120 Basic Chinese Words and Phrases to Help You Survive

basic chinese phrases when talking

Hey there, language adventurers! Are you ready to embark on a journey to the vibrant world of Mandarin Chinese? Get your linguistic passports ready because we’re about to dive headfirst into 100 essential but basic Chinese words and phrases that will help you navigate through China with ease. From greetings to survival phrases and everything in between, this comprehensive guide will transform you into a master communicator. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get started!

Greetings and introductions — basic Chinese phrases

They say the first impression is everything, and mastering greetings and introductions is the key to making a positive impact. In this section, we’ll dive into the art of saying hello, introducing yourself, and engaging in polite conversations. With these essential basic Chinese phrases, you’ll charm the locals, break the ice, and set the stage for meaningful interactions throughout your Chinese journey. Here are the essential basic Chinese words for greetings and introductions.

1. 你好 (nǐ hǎo) — Hello

The ultimate icebreaker in Chinese. Master this, and you’re off to a great start!


Nǐhǎo, wǒ shì Kate。

Hi, I’m Kate

2. 您好 (nín hǎo) — Hello (formal)

When you want to show respect or greet someone older or in a professional setting.

Nín hǎo, huānyíng guānglín.

Hello, welcome.

3. 早上好 (zǎoshang hǎo) — Good morning

Rise and shine! Start your day with a sunny greeting.

Lǎoshī, zǎoshang hǎo a.

Good morning, teacher.

4. 晚上好 (wǎnshàng hǎo) — Good evening

When the sun goes down, this phrase will make you sound like a true local.


Wǎnshàng hǎo, huānyíng dàjiā lái cānjiā wǒ de shēngrì pàiduì.

Good evening and welcome everyone to my birthday party.

5. 再见 (zàijiàn) — Goodbye

Time to bid adieu, but not before impressing them with your linguistic skills.

Bàba, wǒ yào qù shàngxuéle, zàijiàn.

Dad, I’m going to school. Goodbye.

Goodbye in chinese

6. 名字 (míngzi) — Name

When you want to exchange names and make new friends.

Nǐ hǎo, qǐngwèn nǐ jiào shénme míngzì?

Hi, what’s your name?

7. 很高兴认识你 (hěn gāoxìng rènshì nǐ) — Nice to meet you

A warm and friendly way to greet new acquaintances, although you may want to choose different ways to say nice to meet you depending on the setting and who you’re talking to.


Wǒ shì kǎitè, hěn gāoxìng rènshí nǐ.

I’m Kate. Nice to meet you.

8. 请问 (qǐngwèn) — Excuse me

Perfect for grabbing someone’s attention or asking for directions.


Qǐngwèn xǐshǒujiān zài nǎlǐ?

May I know where the restroom is?

Related Reading: Greetings in Chinese: Why Your Teachers Are Wrong

Basic phrases for survival

Survival mode: activated! In this section, we’ll equip you with some essential basic Chinese phrases to help you navigate everyday scenarios. From expressing gratitude to seeking help, understanding and making yourself understood will be a piece of cake.  Master these basic Chinese phrases for saying yes and no, and more survival essentials. So, gear up and get ready to handle any situation that comes your way with confidence and a touch of Mandarin flair.

9. 谢谢 (xièxiè) — Thank you

Gratitude is universal, and this phrase will earn you countless smiles.


Xièxiè nǐ de bāngzhù.

Thank you for your help.

10. 不客气 (bú kèqì) — You’re welcome

When you want to graciously accept gratitude and make others feel appreciated. Of course, there are plenty of ways to say you’re welcome in Chinese, depending on who you’re talking to and what you’re trying to convey.

A: 谢谢你的帮助。

Xièxiè nǐ de bāngzhù.

Thank you for your help.

B: 不客气。

Bú kèqì.

You’re welcome.

11. 对不起 (duìbuqǐ) — Sorry

Oops, did you accidentally step on someone’s foot? Apologize like a pro! There are lots of ways to say sorry in Chinese, but you can’t go wrong with the classic 对不起.


Duìbùqǐ, wǒ wàngle huífù nǐ de yóujiàn.

Sorry, I forgot to reply to your email.

12. 没关系 (méi guānxi) — It’s okay

When someone apologizes to you, be forgiving and respond with this soothing phrase.

A: 对不起,我忘了回复你的邮件。
Duìbùqǐ, wǒ wàngle huífù nǐ de yóujiàn.

