Would You Marry Me?

Marriage is one of the most significant things in a person’s life. In Chinese, “婚”(hūn) is the literal meaning of marriage. This Chinese character has two parts, that is to say, “女”(nǚ) and “昏”(hūn). “女”(nǚ) means a woman and “昏”(hūn) means at dusk. Ancient Chinese people got married at dusk so that is why the Chinese character “婚”(hūn) is written in this way. At this time we would like to share some words related with marriage in Chinese and if you have an interest or want to start a relationship with a Chinese girl or boy, these would be good for you to learn.

When a man wants to marry with a woman, he will make a proposal first and that is called “求婚”(qiú hūn). The traditional way is that the man will go down on one knee and ask “Would you marry me?” and that in Chinese is “你愿意嫁给我吗?”(Nǐ yuàn yì jià gěi wǒ ma?. After that, if the woman agrees, they will have an engagement and that is translated as: “订婚”(dìng hūn). Then they will get married and we say, “结婚”(jié hūn) in Chinese. When people get married, they always have a wedding which is called “婚礼”(hūn lǐ) . If the couple cannot get along with each other after the marriage and they cannot stand one another anymore, they may divorce from each other and that is translated as: “离婚”(líhūn) in Chinese. So you see the procedure in one’s marriage:

求婚(qiú hūn)→订婚(dìng hūn)→结婚(jié hūn)→婚礼(hūn lǐ)→离婚(líhūn).

But we do not hope the last section “离婚”(líhūn) is contained in a person’s marriage. We also have some congratulation words in Chinese to learn, such as:

新婚快乐。(Xīn hūn kuài lè)
Happy wedding day

祝你们白头偕老,永结同心。(Zhù nǐ men bái tóu xié lǎo, yǒng jié tóng xīn)
I wish you live to old age in conjugal bliss and to be of one mind forever.

百年好合,心心相印。(Bǎi nián hǎo hé, xīn xīn xiāng yìn)
A harmonious marriage lasting a hundred years and have mutual affinity.

早生贵子。(Zǎo shēng guì zǐ)
Wishing you get early offspring

And do you remember how to make a proposal in Chinese? We have talked one sentence above and now let us read together.

你愿意嫁给我吗?(Nǐ yuàn yì jià gěi wǒ ma?)
Would you marry me?

我愿意。(wǒ yuàn yì)
I do

嫁给我吧。(jià gěi wǒ ba)
Marry me please.

咱们结婚吧。(Zán men jié hūn ba)
Let us get married.

Helen Fang

Helen is a master of Teaching Chinese as A Foreign Language. She worked in South Korea for one year to teach Chinese in Confucius Institute. She has published some thesis relating to teaching Chinese on “Chinese teaching and research”. Many years learning and teaching make her put the theories into practice. Now, she is working as senior Mandarin teacher at TouchChinese.


    Nice writing. Your topic reminds me of a very cute Chinese song “今天你要嫁给我” (Today you must marry me). Otherwise, there is a small revision in your writing. It should be “祝你们白头偕老,总结同心” (永 not 总). i know it should be your error typo only. Just hope to make your writing perfect.

  • Bryan Zheng

    It does stimulate my eagerness to consider something about love affairs and that’s really a tricky stuff. Talking about the writing,it’s nice and clear which I definitly love