pronouns

Woman Pointing at Herself

Somehow in conversations, we always end up talking about ourselves. The pronouns that end with “-self” or “-selves” in English are called reflexive personal pronouns. 

In Chinese, we can also use a suffix after personal pronouns to make them reflexive and intensified. In this case, we add the word 自己 (zìjǐ), meaning “self.”

For example:

In Chinese: 我自己
Pinyin: wǒ zìjǐ
In English: “myself”

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 我自己看到的。
    Pinyin: Wǒ zìjǐ kàn dào de.
    In English: “I saw it myself.”

In Chinese: 你们自己
Pinyin: nǐmen zìjǐ
In English: “yourselves”

Example sentence: 
  • In Chinese: 照顾好你们自己。
    Pinyin: Zhàogu hǎo nǐmen zìjǐ.
    In English: “Take care of yourselves.”

Here’s a Chinese pronoun chart that sums up all the Chinese personal pronouns in different forms:

1st person2nd person3rd person (men)3rd person (women)3rd person (non-human)

“I,” “we”


“he,” “him”

“she,” “her”

“we,” “us”
“they,” “them”
“they,” “them”
“they,” “them”
singular possessive我的
“my,” “mine”
“your,” “yours”
“her,” “hers”
plural possessive我们的
wǒmen de
“our,” “ours”
nǐmen de
“your,” “yours”
tāmen de
“their,” “theirs”
tāmen de
“their,” “theirs”
tāmen de
“their,” “theirs”
singular reflexive我自己
wǒ zìjǐ
nǐ zìjǐ
tā zìjǐ
tā zìjǐ
tā zìjǐ
wǒmen zìjǐ
nǐmen zìjǐ
tāmen zìjǐ
tāmen zìjǐ
tāmen zìjǐ

2. Chinese Demonstrative Pronouns

Basic Questions

The next most commonly used type of pronoun in Chinese is the demonstrative pronoun. This includes words such as “this,” “that,” “these,” and “those.” The usage of Chinese demonstrative pronouns is very similar to that in English. 

1- This & That 

In Chinese:
Pinyin: z
In English: “this”

Example sentence: 
  • In Chinese: 这是你们的房间。
    Pinyin: Zhè shì nǐmen de fángjiān.
    In English: “This is your room.”

In Chinese:
In English: “that”

Example sentence: 
  • In Chinese: 那是不可能的。
    Pinyin: Nà shì bù kěnéng de.
    In English: “That is impossible.”

2- This & That + Measure Word + Noun

这 (z), meaning “this,” and 那 (), meaning “that,” can also be used before nouns to demonstrate the subject that one is talking about. However, in Chinese, 这 and 那 can’t be put directly before nouns. Instead, we need the help of 量词 (liàngcí), meaning “measure words,” or otherwise known as counters or classifiers. 

The most universal measure word is 个 (). It’s a safe word to go to for beginners. Here are some examples:

  • In Chinese: 这个女孩很漂亮。
    Pinyin: Zhègè nǚhái hěn piàoliang.
    In English: “This girl is very pretty.”

  • In Chinese: 这个网站很有用。
    Pinyin: Zhègè wǎngzhàn hěn yǒuyòng.
    In English: “This website is very useful.”

  • In Chinese: 我爸去过那个国家。
    Pinyin: Wǒ bà qù guo nàgè guójiā.
    In English: “My dad has been to that country.”

  • In Chinese: 请给我看一下那个钱包。
    Pinyin: Qǐng gěi wǒ kàn yíxià nàgè qiánbāo.
    In English: “Please let me take a look at that wallet.”

这 (z) and 那 () are sometimes pronounced as zhèi and nèi in colloquial speech. Both pronunciations are correct. It’s only a matter of personal preference. 

Also, in everyday language, 这个 (zhèige) and 那个 (nèige) are used as filler sounds, or so-called vocalized pauses, like “uh” and “um” in English. You’ll be surprised how often you hear Chinese people stutter with 这个 (zhèige) and 那个 (nèige) in conversations! 

Once you’re more confident with your Chinese, use 这 or 那 with specific measure words that go with specific nouns. For example:

  • In Chinese: 这辆车超酷。
    Pinyin: Zhè liàng chē chāokù.
    In English: “This car is super-cool.”

The measure word in this sentence, 辆 (liàng), is used for vehicles, such as 车 (chē), meaning “car.”

  • In Chinese: 我看过那本书。
    Pinyin: Wǒ kàn guo nà běn shū.
    In English: “I’ve read that book.”

The measure word here, 本 (běn) is used for books, or 书 (shū) in Chinese. 

3- These & Those

When demonstrating something with a quantity of more than one, we use 这 (zhè) and 那 () plus the word 些 (xiē).

In Chinese: 这些
Pinyin: zhèxiē
In English: “these”

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 这些孩子玩得很开心。
    Pinyin: Zhèxiē háizi wán de hěn kāixīn.
    In English: “These kids are having a great time.”

In Chinese: 那些
Pinyin: nàxiē
In English: “those”

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 不用担心那些事。
    Pinyin: Bú yòng dānxīn nàxiē shì.
    In English: “Don’t worry about those things.”

4- Here & There 

The Chinese words for “here” and “there” also use 这 (zhè) and 那 (), plus the suffix 里 () or 儿 (ér). 

In Chinese: 这里 / 这儿
Pinyin: zhèlǐ / zhèr
In English: “here”

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 我来过这里 / 这儿。
    Pinyin: Wǒ lái guo zhèlǐ / zhèr.
    In English: “I’ve been here.”

In Chinese: 那里 / 那儿
Pinyin: nàlǐ / nàr 
In English: “there”

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 那里 / 那儿有一个医院。
    Pinyin: Nàli / Nàr yǒu yí ge yīyuàn.
    In English: “There is a hospital over there.”

In general, 这里 (zhèlǐ), meaning “here,” and 那里 (nàlǐ), meaning “there,” are used more often in the southern part of China. In the northern part of China, people tend to use a lot of 儿化音 (ér huà yīn), which in this case are 这儿 (zhèr) and 那儿 (nàr). 

5- This Way & That Way

To say “this way” or “that way,” we need to put the word 边 (biān) after 这 (zhè) and 那 (). 

In Chinese: 这边
Pinyin: zhèbiān
In English: “this way”

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 这边请。
    Pinyin: Zhèbiān qǐng.
    In English: “This way, please.”

In Chinese: 那边
Pinyin: nàbiān
In English: “that way”

Example sentence:
  • In Chinese: 厕所在那边。
    Pinyin: Cèsuǒ zài nàbiān.
    In English: “The restroom is over there.”

3. Chinese Interrogative Pronouns

Question Words in English

Humans are curious creatures. We like to ask questions. The words that we use to ask questions are called interrogative pronouns. 

In English, they often appear at the beginning of a question, with a reconstructed word order from a declarative sentence (or any other sentence that makes a statement). 

In Chinese, the word order in a question remains the same as in a declarative sentence. Therefore, asking questions in Chinese is easy. 

First, think about how you would answer the question in a declarative sentence, then replace the word or phrase that answers the question with an interrogative pronoun. 

The table below summarizes the most commonly used Chinese interrogative pronouns. 
Example sentences are given with both a literal translation and a natural English translation, so you can get a better idea of where interrogative pronouns go and what the word order is like in Chinese questions.

In ChinesePinyinIn EnglishExample SentenceLiteral TranslationNatural English Translation
什么shénme “what”你叫什么名字?
Nǐ jiào shénme míngzi?
“You’re called what name?”“What is your name?”
什么时候shénme shíhòu “when”我们什么时候见面?
Wǒmen shénme shíhòu jiànmiàn?
“We when meet?”“When shall we meet?”
哪里/哪儿nǎlǐ / nǎr?“where”电梯在哪里/哪儿?
Diàntī zài nǎlǐ / nǎr?
“Elevator/escalator at where?”“Where is the elevator/escalator?”
哪个/哪些nǎge / nǎxiē“which” (s) / “which” (p)哪个是你的手机?
Nǎge shì nǐ de shǒujī?

Nǐ xǐhuān nǎxiē yùndòng?
“Which is your cell phone?”

“You like which sports?”
“Which one is your phone?”

“Which sports do you like?”
Tā shì shéi?
“She is who?”“Who is she?”
多少duōshǎo“how many” / “how much”这个多少钱?
Zhège duōshǎo qián?
“This how much money?”“How much money is this?”
Tāmen wèishénme zhème shēngqì?
“They why so angry?” “Why are they so mad?”
Qǐngwèn, rénmín guǎngchǎng zěnme zǒu?
“May I please ask, People’s Square how to walk?”
“Excuse me, how do I get to People’s Square?”

4. Conclusion

Improve Listening

Now if you were asked to take the quiz at the beginning of this article again, how many Chinese pronouns would you be able to put down?

You should have at least forty-six words on your list! 
Learning new words in groups like we did in this Chinese pronouns list has proven to be a great language-learning method to increase vocabulary. has hundreds of vocabulary lists for you to add to your word bank. Sign up for a free lifetime account today so you can enjoy more Chinese learning fun with us!

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어디에 살고 있습니까?

eodieseo salgo isseumnikka

“Where do you live?”

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도쿄에 살고 있습니다.

Tokyo-e salgo isseumnida.

“I live in Tokyo.”

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eunhaeng gyejwaleul mandeulgo sip-eoyo.

I want to open a bank account.

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The Chinese Qixi Festival – Time for a Little Romance

Isn’t there something so happy and light about Valentine’s Day (or your country’s equivalent)? Whether you spend it each year with your lifelong partner, a new lover, or by yourself, there’s something to be enjoyed and admired in this holiday. 

But have you ever stopped to wonder why so many cultures have a special day for romance and lovers? 

In China, this is the Qixi Festival. In this article, you’ll learn the origins of this holiday and how it’s celebrated today.

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1. What is the Qixi Festival? 

The Bridge of Magpies for Qixi

The Chinese Qixi Festival (also called the Seven Sisters Festival or Chinese Valentine’s Day) is a special summertime holiday dedicated to lovers—and those looking for love. Traditionally, this holiday was celebrated mainly by young women who hoped to find a good spouse by demonstrating their strong abilities in feminine tasks (such as needlework). 

Do you know the 传说 (chuánshuō), or “legend,” behind this romantic holiday? 

