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Master the Essential Chinese Questions and Answers

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As a language-learner, it’s important to ask yourself: “Why am I even learning this language?”

Many people learn a new language to interact with people from a different cultural background, in hopes of having a meaningful conversation. And questions are a fantastic tool for learning more about someone and their culture! 

“Question” in Chinese is 问题 (wèn tí). Remember that you should never be afraid to ask a 问题 (wèn tí), even if you can’t ask it perfectly. Not being able to speak your mother tongue may be tough, but as long as you try your best to keep a conversation flowing with genuine questions and a smile on your face, most people will be friendly enough to lend you their ears and open their hearts to talk with you. 

All in all, being able to ask questions is a huge help when you run out of words. It gives others the opportunity to talk about themselves, and it shows them that you’re curious and want to know more about them.

In this article, we’ll be providing you with the most essential phrases for daily life and up-to-date ways of both asking and answering questions in Chinese. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be on your way to becoming a professional conversation-starter!

Without further ado, our list of the most common Chinese questions and answers.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Chinese Table of Contents
  1. What’s your name?
  2. Where are you from?
  3. Do you speak Chinese?
  4. How long have you been studying Chinese?
  5. Have you been to China?
  6. How is ___?
  7. Do you like [the country’s] food?
  8. What are you doing?
  9. What’s wrong?
  10. How much is it?
  11. Conclusion

1. What’s your name?

First Encounter

There are two ways to form this question. The first one is the general way of speaking, and the second one is more polite and appropriate when speaking to an elder. In China, significant respect should be shown in your conversations with elders.

Question #1

In Chinese: 你叫什么名字?
Pinyin: Nǐ jiào shén me míng zi?
In English: “What is your name called?”
Additional Notes: Sometimes, people shorten it to 你叫什么 (Nǐ jiào shén me), meaning “What are you called?”

Question #2

In Chinese: 怎么称呼您?
Pinyin: Zěn me chēng hū nín?
In English: “How should I address you?”

Answer Pattern #1

In Chinese: 我的名字是[杰克]。
Pinyin: Wǒ de míng zì shì [Jié kè].
In English: “My name is [Jack].”

Answer Pattern #2

In Chinese: 我叫[贝拉]。
Pinyin: Wǒ jiào [Bèi lā].
In English: “I am called [Bella].”

2. Where are you from?

A Woman Holding a Globe

Wherever your hometown is, we are all from the same big Earth!

The Question

In Chinese: 你从哪里来? 
Pinyin: Nǐ cóng nǎ lǐ lái?
In English: “Where are you from?”

Answer Pattern #1

In Chinese: 我来自[北京]。
Pinyin: Wǒ lái zì [Běi jīng].
In English: “I come from China.”

Answer Pattern #2

In Chinese: 我从[上海]来。
Pinyin: Wǒ cóng [Shàng hǎi] lái.
In English: “I am from [Shanghai].”

Answer Pattern #3

In Chinese: 我是[加州人]。
Pinyin: Wǒ shì [Jiā zhōu rén].
In English: “I am a [Californian].”

3. Do you speak Chinese?

The leLter Q in a Speech Bubble

Most people enjoy answering questions because almost everyone enjoys expressing themselves!

The Question:

In Chinese: 你会说[中文]吗? 
Pinyin: Nǐ huì shuō [Zhōng wén] ma?
In English: “Do you speak [Chinese]?”

Typical Answer #1

In Chinese: 我会说一点。
Pinyin: Wǒ huì shuō yī diǎn.
In English: “I can speak a little bit.”

Typical Answer #2

In Chinese: 我的中文说得还不错。
Pinyin: Wǒ de Zhōng wén shuō de bú cuò.
In English: “I can speak Chinese pretty well.”

Typical Answer #3

In Chinese: 我不怎么会说。
Pinyin: Wǒ bù zěn me huì shuō.
In English: “I can barely speak it.”

4. How long have you been studying Chinese?

A Man Studying Hard in a Library

To master something truly requires you to pour your heart into it.

The Question

In Chinese: 你学习[中文]有多久了? 
Pinyin: Nǐ xué xí [Zhōng wén] yǒu duō jiǔ le?
In English: “How long have you been studying [Chinese]?”

The Typical Answer Pattern

In Chinese: 学了有[三](个)月 / 年 / 周 / 天了。
Pinyin: Xué le yǒu [sān] (gè) yuè / nián / zhōu / tiān le.
In English: “It’s been [three] months / years / weeks / days.”
Additional Notes: 个 () is a quantifier for “months” in this case. Without it, the sentence would sound weird in Chinese. There’s an abundance of quantifiers that play a huge role in the Chinese language. 

The Typical Answer

In Chinese: 我刚刚开始学习。
Pinyin: Wǒ gāng gāng kāi shǐ xué xí.
In English: “I just got started.”

Introducing Yourself

5. Have you been to China?

The Question

In Chinese: 你去过[中国]吗?
Pinyin: Nǐ qù guò [Zhōng guó] ma?
In English: “Have you been to [China]?”

Typical Answer #1

In Chinese: 我去[中国]旅游过。
Pinyin: Wǒ qù [Zhōng guó] lǚ yóu guò.
In English: “I went to [China] on a trip.”

Typical Answer #2

In Chinese: 我曾在[美国]留过学。
Pinyin: Wǒ céng zài [Měi guó] liú guò xué.
In English: “I once studied in [the United States] for a while.”

Typical Answer #3

In Chinese: 我在那里呆过一阵。
Pinyin: Wǒ zài nà lǐ dāi guò yī zhèn.
In English: “I visited there for a while.”

6. How is ___?

Two People with Smiley Cardboard Boxes on Their Heads Giving the Thumbs-up Sign

If you enjoy something, you’d better give it a big thumbs-up!

You can create several simple Chinese questions and answers using the patterns below. Learning this versatile phrase is a good idea! 

The Question

In Chinese: [中国]怎么样? 
Pinyin: [Zhōng guó] zěn me yàng?
In English: “How is [China]?”

Typical Answer #1

In Chinese: 特别好。
Pinyin: Tè bié hǎo.
In English: “Very good.”

Typical Answer #2

In Chinese: 还不错。
Pinyin: Hái bú cuò.
In English: “Not bad.”

Typical Answer #3

In Chinese: 不怎么样。 
Pinyin: Bù zěn me yàng.
In English: “Not that great.”

7. Do you like [the country’s] food?

The Question

In Chinese: 你喜欢[中国]菜吗? 
Pinyin: Nǐ xǐ huān [Zhōng guó] cài ma?
In English: “Do you like [Chinese] food?”

Typical Answer #1

In Chinese: 我特别爱吃[中国]菜。 
Pinyin: Wǒ tè bié ài chī [Zhōng guó] cài.
In English: “I love [Chinese] food very much.”

Typical Answer #2

In Chinese: 我不是很喜欢[中国]菜。
Pinyin: Wǒ bú shì hěn xǐ huān [Zhōng guó] cài.
In English: “I don’t enjoy [Chinese] food all that much.”

Typical Answer #3

In Chinese: 还好。
Pinyin: Hái hǎo.
In English: “It’s not bad.”

8. What are you doing?

These basic questions and answers in Chinese can be very useful, especially if you’ve made a new friend and want to know what they’re up to. 

Question #1

In Chinese: 你在干嘛呢? 
Pinyin: Nǐ zài gàn ma ne?
In English: “What are you doing?”

Question #2

In Chinese: 你在忙些什么呢?
Pinyin: Nǐ zài máng xiē shén me ne?
In English: “What are you busy with?”

The Typical Answer Pattern

In Chinese: 我(最近)在(忙)……
Pinyin: Wǒ (zuì jìn) zài (máng) …
In English: “(Recently,) I am (busy with)…”
Additional Notes: The words in parentheses can be omitted depending on the situation.

9. What’s wrong?

A Little Kid Holding Pencils and Pouting

Do you wonder what’s wrong with this adorable kid? Learn how to ask in Chinese!

The Question

In Chinese: 有什么不对吗?  
Pinyin: Yǒu shén me bú duì ma?
In English: “What’s wrong?”

Typical Answer #1

In Chinese: 没什么大不了的。
Pinyin: Méi shén me dà bù liǎo de.
In English: “Nothing important.”

Typical Answer #2

In Chinese: 我心情不太好。 
Pinyin: Wǒ xīn qíng bú tài hǎo.
In English: “I am not in a good mood.”

10. How much is it?

Stacks of Coins with Different Symbols on Top

Always think twice: is the stuff you’re going to buy worth it?

The Question

In Chinese: 这个多少钱?
Pinyin: Zhè gè duō shǎo qián?
In English: “How much is it?”

In Chinese: 这个怎么卖?
Pinyin: Zhè gè zěn me mài?
In English: “How do you sell this?”

The Typical Answer

In Chinese: 三十五元一个。 
Pinyin: Sān shí wǔ yuán yī gè.
In English: “35 yuan each.”
Additional Notes: The answer to this question is usually the direct number of the cost.

11. Conclusion

After studying these useful formulas and sets of Chinese questions and answers, you must be starting to get the hang of both asking and answering questions in Chinese. Of course, there’s no fixed recipe for any language as it’s more of an expressive artform. Try to customize your own answers based on the sentence structures we provided you. We also recommend that you practice in front of the mirror.

Before you go, why not start practicing what you’ve learned today in the comments section? Write out and answer a few of the questions from this article, or let us know if there are any questions and answers in Chinese you still want to know! We look forward to hearing from you.

Devote some time and effort to practicing conversations about these topics. Effective communication not only requires proper content and decent sentence structures, but also the right facial expressions, tones, emotions, and so much more. A well-developed conversation can go so much deeper than you think! 

Now, have some unshakable faith in yourself, just as much as we do: you can become a master of Chinese conversation! We have tons of free resources in Chinese for you, no matter your current level. Explore our website to make the most of your Chinese studies. 

Let’s spread our wings and soar together at ChineseClass101.com, your happiest language-learning paradise!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Chinese

How to Pass HSK, the Mandarin Chinese Proficiency Test

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Are you curious about what level your Chinese is at?

Would you like to be certified in your Chinese language abilities? 

Are you thinking about applying for a job or a college program in China? 

Do you need motivation to push your Chinese to the next level? 