Sorry, I forgot to reply to your email.

B: 没关系。
Méi guānxi.

It’s okay.

13. 是 (shì) — Yes

The key to agreeing and nodding your head in approval.

A: 今天是星期一吗?

Jīntiān shì xīngqí yī ma?

Is it Monday today?

B: 是。


14. 不是 (bùshì) — No

Use this when you want to express disagreement or simply say “no.” Check out the many different ways you can say “no” in Chinese.

A: 这个是苹果吗?
Zhège shì píngguǒ ma?

Is this an apple?

B: 不是。



15. 可能 (kěnéng) — Maybe

When you want to add an element of uncertainty to a conversation.

Jīntiān qǐchuáng wǎnle, kěnéng yào chídàole.

I got up late today. Maybe I’ll be late.

16. 明白 (míngbai) — I understand

Show your comprehension skills with this handy phrase.

Wǒ zhōngyú míngbái nǐ shuō dehuàle.

I finally understand what you are saying.

17. 不明白 (bù míngbai) — I don’t understand

When the conversation gets a bit tricky, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification.

Wǒ bù míngbái nǐ wèishéme yào líkāi chéngdū.

I don’t understand why you want to leave Chengdu.

 (bù míngbai) — I don't understand

18. 请帮助我 (qǐng bāngzhù wǒ) — Please help me

A life—saving phrase in case you find yourself in a bind.

Wǒ xūyào nǐ de bāngzhù, qǐng bāngzhù wǒ, kěyǐ ma?

I need your help. Can you help me, please?

19. 我迷路了 (wǒ mílù le) — I’m lost

If your sense of direction fails you, use this phrase to get back on track.

Jìnrù sēnlín yī xiǎoshí hòu, wǒ fāxiàn wǒ mílùle.

An hour into the forest, I realized I was lost.

20. 我想去… (wǒ xiǎng qù…) — I want to go to…

Insert the desired location, and voila! You have a handy travel phrase.

Shìjiè nàme dà, wǒ xiǎng qù kàn kàn.

The world is so big and I want to see it.

Related Reading: Best Resources for Learning Chinese

Numbers and counting

Who said numbers were boring? In this numerical expedition, we’ll unravel the mysteries of counting with some basic Chinese words for numbers. From basic numbers to larger quantities, you’ll learn how to navigate prices, ask about quantities, and impress your friends with your mathematical prowess. Get ready to unlock the power of numbers and witness the beauty of the Chinese numerical system. Here are the must-know basic Chinese words for numbers and counting.

21. 一 (yī) — One

Counting starts here! Impress your friends by counting to a hundred in no time.

Wǒ jiāyǎngle yī zhǐ xiǎo māomī.

I have a little kitten at home.

22. 二 (èr) — Two

The next step towards numerical mastery.


Dì èr zhǐ xiǎo niǎo yě fēi zǒule.

The second bird also flew away.

23. 十 (shí) — Ten

A milestone on your path to numerical greatness.

Zàiguò shí tiān jiù yào guòniánle.

The Chinese New Year will be here in ten days.

24. 一百 (yībǎi) — One hundred

Reach the zenith of counting with this phrase.

Wǒ de qiánbāo lǐ zhǐyǒu yībǎi yuán xiànjīn.

I only have one hundred dollars in cash in my wallet.

25. 多少 (duōshao) — How much/many

When you want to inquire about quantities or prices.

Nǐmen bān yīgòng yǒu duōshǎo wèi tóngxué a?

How many students are there in your class?

26. 两个 (liǎng gè) — Two (when counting objects)

Watch out for the special rule when counting objects in Chinese!

Wǒ yǒu liǎng gè píngguǒ, nǐ yào chī ma?

I have two apples, do you want to eat them?

27. 三十 (sānshí) — Thirty

Learn the pattern and count on well into the thirties!

Shíjiānguò dé zhēn kuài, wǒ jīnnián yǐjīng sānshí suìle.

Time flies so fast, I am already thirty years old this year.

chinese banknotes

28. 一千 (yīqiān) — One thousand

For those big numbers that make your head spin.

Nǐ tīngguò yīqiān líng yī yè de gùshì ma?

Have you heard the story of One Thousand and One Nights?

29. 亿 (yì) — One hundred million

Impress your friends with a glimpse into the vastness of the Chinese numerical system.

Wǒ dìngle yīgè xiǎo mùbiāo, bǐrú shuō xiān qù zhēng yīgè yì.

