How to Say the Basic Greetings in Chinese

Key Chinese phrases from the video: 你 好 nǐ hǎo Hello 您 好 nín hǎo Hello (polite form) 你们 好 nǐmen hǎo Hello (to more than one person) 大家 好 dàjiā hǎo Hello everybody 早上 好 zǎoshang hǎo Good morning 晚上 好 wǎnshang hǎo Good evening 阿姨 好 āyí hǎo Hello (to a woman of the older generation) 叔叔 好 shūshu hǎo Hello (to a man of the older generation) 过年 好 guònián hǎo Happy New Year Continue Reading

Chinese Character Bites – #54 – 而

Our character for today is 而 Simplified Chinese character: 而 Traditional Chinese character: 而 (The simplified character and the traditional character are the same) Pronunciation: This character is pronounced ér in the 2nd tone. What it means: On its own, 而 is used in the middle of a sentence as a connector and means 'and' or 'furthermore'. It is also used in connecting words like 而且 (furthermore), 然而 (however) and so on. Let’s break it down: Originally, 而 came from a Continue Reading

Chinese Character Bites – #53 – 天

Our character for today is 天 Simplified Chinese character: 天 Traditional Chinese character: 天 (The simplified character and the traditional character are the same) Pronunciation: This character is pronounced tiān in the 1st tone. What it means: 天 means sky, heaven or it can also mean day. You'll see it in words like 今天 jīntiān (today) 明天 míngtiān (tomorrow) and 昨天 zuótiān (yesterday), as well as the words for seasons, for example 春天 chūntiān (spring). Where it means sky or Continue Reading

Please, Thank You, Sorry and Excuse Me in Chinese

In this post I want to explain how you say please, thank you, sorry and excuse me in Chinese. These may seem like very simple words that should have simple equivalents, but there are a few things you need to know about how they are used, and different phrases to know. How to say thank you in Chinese Thank you is the easiest of these phrases to learn. In most situations, you can just use 谢谢 xièxie or 谢谢 xièxie nǐ (the nǐ means 'you) The first syllable is pronounced in the 4th tone, Continue Reading

Chinese Character Bites – #52 – 多

Our character for today is 多 Simplified Chinese character: 多 Traditional Chinese character: 多 (The simplified character and the traditional character are the same) Pronunciation: This character is pronounced duō in the 1st tone. What it means: 多 means 'many' or 'much' After a number it means 'more than', for example 20多 ‘more than 20'. In 多么 it means 'how much', and you'll also see it in 多少 'how many/much'? (literally 'more less'). Let’s break it down: 多 is made up Continue Reading

How Do You Say ‘And’ in Chinese?

One common mistake that a lot of beginner Chinese learners make is how to say 'and' in Chinese. It's natural, when you're trying to speak Chinese, to use your native language as a point of comparison and to try to 'translate' what you're trying to say into Chinese. However, because there are so many differences between the two languages, this can often cause problems, and 'and' is just one of those words that can trip you up if you treat it the same way as in English, and the result is Continue Reading

Chinese Character Bites – #48 – 后

Our character for today is 后 Simplified Chinese character: 后 Traditional Chinese character: 後 Pronunciation: This character is pronounced hòu in the 4th tone. What it means: 后 is really two characters in one. One of its meanings is 'empress', as in 皇后 (empress). It can also be the simplified version of the character 後, which means 'back' 'behind' or 'after', as in 以后 (after). In simplified Chinese characters, the two characters have been merged into one. In traditional Continue Reading

8 Things to Look For When Choosing a Chinese Teacher

Choosing a good Chinese teacher is one of the key factors that will determine whether you can be successful and persist in learning Chinese, or whether you just end up giving up or becoming demotivated. If you are in China or another Chinese speaking area, at first it can seem like you have an unlimited supply of teachers. After all, you are surrounded by native speakers, who could all potentially help you to learn their language. You might even get offers of help with your Chinese, in return Continue Reading

Chinese Character Bites – #47 – 里

Our character for today is 里 Simplified Chinese character: 里 Traditional Chinese character: 裏 Pronunciation: This character is pronounced lǐ in the 3rd tone. What it means: 里 can mean 'a village' or 'half a kilometre' (kilometre is 公里) In these cases the traditional and simplified character are the same: 里 However, you'll also see 里 in words like 这里 (here), 那里 (there) and 哪里 (where?) In these cases, the traditional character for 里 is 裏 or 裡. Let’s break it down: 里 Continue Reading

Chinese Character Bites #46 – 可

Our character for today is 可 Simplified Chinese character: 可 Traditional Chinese character: 可 (The simplified character and the traditional character are the same) Pronunciation: This character is pronounced kě in the 3rd tone. What it means: 可 means 'can', 'may' or 'it is possible'. It's often used in 可以 'can', and you'll also see it in 可是 (but) Let’s break it down: This character contains 口, which means 'mouth'. You write the horizontal stroke on the top first, Continue Reading