If you’ve ever wondered about these questions, it’s probably time for you to look into a Chinese proficiency test called the HSK exam.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Study Strategies in Chinese Table of Contents
  1. Step 1: Knowing the HSK Exam
  2. Step 2: Understanding the Six Levels and Finding Your Own Level
  3. Step 3: Drilling for the HSK Exam
  4. Step 4: Using ChineseClass101.com to Help You Prepare for and Pass the HSK Exam
  5. Conclusion

Step 1: Knowing the HSK Exam

Taking the HSK Test

1- What is the HSK exam?

HSK stands for 汉语水平考试 (Hànyǔ Shuǐpíng Kǎoshì), which means “Mandarin Proficiency Test.” It’s a standardized test for non-native Chinese-speakers to assess their language abilities in daily, academic, and professional life. 

The test has six levels, with Level I being the most basic and Level VI being the most advanced. 

There’s a listening section and a reading section in levels I and II. From Level III and up, there’s an additional writing section; in addition, the Chinese characters will not be marked with Pinyin, as they are in levels I and II. All of the Chinese characters are in simplified Chinese. 

The HSK exam does not test on speaking. If you’re interested in testing your Chinese speaking skills, there’s a separate test for that: HSKK.

2- Why should I consider taking the HSK exam?

Taking the HSK Chinese proficiency test and getting the certificate can benefit you as a Chinese-learner in a few ways, by:

1. Providing a more tangible way to monitor your learning progress and performance (this is especially true for self-taught Chinese-learners). 

2. Opening doors to study at Chinese universities. Many colleges in China require that foreign student applicants pass the HSK IV. 

3. Offering an advantage over other candidates when seeking employment in China. Even though not every employer in China requires their foreign employees to have an HSK certificate, having one will definitely work in your favor.

3- Who is eligible to take the HSK exam, and how much does it cost?

Any non-native speakers, such as foreign students or overseas Chinese, are eligible to take the test.  

There are fees to take the HSK exam. Level 1 costs 150 RMB, which is about twenty American dollars, and it’s 100 RMB more for each level higher.

4- When and where can I take the HSK exam?

You can take the HSK exam any time throughout the year. There are usually one or two tests every month. Check out the HSK exam dates in 2020 here

The test can be paper-based or Internet-based. There are many HSK test centers inside and outside of China, where you can choose to take the paper-based test or Internet test. To find a test center near you, click here

Once you’re ready for the test, register by following the steps on this chart

Language Skills

Step 2: Understanding the Six Levels and Finding Your Own Level 

Level I

HSK Level I requires test-takers to know 150 Chinese words and very basic grammar patterns. At this level, there’s a listening section and a reading section. There will be both multiple choice and true-or-false questions. The test lasts about 40 minutes.

Basic vocabulary and daily expressions are used in the questions. For example, the reading section of HSK Level I tests one’s understanding of simple sentences, such as: 

她很喜欢这本书。
Tā hěn xǐhuān zhè běn shū.

他在睡觉吗? 
Tā zài shuìjiào ma?

我们明天坐火车去。
Wǒmen míngtiān zuò huǒchē qù.

(Translations: “She likes this book very much.” “Is he sleeping?” “We’re taking a train there tomorrow.”)

Level II

HSK Level II requires test-takers to know 300 words and related grammar patterns. The test also has a listening and reading part. The duration is about 55 minutes.

At this level, you should have the ability to conduct daily communications such as giving self-introductions, describing weather and moods, making comparisons, etc. 

Below is an example of a dialogue in the listening section of Level II: 

– 小王,你女朋友呢?
Xiǎo Wáng , nǐ nǚpéngyou ne?

– 她没来。她下午要考试。
Tā méilái . Tā xiàwǔ yào kǎoshì.

Question: 

小王的女朋友为什么没来?
Xiǎo Wáng de nǚpéngyou wèishénme méilái?

On the answer sheet, you’re provided with three possible answers in multiple choice format:

A. 要上班  yào shàngbān
B. 要考试 yào kǎoshì
C.  要开会 yào kāihuì

(The correct answer is B.)

Level III

To be able to pass HSK Level III, test-takers are expected to know 600 words and related grammar patterns. 

From this level up, there’s an additional writing section. For the writing section, you’ll be writing in Chinese characters on paper, or typing Chinese characters with Pinyin on a computer, depending on which form of the test you choose. In addition, Chinese characters will not be marked with Pinyin. The duration of a Level III test is about 90 minutes.

Language skills tested at this level include asking other people for suggestions, using conjunction words to express opinions, using specific measure words, being able to express present/past/future events, etc.

Here’s an example of a writing task:

Put the words and phrases below in the correct sentence order. 

妹妹, 最, 吃, 我, 苹果, 爱. 

Note that there’s no Pinyin on any of the Chinese characters.

(The correct sentence order is: 我妹妹最爱吃苹果。[Wǒ mèimei zuì ài chī píngguǒ.], meaning “My younger sister loves to eat apples the most.”)

Level IV

For HSK Level IV, test-takers are expected to master 1200 words. With a listening section, a reading section, and a writing section, the test will be about 105 minutes.

In the listening section, each sentence and dialogue will only be read one time. The materials used in the reading section are more in-depth than those for previous levels. 

If you have the ability to read Chinese newspapers and magazines, and carry out conversations on a wide variety of topics with native Chinese speakers, you should consider taking this level. 

It’s also worth pointing out that passing HSK Level IV is one of the requirements for non-native Chinese-speakers to study in Chinese universities.

Going to College in China

Here’s an example of a passage used in the reading section:


什么是真正的朋友?不同的人总有不同的理解。

我的理解是:在需要帮助的时候,朋友会勇敢地站出来,及时帮你走出困境, 解决问题;在受伤难过的时候, 朋友会陪在你身边,逗你开心让你快乐; 无论你是穷人还是富人,真正的朋友永远值得你的信任。

And your understanding of the passage will be tested by the questions:

1. 根据这段话,朋友可以帮你: 
A. 获得爱情  B. 照顾家人 C. 解决难题  D. 走出贫穷 

2. 这段话主要介绍的是: 
A. 困难 B. 亲情 C.爱情 D. 友情

(The correct answers are 1. C and 2. D.)

Level V

Anyone wanting to take this level should have at least 2500 Chinese words in their word bank. With the questions being more complicated, it takes about 125 minutes in total to finish the test.  

Below is an example question from the Level V listening section.

On your answer sheet, you’ll see:

A: 男的手机坏了
B: 男的下载了一个没有声音的视频
C. 男的下载了一个新软件
D. 男的没有开电脑的声音

In the audio recording, you’ll hear:

男: 你帮我看看? 这个视频怎么没有声音。 
女: 我看看。是你下载的吗? 
男: 是啊,有画面但是没有声音。 
女: 怪不得听不到声音,你的电脑调成静音了。 

问:根据对话,可以知道什么?

(The correct answer is D.)

Level VI

In addition to the 5000 Chinese words that test-takers need to know to consider taking this level, how difficult is the highest level of the Mandarin proficiency test?

Let’s find out by looking at the writing section of HSK Level VI. 

First, you have 10 minutes to read a story with 600 to 1000 words. While reading the story, you’re not allowed to take notes

When the 10 minutes are up, this story will be taken away from you, leaving you 35 minutes to paraphrase the story in about 400 words.

You’re only supposed to paraphrase the story, not give your own opinions. 

As intimidating as Level VI seems, once you’ve passed and earned the certificate of HSK Level VI, your  Chinese is officially as good, or even better, than that of average Chinese native speakers!

Celebrating Passing HSK VI)

Step 3: Drilling for the HSK Exam

After you find your own level and register for the exam, follow the steps below to make the most of your HSK test preparation and drills:

1. Go to the HSK official website chinesetest.cn and study the outlines of the six levels very closely. In the outlines, you’ll find information about what language skills are required at each level, which vocabulary words and grammar points will be tested, plus a complete mock test with answers. 

2. Once you have all the language skills listed in the outlines, take the mock tests. It’s very important to treat them like real exams. Find a place where you won’t be interrupted and take the exams within the time limit.

3. The next thing to do, which is also a great learning method, is to collect the questions you got wrong. Put them in categories and find out where your weaknesses are. Is it a certain sentence pattern or grammar point? Or do you need to work on your reading speed? Can you improve your listening scores by doing more listening practice? 

4. When you’re done with one mock test, search for more mock tests and do at least two tests every week until your test date.

Studying Hard Every Night

Step 4: Using ChineseClass101.com to Help You Prepare for and Pass the HSK Exam

Preparing for the HSK exam on your own takes a lot of planning, research, hard work, and discipline. Don’t forget that ChineseClass101.com has abundant learning resources that can make preparing for the HSK exam at any level twice as efficient.

ChineseClass101.com

1- Vocabulary

In addition to our frequently updated vocabulary lists that cover a wide range of topics, our lists of the 100 and 2000 core words will gradually bring you up to speed on vocabulary as high as HSK Level V.  

2- Listening

Can’t find listening materials that are appropriate for your level? Look no further! ChineseClass101.com has hundreds of lessons with audio for you, from the absolute beginner level to the advanced level. You’ll find dialogues recorded by native speakers, with scripts, lesson notes, vocabulary lists, and grammar points. You’ll never run out of listening practice materials!  

3- Reading

The fact that Chinese has a non-romanized writing system makes reading even more challenging than it is in other languages. We have special lessons designed to improve your reading skills and prepare you for reading in daily life. Check out this reading comprehension lesson for intermediate-level students here. 

4- Writing

The downside of studying on your own is that you don’t have constant guidance on your learning path. Having personalized advice is especially important when it comes to writing. The good news is that with a Premium PLUS subscription, you can get one-on-one interaction with an assessment from our certified teachers. They’ll answer all your questions, develop personalized learning programs based on your needs, and of course, correct anything you write in Chinese. Try it out and submit your Chinese self-introduction in writing now

5- Speaking and More…

The HSK doesn’t have a speaking section, unless you take the separate HSKK to get credentials just for your Chinese-speaking skills. Whether you’re taking the speaking test or not, ChineseClass101.com offers you the tools you need to master everyday communication.