I set a small goal, for example, earning 100 million first.

30. 零 (líng) — Zero

The hero that saves us from the perils of empty pockets.

Dōngtiān língxià jǐ dù de tiānqì hǎo lěng a!

It’s so cold in winter with temperatures of several degrees below zero!

Related Reading: Numbers in Chinese: How to Count And More

Directions and transportation

Lost in translation? Fear not! This section will be your compass in the vast sea of directions and transportation. From navigating the streets to finding your way around public transportation, you’ll learn how to ask for directions, understand common signs and confidently explore the fascinating landscapes of China. So, let’s embark on a journey where getting lost is not an option.

31. 左 (zuǒ) — Left

When you want to turn left and avoid taking a wrong turn.

Wǒ de zuǒshǒu lāzhe nǐ de yòushǒu.

I’m holding your right hand with my left hand.

32. 右 (yòu) — Right

The counterpart to the left, it’ll guide you to the correct path.

Wǒ de yòushǒu biān zhàn zài yī wèi piàoliang de nǚshì.

A beautiful lady is standing on my right.

33. 前 (qián) — Front/Ahead

Keep moving forward, and don’t forget to enjoy the view.


Yīzhí wǎng qián zǒu, bùyào huítóu.

Keep moving forward and don’t look back.

34. 后 (hòu) — Back/Behind

When you need to describe something that’s located behind you.

Hòulái, wǒ zhōngyú míngbái, nǐ bìng bù ài wǒ.

Later, I finally understood that you don’t love me.

35. 直走 (zhí zǒu) — Go straight

The most straightforward direction of all!

Yánzhe zhè tiáo lù, zhí zǒu dàgài shí fēnzhōng jiù dàole.

Follow this road and walk straight for about ten minutes.

36. 地铁站 (dìtiě zhàn) — Metro station

An essential phrase for urban adventurers.

Zǎoshang liù diǎn, dìtiě zhàn jiù kāiménle.

At six o’clock in the morning, the subway station opened.

Airport express

37. 公交车 (gōngjiāo chē) — Bus

Hop on board and explore the city like a true local.

Wǒ chūxíng bù xǐhuān dā gōngjiāo chē, xǐhuān dā dìtiě.

I don’t like taking buses when traveling, I like taking the subway.

38. 火车站 (huǒchē zhàn) — Train station

The gateway to endless adventures.

Wǒ dé tíqián qù huǒchē zhàn hòuchē.

I have to go to the train station in advance to wait for the train.

39. 飞机场 (fēijī chǎng) — Airport

The place where dreams take flight.

Fēijī chǎng lǐ tíng mǎnle fēijī.

The airport is full of planes.

40. 出口 (chūkǒu) — Exit

Find your way out of mazes (and labyrinthine shopping centers).

Dà shāngchǎng yībān dōu yǒu hǎojǐ gè chūkǒu.

Large shopping malls usually have several exits.

Related Reading: SMART Goals for Learning Chinese

Food and dining

Prepare your taste buds for a culinary extravaganza! In this section, we’ll dive into the vibrant world of Chinese cuisine. From ordering food to exploring street stalls, you’ll learn the essential phrases to navigate menus, express your preferences, and immerse yourself in the delightful flavors of China. Get ready to savor the fusion of taste, culture, and tradition that awaits you.

Food and dining in China

41. 饭店 (fàndiàn) — Restaurant

When hunger strikes, this phrase will guide you to culinary bliss.

Zhōngwǔ bù zuò fàn, qù fàndiàn chī ba?

Let’s not cook lunch. Let’s go eat at a restaurant.

42. 菜单 (càidān) — Menu

Get ready to tantalize your taste buds by perusing the menu.


Máfan gěi wǒ yī fèn càidān kàn kàn.

Could you give me a menu please?

43. 我要点这个 (wǒ yào diǎn zhège) — I’ll have this one

Point at the dish you desire and utter this phrase to satisfy your cravings.

Nǐ hǎo, wǒ yàodiǎn zhège zhāopái cài, xièxiè.

Hi, I’d like to order this signature dish, thank you.

44. 筷子 (kuàizi) — Chopsticks

Master the art of chopstick manipulation for an authentic dining experience.

Zhōngguó rén dōu xíguàn yòng kuàizi chīfàn jiā cài.

Chinese people are accustomed to using chopsticks to eat and pick up vegetables.