According to the Qixi Festival story, there was a maiden who lived in the eastern part of the galaxy. Known as the Weaving Maiden, she was the Emperor of Heaven’s seventh and last daughter, and she spent her days working at the loom. Seeing that his daughter was lonely, the Emperor of Heaven took pity on her and allowed her to marry the Cowherd from the western side of the galaxy. But the Weaver and the Cowherd fell so much in love that the Weaver didn’t work as diligently as before. Furious, her father forced her to come back to him and continue weaving. He allowed the lovers to see each other only once a year. 

It’s said that the two are able to meet by crossing over a bridge of magpies that reaches from one end of the galaxy to the other. On the night of the Qixi Festival in China, people often watch the weather, hoping that it won’t rain or become too cloudy. This is because the rain will make it impossible for the couple to meet via 鹊桥 (Quèqiáo), or “the bridge of magpies.” 

Interestingly, there’s a special phenomenon that occurs each year during the Qixi Festival: The stars of 织女星 (Zhīnǚ Xīng), or Vega, and 牛郎星 (Niúláng Xīng), or Altair, shine brighter than they do the rest of the year. These stars represent the Weaving Maiden and the Cowherd, respectively, and there’s a third star that rests between them, representing the magpie bridge. 

2. When is the Qixi Festival This Year?

Image of the Milky Way

Each year, the Qixi Festival takes place on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. Here are the holiday’s dates on the Gregorian calendar for the next ten years.

  • 2020: August 25
  • 2021: August 14
  • 2022: August 4
  • 2023: August 22
  • 2024: August 10
  • 2025: July 31
  • 2026: August 19
  • 2027: August 8
  • 2028: July 28
  • 2029: August 16

By the way, check out this Lunar-to-Gregorian conversion chart and never miss another Chinese holiday! 

3. How the Qixi Festival is Celebrated 

A Couple Sitting under a Red Blanket on the Beach

Traditionally, Qixi Festival activities were mainly geared toward young women. This was a day for them to show off their skills in feminine tasks, such as needlework, which were considered valuable traits for a wife to have. The young women would go to the temples, offer paper sacrifices to the Seven Sisters (the Emperor of Heaven’s seven daughters), and pray for the improvement of their skills and for a good husband. 

These Qixi Festival traditions aren’t quite as popular today as they were in Ancient China, though some young women do still partake in good-hearted competitions involving things like needlework and other handcrafts. Today, the Qixi Festival is more about 恋爱 (liàn’ài), or “romance,” lending this holiday the nickname of “Chinese Valentine’s Day.”

Like Valentine’s Day in the West, couples in China often give each other gifts, and those who want to go above and beyond may plan a special date night with their loved one. While in the West, we see couples giving each other flowers and chocolates, Qixi Festival gifts more often include a comb and a love locket. The comb represents a lifelong commitment between the couple, while the love locket represents eternal love. 

China is alive with fun events throughout the holiday, including dances, laser light shows, and of course, stargazing. If you happen to be in China during the festival, it’s a perfect time to taste-test some common holiday dishes and snacks! Qixi Festival food options typically include sugar treats that are shaped like women, dumplings, and sweet sesame-flavored pastries. (You can read more on this subject on!)

4. Long-Distance Relationships…

Have you ever been in a long-distance relationship, or known someone who was? If so, you know how tough it is to be so far away from your loved one for extended periods of time. Even if you talk every day, it’s not quite the same as having them there next to you. 

In China, it’s common to jokingly refer to couples in a long-distance relationship as being “just like the Weaving Maiden and the Cowherd.” 

If you’re far from your lover or life partner right now, we hope you’ll be able to see them soon, just as the Weaving Maiden and Cowherd do once a year. 

5. Essential Qixi Festival Vocabulary

The Goddess Zhinu

Let’s review some of the Chinese vocabulary from this article! 

  • Valentine’s Day – 情人节 (Qíngrén Jié)
  • Vega – 织女星 (Zhīnǚ Xīng)
  • Altair – 牛郎星 (Niúláng Xīng)
  • Jade Emperor – 玉皇大帝 (Yùhuáng Dà Dì)
  • Legend – 传说 (chuánshuō)
  • Milky Way – 银河 (yínhé)
  • Niulang – 牛郎 (Niúláng)
  • Romance – 恋爱 (liàn’ài)
  • The bridge of magpies – 鹊桥 (Quèqiáo)
  • Zhinu – 织女 (Zhīnǚ)
  • Qixi Festival – 七夕 (Qīxī)

Remember that you can check out our Chinese Qixi Festival vocabulary list to study these words further, hear their pronunciation, and add them to your flashcard deck! 

Final Thoughts

Are you ready for a romantic date night under the stars of Vega and Altair? Or a solo adventure through the flashing, colorful streets of China?

We hope you enjoyed learning about the Chinese Qixi Festival with us, and that you walk away from this article with a better understanding of Chinese culture. If you’re really into learning about this unique culture, by the way, we have a special blog archive of articles related to Chinese culture and holidays, so be sure to check it out! 

Which Qixi Festival activities would you most like to participate in? And more importantly: What’s your favorite date night activity? Let us know in the comments!

Happy Qixi Festival from the team. 😉

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The Ultimate Guide on How to Tell Time in Chinese


As a Chinese language-learner, one of the things you likely wonder about often is how to tell time in Chinese. Everything we do is seamlessly associated with time. We consume time every day and are always in a running competition with it. We care about time, and time has become one of the most important topics in our everyday lives. It’s important to stay on track with what you do, no matter where you are; further, you should do your best to be on time for certain events. This is why time in Chinese culture plays a big role.

“Time” in Chinese is 时间 (shí jiān). The rules for telling the time in Mandarin Chinese are all straightforward and simple to follow, so let go of your fears and proceed with confidence.

With, learning time in Chinese is fun and effective at the same time! 

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Chinese Table of Contents
  1. How to Ask for the Time
  2. The Hours in Chinese
  3. The Minutes in Chinese
  4. Hours Divided into Minutes
  5. General Time References of the Day
  6. Chinese Time Adverbs
  7. Common Phrases Regarding Time
  8. Bonus: Proverbs and Sayings
  9. Conclusion

1. How to Ask for the Time

You need to always keep track of your own time.

Woman Pointing at Clock
  • In Chinese: 现在几点了?

Pinyin: Xiàn zài jǐ diǎn le. 

In English: What time is it?

  • In Chinese: 请问你知道现在的时间吗?

Pinyin: Qǐng wèn nǐ zhī dào xiàn zài de shí jiān ma? 

In English: Do you have the time, please?

  • In Chinese: 请问[会议]是什么时候?

Pinyin: Qǐng wèn [huì yì] shì shí me shén hou? 

In English: What time is the [meeting]?

Feel free to replace the event in the brackets with any other event.

2. The Hours in Chinese

Can you express the time in Chinese precisely?

A Wall Clock

In China, people are used to the twenty-four-hour clock. In order to master telling the time in Mandarin Chinese, let’s get to know these two important vocabulary words first: 

  • 小时 (xiǎo shí) — hour
  • 点钟 (diǎn zhōng) — o’clock

As we mentioned above, “hour” in Chinese is 小时 (xiǎo shí), and 钟头 (zhōng tóu) is another way to say “hours” in daily conversation; it’s less formal than 小时 (xiǎo shí). 

However, to make it more convenient for speech, we usually just say the simplified version of 点钟 (diǎn zhōng), which is 点 (diǎn). 

Now, how do you say the time in Chinese exactly? Easy.

To express any hour, all you need to do is say the number first and add 点 (diǎn) / 点钟 (diǎn zhōng) right after. For example, four o’clock would be 四点 (sì diǎn) / 四点钟 (sì diǎn zhōng). 

Here’s a list of time words in Chinese that will help you understand how the twenty-four-hour clock works:

  • 一点钟 (yī diǎn zhōng) — 1 o’clock
  • 两点钟 (liǎng diǎn zhōng) — 2 o’clock
  • 三点钟 (sān diǎn zhōng) — 3 o’clock
  • 四点钟 (sì diǎn zhōng) — 4 o’clock
  • 五点钟 (wǔ diǎn zhōng) — 5 o’clock
  • 六点钟 (liù diǎn zhōng) — 6 o’clock
  • 七点钟 (qī diǎn zhōng) — 7 o’clock
  • 八点钟 (bā diǎn zhōng) — 8 o’clock
  • 九点钟 (jiǔ diǎn zhōng) — 9 o’clock
  • 十点钟 (shí diǎn zhōng) — 10 o’clock
  • 十一点钟 (shí yī diǎn zhōng) — 11 o’clock
  • 十二点钟 (shí èr diǎn zhōng) — 12 o’clock
  • 十三点钟 (shí sān diǎn zhōng) — 13 o’clock
  • 十四点钟 (shí sì diǎn zhōng) — 14 o’clock
  • 十五点钟 (shí wǔ diǎn zhōng) — 15 o’clock
  • 十六点钟 (shí liù diǎn zhōng) — 16 o’clock
  • 十七点钟 (shí qī diǎn zhōng) — 17 o’clock
  • 十八点钟 (shí bā diǎn zhōng) — 18 o’clock
  • 十九点钟 (shí jiǔ diǎn zhōng) — 19 o’clock
  • 二十点钟 (èr shí diǎn zhōng) — 20 o’clock
  • 二十一点钟 (èr shí yī diǎn zhōng) — 21 o’clock
  • 二十二点钟 (èr shí èr diǎn zhōng) — 22 o’clock
  • 二十三点钟 (èr shí sān diǎn zhōng) — 23 o’clock
  • 二十四点钟 (èr shí sì diǎn zhōng) — 24 o’clock
  • 零点 (líng diǎn) — 0 o’clock

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 现在是16点钟。

Pinyin: Xiàn zài shì shí liù diǎn zhōng.

In English: It’s 4 PM.

Additional Notes: 

Remember that when referring to time and currency, 两 (liǎng) is used for “two” instead of 二 (èr), which is used more commonly for counting.

3. The Minutes in Chinese


分钟 (fēn zhōng) is one of the most important time words in Chinese, meaning “minute.” Usually, people simplify it and just say 分 (fēn), which means the same thing. To express any specific minute at any hour, you just need to follow this formula: [number] “点 (diǎn) / 点钟 (diǎn zhōng)” + [number] “分 (fēn).”

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 现在是三点十八分。

Pinyin: Xiàn zài shì sān diǎn shí bā fēn. 

In English: It’s 3:18 right now.