Asking for Directions in Chinese

With a Premium subscription, you’ll be able to record your own speech to compare with that of a native speaker, so you can work on your accent and pronunciation. With a Premium PLUS subscription, you’ll get feedback on your speaking assignments from your personal teacher right away. The best part? You can do it anywhere, any time, at an affordable price! 

5. Conclusion

Everyone can pass the HSK exam when they’re well-prepared. If you have more questions about the HSK exam, or you’d like to know how our site can help you with it, don’t hesitate to visit us at ChineseClass101.com and leave us a message! 

Happy Chinese learning, and good luck on your test!

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The 10 Most Useful Chinese Sentence Patterns

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Language is an art, and learning one can become frustrating due to their complicated and flexible nature. We totally understand your pain as a new Chinese language learner!

How about simplifying it a little bit, and applying some formulas like we do in math? 

We’ve prepared these ten most basic and useful Chinese sentence patterns for you. Once you master them, you’ll be able to generate hundreds of natural sentences and converse with ease and confidence in any situation. 

Now let’s get to the fun!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Chinese Table of Contents
  1. Linking Two Nouns
  2. Using Adjectives to Describe Nouns
  3. Expressing “Want”
  4. Expressing “Need”
  5. Expressing “Like”
  6. Politely Asking Someone to Do Something
  7. Expressing Something in the Past Tense
  8. Asking for Information About Something
  9. Asking About Time
  10. Asking About Location or Position
  11. Conclusion

1. Linking Two Nouns

Some of the simplest and most common Chinese phrases are those used to connect to nouns. Let’s see how it’s done.

Sentence pattern:

In Chinese: [主语] 是 [宾语]。

Pinyin: [Zhǔ yǔ] shì  [bīn yǔ].

In English: “[Subject] is [object].”

Example 1

In Chinese: 约翰是我的哥哥。

Pinyin: Yuē hàn shì wǒ de gē ge. 

In English: “John is my older brother.”

Example 2

In Chinese: 我的妈妈是一个十分善良的人。

Pinyin: Wǒ de mā ma shì yī gè shí fēn shàn liáng de rén. 

In English: “My mom is a very kind person.”

Example 3

In Chinese: 这只手表是爸爸送给我的毕业礼物。

Pinyin: Zhè zhī shǒu biǎo shì bà ba sòng gěi wǒ de bì yè lǐ wù. 

In English: “This watch is a present from my dad for my graduation.”

Example 4

In Chinese: 她是一名老师。

Pinyin: Tā shì yī míng lǎo shī. 

In English: “She is a teacher.”

Example 5

In Chinese: 狗是我最喜欢的动物。 

Pinyin: Gǒu shì wǒ zuì xǐ huān de dòng wù. 

In English: “Dogs are my favorite animal.”

2. Using Adjectives to Describe Nouns

A Woman in a Yellow Shirt Thinking about Something

Let’s think about how to describe this…

Sentence pattern:

In Chinese: [主语] (是) 非常/很/太/真 [形容词]。

Pinyin: [Zhǔ yǔ] (shì) fēi cháng/hěn/tài/zhēn  [xíng róng cí].

In English: “[Subject] (is) very/so [adjective].”

Additional notes: In Chinese, when we use adjectives to describe things, “is” is omitted most of the time.

Example 1

In Chinese: 你真美。 

Pinyin: Nǐ zhēn měi. 

In English: “You are so beautiful.”

Example 2

In Chinese: 我们昨晚看的电影实在是太恐怖了。

Pinyin: Wǒ men zuó wǎn kàn de diàn yǐng shí zài shì tài kǒng bù le. 

In English: “The movie we watched last night was so scary.”

Example 3

In Chinese: 这道甜点真好吃。

Pinyin: Zhè dào tián diǎn zhēn hǎo chī. 

In English: “This dessert is so delicious.”

Example 4

In Chinese: 他可真是个聪明人。

Pinyin: Tā kě zhēn shì gè cōng míng rén. 

In English: “He is such a wise person.”

Example 5

In Chinese: 这本书真是太感人了,我看的时候都忍不住哭了。

Pinyin: Zhè běn shū zhēn shì tài gǎn rén le, wǒ kàn de shí hòu dōu rěn bú zhù kū le. 

In English: “This book is so touching, I couldn’t help crying when I was reading it.”

3. Expressing “Want” 

This Chinese sentence structure is very useful for day-to-day interactions. Let’s take a look:

Sentence pattern:

In Chinese: 我想……

Pinyin: Wǒ xiǎng…

In English: “I want (to)…”

Example 1

In Chinese: 我想吃东西了。

Pinyin: Wǒ xiǎng chī dōng xi le. 

In English: “I want to eat some food.”

A Businessman Eating Fast Food

Don’t we all crave food all the time?

Example 2

In Chinese: 在国外留学了三年之后,我想回家。

Pinyin: Zài guó wài liú xué le sān nián zhī hòu, wǒ xiǎng huí jiā. 

In English: “After studying abroad for three years, I want to go back to my hometown.”

Example 3

In Chinese: 今天复习了一天的考试,现在我只想睡觉。

Pinyin: Jīn tiān fù xí le yī tiān de kǎo shì, xiàn zài wǒ zhǐ xiǎng shuì jiào. 

In English: “Today, I studied the whole time, and now I only want to go to sleep.”

Example 4

In Chinese: 我想成为一个更好的人。

Pinyin: Wǒ xiǎng chéng wéi yī gè gèng hǎo de rén. 

In English: “I want to become a better person.”

Example 5

In Chinese: 夏天是让人想吃西瓜的季节。

Pinyin: Xià tiān shì ràng rén xiǎng chī xī guā de jì jié. 

In English: “Summer is a season that makes people want to eat watermelons.”

4. Expressing “Need”

Sentence pattern:

In Chinese: 我需要…… / 我得……

Pinyin: Wǒ xū yào… / Wǒ děi…

In English: “I need (to)…” / “I have to…” 

Example 1

In Chinese: 抱歉,现在我必须要走了。

Pinyin: Bào qiàn, xiàn zài wǒ bì xū yào zǒu le. 

In English: “I am sorry, I need to go right now.”

Example 2

In Chinese: 打扰一下,我需要用一下卫生间。

Pinyin: Dǎ rǎo yī xià, wǒ xū yào yòng yī xià wèi shēng jiān. 

In English: “Excuse me, I need to use the bathroom.”

Example 3

In Chinese: 我需要冷静下来,好好想想接下来应该怎么办。

Pinyin: Wǒ xū yào lěng jìng xià lái, hǎo hao xiǎng xiang jiē xià lái yīng gāi zěn me bàn.

In English: “I need to calm down and think about what I can do next.”

Example 4

In Chinese: 狗狗是人类最好的朋友,他们需要我们的陪伴与关爱。

Pinyin: Gǒu gou shì rén lèi zuì hǎo de péng you, tā men xū yào wǒ men de péi bàn yǔ guān ài.

In English: “Dogs are man’s best friend; they need our companionship and love.”

A Woman Astounded at a Surprise Party for Her Birthday

Gotta have some fun if it’s your birthday!

Example 5

In Chinese: 明天是我的生日,我得穿件漂亮的衣服。

Pinyin: Míng tiān shì wǒ de shēng rì, wǒ děi chuān jiàn piāo liang de yī fu. 

In English: “Tomorrow is my birthday; I will have to wear something nice.”

5. Expressing “Like”

This is one of the most important Chinese sentence structures for beginners who want to hold basic conversations with native speakers. Let’s see how it works.

Sentence pattern:

In Chinese: 我喜欢……

Pinyin: Wǒ xǐ huan… 

In English: “I like (to)…”

Example 1

In Chinese: 我非常喜欢下厨。

Pinyin: Wǒ fēi cháng xǐ huan xià chú. 

In English: “I like to cook very much.”

Example 2

In Chinese: 我喜欢在海边看日落。

Pinyin: Wǒ xǐ huan zài hǎi biān kàn rì luò. 

In English: “I like to watch the sunset at the beach.”

Example 3

In Chinese: 爸爸喜欢每天早上八点准时叫我起床。

Pinyin: Bà ba xǐ huan měi tiān zǎo shàng bā diǎn zhǔn shí jiào wǒ qǐ chuáng. 

In English: “My dad likes to wake me up exactly at 8:00 a.m. every day.”

Example 4

In Chinese: 孩子们都很喜欢万圣节,因为他们可以得到很多糖果。

Pinyin: Hái zi men dōu hěn xǐ huan wàn shèng jié, yīn wèi tā men kě yǐ dé dào hěn duō táng guǒ. 

In English: “Children all like Halloween because they can get lots of candy.”

Example 5

A Group of People Reaching for French Fries

Tell me the truth: isn’t fast food a guilty pleasure of yours sometimes?

In Chinese: 他很喜欢吃快餐。

Pinyin: Tā hěn xǐ huan chī kuài cān.

In English: “He likes to eat fast food a lot.”

6. Politely Asking Someone to Do Something

Sentence pattern:

In Chinese: 请……

Pinyin: Qǐng… 

In English: “Please…”

Example 1

A Couple being Seated at a Nice Restaurant

Let’s try to be polite when it’s needed and use the word “please.”

In Chinese: 请问我可以进来吗?

Pinyin: Qǐng wèn wǒ kě yǐ jìn lái ma? 

In English: “Can I come in, please?”

Example 2

In Chinese: 请不要在我家里穿鞋,谢谢。

Pinyin: Qǐng bú yào zài wǒ jiā lǐ chuān xié, xiè xiè. 

In English: “Please don’t wear shoes at my house, thank you.”

Example 3

In Chinese: 能不能请您稍微挪一下位置?

Pinyin: Néng bu néng qǐng nín shāo wēi nuó yī xià wèi zhì.

In English: “Can you please move a little bit?”

Example 4

In Chinese: 请坐。 

Pinyin: Qǐng zuò. 

In English: “Please sit down.”

Example 5

In Chinese: 请你注意自己的言行。

Pinyin: Qǐng nǐ zhù yì zì jǐ de yán xíng. 

In English: “Please mind your own manners.”

7. Expressing Something in the Past Tense

Next on our Chinese sentence patterns list is how to express things that happened in the past. Take a look:

Sentence pattern: 

In Chinese: 我(已经)……了。 

Pinyin: Wǒ (yǐ jīng)…le. 