45. 饺子 (jiǎozi) — Dumplings

Taste the mouthwatering pockets of joy that are synonymous with Chinese cuisine.

Nǐ xǐhuān chī shénme xiàn de jiǎozi ní?

What kind of dumplings do you like to eat?

46. 炒饭 (chǎofàn) — Fried rice

A staple dish that will keep you fueled throughout your journey.

Lǎobǎn, máfan gěi wǒ lái yī fèn chǎofàn.

Boss, please bring me a piece of fried rice.

47. 面条 (miàntiáo) — Noodles

From street—side stalls to upscale restaurants, noodles are a must—try in China.

Zhōngwǔ wǒ jiù chīle yī wǎn miàntiáo.

I had a bowl of noodles at noon.

48. 辣 (là) — Spicy

Embrace the heat and prepare your taste buds for a fiery adventure.

Zhège làjiāo chǎo ròu tài làle.

This chili fried pork is too spicy.

49. 饮料 (yǐnliào) — Beverage

Quench your thirst with a refreshing drink to complement your meal.

Wǒ bù xǐhuān hē yǐnliào, xǐhuān hē wēn kāishuǐ.

I don’t like to drink beverages. I like to drink warm water.

50. 请给我账单 (qǐng gěi wǒ zhàngdān) — Please bring me the bill

Time to settle the score and wrap up a delightful meal.

Qǐng gěi wǒ zhàngdān, wǒ xūyào zǐxì héduì.

Please give me the bill, I need to check it carefully.

Related Reading: How to Order Chinese Food in a Chinese Restaurant

Shopping and bargaining

Ready to unleash your inner shopaholic? In this section, we’ll embark on a shopping spree through the bustling markets of China. Learn how to navigate stores, ask for prices, and master the art of bargaining like a pro. From souvenirs to fashion finds, you’ll become a savvy shopper and snag the best deals while immersing yourself in the vibrant shopping culture of China.

51. 商店 (shāngdiàn) — Shop/store

Explore the diverse world of shopping in China.

Wǒ xǐhuān qù lóu xià de shāngdiàn mǎi dōngxī.

I like to go to the store downstairs to buy things.

52. 多少钱 (duōshao qián) — How much is it?

Unleash your bargaining skills with this key question.

Qǐngwèn zhè liàng zìxíngchē duōshǎo qián?
How much does this bike cost?

53. 太贵了 (tài guì le) — Too expensive

When you need to let the vendor know that their initial price is out of your budget.


Xiànzài de fángzi tài guìle, hěnduō rén mǎi bù qǐ.

Nowadays, houses are too expensive and many can’t afford them.

Food and vegetables

54. 便宜一点 (piányi yìdiǎn) — Cheaper, please

Bargaining 101 — politely ask for a lower price.

Lǎobǎn, zhè jiàn yīfú kěyǐ piányí yīdiǎn ma?

Boss, can this dress be cheaper?

55. 我要买这个 (wǒ yào mǎi zhège) — I want to buy this

Express your desire to own that beautiful souvenir or stylish garment.

Māmā, wǒ yāomǎi zhège wánjù.

Mom, I want to buy this toy.

56. 大小 (dàxiǎo) — Size

Ensure a perfect fit by mastering this essential word.

Zhè jiàn yīfú de dàxiǎo gèng hǎo shìhé nǐ.

The size of this dress suits you better.

57. 有没有打折 (yǒu méiyǒu dǎzhé) — Is there a discount?

Discover the world of sales and discounts in Chinese markets.

Értóng mǎi fēijī piào yǒu méiyǒu dǎzhé de?

Are there any discounts on air tickets for children?

58. 我可以试一下吗 (wǒ kěyǐ shì yíxià ma) — Can I try this on?

Don’t be shy — ask to try on that trendy outfit and unleash your inner fashionista.

Zhè tiáo qúnzi wǒ kěyǐ shì yīxià ma?

Can I try on this skirt?

59. 这是真的吗 (zhè shì zhēn de ma) — Is this real?

Make sure you’re getting an authentic product by asking this crucial question.

Wǎngshàng shuō nǐ yǐjīng jiéhūnle, zhè shì zhēn de ma?

It says online that you are married. Is this true?

60. 谢谢,我会考虑的 (xièxiè, wǒ huì kǎolǜ de) — Thank you, I’ll think about it

Master the art of gracefully declining and keeping your options open.


