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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!

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

1. Chinese Personal Pronouns

Introducing Yourself

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

Personal pronouns can be further broken down into smaller categories. 

1- Singular Personal Pronouns 

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

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

1. First Person Singular

In Chinese:
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: The Golden Ticket for Language-Learning

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Pronunciation is an essential ingredient in language-learning. Proper pronunciation prompts clear understanding during conversations with native speakers.

Prior to learning full Korean sentences, my online Korean language tutor assigned the “Hana Hana Hangul” pathway to me. It demonstrated the writing and pronunciation of Hangul, the Korean alphabet. Throughout this pathway, I submitted recordings of my Hangul character pronunciations to my language teacher for review.

I was given a similar task on JapanesePod101.com with the “Ultimate Japanese Pronunciation Guide” pathway. My Japanese language teacher tested my pronunciation of the Japanese characters kana. My completion of the two pathways boosted my confidence in speaking.

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Example Scenario:

The host asks the following question:

어디에 살고 있습니까?

eodieseo salgo isseumnikka

“Where do you live?”

If you live in Tokyo, you would readily say the following:

도쿄에 살고 있습니다.

Tokyo-e salgo isseumnida.

“I live in Tokyo.”

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Imagine having a conversation with a native speaker and hesitating because you lack a solid vocabulary base.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Subscribe to Posted by ChineseClass101.com in Chinese Language, Chinese Online, Feature Spotlight, Learn Chinese, Site Features, Team ChineseClass101

Asking for and Giving Directions in Chinese



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

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

Don’t have time to read all the details in this article? Not a problem. Check out the comprehensive vocabulary list on positions and directions on ChineseClass101.com!

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


1. On the Map

Looking at a Map and Taking Notes

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

1- Cardinal Directions in Chinese


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

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

  • In Chinese: 西
    Pinyin:
    In English: west

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

2- Intercardinal Directions in Chinese


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


2. On the Road


Directions

1- Position Words


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

Here are four pairs of opposites that describe position.

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


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

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

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

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

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

2- Direction Phrases with References


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Landmarks


Skyline of Shanghai Over the River

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

1- In the City:


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


2- On the Road


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


3- In a Building


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

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

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

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

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

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


4. Must-know Phrases for Asking for Directions


Asking Directions

1- Question Patterns



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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

2- Polite Expressions


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

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

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


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


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

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


5. Must-know Phrases for Giving Directions


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out this example of a complete dialogue of asking for and giving directions in Chinese on ChineseClass101.com.

6. Bonus: Taxi Directions in Chinese


Basic Questions

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

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

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

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

7. Conclusion


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

Just remember: While enjoying your time touring around China, don’t be shy to try out the phrases and expressions you’ve learned from ChineseClass101.com!

Happy Chinese learning!

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100+ Common Nouns in Chinese for Beginners



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

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

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

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


1. Appliances


Nouns 1

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

1. Television – 电视 (diàn shì)

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

2. Refrigerator – 冰箱 (bīng xiāng)

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

3. Air Conditioner – 空调 (kōng tiáo)

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

4. Washer – 洗衣机 (xǐ yī jī)

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

5. Microwave – 微波炉 (wēi bō lú)

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

6. Fan – 风扇 (fēng shàn)

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

7. Hair Dryer – 吹风机 (chuī fēng jī)

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

8. Toothbrush – 牙刷 (yá shuā)

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

2. Technology


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

Man looking at Cellphone

We are living in a technology-dependent era!



1. Computer – 电脑 (diàn nǎo)

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

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

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

3. Tablet – 平板电脑 (píng bǎn diàn nǎo)

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

4. Cellphone – 手机 (shǒu jī)

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

5. Headphones – 耳机 (ěr jī)

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

6. Charger – 充电器 (chōng diàn qì)

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

7. Wifi – Wifi (Wifi)

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

8. Application – 软件 (ruǎn jiàn)

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

9. Website – 网站 (wǎng zhàn)

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

10. Photo – 照片 (zhào piàn)

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

11. Account – 账号 (zhàng hào)

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

12. Password – 密码 (mì mǎ)

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

3. Transportation


Bus on a Road

What is your favorite type of transportation?



