Mandarin-Basic courtesies

Let’s study some mandarin phrases:

Basic courtesies

Answer (Yes/no)

shì (yes)

(no)

Response

búyòngxìe. (You’re welcome.)

kĕnéng (maybe)

qĭng (please) In Chinese, you would rarely use qĭng (please) by itself. It is usually used as part of a question or request.

xièxie (thank you)

What to call people you meet A man would be called xiānsheng, which is the same as Mr. or Sir.

A married woman is called tàitai [informal]/fūren [formal].

The Chinese equivalent for Ms. is nǖshì and Miss would be xiăojiĕ.

Personal pronouns

(I)

(he)

(she)

wŏmen (we)

tāmen (they [masculine or mixed group])

(it)

nĭmen (you [plural])

nĭ/nín (you [informal/formal])

Useful Phrases
  • wŏ de zhōngwén shuōde bùhăo. (I do not speak Chinese well.)
  • *wŏ shuō yīngwén. (I speak English.)
  • wŏ mílù le. (I am lost.)
  • wŏ zài zhăo jiŭdiàn. (I am looking for the hotel.)
  • duì, wŏ zhīdào. (Yes, I know.)
  • duìbuqĭ. wŏbùzhīdào. (I am sorry. I don’t know.)
  • wŏ bù zhīdào zài năr. (I don’t know where it is.)
  • wŏ bù dŏng. (I don’t understand.)
  • qĭng nĭ zài shuō yícì, hăoma? (Can you repeat, please?)

fēicháng gănxìe. (I appreciate it.)

Asking Some Basic Questions

  • How’s it going? Ni zenme yàng? (nee dzummuh yahng)
  • Do you speak English? Ni huì shuo Yingyu ma? (nee hway shwaw eeng yew mah)
  • Can you help me? Néng bùnéng b≈ngmáng? (nung boo nung bahng mahng)
  • What is your name? Ni jiào shénme míngzi? (nee jyaow shummah meeng dzuh)
  • What time is it? Xiànzài ji dian zhong? (shyan dzye jee dyan joong)
  • What’s the weather like? Tianqi zenme yàng? (tyan chee dzummuh yahng)
  • How much is this? Zhèige duoshao qián? (jay guh dwaw shaow chyan)
  • Where do I find . . . ? Zài nar zhao . . . ? (dzye nar jaow . . . )
  • Where is the bathroom? Cèsuo zài nar? (tsuh swaw dzye nar)
  • What time do you open/close? Nín ji dian zhong kai/guan mén? (neen jee dyan joong kye/gwahn mun)
  • Could you please talk more slowly? Qing ni shuo màn y∫diar. (cheeng nee shwaw mahn ee dyar)

Could you repeat that please? Qing ni zài shuo yícì. (cheeng nee dzye shwaw ee tsuh)

Useful Chinese Expressions

  • Hello. Ni hao. (nee how)
  • Good morning. Zao. (dzaow)
  • Good night. Wan ≈n. (wahn ahn)
  • Please. Qing. (cheeng)
  • Thank you. Xièxiè. (shyeh shyeh)
  • Excuse me. Duìbùqi. (dway boo chee)
  • I’m so sorry. Hen bàoqiàn. (hun baow chyan)

I don’t understand. Wo bùdong. (waw boo doong)

Chinese Phrases for Emergencies

  • Help! Jiù mìng! (jyo meeng)
  • Stop, thief! Zhu≈ zéi! (jwah dzay)
  • Fire! Zháohuo! (jaow hwaw)
  • Call an ambulance! Jiào jiùhùche! (jyaow jyo hoo chuh)
  • Call the police! Jiào jingchá! (jyaow jeeng chah)
  • I am sick. Wo bìng le. (waw beeng luh)
  • Get a doctor. Kuài qù zhao yish√ng. (kwye chyew jaow ee shung)

I’m lost. Wo mílù le. (waw mee loo luh)

 

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