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How to show people you care in Chinese

7 ways to ask “what’s wrong?”

Sometimes when you meet a friend, you can immediately see that something is wrong with them. The directly translated phrase “你好吗“ is a bland greeting,  and it doesn’t really show your concern for them. So what do you say when you suspect that your friend might not be doing well?  Here are a few authentic and natural expressions that have a more caring, sincere tone.

(Nǐ zěnme le?)
你怎么了?
What’s the matter?

(Nǐ hái hǎo ma?)
你还好吗?
Are you alright?

(Nǐ méishì ba?)
你没事吧?
Are you alright?

(Chū shénme shìr le?)
出什么事儿了?
Is there something wrong?

(Yù dào máfan le ma?)
遇到麻烦了吗?
Are you in trouble?

(Dàodǐ zěnme huí shì?)
到底怎么回事?
What’s going on?

(Yǒu shén me wèntí, shuō chūlái tīng tīng.)
有什么问题,说出来听听。
Talk to me if there’s a problem.

Show your concern if someone seems unhappy

What do you say when you think your friend is in a bad mood, and you just want to ask them directly why they seem down? You can try using these phrases:

(Xīnqíng bù hǎo ma?)
心情不好吗?
Are you unhappy?

(Nǐ zěnme nàme yánsù?)
你怎么那么严肃?
Why do you look so serious?

(Nǐ zěnme mǎn liǎn bù gāoxìng?)
你怎么满脸不高兴?
Why do you look upset?

(Nǐ zěnme lāzhe gè liǎn?)
你怎么拉着个脸?
Why the long face?

(Nǐ jīntiān kànzhe hǎoxiàng bù tài gāoxìng a.)
你今天看着好像不太高兴啊。
You look a bit down today.

(Nǐ hǎoxiàng bù dà duìjìnr a.)
你好像不大对劲儿啊。 
You don’t seem like yourself today.

Express that you’re worried about someone’s health

What if someone looks unwell? How do you ask them about their health appropriately? Here are a few phrases that you can use.

(Nǐ shēntǐ bú shūfú ma?)
你身体不舒服吗?
Are you unwell?

(Nǐ hǎoxiēle ma?)
你好些了吗?
Are you feeling better?

(Nǐ jīntiān gǎnjué zěnme yàng?)
你今天感觉怎么样?
How are you today?

(Yào bùyào qù yīyuàn?)
要不要去医院?
Do you want to go to the hospital?

(Yào bùyào huíqù xiūxi yīxià?)
要不要回去休息一下?
Do you want to go back and rest for a bit?

(Duō bǎozhòng.)
多保重。
Take good care of yourself.

Offer help

What do you say if you want to offer help? Here are a few good sentences you can use to express your empathy.

(Yǒu shén me xūyào, suíshí gēn wǒ shuō.)
有什么需要,随时跟我说。
Let me know anytime if there is anything you need.

(Yǒu shén me wǒ néng bāng dé shàng máng de?)
有什么我能帮得上忙的?
Is there anything I can do to help?

(Wǒ huì péizhe nǐ de.)
我会陪着你的。
I’m here for you.

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