1. Airplane – 飞机 (fēi jī)

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

2. Train – 火车 (huǒ chē)

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

3. Subway – 地铁 (dì tiě)

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

4. Bus – 公交车 (gōng jiāo chē)

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

5. Taxi – 出租车 (chū zū chē)

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

6. Bike – 自行车 (zì xíng chē)

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

7. Airport – 机场 (jī chǎng)

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

8. Train Station – 火车站 (huǒ chē zhàn)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Restaurant



Chef Seasoning a Dish

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



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

1. Table – 桌子(zhuō zi)

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

2. Menu – 菜单 (cài dān)

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

3. Waiter – 服务员 (fú wù yuán)

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

4. Bill – 账单 (zhàng dān)

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

5. Spoon – 勺子 (sháo zi)

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

6. Chopsticks – 筷子 (kuài zi)

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

7. Plate – 盘子 (pán zi)

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

8. Bowl – 碗 (wǎn)

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

9. Water – 水 (shuǐ)

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

10. Tea – 茶 (chá)

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

11. Vegetables – 蔬菜 (shū cài)

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

12. Seafood – 海鲜 (hǎi xiān)

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

5. School Essentials



Graduate Student Holding a Diploma

Don’t you miss being a student?



1. College – 大学 (dà xué)

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

2. High School – 高中 (gāo zhōng)

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

3. Middle School – 初中 (chū zhōng)

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

4. Elementary School – 小学 (xiǎo xué)

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

5. Class – 班级 (bān jí)

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

6. Book – 书 (shū)

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

7. Teacher – 老师 (lǎo shī)

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

8. Student – 学生 (xué shēng)

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

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

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

10. Major – 专业 (zhuān yè)

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

11. Exam – 考试 (kǎo shì)

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

12. Homework – 作业 (zuò yè)

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

6. Occupation



Nouns 2

1. Doctor – 医生 (yī shēng)

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

2. Lawyer – 律师 (lǜ shī)

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

3. Nurse – 护士 (hù shi)

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

4. Chef – 厨师 (chú shī)

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

5. Police – 警察 (jǐng chá)

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

7. Family Members



Nouns 3

1. Family – 家庭 (jiā tíng)

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

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

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

3. Parents – 父母 (fù mǔ)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. Body Parts



Nouns 4

1. Body – 身体 (shēn tǐ)

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

2. Head – 头 (tóu)

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

3. Arm – 胳膊 (gē bo)

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

4. Leg – 腿 (tuǐ)

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

5. Eye – 眼睛 (yǎn jīng)

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

6. Nose – 鼻子 (bí zi)

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

7. Mouth – 嘴 (zuǐ)

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

8. Face – 脸 (liǎn)

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

9. Hand – 手 (shǒu)

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

10. Foot – 脚 (jiǎo)

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

9. Time



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

1. Today – 今天 (jīn tiān)


2. Tomorrow – 明天 (míng tiān)


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


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

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

5. Week – 周 (zhōu)


Monday – 周 (zhōu yī)

Tuesday – 周二 (zhōu èr)

Wednesday – 周三 (zhōu sān)

Thursday – 周四 (zhōu sì)

Friday – 周五 (zhōu wǔ)

Saturday – 周六 (zhōu liù)

Sunday – 周日 (zhōu rì)


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

6. Day – 天 (tiān)

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

7. Month – 月 (yuè)

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

8. Year – 年 (nián)

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

9. Time – 时间 (shí jiān)

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

10. Hour – 小时 (xiǎo shí)

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

11. Minute – 分钟 (fēn zhōng)

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

10. Animals



Tiger Cub being Bottle Fed

Are you an animal lover?



1. Cat – 猫 (māo)

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

2. Dog – 狗 (gǒu)

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

3. Bird – 鸟 (niǎo)

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

4. Squirrel – 松鼠 (sōng shǔ)

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

5. Snake – 蛇 (shé)

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

6. Horse – 马 ()

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

7. Deer – 鹿 ()

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

8. Fish – 鱼 ()

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

9. Pig – 猪 (zhū)

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

10. Cow – 牛 (niú)

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

11. Conclusion


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

Of course, there’s a lot more to talk about when it comes to nouns in the Chinese language; these treasures are all waiting for you at ChineseClass101.com. Whether you’re looking for nouns in Chinese grammar structures or nouns in the Chinese language in general, we have everything ready for you there! Click on the link to collect your treasure right now!

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

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China Life Event Messages: Happy New Year in Chinese & More

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Sometimes, a single sentence can allow humans to easily connect with each other, especially wishes phrases that everyone wants to hear. There are some unique life events, and different ways of celebrating them, in every single country even between the local people, and that’s where they share the same values and embrace each other’s traditions. So how do you wish someone well in Chinese? And what can you gain from learning how to say Happy New Year in Chinese, and other holiday greetings?