4. Hours Divided into Minutes

点半 (diǎn bàn) – half


In Chinese: 现在的时间是[点钟数字] 点 + 分钟

In English: It’s [number of the clock] o’clock + minutes

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 现在的时间是三点半。

Pinyin: Xiàn zài de shí jiān shì sān diǎn bàn. 

In English: It’s half past three now.

一刻 (yī kè) – quarter

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 现在的时间是五点一刻。

Pinyin: Xiàn zài de shí jiān shì wǔ diǎn yī kè. 

In English: It’s a quarter past five right now.

5. General Time References of the Day

Improve Listening

What if you just want to give an approximate time in Chinese? Here are some words you can use to tell someone a general time of day.

  • 早晨 (zǎo chén) — early morning
  • 日出 (rì chū) — sunrise
  • 下午 (xià wǔ) — afternoon
  • 晚上 (wǎn shàng) — evening
  • 中午 (zhōng wǔ) — noon
  • 日落 (rì luò) — sunset
  • 夜里 (yè lǐ) — at night 
  • 半夜 (bàn yè) — midnight
  • 凌晨 (líng chén) — before dawn

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 我喜欢在[下午]的时候吃水果。

Pinyin: Wǒ xǐ huan zài [xià wǔ] de shí hou chī shuǐ guǒ. 

In English: I like to eat fruit in the afternoon.

Additional Notes:

Feel free to replace the example time reference in the brackets with any of the other time words in Chinese above. You can also check out our article regarding dates in Chinese here.

6. Chinese Time Adverbs

Remember to arrange your time wisely.

Man Looking at His Watch

Time adverbs in Chinese can help you communicate with more-detailed and complete sentences. Here are the most common ones.

现在 (xiàn zài) – right now

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 抱歉,我现在很忙,待会给你回电话。

Pinyin: Bào qiàn, wǒ xiàn zài hěn máng, dāi huì gěi nǐ huí diàn huà. 

In English: Sorry, I am very busy right now. I will call you back in a bit.

目前 (mù qián) – currently

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 我目前正在专心复习考试。

Pinyin: Wǒ mù qián zhèng zài zhuān xīn fù xí kǎo shì. 

In English: Currently, I am focusing on reviewing the exam.

同时 (tóng shí) – meanwhile / at the same time

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 我可以同时出色地完成很多件事。

Pinyin: Wǒ kě yǐ tóng shí chū sè de wán chéng hěn duō jiàn shì. 

In English: I can multitask very well.

之前 (zhī qián) – before

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 每次睡觉之前,我都喜欢阅读一会。 

Pinyin: Měi cì shuì jiào zhī qián, wǒ dōu xǐ huan yuè dú yī huì. 

In English: Every time before I go to sleep, I like to read for a little while.

之后 (zhī hòu) – after

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 我习惯在吃饭之后喝一杯果汁。

Pinyin: Wǒ xí guàn zài chī fàn zhī hòu hē yī bēi guǒ zhī. 

In English: I am used to drinking a cup of juice after a meal.

很快 (hěn kuài) – soon

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 我很快就可以帮你辅导作业了。

Pinyin: Wǒ hěn kuài jiù kě yǐ bāng nǐ fǔ dǎo zuò yè le. 

In English: I will be helping you with your homework soon.

立刻 (lì kè) – immediately

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 每次收到短信,我都会立刻回复。

Pinyin: Měi cì shōu dào duǎn xìn, wǒ dōu huì lì kè huí fù. 

In English: Every time I receive a message, I reply immediately.

差不多 (chà bu duō) – almost

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 我差不多快到了。 

Pinyin: Wǒ chà bu duō kuài dào le. 

In English: I am almost there.

过一会儿 (guò yī huìr) – in a little while

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 他过一会儿就会回来了。

Pinyin: Tā guò yī huìr jiù huì huí lái le. 

In English: He will be back in a little while.

很久 (hěn jiǔ) – for a long time

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 我们曾经做了很久的好朋友。

Pinyin: Wǒ men céng jīng zuò le hěn jiǔ de hǎo péng you. 

In English: We were good friends for a long time.

任何时候 (rèn hé shí hou) – any time

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 在任何时候,只要你需要我,我就会陪在你身边。 

Pinyin: Zài rèn hé shí hou, zhī yào nǐ xū yào wǒ, wǒ jiù huì péi zài nǐ shēn biān. 

In English: I will be with you at any time as long as you need me.

尽快 (jìn kuài) – as soon as possible

Usage in a sentence: 

In Chinese: 我尽快把邮件发给你。

Pinyin: Wǒ jìn kuài bǎ yóu jiàn fā gěi nǐ. 

In English: I will send you the email as soon as possible.

Additional Notes: 

Usually, adverbs are added to the beginning of a sentence, after the subject.

7. Common Phrases Regarding Time

It can be tough to catch up with time sometimes!

Woman Looking at Watch

时间 (shí jiān), which is “time” in Chinese, can be tight and precious, or hard to manage. Time in Chinese culture is always an important topic to discuss as our everyday arrangements depend on it. Sometimes we have to apologize for being late, and sometimes we just want to ask other people to be on time. Here are some of the most common phrases for talking about time in Chinese that will certainly help you communicate with others.

  • In Chinese: 赶紧的!  

Pinyin: Gǎn jǐn de! 

In English: Hurry up!

  • In Chinese: 抱歉,我迟到了。

Pinyin: Bào qiàn, wǒ chí dào le.

In English: Sorry that I’m late.

  • In Chinese: 我现在就出发。

Pinyin: Wǒ xiàn zài jiù chū fā. 

In English: I will be going right now.

  • In Chinese: 以防堵车,我打算提前半小时出发。

Pinyin: Yǐ fáng dǔ chē, wǒ dǎ suàn tí qián bàn xiǎo shí chū fā. 

In English: Just in case there’s traffic, I plan to leave thirty minutes early.

  • In Chinese: 请提前到达集合地点。

Pinyin: Qǐng tí qián dào dá jí hé dì diǎn. 

In English: Please arrive early at the meeting place.

  • In Chinese: 请准时到。

Pinyin: Qǐng zhǔn shí dào.

In English: Please be on time.

8. Bonus: Proverbs and Sayings

We should always cherish the time no matter what.

Sign with Time Words on Them

Here are some proverbs and idioms about time in Chinese that will help you sound like a native speaker.

  • In Chinese: 时间就是金钱。

Pinyin: Shí jiān jiù shì jīn qián. 

In English: Time is money.

  • In Chinese: 一寸光阴一寸金,寸金难买寸光阴。

Pinyin: Yī cùn guāng yīn yī cùn jīn, cùn jīn nán mǎi cùn guāng yīn. 

In English: An inch of gold will not buy an inch of time, and you can’t buy an inch of time with an inch of gold.

  • In Chinese: 时间会治愈一切。

Pinyin: Shí jiān huì zhì yù yī qiē. 

In English: Time heals all wounds. 

  • In Chinese: 时光飞逝。

Pinyin: Shí guāng fēi shì. 

In English: Time flies.

9. Conclusion

Basic Questions

Now, I hope you’ve mastered the art of how to tell time in Chinese. If you’re a Chinese language-learner who’s full of curiosity and a desire to learn more, then our online lessons will be just perfect for a diligent individual like you. Visit today to acquire a once-in-your-lifetime Chinese learning experience!

Before you go, let us know in the comments how you feel about telling the time in Chinese now. To practice, tell us what time it is where you are, in Chinese! 🙂 We look forward to hearing from you. 

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National Single’s Day in China


Holidays are one of the most essential embodiments of a region’s culture. Some traditional holidays have brewed throughout history, while some modern holidays are indicating the new emerging facets of culture. If you’re a Chinese language learner, you must have heard of some traditional Chinese holidays such as the Chinese New Year. However, today we’re going to introduce an off-the-beaten-path holiday called Singles’ Day.

What? You’ve only heard of Valentine’s Day? Well, now you’re going to open your eyes. China’s Singles’ Day became a fad in recent years, originally in an attempt to celebrate single people. Now, it has evolved into a big shopping holiday

Want to know more about it? No problem. We’ve got everything you need here about China’s Singles’ Day!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Chinese Table of Contents
  1. How Did Singles’ Day Start?
  2. How Did it Become a Shopping Festival?
  3. Singles’ Day Vocabulary
  4. Conclusion

1. How Did Singles’ Day Start?

Man lying on a sofa

Tired of being jealous of people who can celebrate Valentine’s Day? Now it’s single people’s turn!

Singles’ Day in Chinese is 光棍节 (guāng gùn jié), which literally means “single stick day.” It’s a single-awareness day among young Chinese people. This non-official national Singles’ Day originated from college students at Nanjing University in 1993 in an attempt to celebrate their pride in singledom as opposed to being part of a couple on Valentine’s Day. 

So when is Chinese Singles’ Day? Because the date 11/11 resembles four single sticks that indicate being solitary, November 11th was agreed to be the proper Singles’ Day. 

Interestingly, it has become trendy for many young people to confess their feelings for people they like on Singles’ Day! Guess why? Because if it ever works out, then they can finally end their journey of being single exactly on Singles’ Day and start a romantic date right after!

Binge-shopping on Singles' Day

2. How Did it Become a Shopping Festival?

Singles’ Day has now been transformed from an “anti-Valentine’s Day” into the biggest online shopping day worldwide. This idea was triggered by Alibaba back in 2009 and people have embraced it ever since. The Chinese Singles’ Day Alibaba paved the way for also encourages single people’s inner pride by providing them with such perks.

A version of Alibaba’s Singles’ Day, also known as the Double Eleven Shopping Day, was created by offering prodigious discounts for twenty-four hours mainly through Alibaba-operated platforms such as Taobao, as well as some other big competitors that integrated Alibaba’s idea. It’s much like American’s Black Friday, but the Singles’ Day shopping festival is more E-commerce-focused and has a larger scale due to the huge Chinese population. 

Now you know why many people can’t wait for the exciting Double Eleven Shopping Day to clean their cart and buy all of their favorite products they’ve been waiting a long time for! If you ever want to get these good deals on China’s Singles’ Day, remember to have some good Wi-Fi service and try to get your desired items exactly at the time the sale starts. Otherwise, your website may crash due to the large demand and you’ll end up getting nothing!

3. Singles’ Day Vocabulary

Love phrases

1- Words about Relationships

Single dog – 单身狗 (dān shēn gǒu)

Meaning: Someone who is single and sad

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我今年还是一只单身狗。

Pinyin: Wǒ jīn nián hái shì yī zhī dān shēn gǒu.