Wǒmen xuéxiào zài zhāo zhōngwén lǎoshī, nǐ yǒu xìngqù liǎo jiè yīxià ma?

Our school is recruiting Chinese teachers. Are you interested in finding out?

Xièxiè, wǒ huì kǎolǜ de, míngtiān gěi nǐ dáfù.

Thank you, I will consider it and get back to you tomorrow.

Related Reading: Can You Learn Chinese In 5 Minutes?

Weather and seasons

From sunny skies to snow-covered landscapes, the weather sets the stage for every adventure. In this section, we’ll explore how to talk about the weather and express our affinity for each season. Whether you’re enjoying the warmth of summer or reveling in the magic of a winter wonderland, you’ll have the phrases to connect with nature and stay prepared for any weather forecast.

61. 天气 (tiānqì) — Weather

Strike up conversations about the ever-changing atmospheric conditions.

Jīntiān tiānqì zhēn hǎo, shìhé chūyóu.

The weather is really nice today, suitable for traveling.

62. 夏天 (xiàtiān) — Summer

Embrace the warmth and soak up the summer vibes.

Duì wǒ lái shuō, xiàtiān de wèidào jiùshì xīguā.

To me, the flavor of summer is watermelon.

63. 冬天 (dōngtiān) — Winter

Bundle up and explore the winter wonderland that China becomes.

Hánlěng de dōngtiān zuì héshì chī huǒguō.

The cold winter is the best time to eat hot pot.

64. 春天 (chūntiān) — Spring

Witness the rebirth of nature and immerse yourself in the beauty of blooming flowers.

Chūntiān, wànwù fùsū de kāishǐ.

Spring marks the renewal of all things.

65. 秋天 (qiūtiān) — Autumn/Fall

Be captivated by the breathtaking colors of fall foliage.

Qiūtiān, fēngshōu de jìjié.

Autumn, the season of harvest.

66. 晴天 (qíngtiān) — Sunny day

The perfect weather to explore outdoor attractions and enjoy a picnic.

Dà qíngtiān jiù shìhé shài bèizi.

Sunny days are great for drying a quilt.

67. 阴天 (yīntiān) — Cloudy day

When the sun decides to take a break, the clouds set the stage for a cozy day indoors.

Liánzhe jǐ tiān de yīn tiān, zhēn ràng rén tǎoyàn.

It’s been cloudy for a few days now. How annoying.

68. 下雨 (xiàyǔ) — It’s raining

Don’t let the rain dampen your spirits; embrace the beauty of a rainy day.

Shāshā shā, xià yǔ de shēngyīn zhēn hǎotīng.

The rustling sound of rain is soothing.

69. 刮风 (guāfēng) — It’s windy

Hold on tight to your hat, or you might just find it floating away!

Bùguǎn guā fēng háishì xià yǔ, wǒ dū yào zhǔnshí shàngbān.

I’ve to get to work on time even if it’s windy or raining.

70. 雪 (xuě) — Snow

Experience the magic of a snowy day and create lifelong memories.

Chuāngwài yīpiàn bái mángmáng, xuě hái zài jìxù xià.

It was completely white outside the window as the snow kept on falling.

Related Reading: How to Speak Chinese?

Time and days of the week

Tick-tock, time is of the essence! In this section, we’ll dive into the world of timekeeping and days of the week. From asking for the time to scheduling appointments, you’ll learn how to navigate daily routines and stay organized. Let’s go over the basic Chinese words for days of the week, embrace the present moment, mark our calendars, and make the most of every day.

71. 时间 (shíjiān) — Time

Keep track of your schedule and appointments with this vital word.

Shíjiān zhēn de cúnzài ma?

Does time really exist?

72. 星期几 (xīngqī jǐ) — What day is it?

Never miss a beat by staying on top of the current day.

Jīntiān xīngqí jǐ?

What day of the week is it today?


Jīntiān xīngqísì.

It’s Thursday today.

73. 今天 (jīntiān) — Today

Embrace the present and make the most of every moment.


Hǎo de xíguàn jiùshì jīntiān shìqíng, jīntiān wánchéng.

A good habit is to finish today’s tasks, today.

74. 昨天 (zuótiān) — Yesterday

Reflect on past adventures and memories.

Zuótiān yǐ chéng guòqù, zhǐ shèng huíyì.

Yesterday is history, and only memories remain.

75. 明天 (míngtiān) — Tomorrow

Stay excited about the endless possibilities that tomorrow brings.