As a language learner, such events can establish a great communication channel with native speakers and provide a better look at the local culture so you can really be a part of it. In China, you can have a variety of opportunities to get involved, as long as you know the right thing to say. Now is the best time to learn those phrases of congratulations in Chinese that pave your way toward integrating into Chinese culture!

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Table of Contents

  1. Birthday
  2. Mid-Autumn Festival
  3. Chinese Congratulations: Graduation
  4. Lantern Festival
  5. Chinese New Year Congratulations
  6. Wedding
  7. Bad News
  8. Death/Funeral
  9. Injured/Sick
  10. Holidays
  11. Conclusion

1. Birthday

Happy Birthday

Undeniably, birthdays are one of the biggest events across all cultures! Traditionally, Chinese people like to eat longevity noodles, which is a type of noodle that’s all in one string. Nowadays, however, more and more people eat western birthday cakes. Now, imagine that you’re invited to a birthday party and don’t know how to say Happy Birthday in Chinese. How embarrassing is that? Don’t worry, though; the answer is here for you!

In Chinese: 生日快乐!
Pinyin: Shēng rì kuài lè!
In English: Happy birthday!
Usage: Natural for both speaking and writing; informal.

In Chinese: 恭喜你又长大了一岁。
Pinyin: Gōng xǐ nǐ yòu zhǎng dà le yī suì.
In English: Congratulations on growing a year older.
Usage: More natural for writing; formal.

In Chinese: 恭喜你又向成年迈出了一步!
Pinyin: Gōng xǐ nǐ yòu xiàng chéng nián mài chū le yī bù.
In English: Congratulations that you are one step closer to becoming an adult!
Usage: More natural for writing; formal.

2. Mid-Autumn Festival

Full Moon

Mid-Autumn Festival happens when there is a full moon.

Mid-Autumn Festival is another holiday where Chinese people like to unite together with their families. On the night of this holiday, the moon will be completely round. In ancient times, people appreciated the moon in an artistic way, which is why there’s so much Chinese old-style poetry about the moon during the Mid-Autumn Festival. The staple food for this holiday is called 月饼 (yuè bǐng), meaning “moon cake.” It looks round and golden like the moon, usually with a whole salted duck egg inside.

Eat mooncake and appreciate the moon with families!

In Chinese: 中秋节快乐。
Pinyin: Zhōng qiū jié kuài lè.
In English: Happy Mid-Autumn Festival.
Usage: Natural for both speaking and writing; formal.

In Chinese: 祝你们合家欢乐。
Pinyin: Zhù nǐ men hé jiā huān lè.
In English: Wish you a happy family.
Usage: More natural for writing; formal.

In Chinese: 你吃月饼了吗?
Pinyin:chī yuè bǐng le ma?
In English: Did you eat a mooncake?
Usage: More natural for speaking; informal.

3. Chinese Congratulations: Graduation

Graduation Cap on Stack of Books

Graduation means a whole new chapter in life!

Graduations in China are very similar to other graduation ceremonies. Students take pictures and wish each other a bright future. Despite celebrating academic achievements, people may shed some tears on their graduation, as it could be time to part with some of their close friends from school. One way to keep the beautiful memories alive is to sign each other’s uniforms.

In Chinese: 毕业快乐。
Pinyin: Bì yè kuài lè.
In English: Happy graduation!
Usage: More natural for writing; formal.

In Chinese: 祝你前程似锦。
Pinyin: Zhù nǐ qián chéng sì jǐn.
In English: Hope you will have a bright future.
Usage: Natural for both speaking and writing; formal.

In Chinese: 希望你毕业之后一切顺利。
Pinyin: Xī wàng nǐ bì yè zhī hòu yī qiē shùn lì.
In English: Hope everything goes well for you after graduation.
Usage: Natural for both speaking and writing; informal.

4. Lantern Festival

Red Lanterns

Let’s put on some lanterns for the Lantern Festival!

The fifteenth day of the lunar calendar is the Lantern Festival, a holiday that’s arranged very close to the Chinese New Year. On this special day, Chinese people eat 元宵 / 汤圆 (yuán xiāo / tāng yuán), a dessert made from glutinous rice flour, to celebrate. They also give each other riddles to solve with a theme associated with the holiday.

In Chinese: 元宵节快乐!
Pinyin: Yuán xiāo jié kuài lè!
In English: Happy Lantern Festival!
Usage: Natural for both speaking and writing; formal.