In English: I am still a single dog this year.

A single noble – 单身贵族 (dān shēn guì zú)

Meaning: Someone who is single and proud

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我想一直做个单身贵族,无拘无束。

Pinyin: Wǒ xiǎng yī zhí zuò gè dān shēn guì zú, wú jū wú shù. 

In English: I just wanted to be a single noble all the time and keep myself free.

Single stick – 光棍 (guāng gùn)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我已经做了快二十年的光棍,真希望可以快点找到自己的另一半。

Pinyin: Wǒ yǐ jīng zuò le kuài èr shí nián de guāng gùn, zhēn xī wàng kě yǐ kuài diǎn zhǎo dào zì jǐ de lìng yī bàn. 

In English: I have been a single stick for almost twenty years; I really hope to find my other half as soon as possible.

Not single anymore – 脱单 (tuō dān)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 今年的我终于不用再过光棍节了,因为我已经脱单啦!

Pinyin: Jīn nián de wǒ zhōng yú bú yòng zài guò guāng gùn jié le, yīn wèi wǒ yǐ jīng tuō dān la! 

In English: Finally, I won’t have to go through Singles’ Day this year, because I am not single anymore!

Couple at a restaurant

Public display of affection (PDA) – 秀恩爱 (xiù ēn ài)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我朋友总是在公共场合秀恩爱。 

Pinyin: Wǒ péng yǒu zǒng shì zài gōng gòng chǎng hé xiù ēn ài.

In English: My friend always likes to show public displays of affection.

Eat dog food – 吃狗粮 (chī gǒu liáng)

Meaning: A single person who suffers from other people’s public displays of affection.

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 看来我今年情人节又要吃狗粮了。

Pinyin: Kàn lái wǒ jīn nián qíng rén jié yòu yào chī gǒu liáng le. 

In English: It seems like I will have to eat dog food again on this year’s Valentine’s Day.

2- Chinese Singles’ Day Shopping Vocabulary

Sign up – 注册 (zhù cè)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我刚刚注册了一个淘宝的账号。

Pinyin: Wǒ gāng gāng zhù cè le yī gè táo bǎo de zhàng hào. 

In English: I just signed up for an account on Taobao.

Coupon – 优惠券 (yōu huì quàn)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我终于领到了优惠券,可以用来买我购物车里的东西。

Pinyin: Wǒ zhōng yú lǐng dào le yōu huì quàn, kě yǐ yòng lái mǎi wǒ gòu wù chē lǐ de dōng xi. 

In English: I finally got coupons, which I can use to buy the products in my shopping cart.

Sales sign

Aren’t sales the best things ever?

Sale – 促销 (cù xiāo)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 每次我都会等到商场大促销再去购物。 

Pinyin: Měi cì wǒ dōu huì děng dào shāng chǎng dà cù xiāo zài qù gòu wù. 

In English: I always wait to shop until there is a big sale in the mall.

Online shopping – 网上购物 (wǎng shàng gòu wù)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 网上购物真方便。

Pinyin: Wǎng shàng gòu wù zhēn fāng biàn. 

In English: Online shopping is so convenient.

Double Eleven Shopping Day (11/11 Shopping Day) – 双十一购物节 (shuāng shí yī gòu wù jié)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我打算等到了双十一购物节再买购物车里的这些东西。

Pinyin: Wǒ dǎ suàn děng dào le shuāng shí yī gòu wù jiē zài mǎi gòu wù chē lǐ de zhè xiē dōng xi. 

In English: I am going to wait to clear my cart until Double Eleven Shopping Day.

The same style as internet celebrities’ – 网红同款 (wǎng hóng tóng kuǎn)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我们店有很多网红同款的宝贝。

Pinyin: Wǒ men diàn yǒu hěn duō wǎng hóng tóng kuǎn de bǎo bèi. 

In English: Lots of products in our store are in the same style as internet celebrities’.

Shipping fees included – 包邮 (bāo yóu)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 每个人都很享受买东西包邮这项服务。 

Pinyin: Měi gè rén dōu hěn xiǎng shòu mǎi dōng xi bāo yóu zhè xiàng fú wù. 

In English: Everyone enjoys free shipping when they buy something.

People with smiling boxes on their heads

Remember to give your seller a thumbs-up if you are happy with your purchase.

Positive feedback – 好评 (hǎo píng)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 如果您对我们的服务满意的话,请给我们一个好评吧。

Pinyin: Rú guǒ nín duì wǒ men de fú wù mǎn yì de huà, qǐng gěi wǒ men yī gè hǎo píng ba. 

In English: If you are happy with our service, please give us positive feedback.

Negative feedback – 差评 (chà píng)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我刚从这家店买的东西,几天就坏了,于是我毫不犹豫地给了他们一个差评。 

Pinyin: Wǒ gāng cóng zhè jiā diàn mǎi de dōng xi, jǐ tiān jiù huài le, yú shì wǒ háo bù yóu yù de gěi le tā men yī gè chà píng. 

In English: I just bought a product from this store, and it broke within just a couple of days. Thus I gave them negative feedback without any hesitance.

Store – 店铺 (diàn pù)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 这家护肤品店铺的宝贝又便宜又好用。

Pinyin: Zhè jiā hù fū pǐn diàn pù de bǎo bèi yòu pián yí yòu hǎo yòng. 

In English: The skincare products from this store are inexpensive and of good quality.

Limited to one store only – 独家 (dú jiā)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 这件衣服是我们店独家设计的。 

Pinyin: Zhè jiàn yī fú shì wǒ men diàn dú jiā shè jì de. 

In English: The design of this piece of clothing is limited to our store only.

New arrival – 新品 (xīn pǐn)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 听说这家店会在今年双十一上很多新品呢。 

Pinyin: Tīng shuō zhè jiā diàn huì zài jīn nián shuāng shí yī shàng hěn duō xīn pǐn ne. 

In English: I heard that this store will have many new arrivals on 11/11 this year.

Products – 宝贝 (bǎo bèi)

Usage in a sentence:

In Chinese: 我们家的宝贝质量都很好。 

Pinyin: Wǒ men jiā de bǎo bèi zhì liàng dōu hěn hǎo. 

In English: All the products in our store have great quality.

4. Conclusion

Now that you have a good understanding of China’s Singles’ Day, whether you’re single or not, remember to take advantage of it to get a good deal on this special shopping day! Are there any products or items you’ve been wanting to buy? Now’s the time! 

We also have free Chinese lessons released every week so that you can have a free try! What are you waiting for? Study now on with the most updated and culturally relevant lessons, and the most knowledgeable and energetic hosts, to have the experience of a lifetime!

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Asking for and Giving Directions in Chinese


Being able to ask for and give directions is one of the practical skills we need to learn in life. It’s also one of the survival skills we need to equip ourselves with before visiting a new place.

If you don’t want to get lost in China, have a stressful time on your trip, or miss an excellent chance to communicate with locals and try out your Chinese speaking skills, you must read this survival guide on how to ask for and give directions in Chinese.

Don’t have time to read all the details in this article? Not a problem. Check out the comprehensive vocabulary list on positions and directions on!

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Table of Contents
  1. On the Map
  2. On the Road
  3. Landmarks
  4. Must-know Phrases for Asking for Directions
  5. Must-know Phrases for Giving Directions
  6. Bonus: Taxi Directions in Chinese
  7. Conclusion

1. On the Map

Looking at a Map and Taking Notes

Before going to a place that you’ve never been to before, it’s always a good idea to check where things are on a map, which requires us to have the basic vocabulary for reading maps, such as north and west in Chinese.

1- Cardinal Directions in Chinese

The four basic cardinal directions, otherwise known as compass directions, in Chinese are:
  • In Chinese: 东
    Pinyin: dōng
    In English: east

  • In Chinese: 南
    Pinyin: nán
    In English: south

  • In Chinese: 西
    In English: west

  • In Chinese: 北
    Pinyin: běi
    In English: north

2- Intercardinal Directions in Chinese

The directions between the four basic cardinal directions are called intercardinal directions. The four most commonly used ones are:
  • In Chinese: 东南
    Pinyin: dōngnán
    In English: southeast

  • In Chinese: 东北
    Pinyin: dōngběi
    In English: northeast

  • In Chinese: 西南
    Pinyin: xīnán
    In English: southwest

  • In Chinese: 西北
    Pinyin: xīběi
    In English: northwest

In everyday Chinese, we often add 边 (biān) meaning “edge” or “side,” 方 (fāng) meaning “direction,” or 面 (miàn) meaning “side” after the cardinal directions. This makes phrases like 南边 (nánbiān) meaning “south side,” 北方 (běifāng) meaning “north part,” and 东面 (dōngmiàn) meaning “east side.”

Here are some example sentences.
  • In Chinese: 北京在中国的北方。
    Pinyin: Běijīng zài Zhōngguó de běifāng.
    Literal Translation: Beijing at China’s north part.
    In English: Beijing is in the north part of China.

  • In Chinese: 中国在俄罗斯的南边。
    Pinyin: Zhōngguó zài Éluósī de nánbiān.
    Literal Translation: China at Russia’s south side.
    In English: China is to the south of Russia.

  • In Chinese: 兵马俑在西安的东面。
    Pinyin: Bīngmǎyǒng zài Xī’ān de dōngmiàn.
    Literal Translation: Terracotta Warriors on Xi’an’s east side.
    In English: The Terracotta Warriors are on the east side of Xi’an.

2. On the Road


1- Position Words

When it’s time to finally hit the road, we’ll need to know more position and location words, such as left in Chinese, right in Chinese, front and back in Chinese, and more, in order to navigate and communicate.

Here are four pairs of opposites that describe position.

In Chinese: 前
Pinyin: qián
In English: front
In Chinese: 后
Pinyin: hòu
In English: back
In Chinese: 上
Pinyin: shàng
In English: up
In Chinese: 下
Pinyin: xià 
In English: down
In Chinese: 左
Pinyin: zuǒ
In English: left
In Chinese: 右
Pinyin: yòu
In English: right
In Chinese: 里
In English: inside
In Chinese: 外
Pinyin: wài
In English: outside

Language Learning Tips: Memorizing opposites is a great way to expand your vocabulary, and it makes learning faster and easier.

Just like when we’re describing cardinal directions, we also add words like “side,” or 边 (biān), and 面 (miàn) after position words in everyday Chinese. This makes phrases like 前面 (qiánmian) meaning “front,” 上面 (shàngmian) meaning “up,” and 左边 (zuǒbiān) meaning “left side.”