In English: “I (already)…”

Example 1

In Chinese: 我已经吃过饭了。

Pinyin: Wǒ yǐ jīng chī guò fàn le. 

In English: “I already ate.”

Example 2

In Chinese: 我已经把作业做完了。 

Pinyin: Wǒ yǐ jīng bǎ zuò yè zuò wán le. 

In English: “I already finished my homework.”

Example 3

In Chinese: 我已经放弃了。

Pinyin: Wǒ yǐ jīng fàng qì le. 

In English: “I already gave up.”

Example 4

In Chinese: 我之前已经去过这里了。

Pinyin: Wǒ zhī qián yǐ jīng qù guò zhè lǐ le. 

In English: “I already went there before.”

Example 5

In Chinese: 我已经把文件传给你了。

Pinyin: Wǒ yǐ jīng bǎ wén jiàn chuán gěi nǐ le. 

In English: “I already sent the files to you.”

8. Asking for Information About Something

Sentence Patterns

Sentence pattern:

In Chinese: [主语] 是什么?

Pinyin: [Zhǔ yǔ] shì shén me? 

In English: “What is [subject]?”

Example 1

In Chinese: 这个是什么?

Pinyin: Zhè gè shì shén me? 

In English: “What is this?”

Example 2

In Chinese: 我们上次去的餐厅是哪一家?

Pinyin: Wǒ men shàng cì qù de cān tīng shì nǎ yī jiā? 

In English: “What was the restaurant we went to last time?”

Example 3

In Chinese: 你的名字是什么?

Pinyin: Nǐ de míng zì shì shén me? 

In English: “What is your name?”

Example 4

In Chinese: 你学的是什么专业?

Pinyin: Nǐ xué de shì shén me zhuān yè? 

In English: “What is your major?”

Example 5

In Chinese: 你的爱好是什么?

Pinyin: Nǐ de ài hào shì shén me? 

In English: “What is your hobby?”

9. Asking About Time

Sentence pattern:

In Chinese: [事件]是什么时候?

Pinyin: [Shì jiàn] shì shén me shí hou? 

In English: “When is [event]?”

Example 1

In Chinese: 会议是什么时候?

Pinyin: Huì yì shì shén me shí hou? 

In English: “When is the meeting?”

Example 2

In Chinese: 你的生日是什么时候?

Pinyin: Nǐ de shēng rì shì shén me shí hou?

In English: “When is your birthday?”

Example 3

In Chinese: 你的航班是什么时候到达机场?

Pinyin: Nǐ de háng bān shì shén me shí hou dào dá jī chǎng? 

In English: “When is the arrival time for your flight?”

Example 4

In Chinese: 你想要什么时候去露营?

Pinyin: Nǐ xiǎng yào shén me shí hou qù lù yíng? 

In English: “When do you want to go camping?”

Example 5

In Chinese: 我们第一次见面是什么时候?

Pinyin: Wǒ men dì yī cì jiàn miàn shì shén me shí hou? 

In English: “When did we meet for the first time?”

10. Asking About Location or Position

Sentence Components

The final Chinese language sentence structure we’ll cover today is how to ask for location or position. 

Sentence pattern:

In Chinese: [地方]在哪里? 

Pinyin: [Dì fang] zài nǎ lǐ? 

In English: “Where is [place]?”

Example 1

In Chinese: 请问卫生间在哪里?

Pinyin: Qǐng wèn wèi shēng jiān zài nǎ lǐ?

In English: “Where is the restroom?”

Example 2

In Chinese: 你的家乡在哪里?

Pinyin: Nǐ de jiā xiāng zài nǎ lǐ? 

In English: “Where is your hometown?”

Example 3

In Chinese: 请问电梯在哪里?

Pinyin: Qǐng wèn diàn tī zài nǎ lǐ? 

In English: “Where is the elevator?”

Example 4

In Chinese: 你们是在哪里举办的婚礼?

Pinyin: Nǐ men shì zài nǎ lǐ jǔ bàn de hūn lǐ? 

In English: “Where did you have your wedding?”

Example 5

In Chinese: 你们是在哪里遇见的? 

Pinyin: nǐ men shì zài nǎ lǐ yù jiàn de?

In English: “Where did you guys meet?”

11. Conclusion

Weren’t those some incredibly convenient Chinese sentence patterns? Now that you know the “formulas,” I’m sure that soon enough you’ll be able to apply them and create sentences of your own for any situation! Of course, only knowing the basic Chinese grammar and sentence patterns isn’t enough to grasp the complex and artistic Chinese language. 

I’m sure your ambition as a language-learner goes beyond this, right? If you’re ready to expand your horizon in Chinese, just visit ChineseClass101.com for the most professional, unlimited Chinese resources. You can start learning Chinese in the next thirty seconds with a free lifetime account; we promise that you won’t regret it!

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100 Chinese Adverbs You Need to Know

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Have you ever wondered why your speech or writing is so dry? Maybe you just need a little guide on using different parts of speech, such as adverbs. Adverbs are very useful in creating an interesting and well-structured sentence. As a Chinese learner, I’m certain that you can’t wait to know more about Chinese adverbs.

Adverbs describe verbs, adjectives, and even other adverbs. Without their beautiful polish for your sentences, conversations can become raw and lifeless. Fortunately, you’re in the right place to learn some of the most useful Chinese adverbs to avoid this problem. 
In this article, we’ll talk about what an adverb is and how to use them, and provide you with a comprehensive Chinese adverbs list. Take good advantage of the words in this list, because they’ll greatly help your conversational skills!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Chinese Table of Contents
  1. What is an Adverb?
  2. Chinese Adverbs of Time
  3. Chinese Adverbs of Frequency
  4. Chinese Adverbs of Mood or Attitude
  5. Chinese Adverbs of Manner
  6. Chinese Adverbs of Degree
  7. How ChineseClass101 Can Help You Learn More Chinese
Group of Friends Talking Over Coffee

Let’s spice up your conversations with some proper Chinese adverbs!

1. What is an Adverb?

Top Verbs

Adverbs in Chinese are called 副词 (fù cí), and like in most other languages, the adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. 

So how do you use an adverb in Chinese, and where does it go in a sentence?

Chinese adverbs are usually placed before the main verb of a sentence, which is after the subject. However, in some cases, they do come at the very beginning of a sentence (or after the main verb) due to the flexibility of the Chinese language.

When an adverb is used to modify a verb, you can usually spot the adverb by the particle 地 (de), which is very similar to the suffix “ly” in English. 

A typical structure for a sentence containing a Chinese adverb is “Subject + Adjective + 地 + Verb.” For example:

In Chinese: 我认真地做了笔记。

Pinyin: Wǒ rèn zhēn de zuò le bǐ jì.

In English: “I took notes carefully.”

Of course, there’s so much more to explore. In the following sections, we’ll provide examples of how Chinese adverbs work in real-life situations.

2. Chinese Adverbs of Time

A clock with Roman Numerals Against a Faded Calendar Background

Time is something that ties into our daily life, so we surely need to master some Chinese time adverbs! 

1. Today – 今天 (jīn tiān)

In Chinese: 我今天没有去学校。

Pinyin: Wǒ jīn tiān méi yǒu qù xué xiào.

In English: “I didn’t go to school today.”

2. Yesterday – 昨天 (zuó tiān)

In Chinese: 我昨天去看望了奶奶。

Pinyin: Wǒ zuó tiān qù kàn wàng le nǎi nai. 

In English: “I visited my grandmother yesterday.”

3. Tomorrow – 明天 (míng tiān)

In Chinese: 医生说妈妈明天就会痊愈了。

Pinyin: Yī shēng shuō mā ma míng tiān jiù huì quán yù le. 

In English: “The doctor said mom will be well tomorrow.”

4. The day before yesterday – 前天 (qián tiān)

In Chinese: 前天我们家刚刚领养了一只小猫。

Pinyin: Qián tiān wǒ men jiā gāng gāng lǐng yǎng le yī zhī xiǎo māo. 

In English: “The day before yesterday, our family adopted a little kitten.”

5. The day after tomorrow – 后天 (hòu tiān)

In Chinese: 我们后天就要开学了。

Pinyin: Wǒ men hòu tiān jiù yào kāi xué le. 

In English: “Our school will start the day after tomorrow.”

6. Last year – 去年 (qù nián)

In Chinese: 去年我去法国旅游了。 

Pinyin: Qù nián wǒ qù fǎ guó lǚ yóu le. 

In English: “I went on a trip to France last year.”

7. Soon – 马上 (mǎ shàng)

In Chinese: 我马上就到。

Pinyin: Wǒ mǎ shàng jiù dào. 

In English: “I will be there soon.”

8. Late – 迟 (chí)

In Chinese: 抱歉,我来迟了。 

Pinyin: Bào qiàn, wǒ lái chí le. 

In English: “Sorry, I came late.”

9. First – 首先 (shǒu xiān)

In Chinese: 首先你要自己相信自己,别人才能相信你。

Pinyin: Shǒu xiān nǐ yào zì jǐ xiàng xìn zì jǐ, bié rén cái néng xiàng xìn nǐ. 

In English: “First, you need to have faith in yourself, and then others will believe in you.”

10. Lastly – 最后 (zuì hòu)

In Chinese: 最后,他决定去出国留学。 

Pinyin: Zuì hòu, tā jué dìng qù chū guó liú xué. 

In English: “Lastly, he decided to go study abroad.”

11. Finally – 终于 (zhōng yú)

In Chinese: 我们终于看到了极光。 

Pinyin: Wǒ men zhōng yú kàn dào le jí guāng. 

In English: “We finally got to see the Aurora.”

12. Eventually – 最终 (zuì zhōng)

In Chinese: 我们最终还是没能看到流星。

Pinyin: Wǒ men zuì zhōng hái shì méi néng kàn dào liú xīng. 

In English: “We didn’t get to see the shooting star in the end (eventually).”

13. Before – 之前 (zhī qián)

In Chinese: 每次睡觉之前我都习惯喝一杯牛奶。

Pinyin: Měi cì shuì jiào zhī qián wǒ dōu xí guàn hē yī bēi niú nǎi. 

In English: “Every time before I go to sleep, I am used to drinking a cup of milk.”