In Chinese: 我来给你出个灯谜吧。
Pinyin: Wǒ lái gěi nǐ chū gè dēng mí ba.
In English: Let me give you a riddle.
Usage: More natural for speaking; informal.

In Chinese: 祝您一家人团团圆圆。
Pinyin: Zhù nín yī jiā rén tuán tuán yuán yuán.
In English: Wish your family a great reunion.
Usage: More natural for writing; formal.

5. Chinese New Year Congratulations

Remains of Fireworks on the Ground

When you see these, you know Chinese New Year is running right now!

Wondering how to say “Happy New Year” in Chinese? Well, you better know that if you’re studying Chinese, because the Chinese New Year is like Christmas in western countries. On this important holiday, people celebrate it by eating dumplings, visiting family, and lighting fireworks. If you ever want to be a part of Chinese culture, learn how to wish congratulations on Chinese New Year with some must-know phrases for the Chinese New Year!

In Chinese: 新年快乐,恭喜发财!
Pinyin: Xīn nián kuài lè, gōng xǐ fā cái!
In English: Happy new year, (I) wish you prosperity.
Usage: More natural for writing; informal.

In Chinese: 祝您万事如意。
Pinyin: Zhù nín wàn shì rú yì.
In English: May all your wishes come true.
Usage: More natural for writing; formal.

In Chinese: 我在这给您拜年了!
Pinyin: Wǒ zài zhè gěi nín bài nián le!
In English: Allow me to give you my new year’s blessing!
Usage: More natural for speaking; informal.

6. Wedding

Marriage Proposal

Traditionally, Chinese couples wore red for their wedding. However, modern Chinese weddings are very similar to western wedding ceremonies. A special custom that Chinese people still like to do is to give 份子钱 (fèn zi qián), or “gift money,” to the newly married couple for a wedding. This Chinese congratulations gift is one of the defining aspects of a Chinese wedding.

What do you say at a Chinese wedding? Make sure to study the Chinese marriage congratulations below to have something to say when you’re invited to a wedding!

In Chinese: 新婚快乐!
Pinyin: Xīn hūn kuài lè!
In English: Happy new wedding!
Usage: Natural for both speaking and writing; formal.

In Chinese: 祝你们长长久久。
Pinyin: Zhù nǐ men cháng cháng jiǔ jiǔ.
In English: I wish you a long time together.
Usage: More natural for writing; formal.

In Chinese: 祝你们一生恩爱幸福。
Pinyin: Zhù nǐ men yī shēng ēn ài xìng fú.
In English: Wishing you a lifetime of love and happiness.
Usage: More natural for writing; formal.

7. Bad News

Of course, there are always dark sides of life as long as there are bright sides. Now that we’ve learned all the happy Chinese wishes phrases, it’s time to learn some comforting phrases to show your support when hearing bad news.

In Chinese: 一切都会好起来的。
Pinyin: Yī qiè dōu huì hǎo qǐ lái de.
In English: Everything will get better.
Usage: More natural for speaking; informal.

In Chinese: 节哀顺变。
Pinyin: Jié āi shùn biàn.
In English: Please save your sadness and let things slide (for someone’s loss).
Usage: More natural for speaking; formal.

In Chinese: 别难过了,有我在呢。
Pinyin: Bié nán guò le, yǒu wǒ zài ne.
In English: Don’t be sad, I’m here for you.
Usage: More natural for speaking; informal.

8. Death/Funeral

Death is an inevitable topic in every culture, China included. The Chinese have a holiday where people go to the graveyard of their dead families to clean the grave and awake the past family memories. If you ever accompany someone on this special holiday, or go to a Chinese funeral, here are some Chinese wishes phrases you can use for the dead.

In Chinese: 安息吧,你会永远在我们的心里。
Pinyin: Ān xī ba, nǐ huì yǒng yuǎn zài wǒ men de xīn lǐ.
In English: Rest in peace and know that you will always be in our hearts.
Usage: More natural for speaking; informal.

In Chinese: 一路走好。
Pinyin: Yī lù zǒu hǎo.
In English: Have a good trip.
Usage: Natural for both speaking and writing; formal.

In Chinese: 希望你在天堂一切都好。
Pinyin: Xī wàng nǐ zài tiān táng yī qiè dōu hǎo.
In English: Hope everything is good in heaven.
Usage: More natural for writing; informal.