Cóng míngtiān kāishǐ, zuò gè xìngfú de rén.

I’ll be a happy person from tomorrow onwards.

76. 周一 (zhōuyī) — Monday

Kickstart your week with energy and enthusiasm.

Zhōuyī, yǎnyānyīxī.
Mondays, so full of dread.

77. 周二 (zhōuèr) — Tuesday

Say goodbye to Monday blues and keep the momentum going.

Zhōu’èr de huìyì qǔxiāole.

Tuesday’s meeting was canceled.

78. 周三 (zhōusān) — Wednesday

Find your midweek groove and stay focused on your goals.

Zhōusān, wúxīn bān zhuān.

Slogging along on a Wednesday.

79. 周四 (zhōusì) — Thursday

The bridge between midweek and the upcoming weekend.

Zhōu sì, mō yú dù rì.

Skiving on a Thursday.

80. 周五 (zhōuwǔ) — Friday

Feel the anticipation in the air as the weekend draws near.

Zhōu wǔ, shēnglónghuóhǔ.

Full of energy on a Friday.

Related Reading: Making Sense of Chinese Words

Chinese calenders

Emergency phrases

Safety first! In this section, we’ll equip you with the basic Chinese phrases to handle emergencies with confidence. From seeking medical help to reporting incidents, you’ll learn how to communicate your needs and ensure your well-being. So, rest assured knowing that you’re prepared to handle unexpected situations and seek assistance when needed.

81. 帮助 (bāngzhù) — Help

When in distress, reach out for assistance with this powerful word.

Zhè yīcì tài xièxiè nǐ de bāngzhùle.

Thanks for your help this time.

82. 医院 (yīyuàn) — Hospital

Stay prepared for unforeseen circumstances by knowing the location of the nearest 

medical facility.

Wǒ zài yīyuàn shàngbān.

I work at a hospital.

83. 警察 (jǐngchá) — Police

In case of emergencies or incidents, the police can provide the necessary support.

Yǒu kùnnán zhǎo jǐngchá.

If you have trouble, contact the police.

84. 火灾 (huǒzāi) — Fire

Be alert and ready to report any fire-related incidents promptly.

Fāxiàn huǒzāi, dì yī shíjiān bàojǐng.

If you spot a fire, call the police right away.

85. 危险 (wēixiǎn) — Danger

Stay cautious and aware of your surroundings to ensure your safety.

Dúzì lǚyóu, wéixiǎn ma?

Is it dangerous to travel alone?

travel in china

86. 我丢失了我的包 (wǒ diūshī le wǒ de bāo) — I lost my bag

Don’t panic if you misplace your belongings; this phrase will come to your rescue.


Yī bù zhùyì, wǒ diūshīle wǒ de bāo, lǐmiàn yǒu wǒ de shēnfèn zhèng.

In a moment of carelessness, I lost my bag which contains my ID.

87. 医疗急救 (yīliáo jíjiù) — Medical emergency

When immediate medical attention is required, communicate this urgency clearly.

Zhèxiē yīliáo jíjiù de chángshì, nǐ jì zhùle ma?

Do you remember these common sense medical emergency tips?

88. 抢劫 (qiǎngjié) — Robbery

Though we hope you never need to use this phrase, it’s essential to be prepared.

Jìngrán hái yǒurén qù yínháng qiǎngjié, zhè shì duō xiǎngbùkāi a?

To think there are still people who rob banks, how crazy is that?

89. 我需要报警 (wǒ xūyào bàojǐng) — I need to call the police

When situations require the intervention of law enforcement, this phrase will ensure prompt action.

Wúyuán wúgù bèi rén dǎle, wǒ xūyào bàojǐng.

I was assaulted for no reason. I need to call the police.

90. 糟糕 (zāogāo) — Oh no!/Oops!

A versatile exclamation to express surprise, disappointment, or minor mishaps.

Fēngyǔ jiāojiā de tiānqì, zhēnshi tài zāogāole.

The weather’s really bad with the wind and rain.

Related Reading: How Many Mandarin Words Do I Need To Learn To Be Fluent?

Expressions and fun phrases

Language isn’t just about practicality — it’s about connection and expression. In this section, we’ll explore a collection of fun phrases and expressions that will help you connect with locals and add flair to your conversations. From compliments to invitations, you’ll master the art of expressing yourself and leave a lasting impression as you embrace the richness of Mandarin Chinese.

91. 加油 (jiāyóu) — Let’s go!/Keep it up!