Here are some example sentences:
  • In Chinese: 故宫里面有商店。
    Pinyin: Gùgōng lǐmian yǒu shāngdiàn.
    Literal Translation: Forbidden City inside has store.
    In English: There are stores inside the Forbidden City.

  • In Chinese: 售票处在大门的右边。
    Pinyin: Shòupiàochù zài dàmén de yòubiān.
    Literal Translation: Ticket place at gate’s right side.
    In English: The ticket office is on the right side of the gate.

  • In Chinese: 出租车的前面有一辆公交车。
    Pinyin: Chūzūchē de qiánmian yǒu yí liàng gōngjiāochē.
    Literal Translation: Taxi’s front has a city bus.
    In English: There’s a city bus in front of the taxi.

2- Direction Phrases with References

In order to pinpoint a location, we often use other locations as references. For example: “the ice cream store is next to the park,” or “the convenience store is across the street from the subway station.”

The following is a comprehensive list of direction phrases with references in Chinese:
  • In Chinese: 在……(的) 左/右边
    Pinyin: zài …(de) zuǒ / yòubiān
    In English: on the left/right side of…

  • In Chinese: 在……(的) 前/后面
    Pinyin: zài …(de) qián / hòumian
    In English: in front of/behind…

  • In Chinese: 在……(的) 里/外面
    Pinyin: zài …(de) lǐ / wàimian
    In English: in the inside/outside of…

  • In Chinese: 在……(的) 上/下面
    Pinyin: zài …(de) shàng / xiàmian
    In English: under/on top of …

  • In Chinese: 在……(的) 旁边
    Pinyin: zài …(de) pángbiān
    In English: next to…

  • In Chinese: 在……(的) 对面
    Pinyin: zài …(de) duìmiàn
    In English: across the road from…

  • In Chinese: 在……之间
    Pinyin: zài … zhījiān
    In English: between…

  • In Chinese: 离这里……米
    Pinyin: lí zhèli …mǐ
    In English: …meters away from here

  • In Chinese: 离这里……分钟车程
    Pinyin: lí zhèli …fēnzhōng chē chéng
    In English: …minutes’ ride away from here

Here are some example sentences to show how to use direction phrases with references:
  • In Chinese: 麦当劳在必胜客的上面。
    Pinyin: Màidāngláo zài Bìshèngkè de shàngmian.
    Literal Translation: McDonald’s at Pizza Hut up.
    In English: McDonald’s is located above Pizza Hut.

  • In Chinese: 洗手间在电梯和收款处之间。
    Pinyin: Xǐshǒujiān zài diàntī hé shōukuǎnchù zhījiān.
    Literal Translation: Washroom at elevator and cashier in between.
    In English: The restroom is between the elevator and cashier.”

  • In Chinese: 外滩离这里十分钟车程。
    Pinyin: Wàitān lí zhèli shí fēnzhōng chē chéng.
    Literal Translation: Bund away from here ten minutes car distance.
    In English: It takes ten minutes to drive to The Bund from here.

3. Landmarks

Skyline of Shanghai Over the River

When it comes to finding out and describing where certain places are located in Chinese, we should know the basic vocabulary for landmarks. In particular, this may come in handy when giving or receiving driving directions in Chinese.

1- In the City:

  • In Chinese: 机场
    Pinyin: jīchǎng
    In English: airport

  • In Chinese: 火车站
    Pinyin: huǒchē zhàn
    In English: railway station

  • In Chinese: 地铁站
    Pinyin: dìtiě zhàn
    In English: subway station

  • In Chinese: 公交车站
    Pinyin: gōngjiāochē zhàn
    In English: bus stop

  • In Chinese: 市中心
    Pinyin: shì zhōngxīn
    In English: downtown

  • In Chinese: 公园
    Pinyin: gōngyuán
    In English: park

  • In Chinese: 医院
    Pinyin: yīyuàn
    In English: hospital

  • In Chinese: 银行
    Pinyin: yínháng
    In English: hotel

  • In Chinese: 商场
    Pinyin: shāngchǎng
    In English: mall

  • In Chinese: 博物馆
    Pinyin: bówùguǎn
    In English: museum

2- On the Road

  • In Chinese: 红绿灯
    Pinyin: hónglǜdēng
    In English: traffic light

  • In Chinese: 路口
    Pinyin: lùkǒu
    In English: intersection

  • In Chinese: 拐角
    Pinyin: guǎijiǎo
    In English: corner

  • In Chinese: 斑马线
    Pinyin: bānmǎ xiàn
    In English: crosswalk

  • In Chinese: 天桥
    Pinyin: tiānqiáo
    In English: overpass

  • In Chinese: 指示牌
    Pinyin: zhǐshì pái
    In English: sign

  • In Chinese: 停车位
    Pinyin: tíngchē wèi
    In English: parking spot

  • In Chinese: 报刊亭
    Pinyin: bàokān tíng
    In English: newspaper stand

3- In a Building

  • In Chinese: 大门
    Pinyin: dàmén
    In English: main gate

  • In Chinese: 电梯
    Pinyin: diàntī
    In English: elevator/escalator

  • In Chinese: 楼梯
    Pinyin: lóutī
    In English: stairs

  • In Chinese: 洗手间
    Pinyin: xǐshǒujiān
    In English: restroom

  • In Chinese: 问询处
    Pinyin: wènxún chù
    In English: information desk

  • In Chinese: 安全出口
    Pinyin: ānquán chūkǒu
    In English: emergency exit

4. Must-know Phrases for Asking for Directions

Asking Directions

1- Question Patterns

Now we’re only one step away from asking directions in Chinese with complete questions.

Here are three commonly used question patterns used in this situation:

1- ……在哪?(…zài nǎ?) meaning “Where is…?”

  • In Chinese: 洗手间在哪?
    Pinyin: Xǐshǒujiān zài nǎ?
    Literal Translation: Restroom at where?
    In English: Where is the restroom?

2- 去……怎么走?(Qù … zěnme zǒu?) meaning “How do I get to …?”

  • In Chinese: 去天安门怎么走?
    Pinyin: Qù Tiānānmén zěnme zǒu?
    Literal Translation: To Tian’anmen Square how to go?
    In English: How do I get to Tian’anmen Square?

3- ……离这儿有多远?(…lí zhèr yǒu duō yuǎn?) meaning “How far is … from here?”

  • In Chinese: 广州离这儿有多远?
    Pinyin: Guǎngzhōu lí zhèr yǒu duōyuǎn?
    Literal Translation: Guangzhou from here has how far?
    In English: How far is Guangzhou from here?

2- Polite Expressions

To sound more polite, put a 请问 (qǐngwèn), meaning “excuse me, may I ask…,” in front of your question.

For example, to politely ask where the subway station is, say:
  • In Chinese: 请问地铁站在哪?
    Pinyin: Qǐngwèn dìtiě zhàn zài nǎ?
    Literal Translation: May I please ask subway station at where?
    In English: Excuse me, where is the subway?

Or to politely ask how to get to the closest convenience store, say:
  • In Chinese: 请问最近的便利店怎么走?
    Pinyin: Qǐngwèn zuìjìn de biànlì diàn zěnme zǒu?
    Literal Translation: May I please ask the closest convenience store how to go?
    In English: “Excuse me, how do I get to the closest convenience store?”

After you get the directions, don’t forget to thank the person who helped you for their kindness. Here are some common thank-you phrases to use in this situation.
  • In Chinese: 谢谢你。
    Pinyin: Xièxie nǐ.
    In English: Thank you.

Note: Putting a 你 () after 谢谢 (xièxie) makes your thank-you sound more sincere.
  • In Chinese: 好。我知道了。太谢谢了!
    Pinyin: Hǎo. Wǒ zhīdào le. Tài xièxiè le!
    In English: OK. I got it. Thank you so much!

  • In Chinese: 我看见了。谢谢。
    Pinyin: Wǒ kànjiàn le. Xièxie.
    In English: I can see it now. Thanks.

5. Must-know Phrases for Giving Directions

Being able to understand directions in Chinese when people give them to you is as important as knowing how to ask for directions. Here’s a list of phrases used when giving directions in Chinese:
  • In Chinese: 在……
    Pinyin: zài
    In English: at…

  • In Chinese: 先……再……
    Pinyin: xiān…zài
    In English: first…then…

  • In Chinese: 沿着……走
    Pinyin: yánzhe …zǒu
    In English: go along…

  • In Chinese: 直走
    Pinyin: zhí zǒu
    In English: go straight

  • In Chinese: 左转 / 左拐
    Pinyin: zuǒzhuǎn / zuǒguǎi
    In English: turn left

  • In Chinese: 右转 / 右拐
    Pinyin: yòuzhuǎn / yòuguǎi
    In English: turn right

  • In Chinese: 往……走
    Pinyin: wǎng …zǒu
    In English: go toward …

  • In Chinese: 掉头
    Pinyin: diàotóu
    In English: make a U-turn

  • In Chinese: 上 / 下楼
    Pinyin: shàng / xià lóu
    In English: go upstairs / downstairs

  • In Chinese: 很近
    Pinyin: hěnjìn
    In English: very close

  • In Chinese: 挺远的
    Pinyin: tǐng yuǎn de
    In English: pretty far

Here are some example sentences combining direction phrases with landmarks.
  • In Chinese: 沿着这条路直走,在红绿灯左拐。
    Pinyin: Yánzhe zhè tiáo lù zhí zǒu , zài hónglǜdēng zuǒguǎi.
    Literal Translation: Along this road straight walk, at red green light left turn.
    In English:Go straight along this road, and make a left at the traffic light.

  • In Chinese: 先出地铁站,再右转,走两个路口。
    Pinyin: Xiān chū dì tiě zhàn, zài yòu zhuǎn, zǒu liǎng ge lùkǒu.
    Literal Translation: “First get out subway station, then right turn, walk two intersections.
    In English: First get out of the subway station, then take a right for two intersections.

  • In Chinese: 上楼之后有个问询处,问询处的对面就是洗手间。
    Pinyin: Shàng lóu zhīhòu yǒu ge wèn xún chù , wèn xún chù de duìmiàn jiùshì xǐshǒujiān.
    Literal Translation: Go upstairs afterwards have an information place, information place’s opposite side is restroom.
    In English: After you go upstairs, there’s an information desk; the bathroom is right across from the information desk.