9. Injured/Sick

We are all human, and we may get injured or sick once in a while. When we’re in such a vulnerable state, we need nothing more than a heartwarming wish from loved ones. Traditionally, staple foods for sick people are boiled chicken soup or some porridge; if you ever want to show your care beyond words, that’s the way to go. But for now, let’s first learn some basic Chinese phrases for condolences, such as “wishing you good health” in Chinese. Here are some phrases to show your friends and loved ones that you care!

In Chinese: 好好照顾自己。
Pinyin: Hǎo hǎo zhào gù zì jǐ.
In English: Take care of yourself.
Usage: Natural for both speaking and writing; informal.

In Chinese: 快点好起来啊。
Pinyin: Kuài diǎn hǎo qǐ lái a.
In English: Get well soon.
Usage: More natural for writing; informal.

In Chinese: 祝您身体健康。
Pinyin: Zhù nín shēn tǐ jiàn kāng.
In English: Wishing you good health.
Usage: More natural for writing; formal.

10. Holidays

More Chinese wish phrases? No problem! There are many more unique holidays in China that you may not know! For example, the Chinese traditional Valentine’s Day is on July 7, which originated from a romantic fairytale of the Weaver Girl. Now, modern Chinese couples like to celebrate Valentine’s Day on May 20 because the pronunciation of 520 in Chinese sounds very similar to “I love you” in Chinese. Holidays like April Fool’s Day are a huge thing in China as well. Many young people take advantage of this day to confess their romantic feelings for one another! Lastly, you’ll learn how to say Chinese Christmas greetings and happy holidays in Mandarin Chinese.

In Chinese: 情人节/七夕快乐。
Pinyin: Qíng rén jié /Qī xī kuài lè.
In English: Happy Valentine’s Day.
Usage: Natural for both speaking and writing; formal.

In Chinese: 愚人节快乐!
Pinyin: Yú rén jié kuài lè!
In English: Happy April Fool’s Day!
Usage: Natural for both speaking and writing; formal.

In Chinese: 圣诞节快乐!
Pinyin: Shèng dàn jié kuài lè!
In English: Merry Christmas!
Usage: Natural for both speaking and writing; formal.

In Chinese: 假期快乐!
Pinyin: Jiǎ qī kuài lè!
In English: Happy holidays!
Usage: Natural for both speaking and writing; formal.

11. Conclusion

Basic Questions

Now, do you remember how to say “happy holidays” in Mandarin Chinese? How about Happy New Year or Merry Christmas in Chinese? This article certainly is a life-saver when it comes to being involved in life events. Now you don’t ever have to worry about being awkward during such occasions.

We’re dedicated to fulfilling every language learner’s needs. If you have any more questions about Chinese in store for us, visit ChineseClass101 to start an adventure in finding those answers. You won’t regret it!

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Secret Revealed: The Best Way to Learn a Language on Your Own

Learning A Language on Your Own

Can You Really Learn Chinese Alone?

Learning a language on your own or without traditional classroom instruction may seem quite daunting at first. What if you run into questions? How do you stay motivated and on track to achieving goals?

Don’t worry, not only is it possible to learn Chinese or any language without traditional classroom instruction: ChineseClass101 has created the world’s most advanced and extensive online language learning system. Not only is ChineseClass101 specifically designed to help you with learning a language on your own, it’s actually faster, more convenient, and less expensive than traditional classroom options!

Let’s look at some of the benefits of learning Chinese or any language alone.

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Also, don’t forget to download your free cheat sheet – How to Improve Your Language Skills too!

3 Reasons to Learn a Language Alone

Learning Alone

1. Learn at Your Own Pace and On Your Schedule

In today’s fast-paced world, there just isn’t time for traditional classroom instruction. Between getting to class and studying on some professor or teacher’s schedule, traditional classroom learning is simply impossible to fit in. But when you learn Chinese alone, you can study in bed if you like and whenever suits your schedule best, making it far easier to actually reach your goal of learning and mastering the language.

2. Learning a Language on Your Own Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Speaking in front of a class, pop quizzes, and tests are just a few of the stressors you will encounter when you learn a language in a traditional classroom setting. Specifically, these are external stressors that often derail most people’s dream of learning a new language. But when you learn Chinese alone, there are no external stressors. Without the external stress and anxiety, it becomes much easier and more exciting to study Chinese and reach your very own goals—all on your own!

3. Learning Chinese Alone Helps Improve Cognitive Function and Overall Success

Learning a language on your own is indeed more challenging in some ways than being taught in a traditional classroom setting. In fact, while classroom instruction requires more rote memorization and following instructions, studying a language on your own requires more problem-solving and higher cognitive function to self-teach lessons and hit goals. So while it’s more challenging and requires higher levels of cognition, teaching yourself a language pays dividends throughout life by better preparing you for social/work opportunities that arise.