14. After – 之后 (zhī hòu)

In Chinese: 我洗完澡之后,就直接去睡觉了。

Pinyin: Wǒ xǐ wán zǎo zhī hòu, jiù zhí jiē qù shuì jiào le. 

In English: “After I took a shower, I went directly to bed.”

15. Now – 现在 (xiàn zài)

In Chinese: 他现在心情很不好,谁都不理。  

Pinyin: Tā xiàn zài xīn qíng hěn bù hǎo, shuí dōu bù lǐ. 

In English: “He is not in a good mood right now; he wouldn’t even talk to anyone.”

16. Currently – 目前 (mù qián)

In Chinese: 姐姐告诉我她目前还不想考虑结婚。

Pinyin: Jiě jie gào sù wǒ tā mù qián hái bù xiǎng kǎo lǜ jié hūn. 

In English: “My older sister told me that she currently doesn’t want to think about getting married.”

17. Already – 已经 (yǐ jīng)

In Chinese: 一切都已经来不及了。 

Pinyin: Yī qiè dōu yǐ jīng lái bù jí le. 

In English: “It’s already too late to change what happened.” 

18. Recently – 最近 (zuì jìn)

In Chinese: 我最近感到非常焦虑。

Pinyin: Wǒ zuì jìn gǎn dào fēi cháng jiāo lǜ. 

In English: “Recently, I feel very anxious.”

19. Still – 仍然 (réng rán)

In Chinese: 我们明知道梦想很遥远,却仍然会去为之努力。

Pinyin: Wǒ men míng zhī dào mèng xiǎng hěn yáo yuǎn, què réng rán huì qù wéi zhī nǔ lì. 

In English: “We are very aware of how faraway dreams are, but we still try our hardest for them.”

20. Immediately – 立即 (lì jí)

In Chinese: 每次有朋友需要帮助,我都会立即伸出援助之手。 

Pinyin: Měi cì yǒu péng yǒu xū yào bāng zhù, wǒ dōu huì lì jí shēn chū yuán zhù zhī shǒu. 

In English: “Every time there are friends who need my help, I immediately give them a hand.”

21. In the past – 以前 (yǐ qián)

In Chinese: 妹妹以前从来不吃蔬菜。 

Pinyin: Mèi mei yǐ qián cóng lái bù chī shū cài. 

In English: “In the past, my younger sister never ate vegetables.”

22. Previously – 曾经 (céng jīng)

In Chinese: 我曾经是一个很没有自信的人。

Pinyin: Wǒ céng jīng shì yī gè hěn méi yǒu zì xìn de rén. 

In English: “I used to be a person who was very unconfident.”

23. Later – 后来 (hòu lái)

In Chinese: 我们后来再也没有见过面。

Pinyin: Wǒ men hòu lái zài yě méi yǒu jiàn guò miàn. 

In English: “We never saw each other again later (afterwards).”

24. Then – 然后 (rán hòu)

In Chinese: 我和每一位朋友说了再见,然后缓缓走入了机场,准备开始新的人生旅程。 

Pinyin: Wǒ hé měi yī wèi péng yǒu shuō le zài jiàn, rán hòu huǎn huǎn zǒu rù le jī chǎng, zhǔn bèi kāi shǐ xīn de rén shēng lǚ chéng. 

In English: “I said goodbye to every single one of my friends, then I slowly walked into the airport, ready to start a new journey of my life.”

25. Tonight – 今晚 (jīn wǎn)

In Chinese: 今晚我们会去男朋友会带我去我最喜欢的餐厅吃饭。

Pinyin: Jīn wǎn wǒ men huì qù nán péng yǒu huì dài wǒ qù wǒ zuì xǐ huān de cān tīng chī fàn. 

In English: “My boyfriend will take me to my favorite restaurant tonight.”

26. This morning – 今早 (jīn zǎo)

In Chinese: 今早我很早就起床为自己做了早饭。

Pinyin: Jīn zǎo wǒ hěn zǎo jiù qǐ chuáng wèi zì jǐ zuò le zǎo fàn. 

In English: “This morning, I woke up early and made breakfast for myself.”

27. Yet – 还 (hái)

In Chinese: 他现在正处于青年时期,所以还会变得更成熟的。

Pinyin: Tā xiàn zài zhèng chù yú qīng nián shí qī, suǒ yǐ hái huì biàn de gèng chéng shú de.

In English: “He is a teenager now, so he is yet to become more mature.”

28. A while ago – 刚刚 (gāng gāng)

In Chinese: 我刚刚才刷完牙,妈妈就叫我去吃水果。

Pinyin: Wǒ gāng gāng cái shuā wán yá, mā ma jiù jiào wǒ qù chī shuǐ guǒ.

In English: “I just brushed my teeth a while ago, and now my mom is calling me to have some fruit.

3. Chinese Adverbs of Frequency

More Essential Verbs

29. Never – 从不 (cóng bù)

In Chinese: 我们家的人从不抽烟。

Pinyin: Wǒ men jiā de rén cóng bù chōu yān.

In English: “People in our family never smoke.

30. Seldom – 很少 (hěn shǎo)

In Chinese: 由于身体不好,她很少出家门。

Pinyin: Yóu yú shēn tǐ bù hǎo, tā hěn shǎo chū jiā mén. 

In English: “She seldom goes out because of her bad health.”

31. Hardly – 几乎不 (jī hū bù)

In Chinese: 她几乎不去餐馆吃饭。

Pinyin: Tā jǐ hū bú qù cān guǎn chī fàn. 

In English: “She hardly eats at restaurants.”

32. Sometimes – 有时 / 偶尔 (yǒu shí / ǒu ěr)

In Chinese: 我家小狗有时/偶尔会咬东西。

Pinyin: Wǒ jiā xiǎo gǒu yǒu shí /ǒu ěr huì yǎo dōng xi.

In English: “Sometimes, my dog likes to bite stuff.”

33. Often – 经常 (jīng cháng)

In Chinese: 他经常去图书馆学习。 

Pinyin: Tā jīng cháng qù tú shū guǎn xué xí. 

In English: “He often goes to the library to study.”

34. Usually – 通常 (tōng cháng)

In Chinese: 我通常不会在下雨天出门。 

Pinyin: Wǒ tōng cháng bú huì zài xià yǔ tiān chū mén. 

In English: “I don’t usually go out on a rainy day.”

35. Always – 总是 (zǒng shì)

In Chinese: 爷爷总是记不住我的生日。

Pinyin: Yé ye zǒng shì jì bú zhù wǒ de shēng rì.

In English: “My grandfather always forgets my birthday.”

36. All the time – 一直 (yī zhí)

In Chinese: 我会一直努力成为我想成为的人。

Pinyin: Wǒ huì yī zhí nǔ lì chéng wéi wǒ xiǎng chéng wéi de rén. 

In English: “I will always try my best to become the person I want to be.”

37. Forever – 永远 (yǒng yuǎn)

In Chinese: 美好的回忆值得永远被铭记。

Pinyin: Měi hǎo de huí yì zhí dé yǒng yuǎn bèi míng jì. 

In English: “Good memories deserve to be remembered forever.”

38. Every day – 每天 (měi tiān)

In Chinese: 每天按时吃一日三餐对我们的健康很重要。 

Pinyin: Měi tiān àn shí chī yī rì sān cān duì wǒ men de jiàn kāng hěn zhòng yào. 

In English: “It’s very important to eat all three meals on a regular basis every day.”

39. Weekly – 每周 (měi zhōu)

In Chinese: 我每周都会去健身房至少两次。

Pinyin: Wǒ měi zhōu dōu huì qù jiàn shēn fáng zhì shǎo liǎng cì. 

In English: “I go to the gym at least twice a week.”

40. Annually – 每年 (měi nián)

In Chinese: 我们每年都会去为去世的祖母献花。

Pinyin: Wǒ men měi nián dōu huì qù wèi qù shì de zǔ mǔ xiàn huā. 

In English: “We give flowers to my deceased grandmother annually.”

41. Monthly – 每月 (měi yuè)

In Chinese: 我每月都会结算自己的支出。

Pinyin: Wǒ měi yuè dōu huì jié suàn zì jǐ de zhī chū. 

In English: “I calculate my budget monthly.”

42. Mostly – 主要 (zhǔ yào)

In Chinese: 这次会议主要是为了商讨团队建设。

Pinyin: Zhè cì huì yì zhǔ yào shì wèi le shāng tǎo tuán duì jiàn shè. 

In English: “The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the team-building exercises.”

43. Suddenly – 突然 (tū rán)

In Chinese: 老师突然出现在我的身后,吓了我一大跳。

Pinyin: Lǎo shī tū rán chū xiàn zài wǒ de shēn hòu, xià le wǒ yī dà tiào. 

In English: “My teacher suddenly appeared behind my back, which scared me a lot.”

44. By chance – 偶然 (ǒu rán)

In Chinese: 昨天我偶然遇到了多年未见的中学同班同学。

Pinyin: Zuó tiān wǒ ǒu rán yù dào le duō nián wèi jiàn de zhōng xué tóng bān tóng xué. 

In English: “Yesterday, I met (by chance) a classmate from my middle school whom I haven’t seen in years.”

45. Again – 又 (yòu)

In Chinese: 我再一次忘记了带作业去学校。 

Pinyin: Wǒ zài yī cì wàng jì le dài zuò yè qù xué xiào. 

In English: “I forgot to bring my homework to school again.”

46. Repeatedly – 屡次 (lǚ cì)

In Chinese: 我们不应该屡次犯同样的错误。

Pinyin: Wǒ men bù yīng gāi lǚ cì fàn tóng yàng de cuò wù. 

In English: “We should not repeatedly make the same mistake.”

47. Constantly – 不断 (bú duàn)

In Chinese: 只要一个人不断提高自我,总有一天他会闪耀的。

Pinyin: Zhǐ yào yī gè rén bú duàn tí gāo zì wǒ, zǒng yǒu yī tiān tā huì shǎn yào de. 

In English: “As long as one constantly improves oneself, eventually one day he will shine.”

4. Chinese Adverbs of Mood or Attitude

A Woman Making an Angry, Disappointed Face

What’s wrong? You’ve got some attitude? Well, express them in adverbs!