Cheer on yourself or others with this motivational phrase.

Jìxù jiāyóu, nǐ shì zuì bàng de!

Keep it up! You’re the best!

92. 恭喜发财 (gōngxǐ fācái) — Congratulations and prosperity!

Wish others well and spread the joy.

Gōngxǐ fācái, hóngbāo ná lái.

I wish you great wealth! Now, please give me a red packet.

93. 祝你生日快乐 (zhù nǐ shēngrì kuàilè) — Happy birthday to you!

Celebrate special occasions with this festive phrase. And check out all you need to know about Chinese birthdays for more birthday fun.

Bàba, zhù nǐ shēngrì kuàilè!

Happy birthday, Dad!

Lǎogōng, zhù nǐ shēngrì kuàilè.

Happy birthday to you, husband.

Happy birthday in China

94. 祝你好运 (zhù nǐ hǎoyùn) — Good luck to you!

Boost the morale of your friends and loved ones with this supportive expression.


Nǐ míngtiān kǎoshìle, zhù nǐ hǎo yùn.

You have an exam tomorrow, so I wish you good luck.

Chéngjī kuài gōngbùle, zhù nǐ hǎo yùn!

The results will be announced soon! I wish you good luck!

95. 祝你旅途愉快 (zhù nǐ lǚtú yúkuài) — Have a pleasant journey!

Bid farewell to fellow travelers with this kind wish.


Kuài shàng chē ba, zhù nǐ lǚtú yúkuài.

Go on, get on board, and have a pleasant journey.

96. 有空我们一起出去玩吧 (yǒu kòng wǒmen yìqǐ chūqù wán ba) — Let’s hang out when we’re free!

Make plans and nurture new friendships with this fun invitation.

Hěn gāoxìng rènshí nǐ, yǒu kòng wǒmen yīqǐ chūqù wán ba!

Pleasure to meet you! Let’s hang out when we’re free!

97. 你真棒 (nǐ zhēn bàng) — You’re awesome!

Boost someone’s self-esteem with this powerful compliment.


Nǐ zhēn bàng, shénme dōu dǒng.

You’re awesome! You know everything.

Xiǎomíng, nǐ zhēn bàng, xué dé hǎo kuài!

Xiaoming, you’re awesome! You learn so fast!

98. 我爱你 (wǒ ài nǐ) — I love you

Express your affection and deepen your bonds with this heartfelt phrase. There’s a whole new level of confidence you gain when you learn how to express your love in Chinese!


Lǎopó, wǒ ài nǐ.

My dear wife, I love you.


Lǎogōng, wǒ yě ài nǐ.

My dear husband, I love you too.

99. 你是我的朋友 (nǐ shì wǒ de péngyǒu) — You are my friend

Celebrate friendship and let your pals know they’re cherished.


Bùyòng xiè, yīnwèi nǐ shì wǒ de péngyǒu.

You’re welcome, because you are nmy friend.

100. 谢谢,我会记住你的帮助 (xièxiè, wǒ huì jìzhu nǐ de bāngzhù) — Thank you, I will remember your help

Express gratitude and assure others that their kindness won’t be forgotten.

Xièxiè nǐ bāng wǒ bānjiā, wǒ huì jì zhù nǐ de bāngzhù.

Thank you for helping me move, I will remember your help.

Related Reading: The Definitive Guide to Chinese Proverbs, Sayings, and Quotes


Get ready to paint your world with vibrant hues! In this section, we’ll explore the beautiful spectrum of colors in Mandarin Chinese. From fiery red to serene blue, we’ll delve into the meanings and associations behind each shade. Discover how colors play a significant role in Chinese culture and language as we unlock the secrets of the rainbow.

101. 红色 (hóngsè) — Red

The color of passion and luck.


Wǒ yǒuyī jiàn hóngsè de wàitào.

I have a red jacket.

102. 蓝色 (lánsè) — Blue

Symbolizing tranquility and calmness.


Lán sè de tiānkōng shàng piāo láile yī duǒ báiyún.

A white cloud floated by on the blue skies.

103. 黄色 (huángsè) — Yellow

Associated with sunshine and happiness.

Tā sòng gěi wǒ yītiáo huángsè de máojīn.

She gave me a yellow towel.

104. 绿色 (lǜsè) — Green

The color of nature and growth.

Chuāngwài yīpiàn lǜsè, hǎo yǎngyǎn.