How to Learn a Language on Your Own with ChineseClass101

Learning with ChineseClass101

1. Access to the World’s Largest Collection of Chinese Audio & Video Lessons

The best way to learn a language on your own is to study from native speaking instructors. Ideally, you want audio and/or video lessons that teach vocabulary, grammar, and provide actual Chinese conversations and dialogue to help you with pronunciation. ChineseClass101 has hundreds of hours of HD audio and video lessons created by real Chinese instructors and every lesson is presented by professional Chinese actors for perfect pronunciation. Plus, all lessons can be accessed 24/7 via any mobile device with Internet access. And, if you download the PDF versions of each lesson, you can even study without Internet access once the lesson is stored on your device!

2. “Learning Paths” with Chinese Courses Based Upon Your Exact Needs & Goals

Although ChineseClass101 has more than thousands of video and audio lessons, you need not review each and every one to learn the language. In fact, ChineseClass101 has developed a feature called “Learning Paths”. You simply tell us your goals and we will identify the best courses and study plan to help you reach them in the shortest time possible. So even though you are technically learning a language on your own, our team is always here to help and make sure you reach your goals FAST!

3. Advanced Learning Tools Reduce Learning Time and Boost Retention

When you have the right tools and Chinese learning resources, it’s actually easy to teach yourself a language! In the past 10+ years, ChineseClass101 has developed, tested, and refined more than 20 advanced learning tools to boost retention and reduce learning time, including:

  • Spaced Repetition Flashcards
  • Line-by-Line Dialogue Breakdown
  • Review Quizzes
  • Voice Recording Tools to Help Perfect Pronunciation
  • Teacher Feedback and Comments for Each Lesson
  • Chinese Dictionary with Pronunciation
  • Free PDF Cheat Sheets
  • And Much More!

Armed with our growing collection of advanced learning tools, it’s truly a breeze to learn Chinese alone and reach your goals!

Conclusion

Learning a language on your own is not only possible, it’s actually easier and more beneficial for you than traditional classroom instruction. In fact, when you learn Chinese on your own you can study at your own pace, eliminate stress, and actually increase cognitive function.

ChineseClass101 is the world’s most advanced online language learning system and a great resource to help you teach yourself a new language. With the world’s largest collection of HD audio and video lessons, more than 20 advanced learning tools, and customized “Learning Paths”, ChineseClass101 makes learning a new language easier, more convenient, and less expensive than traditional classroom instruction.

And the best part is: With ChineseClass101, you can study in bed, your car, or wherever you have a few spare minutes of time. Create your Free Lifetime Account now and get a FREE ebook to help “kickstart” your dream of learning a language on your own below!

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Learn Chinese Direct from Beijing with ChineseClass101.com

Dear Chinese Students,

Today we’re pleased to announce the launch of ChineseClass101.com. This is a joint project between Popup Chinese and the folks at Innovative Language Learning.

If you’re familiar with the Innovative Language approach to teaching, you’ll know the strength of their materials has always been tight, step-by-step progressive lessons for beginners. At Popup Chinese, we’ve historically geared our materials towards more advanced students, so when we had the chance to cooperate with the Innovative team and work together to build something that could take advantage of the powerful system they’ve already built we leapt at the chance, and began work designing a focused and stepwise program for Mandarin instruction.

Although a few hints leaked out (*ahem*), for the past few months we’ve worked somewhat stealthily to build the best team possible for the task. You’ll find our progressive beginner lessons hosted by none other than the famous Frank Fradella. Other big names on our roster are Amber Scorah and of course everyone on our existing team like Echo Yao and Brendan O’Kane. This is a great team and I can say with confidence I’ve never worked with a stronger one. With more than 100 lessons on the new site, our content is off to a good start too. As Frank said once after a marathon recording session, “our first twenty lessons here teach more than I learned in a whole year studying elsewhere.”

We think this is a great step forward and look forward to hearing your feedback and thoughts as well. It is definitely a major step forward for Chinese language education online. There’s never been a better time to learn Chinese, or a better way to learn it online. Regardless of whether you’re an advanced independent learner or a total newbie, we hope you’ll enjoy the work we’ll be doing both here and at ChineseClass101. Thanks for your support, and 加油 everyone!

Best from Beijing,

David Lancashire

Best from New York,

Amber Scorah