48. Luckily – 幸亏 (xìng kuī)

In Chinese: 幸亏有你的帮忙,不然还不知道会发生什么呢。

Pinyin: Xìng kuī yǒu nǐ de bāng máng, bù rán hái bù zhī dào huì fā shēng shén me ne. 

In English: “Luckily, I got your help; otherwise, who knows what’s going to happen.”

49. Unexpectedly – 居然 (jū rán)

In Chinese: 我不敢相信自己居然在歌唱比赛中获得了第一名。

Pinyin: Wǒ bù gǎn xiàng xìn zì jǐ jū rán zài gē chàng bǐ sài zhōng huò dé le dì yī míng. 

In English: “I can’t believe that I got first place so unexpectedly at a singing contest.”

50. As expected – 果然 (guǒ rán)

In Chinese: 你果然没有让我失望。

Pinyin: Nǐ guǒ rán méi yǒu ràng wǒ shī wàng. 

In English: “As expected, you did not disappoint me.”

51. Perhaps – 也许 (yě xǔ)

In Chinese: 也许是你误解了他。

Pinyin: Yě xǔ shì nǐ wù jiě le tā. 

In English: “Perhaps you misunderstood him.”

52. Maybe – 可能 (kě néng)

In Chinese: 他可能起床晚了,也许过一会就到了,不要着急。

Pinyin: Tā kě néng qǐ chuáng wǎn le, yě xǔ guò yī huì jiù dào le, bú yào zháo jí. 

In English: “Maybe he woke up late; perhaps he will arrive later, don’t worry.”

53. Probably – 大概 (dà gài)

In Chinese: 花都开了,春天大概快到了。

Pinyin: Huā dōu kāi le, chūn tiān dà gài kuài dào le. 

In English: “All the flowers are blooming; spring is probably almost here.”

54. Simply – 简直 (jiǎn zhí)

In Chinese: 你简直不可理喻。 

Pinyin: Nǐ jiǎn zhí bù kě lǐ yù. 

In English: “You are simply inexplicable.”

55. Anyways – 无论如何 (wú lùn rú hé)

In Chinese: 无论如何我一定要坚持到最后。 

Pinyin: Wú lùn rú hé wǒ yī dìng yào jiān chí dào zuì hòu. 

In English: “I will keep doing what I’m doing until the end anyways.”

56. Obviously – 明明 (míng míng)

In Chinese: 你明明是一个很善良的人,为什么要说话这么伤人呢?

Pinyin: Nǐ míng míng shì yī gè hěn shàn liáng de rén, wéi shén me yào shuō huà zhè me shāng rén ne? 

In English: “You are obviously a kind person, so why would you always say such hurtful things?”

57. In any case – 反正 (fǎn zhèng)

In Chinese: 反正不管怎样都是输,为什么就不能选择放弃呢? 

Pinyin: Fǎn zhèng bù guǎn zěn yàng dōu shì shū, wéi shén me jiù bù néng xuǎn zé fàng qì ne? 

In English: “I would lose in any case, so why not just give up instead?”

58. No wonder – 难怪 (nán guài)

In Chinese: 难怪你不肯和我出去,原来是因为今晚有约会要去。 

Pinyin: Nán guài nǐ bù kěn hé wǒ chū qù, yuán lái shì yīn wèi jīn wǎn yǒu yuē huì yào qù. 

In English: “No wonder you don’t want to hang out with me, it’s because you’ve got a date tonight.”

59. Not necessarily – 未必 (wèi bì)

In Chinese: 她未必也把你当作亲密的朋友。

Pinyin: Tā wèi bì yě bǎ nǐ dāng zuò qīn mì de péng you. 

In English: It’s not necessarily that she thinks of you as her close friend as well. 

60. Certainly – 必定 (bì dìng)

In Chinese: 这里一定是我们要找的地方。

Pinyin: Zhè lǐ yī dìng shì wǒ men yào zhǎo de dì fang.

In English: “This is certainly the place we are looking for.”

61. Only – 只 (zhǐ)

In Chinese: 我只是一个平凡的人。 

Pinyin: Wǒ zhǐ shì yī gè píng fán de rén. 

In English: “I am only a commonplace person.”

62. Merely – 仅仅 (jǐn jǐn)

In Chinese: 仅仅是因为他没有不在场证明,便被警察断定是凶手。 

Pinyin: Jǐn jǐn shì yīn wéi tā méi yǒu bú zài chǎng zhèng míng, biàn bèi jǐng chá duàn dìng shì xiōng shǒu. 

In English: “Merely because he doesn’t have an alibi, he is judged as the criminal by the cops.”

63. As long as – 只要 (zhǐ yào)

In Chinese: 只要我还有能力,就永远不会停止学习。

Pinyin: Zhǐ yào wǒ hái yǒu néng lì, jiù yǒng yuǎn bú huì tíng zhǐ xué xí. 

In English: “As long as I am still able to, I will never stop learning.”

64. Just – 就 (jiù)

In Chinese: 我就不小心碰了一下这件艺术品,它就碎掉了。

Pinyin: Wǒ jiù bù xiǎo xīn pèng le yī xià zhè jiàn yì shù pǐn, tā jiù suì diào le. 

In English: “I just touched this artwork by accident, and it broke.”

65. No matter – 不管 (bù guǎn)

In Chinese: 不管明天如何,我都会一直活好当下。

Pinyin: Bù guǎn míng tiān rú hé, wǒ dōu huì yī zhí huó hǎo dāng xià. 

In English: “No matter what happens tomorrow, I will still live in the moment.”

66. If – 假如 (jiǎ rú)

In Chinese: 假如有一天我便成了穷人,我也有办法让自己活得开心。

Pinyin: Jiǎ rú yǒu yī tiān wǒ biàn chéng le qióng rén, wǒ yě yǒu bàn fǎ ràng zì jǐ huó de kāi xīn. 

In English: “If someday I became poor, I would still be able to live a happy life.”

67. Happily – 开心地 (kāi xīn de)

In Chinese: 朋友十分开心地拆开了我送她的生日礼物。 

Pinyin: Péng you shí fēn kāi xīn de chāi kāi le wǒ sòng tā de shēng rì lǐ wù. 

In English: “My friends happily opened my birthday gift for her.”

68. Decidedly – 坚决地 (jiān jué de)

In Chinese: 对于我的提议,她坚决地摇了摇头。 

Pinyin: Duì yú wǒ de tí yì, tā jiān jué de yáo le yáo tóu. 

In English: “She decidedly shook her head to the suggestion I offered.”

69. Absolutely – 绝对 (jué duì)

In Chinese: 弟弟保证自己以后绝对再也不淘气了。

Pinyin: Dì di bǎo zhèng zì jǐ yǐ hòu jué duì zài yě bù táo qì le. 

In English: “My younger brother promised that he won’t be naughty anymore.”

5. Chinese Adverbs of Manner

A Thai Woman Bowing Respectfully

Everyone has his own way of doing things. What’s yours?

70. Slowly – 慢 (màn)

In Chinese: 蜗牛爬得很慢。 

Pinyin: Wō niú pá de hěn màn. 

In English: “Snails move very slowly.”

71. Quickly – 快 (kuài)

In Chinese: 他跑步很快。

Pinyin: Tā pǎo bù hěn kuài. 

In English: “He runs very quickly.”

72. Gradually – 逐渐 (zhú jiàn)

In Chinese: 在搬家一个月后,我终于逐渐适应了新环境。 

Pinyin: Zài bān jiā yī gè yuè hòu, wǒ zhōng yú zhú jiàn shì yìng le xīn huán jìng. 

In English: “A month after I moved, I gradually adapted to the new environment.”

73. Mutually – 互相 (hù xiāng)

In Chinese: 互相尊重是人们之间能够好好相处的首要条件。 

Pinyin: Hù xiāng zūn zhòng shì rén men zhī jiān néng gòu hǎo hǎo xiàng chǔ de shǒu yào tiáo jiàn. 

In English: “To mutually respect each other is the first rule people should follow if they want to get along.”

74. By oneself – 亲自 (qīn zì)

In Chinese: 我最喜欢的歌星竟然亲自为粉丝制作了礼物。

Pinyin: Wǒ zuì xǐ huan de gē xīng jìng rán qīn zì wèi fěn sī zhì zuò le lǐ wù. 

In English: “My favorite singer made the gifts for his fans all by himself.”

75. Carefully – 认真地 (rèn zhēn de)

In Chinese: 学生们认真地读着考卷。 

Pinyin: Xué shēng men rèn zhēn de dú zhe kǎo juàn. 

In English: “The students are reading the exam carefully.”

76. Quietly – 安静地 (ān jìng de)

In Chinese: 她安静地回到了自己的座位上。 

Pinyin: Tā ān jìng de huí dào le zì jǐ de zuò wèi shàng.

In English: “She quietly returned to her own seat.”

77. Really – 真的 (zhēn de)

In Chinese: 我真的很喜欢这个城市。

Pinyin: Wǒ zhēn de hěn xǐ huan zhè gè chéng shì. 

In English: “I really like this city very much.”

78. Well – 很好地 (hěn hǎo)

In Chinese: 我现在已经可以很好地独立生活了。

Pinyin: Wǒ xiàn zài yǐ jīng kě yǐ hěn hǎo de dú lì shēng huó le. 

In English: “I can now live by myself independently very well.”

79. Together – 一起 (yī qǐ)

In Chinese: 我们一起努力成为自己想成为的人吧。 

Pinyin: Wǒ men yī qǐ nǔ lì chéng wéi zì jǐ xiǎng chéng wéi de rén ba.

In English: “Let’s work hard together to become the person we want to become.”

80. Alone – 单独 (dān dú)

In Chinese: 她是一个安静的人,很喜欢单独呆着。

Pinyin: Tā shì yī gè ān jìng de rén, hěn xǐ huan dān dú dāi zhe.

In English: “She is a quiet person and likes to spend time alone.”

81. Hard – 努力地 (nǔ lì de)

In Chinese: 即使作为一名残疾人,他也一直努力地锻炼身体。

Pinyin: Jí shǐ zuò wéi yī míng cán jí rén, tā yě yī zhí nǔ lì de duàn liàn shēn tǐ. 

In English: “Even though he is disabled, he still tries hard to exercise.”