Check out this example of a complete dialogue of asking for and giving directions in Chinese on

6. Bonus: Taxi Directions in Chinese

Basic Questions

In addition to the direction phrases listed above, you should know the following phrases for taking a taxi in China.
  • In Chinese: 去这里。
    Pinyin: Qù zhèli.
    In English: To here.

  • In Chinese: 请快一点。
    Pinyin: Qǐng kuài yì diǎn.
    In English: Please hurry up a bit.

  • In Chinese: 请慢一点。
    Pinyin: Qǐng màn yì diǎn.
    In English: Please slow down a bit.

  • In Chinese: 就在这儿停。
    Pinyin: Jiù zài zhèr tíng.
    In English: Please stop right here.

7. Conclusion

Now you’ve learned all the words and phrases you need to talk about directions and locations in Chinese. Are you more confident in touring and getting around in China on your own now? With this guide, and the help of modern technology such as GPS and navigation applications, you don’t have to stress about finding the right places in China.

Just remember: While enjoying your time touring around China, don’t be shy to try out the phrases and expressions you’ve learned from!

Happy Chinese learning!

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100+ Common Nouns in Chinese for Beginners


Talking about nouns, everyone is familiar with them, because we talk about them every single day. It’s just such an active participant in our daily conversations that we can’t ignore them, especially as a diligent language learner. As a Chinese beginner, you’ve probably struggled with nouns in Chinese sentences and how to use them in Chinese grammar.

The word “noun” in Chinese language is 名词 (míng cí). Nouns in Chinese grammar structures aren’t difficult to master, and they follow exactly the same rules as nouns do in English. As subjects, they’re placed before verbs; as objects, they’re placed after verbs.

We’ve prepared a variety of Chinese nouns lists for you to enjoy, and each of these basic Chinese nouns is accompanied by example sentences. You’ll also be able to see these examples and nouns in Chinese pinyin for your learning convenience. Let’s start!

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Table of Contents
  1. Appliances
  2. Technology
  3. Transportation
  4. Restaurant
  5. School Essentials
  6. Occupation
  7. Family Members
  8. Body Parts
  9. Time
  10. Animals
  11. Conclusion

1. Appliances

Nouns 1

In today’s world, some of the top Chinese nouns you should know are those related to appliances. Keep these words handy, and try using them in your next conversation to practice!

1. Television – 电视 (diàn shì)

In Chinese: 看电视是一件很放松的事。
Pinyin: Kàn diàn shì shì yí jiàn hěn fàng sōng de shì.
In English: Watching television is a very relaxing thing to do.

2. Refrigerator – 冰箱 (bīng xiāng)

In Chinese: 记得把吃不完的食物即时放回冰箱里。
Pinyin: Jì de bǎ chī bu wán de shí wù jí shí fàng huí bīng xiāng li.
In English: Remember to put the leftovers in the refrigerator.

3. Air Conditioner – 空调 (kōng tiáo)

In Chinese: 夏天真是个需要空调的季节。
Pinyin: Xià tiān zhēn shì gè xū yào kōng tiáo de jì jié.
In English: Summer is an air-conditioner-essential season.

4. Washer – 洗衣机 (xǐ yī jī)

In Chinese: 在原来没有洗衣机的年代, 大家都习惯用手洗衣服。
Pinyin: Zài yuán lái méi yǒu xǐ yī jī de nián dài, dà jiā dōu xí guàn yòng shǒu xǐ yī fu.
In English: Back when there was no washer, people were used to washing clothes by hand.

5. Microwave – 微波炉 (wēi bō lú)

In Chinese: 微波炉真是个方便的发明,能快速把食物加热。
Pinyin: Wēi bō lú zhēn shì gè fāng biàn de fā míng, néng kuài sù bǎ shí wù jiā rè.
In English: Microwaves are such a convenient invention; they can heat up food so fast.

6. Fan – 风扇 (fēng shàn)

In Chinese: 比起空调,我还是更喜欢风扇的自然风。
Pinyin: Bǐ qǐ kōng tiáo, wǒ hái shì gèng xǐ huan fēng shàn de zì rán fēng.
In English: Instead of the air conditioner, I prefer the natural wind that a fan produces.

7. Hair Dryer – 吹风机 (chuī fēng jī)

In Chinese: 比起让头发自然干,我更喜欢用吹风机。
Pinyin: Bǐ qǐ ràng tóu fa zì rán gān, wǒ gèng xǐ huān yòng chuī fēng jī.
In English: I prefer to use a hair dryer instead of letting my hair dry naturally.

8. Toothbrush – 牙刷 (yá shuā)

In Chinese: 牙刷上容易产生细菌,所以需要经常更换。
Pinyin: Yá shuā shang róng yì chǎn shēng xì jūn, suǒ yǐ xū yào jīng cháng gèng huàn.
In English: It’s easy to produce bacteria on a toothbrush, so it’s necessary to get new ones regularly.

2. Technology

As you learn Chinese nouns, this is a category you really can’t skip! Here are the most common Chinese nouns associated with technology.

Man looking at Cellphone

We are living in a technology-dependent era!

1. Computer – 电脑 (diàn nǎo)

In Chinese: 电脑真是一个伟大的发明,为人们提供了不少便利。
Pinyin: Diàn nǎo zhēn shì yí gè wěi dà de fā míng, wèi rén men tí gòng le bù shǎo biàn lì.
In English: Computers are a spectacular invention that provide so much convenience for humans.

2. Laptop – 笔记本电脑 (bǐ jì běn diàn nǎo)

In Chinese: 我有随身携带笔记本电脑的习惯。
Pinyin: Wǒ yǒu suí shēn xié dài bǐ jì běn diàn nǎo de xí guàn.
In English: I have a habit of taking my laptop everywhere with me.

3. Tablet – 平板电脑 (píng bǎn diàn nǎo)

In Chinese: 在上课时,我一般用平板电脑记笔记。
Pinyin: Zài shàng kè shí, wǒ yī bān yòng píng bǎn diàn nǎo jì bǐ jì.
In English: When I am in a class, I usually use a tablet to take notes.

4. Cellphone – 手机 (shǒu jī)

In Chinese: 现代人的生活都离不开手机。
Pinyin: Xiàn dài rén de shēng huó dōu lí bu kāi shǒu jī.
In English: In modern society, it’s hard to live without our phones.

5. Headphones – 耳机 (ěr jī)

In Chinese: 戴上耳机听音乐的时候,我彷佛在另一个世界。
Pinyin: Dài shang ěr jī tīng yīn yuè de shí hou, wǒ fǎng fú zài lìng yí gè shì jiè.
In English: When I wear my headphones to listen to music, I feel like I’m in a whole different world.

6. Charger – 充电器 (chōng diàn qì)

In Chinese: 我每天出门都会带上手机充电器,以防万一。
Pinyin: Wǒ měi tiān chū mén dōu huì dài shang shǒu jī chōng diàn qì, yǐ fáng wàn yī.
In English: Every time I leave the house, I take my phone charger with me just in case.

7. Wifi – Wifi (Wifi)

In Chinese: 我喜欢在有Wifi的咖啡馆写作业。
Pinyin: Wǒ xǐ huān zài yǒu Wifi de kā fēi guǎn xiě zuò yè.
In English: I like to go to coffee shops that provide wifi and do my homework there.

8. Application – 软件 (ruǎn jiàn)

In Chinese: 我喜欢在手机上下载很多不同的软件。
Pinyin: Wǒ xǐ huān zài shǒu jī shang xià zǎi hěn duō bù tóng de ruǎn jiàn.
In English: I like to download many different types of applications on my phone.

9. Website – 网站 (wǎng zhàn)

In Chinese: 我最近在学习网站设计。
Pinyin: Wǒ zuì jìn zài xué xí wǎng zhàn shè jì.
In English: Recently, I have been learning about website design.

10. Photo – 照片 (zhào piàn)

In Chinese: 我很喜欢看老照片怀念过去。
Pinyin: Wǒ hěn xǐ huān kàn lǎo zhào piàn huái niàn guò qù.
In English: I enjoy looking at old pictures to reminisce.

11. Account – 账号 (zhàng hào)

In Chinese: 很多网站要求用户注册账号之后才能进行购物。
Pinyin: Hěn duō wǎng zhàn yāo qiú yòng hù zhù cè zhàng hào zhī hòu cái néng jìn xíng gòu wù.
In English: Many websites require users to have an account in order to make a purchase there.

12. Password – 密码 (mì mǎ)

In Chinese: 我经常忘记自己设置的密码。
Pinyin: Wǒ jīng cháng wàng jì zì jǐ shè zhì de mì mǎ.
In English: I often forget about the password I set up for myself.

3. Transportation

Bus on a Road

What is your favorite type of transportation?

1. Airplane – 飞机 (fēi jī)

In Chinese: 我仍然记得自己小时候第一次坐飞机有多么兴奋。
Pinyin: Wǒ réng rán jì de zì jǐ xiǎo shí hou dì yī cì zuò fēi jī yǒu duō me xīng fèn.
In English: I still remember how excited I was, at a young age, when I was on an airplane for the first time.

2. Train – 火车 (huǒ chē)

In Chinese: 我喜欢坐火车去旅游。
Pinyin: Wǒ xǐ huan zuò huǒ chē qù lǚ yóu.
In English: I like to take a train for traveling.

3. Subway – 地铁 (dì tiě)

In Chinese: 我觉得地铁是最方便的交通工具之一。
Pinyin: Wǒ jué de dì tiě shì zuì fāng biàn de jiāo tōng gōng jù zhī yī.
In English: I think the subway is one of the most convenient transportation methods.

4. Bus – 公交车 (gōng jiāo chē)

In Chinese: 我之所以会迟到,是因为没有赶上公交车。
Pinyin: Wǒ zhī suǒ yǐ huì chí dào, shì yīn wèi méi yǒu gǎn shang gōng jiāo chē.
In English: The reason why I was late is because I missed the bus.

5. Taxi – 出租车 (chū zū chē)

In Chinese: 我很喜欢跟出租车司机聊天。
Pinyin: Wǒ hěn xǐ huan gēn chū zū chē sī jī liáo tiān.
In English: I like talking to taxi drivers.

6. Bike – 自行车 (zì xíng chē)

In Chinese: 我非常喜欢骑自行车,因为骑车的时候可以看到街头的景色。
Pinyin: Wǒ fēi cháng xǐ huan qí zì xíng chē, yīn wèi qí chē de shí hou kě yǐ kàn dào jiē tóu de jǐng sè.
In English: I enjoy riding a bike because I get to see beautiful scenery on the streets.

