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How do you say ‘it’ in Chinese?

Even though strictly speaking there is a character for ‘it’ in Chinese (它), the word ‘it’ is very rarely translated into Chinese.

A lot of speakers of European languages often make mistakes because they try to ‘translate it’ into Chinese, when it shouldn’t be translated.

This is a linguistic difference that you have to get used to.

For example:

你买到了吗? – Did you buy it?
买了 – Yes, I bought it.

你喜欢吗?- Do you like it?
喜欢 – Yes I like it.

You do not use 它

You also don’t use 它 when you are talking about time or the weather in Chinese.

It’s Thursday today – 今天是星期四

It’s 4 o’clock – 现在四点种
It’s raining – 下雨了

You also don’t use 它 when you are talking about time or the weather in Chinese.

It’s Thursday today – 今天是星期四

It’s 4 o’clock – 现在四点种
It’s raining – 下雨了

You don’t use 它 when you are talking about an abstract idea

It’s a good idea – (这是个)好主意
It doesn’t matter – 没关系
It’s hard to talk to him – 很难跟他对话

它 is occasionally used in constructions using the character 把 (which I explain in a separate video)

书在哪里?Where is the book?
我把它放在桌子上了 – I put it on the table.

它 can also be used in Chinese to refer to animals

那边有一只猫,它的毛是白色的
There’s a cat over there. It has white fur.