82. Basically – 基本 (jī běn)

In Chinese: 只要是周末,我基本上都会熬夜。

Pinyin: Zhǐ yào shì zhōu mò, wǒ jī běn shàng dōu huì áo yè. 

In English: “As long as it’s on the weekends, I basically would stay up late.”

83. Almost – 几乎 (jī hū)

In Chinese: 当我听到这个好消息时,我高兴得几乎都要跳起来了。

Pinyin: Dāng wǒ tīng dào zhè gè hǎo xiāo xi shí, wǒ gāo xìng de jī hū dōu yào tiào qǐ lái le. 

In English: “When I heard the good news, I was so happy that I almost jumped up high.”

84. Altogether – 一共 (yī gòng)

In Chinese: 这次参加面试的一共有二十个人。  

Pinyin: Zhè cì cān jiā miàn shì de yī gòng yǒu èr shí gè rén. 

In English: “There are twenty people altogether who attended the interview.”

85. Both – 都 (dōu)

In Chinese: 我和妈妈最喜欢的颜色都是蓝色。

Pinyin: Wǒ hé mā ma zuì xǐ huan de yán sè dōu shì lán sè. 

In English: “Both my mom’s and my favorite color is blue.”

86. Thoroughly – 通通 (tōng tōng)

In Chinese: 我要把这个自助餐的所有好吃的通通都尝一遍。 

Pinyin: Wǒ yào bǎ zhè gè zì zhù cān de suǒ yǒu hǎo chī de tōng tōng dōu cháng yī biàn. 

In English: “I am going to thoroughly try every single one of the delicious foods in this restaurant.”

6. Chinese Adverbs of Degree

Little Girl Daydreaming

How strong is your feeling and how do you express it with an adverb? Let’s find out!

87. Very – 非常 (fēi cháng)

In Chinese: 我非常羡慕会弹钢琴的人。

Pinyin: Wǒ fēi cháng xiàn mù huì dàn gāng qín de rén. 

In English: “I am very jealous of people who can play the piano well.”

88. So – 很 (hěn)

In Chinese: 妈妈是一个很善良的人。 

Pinyin: Mā ma shì yī gè hěn shàn liáng de rén. 

In English: “My mom is a very kind person.”

89. Pretty – 挺 (tǐng)

In Chinese: 她画画挺好的。

Pinyin: Tā huà huà tǐng hǎo de.

In English: “She draws pretty good.”

90. Particularly – 特别 (tè bié)

In Chinese: 我特别欣赏这位艺术家的风格。 

Pinyin: Wǒ tè bié xīn shǎng zhè wèi yì shù jiā de fēng gé. 

In English: “I particularly appreciate the style of this artist.”

91. Quite – 相当 (xiāng dāng)

In Chinese: 他打篮球相当出色。 

Pinyin: Tā dǎ lán qiú xiàng dāng chū sè. 

In English: “He plays basketball quite amazingly.”

92. Too – 太 (tài

In Chinese: 你也太冲动了。 

Pinyin: Nǐ yě tài chōng dòng le.

In English: “You are too impulsive.”

93. Extremely – 极其 (jí qí)

In Chinese: 她极其善于和人沟通。

Pinyin: Tā jí qí shàn yú hé rén gōu tōng. 

In English: “She is extremely good at communicating with people.”

94. Relatively – 比较 (bǐ jiào)

In Chinese: 我爸爸是一个比较保守的人。 

Pinyin: Wǒ bà ba shì yī gè bǐ jiào bǎo shǒu de rén. 

In English: “My dad is a relatively conservative person.”

95. Totally – 十分 (shí fēn)

In Chinese: 妹妹在钢琴比赛上的表现十分出色。

Pinyin: Mèi mèi zài gāng qín bǐ sài shàng de biǎo xiàn shí fēn chū sè. 

In English: “My younger sister’s performance for the piano contest was totally outstanding.”

96. Especially – 格外 (gé wài)

In Chinese: 今天的阳光格外明媚。 

Pinyin: Jīn tiān de yáng guāng gé wài míng mèi. 

In English: “Today’s sunshine is especially strong.”

97. Even more – 更加 (gèng jiā)

In Chinese: 现在全球变暖更加严重了。

Pinyin: Xiàn zài quán qiú biàn nuǎn gèng jiā yán zhòng le. 

In English: “Global warming is getting even more serious now.”

98. A bit – 稍微 (shāo wēi)

In Chinese: 请问你可以稍微向前挪一下吗?

Pinyin: Qǐng wèn nǐ kě yǐ shāo wēi xiàng qián nuó yī xià ma? 

In English: “Can you please move forward a bit?”

99. The most – 最 (zuì)

In Chinese: 我最喜欢在夏天吃西瓜了。

Pinyin: Wǒ zuì xǐ huan zài xià tiān chī xī guā le. 

In English: I like to eat watermelon during summer the most.

100. More and more – 越发 (yuè fā)

In Chinese: 太阳变得越发灼热了。

Pinyin: Tài yáng biàn de yuè fā zhuó rè le. 

In English: “The sun is becoming more and more hot.”

7. How ChineseClass101 Can Help You Learn More Chinese

Now, after thoroughly reading our Chinese adverb lists, I hope you’ve enjoyed a pleasant Chinese-learning journey. From Chinese grammar rules for adverbs to those practical example sentences for daily life, we’ve covered everything you need to know about Chinese adverbs for now. 

Are there any Chinese adverbs we didn’t cover that you want to know? Drop us a comment and we’ll do our best to help you out!

If this isn’t enough, don’t worry. We have over 1,000,000,000 lessons ready for you, including everything from basics, grammar, reading, writing, and so much more. Why not start learning Chinese in the next 30 seconds with a free lifetime account on ChineseClass101.com right now? We promise to take you to one of the most amazing language-learning wonderlands on Earth!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Chinese

Chinese Keyboard: How to Install and Type in Chinese

Thumbnail

You asked, so we provided—easy-to-follow instructions on how to set up your electronic devices to write in Chinese! We’ll also give you a few excellent tips on how to use this keyboard, as well as some online and app alternatives if you prefer not to set up a Chinese keyboard.

Log in to Download Your Free Chinese Alphabet Worksheet Table of Contents
  1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in Chinese
  2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for Chinese
  3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer
  4. How to Change the Language Settings to Chinese on Your Computer
  5. Activating the Chinese Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet
  6. Chinese Keyboard Typing Tips
  7. How to Practice Typing Chinese

1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in Chinese

A keyboard

Learning a new language is made so much easier when you’re able to read and write/type it. This way, you will:

  • Get the most out of any dictionary and Chinese language apps on your devices
  • Expand your ability to find Chinese websites and use the various search engines
  • Be able to communicate much better online with your Chinese teachers and friends, and look super cool in the process! 

2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for Chinese

A phone charging on a dock

It takes only a few steps to set up any of your devices to read and type in Chinese. It’s super-easy on your mobile phone and tablet, and a simple process on your computer.

On your computer, you’ll first activate the onscreen keyboard to work with. You’ll only be using your mouse or touchpad/pointer for this keyboard. Then, you’ll need to change the language setting to Chinese, so all text will appear in Chinese. You could also opt to use online keyboards instead. Read on for the links!

On your mobile devices, it’s even easier—you only have to change the keyboard. We also provide a few alternatives in the form of online keyboards and downloadable apps.

3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer

1- Mac

1. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard.

2. Check the option “Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in Menu Bar.”

3. You’ll see a new icon on the right side of the main bar; click on it and select “Show Keyboard Viewer.”

A screenshot of the keyboard viewer screen

2- Windows

1. Go to Start > Settings > Easy Access > Keyboard.

2. Turn on the option for “Onscreen Keyboard.”

3- Online Keyboards

If you don’t want to activate your computer’s onscreen keyboard, you also have the option to use online keyboards. Here are some good options:

  • Gate2Home
    • On the bottom right corner, choose “Chinese Simplified Pinyin” or “Chinese Traditional Pinyin.” Please do not choose “Chinese Cangjie.”
  • virtualkeyboard.biz
    • From the “Keyboard” drop down menu, you can switch to “Chinese Traditional Pinyin.” Please do not choose “Chinese Cangjie.”

4- Add-ons of Extensions for Browsers

Instead of an online keyboard, you could also choose to download a Google extension to your browser for a language input tool. The Google Input Tools extension allows users to use input tools in Chrome web pages, for example.

4. How to Change the Language Settings to Chinese on Your Computer

Man looking at his computer

Now that you’re all set to work with an onscreen keyboard on your computer, it’s time to download the Chinese language pack for your operating system of choice:

  • Windows 8 (and higher)
  • Windows 7
  • Mac (OS X and higher)

1- Windows 8 (and higher)

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Change PC Settings” > “Time & Language” > “Region & Language.”
  2. Click on “Add a Language” and select “Chinese (Simplified, China).” This will add it to your list of languages. It will appear as 中文 (中华人民共和国) with the note “language pack available.”
  3. Click on “中文(中华人民共和国)” > “Options” > “Download.” It’ll take a few minutes to download and install the language pack.
  4. As a keyboard layout, you’ll only need the one marked as “Chinese – 中文.” You can ignore other keyboard layouts.
    1. To switch to Traditional Chinese: Click on 中文(中华人民共和国) > “Options” > “Microsoft Pinyin” > “Options” > “General” > “Choose a character set” > then choose “Traditional Chinese”.

2- Windows 7

1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Clock, Language, and Region.

2. On the “Region and Language” option, click on “Change Keyboards or Other Input Methods.”

3. On the “Keyboards and Languages” tab, click on “Change Keyboards” > “Add” > “Chinese.”

4. Expand the option of “Chinese” and then expand the option “Keyboard.” Select the keyboard layout marked as “Chinese.” You can ignore other keyboard layouts. Click “OK” and then “Apply.”

3- Mac (OS X and higher)

If you can’t see the language listed, please make sure to select the right option from System Preferences > Language and Region

1. From the Apple Menu (top left corner of the screen) go to System Preferences > Keyboard.

2. Click the Input Sources tab and a list of available keyboards and input methods will appear.

3. Click on the plus button, select “Chinese Simplified,” and add the “Pinyin – Simplified” keyboard (not the “Stroke – Simplified” or “Wubi Xing.”)