7. Airport – 机场 (jī chǎng)

In Chinese: 每天在机场都有很多人依依不舍地分别。
Pinyin: Měi tiān zài jī chǎng dōu yǒu hěn duō rén yī yī bù shě de fēn bié.
In English: At the airport, each day there are so many people who are saying goodbyes though they don’t want to.

8. Train Station – 火车站 (huǒ chē zhàn)

In Chinese: 有很多人在火车站过夜。
Pinyin: Yǒu hěn duō rén zài huǒ chē zhàn guò yè.
In English: Many people are spending the night at the train station.

9. Bus Stop – 公交车站 (gōng jiāo chē zhàn)

In Chinese: 过了马路你就会看到公交车站。
Pinyin: Guò le mǎ lù nǐ jiù huì kàn dao gōng jiāo chē zhàn.
In English: You will see the bus stop once you go across the road.

10. Traffic Light – 红绿灯 (hóng lǜ dēng)

In Chinese: 开车等红绿灯时千万不能看手机。
Pinyin: Kāi chē děng hóng lǜ dēng shí qiān wàn bù néng kàn shǒu jī.
In English: Don’t ever look at your phone while waiting for a traffic light in the car.

11. Intersection – 十字路口 (shí zì lù kǒu)

In Chinese: 等你过了十字路口,往右转就可以看见我们了。
Pinyin: Děng nǐ guò le shí zì lù kǒu, wǎng yòu zhuǎn jiù kě yǐ kàn jiàn wǒ men le.
In English: After you pass the intersection, just turn right and you will see us immediately.

4. Restaurant

Chef Seasoning a Dish

Who doesn’t enjoy eating at a restaurant which serves delicious food?

Now, here are common Chinese nouns food-lovers should be sure to memorize! These words are essential for restaurants in particular.

1. Table – 桌子(zhuō zi)

In Chinese: 我们在五号桌等你。
Pinyin: Wǒ men zài wǔ hào zhuō děng nǐ.
In English: We will be waiting for you at table 5.

2. Menu – 菜单 (cài dān)

In Chinese: 请问可以再给我们一份菜单吗?
Pinyin: Qǐng wèn kě yǐ zài gěi wǒ men yí fèn cài dān ma?
In English: Can you give us one more menu, please?

3. Waiter – 服务员 (fú wù yuán)

In Chinese: 这个餐厅的服务员很友好。
Pinyin: Zhè gè cān tīng de fú wù yuán hěn yǒu hǎo.
In English: The waiters at this restaurant are very friendly.

4. Bill – 账单 (zhàng dān)

In Chinese: 麻烦您给我们一下账单。
Pinyin: Má fan nín gěi wǒ men yí xià zhàng dān.
In English: Please give us the bill.

5. Spoon – 勺子 (sháo zi)

In Chinese: 比起筷子,我喜欢用勺子吃米饭。
Pinyin: Bǐ qǐ kuài zi, wǒ xǐ huan yòng sháo zi chī mǐ fàn.
In English: I like to eat rice with a spoon instead of chopsticks.

6. Chopsticks – 筷子 (kuài zi)

In Chinese: 很多西方国家的人不会用筷子。
Pinyin: Hěn duō xī fāng guó jiā de rén bú huì yòng kuài zi.
In English: Many western people don’t know how to use chopsticks.

7. Plate – 盘子 (pán zi)

In Chinese: 在家里,妈妈负责做饭,我负责洗盘子。
Pinyin: Zài jiā li, mā ma fù zé zuò fàn, wǒ fù zé xǐ pán zi.
In English: Mom is in charge of cooking, and I am in charge of washing dishes in the house.

8. Bowl – 碗 (wǎn)

In Chinese: 请给我来一碗面。
Pinyin: Qǐng gěi wǒ lái yì wǎn miàn.
In English: Please give me a bowl of noodles.

9. Water – 水 (shuǐ)

In Chinese: 夏天非常干燥,我们更应该多喝水。
Pinyin: Xià tiān fēi cháng gàn zào, wǒ men gèng yīng gāi duō hē shuǐ.
In English: Summer is a dry season; we should drink even more water.

10. Tea – 茶 (chá)

In Chinese: 茶是中国很重要的一个文化之一。
Pinyin: Chá shì zhōng guó hěn zhòng yào de yí gè wén huà zhī yī.
In English: Tea is one of the most important cultural aspects in China.

11. Vegetables – 蔬菜 (shū cài)

In Chinese: 多吃蔬菜对身体有好处。
Pinyin: Duō chī shū cài duì shēn tǐ yǒu hǎo chù.
In English: Eating vegetables is good for your health.

12. Seafood – 海鲜 (hǎi xiān)

In Chinese: 海鲜自助是我的最爱之一。
Pinyin: Hǎi xiān zì zhù shì wǒ de zuì ài zhī yī.
In English: The seafood buffet is one of my favorite places.

5. School Essentials

Graduate Student Holding a Diploma

Don’t you miss being a student?

1. College – 大学 (dà xué)

In Chinese: 我很期待大学的生活。
Pinyin: Wǒ hěn qī dài dà xué de shēng huó.
In English: I am looking forward to my college life.

2. High School – 高中 (gāo zhōng)

In Chinese: 在过去的高中三年时间里,我们都成长了许多。
Pinyin: Zài guò qù de gāo zhōng sān nián shí jiān li, wǒ men dōu chéng zhǎng le xǔ duō.
In English: In the past three years at high school, we all grew up a lot.

3. Middle School – 初中 (chū zhōng)

In Chinese: 我很想念我初中结识的朋友。
Pinyin: Wǒ hěn xiǎng niàn wǒ chū zhōng jié shí de péng you.
In English: I miss my friends from middle school very much.

4. Elementary School – 小学 (xiǎo xué)

In Chinese: 小学是我最无忧无虑的日子。
Pinyin: Xiǎo xué shì wǒ zuì wú yōu wú lǜ de rì zi.
In English: The days at elementary school were the happiest time ever.

5. Class – 班级 (bān jí)

In Chinese: 我觉得我们班级是最优秀的。
Pinyin: Wǒ jué de wǒ men bān jí shì zuì yōu xiù de.
In English: I think my class is the best one of all.

6. Book – 书 (shū)

In Chinese: 请把你的书打开到第90页。
Pinyin: Qǐng bǎ nǐ de shū dǎ kāi dào dì jiǔ shí yè.
In English: Please open your book to the 90th page.

7. Teacher – 老师 (lǎo shī)

In Chinese: 我的老师是一位值得敬佩的人。
Pinyin: Wǒ de lǎo shī shì yí wèi zhí dé jìng pèi de rén.
In English: My teacher is someone that deserves respect and admiration.

8. Student – 学生 (xué shēng)

In Chinese: 学生时期的我很听父母的话。
Pinyin: Xué shēng shí qī de wǒ hěn tīng fù mǔ de huà.
In English: When I was a student, I used to be very obedient to my parents.

9. Classmate – 同班同学 (tóng bān tóng xué)

In Chinese: 我的同班同学们都十分友好。
Pinyin: Wǒ de tóng bān tóng xué men dōu shí fēn yǒu hǎo.
In English: All my classmates are very friendly.

10. Major – 专业 (zhuān yè)

In Chinese: 我很开心选择的专业是自己所热爱的。
Pinyin: Wǒ hěn kāi xīn xuǎn zé de zhuān yè shì zì jǐ suǒ rè ài de.
In English: I am very happy that the major I chose for myself is something I am passionate about.

11. Exam – 考试 (kǎo shì)

In Chinese: 我觉得自己在这次的考试中发挥得很好。
Pinyin: Wǒ jué de zì jǐ zài zhè cì de kǎo shì zhōng fā huī de hěn hǎo.
In English: I think I did very well on this exam.

12. Homework – 作业 (zuò yè)

In Chinese: 很多学生都会拖到快交作业了才开始写。
Pinyin: Hěn duō xué shēng dōu huì tuō dào kuài jiāo zuò yè le cái kāi shǐ xiě.
In English: Many students procrastinate until the homework is due.

6. Occupation

Nouns 2

1. Doctor – 医生 (yī shēng)

In Chinese: 医生是一个神圣的职业。
Pinyin: Yī shēng shì yí gè shén shèng de zhí yè.
In English: Being a doctor is a divine occupation.

2. Lawyer – 律师 (lǜ shī)

In Chinese: 作为一名律师,你需要拥有出色的口才。
Pinyin: Zuò wéi yì míng lǜ shī, nǐ xū yào yōng yǒu chū sè de kǒu cái.
In English: As a lawyer, you need to have excellent eloquence.

3. Nurse – 护士 (hù shi)

In Chinese: 昨天给我打针的护士很友善。
Pinyin: Zuó tiān gěi wǒ dǎ zhēn de hù shi hěn yǒu shàn.
In English: The nurse who gave me a shot yesterday was very nice.

4. Chef – 厨师 (chú shī)

In Chinese: 一名好厨师会把自己对下厨的全部热情注入到食物中。
Pinyin: Yì míng hǎo chú shī huì bǎ zì jǐ duì xià chú de quán bù rè qíng zhù rù dào shí wù zhōng.
In English: An excellent chef will devote all his passion into the food he cooks.

5. Police – 警察 (jǐng chá)

In Chinese: 想成为一名警察,一定要敢于奉献。
Pinyin: Xiǎng chéng wéi yì míng jǐng chá, yí dìng yào gǎn yú fèng xiàn.
In English: You have to be brave enough to dedicate your life in order to become a police officer.

7. Family Members

Nouns 3

1. Family – 家庭 (jiā tíng)

In Chinese: 家庭是无法被取代的。
Pinyin: Jiā tíng shì wú fǎ bèi qǔ dài de.
In English: Nothing can replace a family.

2. Mom / Dad – 妈妈 / 爸爸 (mā ma / bà ba)

In Chinese: 妈妈 / 爸爸很宠爱弟弟。
Pinyin: Mā ma / Bà ba hěn chǒng ài dì di.
In English: Mom / Dad spoils my younger brother a lot.

3. Parents – 父母 (fù mǔ)

In Chinese: 我和父母就像朋友一般亲近。
Pinyin: Wǒ hé fù mǔ jiù xiàng péng you yì bān qīn jìn.
In English: My parents and I are as close as friends.

