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80+ Basic Chinese Words and Phrases to Help You Survive

Whether you are traveling to China, hanging out with Chinese people, or going out on a date with a Chinese person, it`s necessary to know some essential basic Chinese phrases to help you survive. Knowing a few handy phrases will not only help you avoid social awkwardness, it will allow you to build great new connections with people, and even make your Chinese conversations more interesting. Even if you just need to travel around China, basic Chinese words can help you out in unfamiliar surroundings and perhaps even help you avoid some potential misunderstandings. Here we’d like to introduce basic Chinese words and phrases which you may need in your next Chinese language survival and social situation. After this, if you want to learn and know more, just check the 750 commonly used Chinese Conversations.

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Chinese Pinyin English
Greetings
你好! nǐ hǎo ! Hello
早上好 zǎo shàng hǎo Good morning
晚上好 wǎn shàng hǎo Good evening
你好吗? nǐ hǎo ma ? How are you?
我很好 wǒ hěn hǎo I’m fine
你吃了吗? nǐ chī le ma ? Have you eaten?
吃了 chī le I ate
你呢 nǐ ne And you?
欢迎 huān yíng Welcome
很高兴见到你 hěn gāo xìng jiàn dào nǐ Pleased to meet you
Polite ways
谢谢 xiè xie Thank you
不客气 bù kè qì You are welcome
qǐng Please
请问 qǐng wèn Excuse me?
抱歉 bào qiàn Sorry
对不起 duì bù qǐ I’m sorry
没关系 méi guān xì No problem
不好意思 bù hǎo yì si Excuse me
借过一下 jiè guò yī xià Please excuse me
Saying goodbye
再见 zài jiàn Good bye
晚安 wǎn ān Good night
回头见 huí tóu jiàn See you later
祝您有个美好的一天! zhù nín yǒu gè měi hǎo de yī tiān ! Have a nice day!
周末愉快 zhōu mò yú kuài Have a nice weekend
保持联系 bǎo chí lián xì Keep in touch
一路顺风 yí lù shùn fēng Have a smooth and safe journey.
慢走 màn zǒu Take care
What’s your name
我叫[Name], 你呢? wǒ jiào [Name], nǐ ne ? My name is …. What about you?
怎么称呼? zěn me chēng hū ? What is your name?
请问您贵姓? qǐng wèn nín guì xìng ? May I have your family name?
Making yourself understood
我不会说中文 wǒ bù huì shuō zhōng wén I don’t speak Chinese
你会说英语吗? nǐ huì shuō yīng yǔ ma ? Do you speak English?
我会说一点中文 wǒ huì shuō yī diǎn zhōng wén I speak a little Chinese
请说慢一点 qǐng shuō màn yī diǎn Please speak more slowly
请写下来 qǐng xiě xià lái Please write it down
请你再说一遍好吗? qǐng nǐ zài shuō yī biàn hǎo ma ? Could you please repeat that?
我明白 wǒ míng bái I understand
我不明白 wǒ bù míng bái I don’t understand
我不知道 wǒ bù zhī dào I don’t know
我知道 wǒ zhī dào I know
什么意思? shén me yì si What do you mean?
Things you might see
入口 rù kǒu Entrance
出口 chū kǒu Exit
紧急出口 jǐn jí chū kǒu Emergency exit
tuī Push
Pull
厕所 cè suǒ Toilets
空的 kōng de Vacant
禁止吸烟 jìn zhǐ xī yān No smoking
打折 dǎ zhé discount
促销 cù xiāo promotion
买一送一 mǎi yī sòng yī two for one
More useful basic Chinese phrases
duì Yes
no
也许吧 yě xǔ ba maybe
请问,厕所在哪里? qǐng wèn , cè suǒ zài nǎ lǐ ? Excuse me,where’s the toilet?
多少? duō shǎo ? How much?
太贵了 tài guì le Too expensive
便宜点 pián yi diǎn Make it cheaper
你是本地人吗? nǐ shì běn dì rén ma ? Are you a local?
我从…来 wǒ cóng … lái I’m from …
你经常来这吗 nǐ jīng cháng lái zhè ma Do you come here often?
我会想念你的 wǒ huì xiǎng niàn nǐ de I will miss you
我爱你 wǒ ài nǐ I love you
别管我 bié guǎn wǒ Leave me alone!
救命啊! jiù mìng a Help!
停下 tíng xià Stop
生日快乐 shēng rì kuài lè Happy Birthday
恭喜 gōng xǐ Congratulations
这个用中文怎么说 zhè gè yòng zhōng wén zěn me shuō How do you say this in Chinese?
叫警察 jiào jǐng chá Call the police
你做什么样的工作? nǐ zuò shén me yàng de gōng zuò ? What kind of work do you do?
好搞笑 hǎo gǎo xiào That’s hilarious
新春快乐 xīn chūn kuài lè Happy Chinese New Year
等一下 děng yī xià Wait a moment
结账,谢谢。 jié zhàng , xiè xie。 The bill, please. Thank you.
我要 wǒ yào I want…
一瓶啤酒 yī píng pí jiǔ a beer
一杯咖啡 yī bēi kā fēi a cup of coffee
一瓶水 yī píng shuǐ a bottle of water

 

JING CAO

Jing Cao is the chief editor at Dig Mandarin. She devotes herself to the research of Chinese langugage and how to teach Chinese as a second language better.

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