4. For Traditional Chinese, instead do the following: Click on the plus button, select “Chinese Traditional,” and add the “Pinyin – Traditional” keyboard (not the “Stroke – Traditional” or other different types).

Adding a system language

5. Activating the Chinese Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet

Texting and searching in Chinese will greatly help you master the language! Adding a Chinese keyboard on your mobile phone and/or tablet is super-easy.

You could also opt to download an app instead of adding a keyboard. Read on for our suggestions.

Below are the instructions for both iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets.

1- iOS

1. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard.

2. Tap “Keyboards” and then “Add New Keyboard.”

3. Select ”Chinese Simplified – Pinyin” from the list. For Traditional Chinese, select “Chinese Traditional,” and add the “Chinese Traditional – Pinyin” from the list.

5. When typing, you can switch between languages by tapping and holding on the icon to reveal the keyboard language menu.

2- Android

1. Go to Settings > General Management > Language and Input > On-screen Keyboard (or “Virtual Keyboard” on some devices) > Samsung Keyboard.

2. Tap “Language and Types” or “ + Select Input Languages” depending on the device and then “MANAGE INPUT LANGUAGES” if available.

3. Select “中文 (简体)” from the list. For Traditional Chinese, select “中文 (繁體)” from the list.

4. When typing, you can switch between languages by swiping the space bar.

3- Applications for Mobile Phones

If you don’t want to add a keyboard on your mobile phone or tablet, these are a few good apps to consider:

6. Chinese Keyboard Typing Tips

Typing in Chinese can be very challenging at first! Therefore, we added here a few useful tips to make it easier to use your Chinese keyboard.

A man typing on a computer

1- Computer

  • To increase the typing speed, instead of typing character by character, you can group them together or even type the whole sentence out.
  • To increase the typing speed, when typing words with two or more characters, often you can just input the first letter of each syllable.
  • Use an apostrophe to separate an ambiguous pair of syllables. For example, “Xi’an.”
  • “ü” is represented by “v” on the keyboard. For example, to type “lü” or “nü,” use “lv” and “nv” respectively.

2- Mobile Phones

  • To increase the typing speed, instead of typing character by character, you can group them together or even type the whole sentence out.
  • To increase the typing speed, when typing words with two or more characters, often you can just input the first letter of each syllable.
  • Use an apostrophe to separate an ambiguous pair of syllables. For example, “Xi’an.”
  • “ü” is represented by “v” on the keyboard. For example, to type “lü” or “nü,” use “lv” and “nv” respectively.

7. How to Practice Typing Chinese

As you probably know by now, learning Chinese is all about practice, practice, and more practice! Strengthen your Chinese typing skills by writing comments on any of our lesson pages, and our teacher will answer. If you’re a ChineseClass101 Premium PLUS member, you can directly text our teacher via the My Teacher app—use your Chinese keyboard to do this!

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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 ChineseClass101.com:

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 ChineseClass101.com 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 ChineseClass101.com team! 

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100 Classic Chinese Verbs in Daily Life

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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 
Guitar
  • 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 ChineseClass101.com, 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

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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 ChineseClass101.com to see how many you already know! 

Ready? Let’s learn Chinese pronouns!

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  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:
Pinyin:
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:
Pinyin:
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:
Pinyin:
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:
Pinyin:
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:
Pinyin:
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 ChineseClass101.com 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)
singular我 

“I,” “we”
你 

“you”
他 

“he,” “him”
她 

“she,” “her”
它 

“it”
plural我们 
wǒmen
“we,” “us”
你们 
nǐmen
“you”
他们 
tāmen
“they,” “them”
她们 
tāmen
“they,” “them”
它们 
tāmen
“they,” “them”
singular possessive我的
wǒde 
“my,” “mine”
你的
nǐde
“your,” “yours”
他的
tāde
“his”
她的
tāde
“her,” “hers”
它的
tāde
“its”
plural possessive我们的
wǒmen de
“our,” “ours”
你们的
nǐmen de
“your,” “yours”
他们的
tāmen de
“their,” “theirs”
她们的
tāmen de
“their,” “theirs”
它们的
tāmen de
“their,” “theirs”
singular reflexive我自己
wǒ zìjǐ
“myself”
你自己
nǐ zìjǐ
“yourself”
他自己
tā zìjǐ
“himself”
她自己
tā zìjǐ
“herself”
它自己 
tā zìjǐ
“itself”
plural
reflexive
我们自己
wǒmen zìjǐ
“ourselves”
你们自己
nǐmen zìjǐ
“yourselves”
他们自己
tāmen zìjǐ
“themselves”
她们自己
tāmen zìjǐ
“themselves”
它们自己
tāmen zìjǐ
“themselves”

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:
Pinyin:
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?

你喜欢哪些运动?
Nǐ xǐhuān nǎxiē yùndòng?
“Which is your cell phone?”



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



“Which sports do you like?”
shéi“who”她是谁?
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?”
为什么wèishénme“why”他们为什么这么生气?
Tāmen wèishénme zhème shēngqì?
“They why so angry?” “Why are they so mad?”
怎么zěnme“how”请问,人民广场怎么走?
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. ChineseClass101.com 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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Premium PLUS offers various features to expand learners’ vocabulary, including Free Gifts of the Month. ChineseClass101’s free gifts for April 2020 included an e-book with “400 Everyday Phrases for Beginners,” and the content is updated every month. When I download free resources like this, I find opportunities to use them with co-teachers, friends, or my language tutors.

An effective way to learn vocabulary is with SRS flashcards. SRS is a system designed for learning a new word and reviewing it in varying time intervals.

You can create and study flashcard decks, whether it’s your Word Bank or a certain vocabulary list. For example, if you need to visit a post office, the “Post Office” vocabulary list for your target language would be beneficial to study prior to your visit.

In addition to the SRS flashcards, each lesson has a vocabulary slideshow and quiz to review the lesson’s vocabulary.

There’s also the 2000 Core Word List, which includes the most commonly used words in your target language. Starting from the 100 Core Word List, you’ll gradually build up your knowledge of useful vocabulary. These lists can be studied with SRS flashcards, too.

With the SRS flashcards, you can change the settings to your liking. The settings range from different card types to number of new cards per deck. Personally, I give myself vocabulary tests by changing the settings.

After studying a number of flashcards, I change the card types to listening comprehension and/or production. Then I test myself by writing the translation of the word or the spoken word or phrase.

The change in settings allow me to remember vocabulary and learn how to identify the words. This is especially helpful with Japanese kanji!

Complete Homework Assignments!

A woman studying at home

Homework assignments are advantageous to my language studies. There are homework assignments auto-generated weekly. They range from multiple-choice quizzes to writing assignments.

Language tutors are readily available for homework help. Some writing assignments, for instance, require use of unfamiliar vocabulary. In such cases, my language teachers assist me by forwarding related lessons or vocabulary lists.

In addition to these auto-generated homework tasks, language tutors customize daily assignments. My daily homework assignments include submitting three written sentences that apply the target grammar point of that lesson, and then blindly audio-recording those sentences. My personal language tutor follows up with feedback and corrections, if needed.

Your language tutors also provide assignments upon requests. When I wanted to review grammar, my Korean teacher sent related quizzes and assignments. Thus, you are not only limited to the auto-generated assignments.

Every weekend, I review by re-reading those written sentences. It helps me remember sentence structures, grammar points, and vocabulary to apply in real-world contexts.

Furthermore, I can track my progress with language portfolios every trimester. It’s like a midterm exam that tests my listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

Get Your Own Personal Language Teacher!

A woman teaching pronunciation in a classroom

My language teachers cater to my goals with personalized and achievable learning programs. The tangible support of my online language teachers makes it evident that we share common goals.

Once I share a short-term or long-term goal with my teacher, we establish a plan or pathway that will ultimately result in success. I coordinate with my teachers regularly to ensure the personalized learning programs are prosperous. For example, during my JLPT studies, my Japanese language tutor assigned me practice tests.

Your language tutor is available for outside help as well. When I bought drama CDs in Japan, I had difficulty transliterating the dialogue. My Japanese teacher forwarded me the script to read along as I listened.

Additionally, I often practice Korean and Japanese with music. I memorize one line of the lyrics daily. Every time, I learn a new grammar point and new vocabulary. I add the vocabulary to my SRS flashcards, locate the grammar in the Grammar Bank, and study the associated lessons online.

I send my teachers the name of the songs, making them aware of my new goal. One time, my song for Korean was “If You Do” by GOT7. My Korean teacher revealed that she was a huge fan of GOT7 like me! For Japanese, it was “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA,” also known as the Dragonball Z theme song. My Japanese teacher excitedly told me that she sang the song a lot as a kid!

A remarkable thing happened to me in South Korea. I was stressed about opening a bank account with limited Korean. I sought help from my Korean teacher. She forwarded me a script of a bank conversation.

After two days, I visited the local bank. It all started with my opening sentence:

은행 계좌를 만들고 싶어요

eunhaeng gyejwaleul mandeulgo sip-eoyo.

I want to open a bank account.

Everything went smoothly, and I exited the bank with a new account!

The MyTeacher Messenger allows me to share visuals with my teachers for regular interaction, including videos to critique my pronunciation mechanisms. I improve my listening and speaking skills by exchanging audio with my teachers. In addition to my written homework assignments, I exchange messages with my language teachers in my target language. This connection with my teachers enables me to experience the culture as well as the language.

Why You Should Subscribe to Premium PLUS

It’s impossible for me to imagine my continuous progress with Japanese and Korean without Premium PLUS. Everything—from the SRS flashcards to my language teachers—makes learning languages enjoyable and clear-cut.

You’re assured to undergo the same experience with Premium PLUS. You’ll gain access to the aforementioned features as well as all of the Premium features.

Complete lessons and assignments to advance in your target language. Increase your vocabulary with the “2000 Core Word List” for that language and SRS flashcards. Learn on-the-go with the Innovative Language app and/or Podcasts app for iOS users.

Learning a new language takes dedication and commitment. The Premium PLUS features make learning irresistibly exciting. You’ll look forward to learning daily with your language tutor.

As of right now, your challenge is to subscribe to Premium PLUS! Complete your assessment, and meet your new Chinese teacher.

Have fun learning your target language in the fastest and easiest way!

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