4. Husband / Wife – 丈夫 / 妻子 (zhàng fu / qī zǐ)

In Chinese: 她/他与自己的丈夫/妻子十分恩爱。
Pinyin: Tā / Tā yǔ zì jǐ de zhàng fu / qī zǐ shí fēn ēn ài.
In English: She / He is very loving with her / his husband / wife.

5. Daughter / Son – 女儿 / 儿子 (nǚ ér / ér zi)

In Chinese: 即使离得很远,他的女儿 / 儿子还是会经常去看他。
Pinyin: Jí shǐ lí de hěn yuǎn, tā de nǚ ér / ér zi hái shì huì jīng cháng qù kàn tā.
In English: His daughter / son visits him a lot even though they are far away from each other.

6. Grandmother / Grandfather (from Dad’s side) – 奶奶 / 爷爷 (yé ye / nǎi nai)

In Chinese: 我最后悔的事情就是奶奶 / 爷爷去世的时候我没来得及去送行。
Pinyin: Wǒ zuì hòu huǐ de shì qing jiù shì nǎi nai / yé ye qù shì de shí hou wǒ méi lái de jí qù sòng xíng.
In English: The thing that I regret the most was not being able to be with my grandmother / grandfather when she / he was gone.

7. Grandmother / Grandfather (from Mom’s side) – 姥姥 / 姥爷 (lǎo lao / lǎo ye)

In Chinese: 姥姥 / 姥爷经常给我做好吃的。
Pinyin: Lǎo lao / Lǎo ye jīng cháng gěi wǒ zuò hǎo chī de.
In English: My grandmother / grandfather always cooks delicious food for me.

8. Body Parts

Nouns 4

1. Body – 身体 (shēn tǐ)

In Chinese: 因为昨天爬了一整天的山,导致我现在身体酸疼。
Pinyin: Yīn wèi zuó tiān pá le yì zhěng tiān de shān, dǎo zhì wǒ xiàn zài shēn tǐ suān téng.
In English: Since I was hiking all day yesterday, my body is now feeling sore all over the place.

2. Head – 头 (tóu)

In Chinese: 我刚才一不小心磕到了头。
Pinyin: Wǒ gāng cái yí bù xiǎo xīn kē dào le tóu.
In English: I hit my head by accident just now.

3. Arm – 胳膊 (gē bo)

In Chinese: 爸爸的胳膊力气很大,我记得小时候经常被他举起来。
Pinyin: Bà ba de gē bo lì qi hěn dà, wǒ jì de xiǎo shí hòu jīng cháng bèi tā jǔ qǐ lái.
In English: My dad’s arms are very strong; I remember I used to be lifted up by him when I was little.

4. Leg – 腿 (tuǐ)

In Chinese: 那位舞蹈演员的腿可真柔韧。
Pinyin: Nà wèi wǔ dǎo yǎn yuán de tuǐ kě zhēn róu rèn.
In English: That dancer’s legs are really flexible.

5. Eye – 眼睛 (yǎn jīng)

In Chinese: 虽然她的眼睛是盲的,但是她心灵的眼睛一直是明亮的。
Pinyin: Suī rán tā de yǎn jīng shì máng de, dàn shì tā xīn líng de yǎn jīng yì zhí shì míng liàng de.
In English: Her eyes are blind, but the eyes of her heart will always stay bright.

6. Nose – 鼻子 (bí zi)

In Chinese: 狗的鼻子嗅觉十分灵敏。
Pinyin: Gǒu de bí zi xiù jué shí fēn líng mǐn.
In English: A dog’s nose possesses strong olfaction.

7. Mouth – 嘴 (zuǐ)

In Chinese: 弟弟经常在吃饭的时候用嘴吸溜面条。
Pinyin: Dì di jīng cháng zài chī fàn de shí hou yòng zuǐ xī liu miàn tiáo.
In English: My younger brother always slurps noodles with his mouth while eating.

8. Face – 脸 (liǎn)

In Chinese: 你的脸上有东西。
Pinyin: Nǐ de liǎn shang yǒu dōng xi.
In English: There is something on your face.

9. Hand – 手 (shǒu)

In Chinese: 初次见面时握手是一种礼貌的行为。
Pinyin: Chū cì jiàn miàn shí wò shǒu shì yì zhǒng lǐ mào de xíng wéi.
In English: Shaking hands the first time you meet someone is a polite gesture.

10. Foot – 脚 (jiǎo)

In Chinese: 昨天在跑步时,我一不小心扭伤了脚。
Pinyin: Zuó tiān zài pǎo bù shí, wǒ yí bù xiǎo xīn niǔ shāng le jiǎo.
In English: When I was running yesterday, I injured my foot by accident.

9. Time

Here are the most important Chinese time nouns for you to study! Knowing these words will greatly benefit you in day-to-day life.

1. Today – 今天 (jīn tiān)

2. Tomorrow – 明天 (míng tiān)

3. The Day Before Yesterday – 前天 (qián tiān)

4. The Day After Tomorrow – 后天 (hòu tiān)

In Chinese: 今天 / 明天 / 前天 / 后天是我最好的朋友的生日。
Pinyin: Jīn tiān / míng tiān / qián tiān / hòu tiān shì wǒ zuì hǎo de péng you de shēng rì.
In English: Today / Tomorrow / The day before yesterday / The day after tomorrow is my best friend’s birthday.

5. Week – 周 (zhōu)

Monday – 周 (zhōu yī)

Tuesday – 周二 (zhōu èr)

Wednesday – 周三 (zhōu sān)

Thursday – 周四 (zhōu sì)

Friday – 周五 (zhōu wǔ)

Saturday – 周六 (zhōu liù)

Sunday – 周日 (zhōu rì)

In Chinese: 周六是我一周中最喜欢的日子。
Pinyin: Zhōu liù shì wǒ yì zhōu zhōng zuì xǐ huān de rì zi.
In English: Saturday is my favorite day of the week.

6. Day – 天 (tiān)

In Chinese: 再过十天就是我的生日了,这让我感到非常激动。
Pinyin: Zài guò shí tiān jiù shì wǒ de shēng rì le, zhè ràng wǒ gǎn dào fēi cháng jī dòng.
In English: My birthday is in ten days and this makes me very excited.

7. Month – 月 (yuè)

In Chinese: 每年的二月份是中国的春节。
Pinyin: Měi nián de èr yuè fèn shì zhōng guó de chūn jié.
In English: Every year in February is the Chinese New Year.

8. Year – 年 (nián)

In Chinese: 不管多少年过去,我们的友谊还是没有变。
Pinyin: Bù guǎn duō shǎo nián guò qu, wǒ men de yǒu yì hái shì méi yǒu biàn.
In English: No matter how many years have passed by, there is not a single thing that’s changed in our friendship.

9. Time – 时间 (shí jiān)

In Chinese: 时间就是金钱。
Pinyin: Shí jiān jiù shì jīn qián.
In English: Time is money.

10. Hour – 小时 (xiǎo shí)

In Chinese: 他每次至少迟到一个小时。
Pinyin: Tā měi cì zhì shǎo chí dào yí gè xiǎo shí.
In English: He is always at least an hour late every time.

11. Minute – 分钟 (fēn zhōng)

In Chinese: 我还有五分钟就到。
Pinyin: Wǒ hái yǒu wǔ fēn zhōng jiù dào.
In English: I will be there in five minutes.

10. Animals

Tiger Cub being Bottle Fed

Are you an animal lover?

1. Cat – 猫 (māo)

In Chinese: 猫是一种十分敏捷的动物。
Pinyin: Māo shì yì zhǒng shí fēn mǐn jié de dòng wù.
In English: Cats are very agile animals.

2. Dog – 狗 (gǒu)

In Chinese: 狗是人类最忠实的朋友。
Pinyin: Gǒu shì rén lèi zuì zhōng shí de péng you.
In English: Dogs are the most loyal friend for humans.

3. Bird – 鸟 (niǎo)

In Chinese: 我喜欢清晨的鸟叫声。
Pinyin: Wǒ xǐ huan qīng chén de niǎo jiào shēng.
In English: I enjoy birds’ singing in the morning.

4. Squirrel – 松鼠 (sōng shǔ)

In Chinese: 小松鼠吃东西的样子很可爱。
Pinyin: Xiǎo sōng shǔ chī dōng xi de yàng zi hěn kě ài.
In English: The way squirrels eat food is so adorable.

5. Snake – 蛇 (shé)

In Chinese: 蛇是一种冷血动物。
Pinyin: Shé shì yì zhǒng lěng xuè dòng wù.
In English: Snakes are cold-blooded animals.

6. Horse – 马 ()

In Chinese: 马是人类最原始的交通工具之一。
Pinyin: Mǎ shì rén lèi zuì yuán shǐ de jiāo tōng gōng jù zhī yī.
In English: Horses are one of the most primary transportation methods for humans.

7. Deer – 鹿 ()

In Chinese: 我从没有在森林中见到过鹿。
Pinyin: Wǒ cóng méi yǒu zài sēn lín zhōng jiàn dao guo lù.
In English: I’ve never seen a deer in the woods.

8. Fish – 鱼 ()

In Chinese: 鱼儿们自由自在地在水中嬉戏着。
Pinyin: Yú er men zì yóu zì zài de zài shuǐ zhōng xī xì zhe.
In English: Fish are swimming freely and playfully in the water.

9. Pig – 猪 (zhū)

In Chinese: 猪看起来很笨,实际上很聪明。
Pinyin: Zhū kàn qǐ lái hěn bèn, shí jì shang hěn cōng míng.
In English: Although pigs seem to be dumb, they are actually very smart.

10. Cow – 牛 (niú)

In Chinese: 牛的力气很大。
Pinyin: Niú de lì qì hěn dà.
In English: Cows have great strength.

11. Conclusion

Remember that “noun” in Chinese is 名词 (míng cí), and we’re sure that after this long journey of studying these Chinese nouns lists, your brain must have absorbed some of the common Chinese nouns. Even if you haven’t memorized all 100+ Chinese nouns, know that you’ve taken a great step toward getting there, and practice is your best friend!

Of course, there’s a lot more to talk about when it comes to nouns in the Chinese language; these treasures are all waiting for you at Whether you’re looking for nouns in Chinese grammar structures or nouns in the Chinese language in general, we have everything ready for you there! Click on the link to collect your treasure right now!

And before you go, let us know in the comments what new nouns in Chinese you learned! Are there any Chinese nouns you still want to know? We look forward to hearing from you!

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