The green outdoors through the window is so refreshing.

105. 紫色 (zǐsè) — Purple

Representing royalty and elegance.


Zǐsè de pútáo bǐjiào tián.

Purple grapes are sweeter.

106. 橙色 (chéngsè) — Orange

Vibrant and energetic, just like the fruit.


Wǒ dì nà jiàn chéngsè wàitào bùjiànle.

My orange jacket is gone.

orange jacket

107. 粉色 (fěnsè) — Pink

Often associated with sweetness and femininity.


Wǒjiā háizi xǐhuān chuān fěnsè de qúnzi.

My child loves to wear pink skirts.

108. 黑色 (hēisè) — Black

Symbolizing mystery and sophistication.


Zhōngguó rén de tóufǎ yībān shì hēisè de.

Chinese people usually have black-colored hair.

109. 白色 (báisè) — White

Signifying purity and simplicity.


Báisè de qiáng, huīsè de wǎ.

White walls, gray tiles.

110. 颜色 (yánsè) — Color

Use this word to talk about any color you encounter.


Nǐ xǐhuān shénme yàng de yánsè?

What color do you like?

Emotions and feelings

Emotions are the kaleidoscope of our inner world, and expressing them is a universal language. In this section, we’ll dive into the realm of emotions and feelings in Mandarin Chinese. Whether you’re feeling ecstatic, melancholic, or somewhere in between, we’ll equip you with the vocabulary to accurately convey your emotions. Get ready to embrace the rollercoaster ride of human sentiment and connect with others on a deeper level.

111. 开心 (kāixīn) — Happy

When your heart is filled with joy and delight.


Jīntiān wǒ de hǎo péngyǒu yào lái kàn wǒ, wǒ shízài tài kāixīnle.

My pals are coming to visit me today. I’m so happy!

112. 难过 (nánguò) — Sad

When you’re feeling down or experiencing sorrow.


Xiǎo gǒu diūle, wǒ gǎnjué hěn nánguò.

I’m so sad that my puppy is lost.


113. 激动 (jīdòng) — Excited

That exhilarating feeling of anticipation and enthusiasm.


Huáizhe jīdòng de xīnqíng, wǒ bān jìnle xīnjiā.

Full of excitement, I moved into my new home.

114. 紧张 (jǐnzhāng) — Nervous

When butterflies start fluttering in your stomach.


Miàn duì xīn’ài de nǚ háizi, tā yǒudiǎn jǐnzhāng.

He was a little nervous in front of the girl he loved.

115. 生气 (shēngqì) — Angry

When frustration gets the best of you.


Tā shuǎi shàngmén, shēngqì de zǒule.

He slammed the door and left angrily.

116. 害怕 (hàipà) — Scared

That feeling of fear or unease creeping in.


Wǒ hàipà yīgè rén shuìjiào.

I’m afraid of sleeping alone.

117. 惊讶 (jīngyà) — Surprised

When something catches you off guard and leaves you in awe.


Tīng dào gōngsī cáiyuán de xiāoxī, wǒmen dōu gǎndào hěn jīngyà.

We were all surprised to hear about the company’s layoffs.

118. 平静 (píngjìng) — Calm

The serenity that washes over you in peaceful moments.


Zhīdào zìjǐ kǎole 100 fēn hòu, tā de xīnqíng jiǔjiǔ bùnéng píngjìng.

He couldn’t stay calm  after knowing that he had scored 100 points in the exam.

119. 感激 (gǎnjī) — Grateful

The warm and thankful feeling that fills your heart.


Lǎobǎn yòu zhǎng wǒ gōngzīle, ràng wǒ xīnlǐ chōngmǎn gǎnjī.

I’m so grateful to my boss for increasing my salary again.

120. 累 (lèi) — Tired

When you’re in need of a good rest and some relaxation.


Shàngle yītiān de bān, wǒ gǎnjué hěn lèi.

After a day’s work, I feel very tired.

Related Reading: The Ultimate Guide to Learning Chinese Online 

Embrace the power of Mandarin Chinese and unleash your linguistic superpowers

Congratulations, intrepid language learners! You’ve made it to the end of our thrilling journey through 120 basic Chinese words and phrases. With this newfound knowledge, you’ll be able to survive and thrive in China with confidence.

Remember, language learning is not just about words; it’s about building bridges, embracing culture, and forging meaningful connections. So go forth, explore, and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Mandarin Chinese. 加油 (jiāyóu)!

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