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How to Say I Miss You in Chinese

Posted by Julia Song on July 12, 2016

I miss you in Chinese

I miss you is a high frequency sentence in English, right? We always say I miss you to our lovers or parents or friends. This sentence is also common used in Chinese, so let's learn how to say I miss you today.

1. First, you need to know the four tones:

The first tone is a high and flat tone. In pinyin, it is written as a short line over a letter. For example, ā. It is similar to putting the stress on a syllable in an English word. Take, for instance, the word "awesome." The stress on this word is on the first syllable – Awe-some. So the first tone in Mandarin is a higher pitch, as in the stress on a syllable in English.

- The second tone is similar to the tone when you use in the English word "What?" to ask a question. It rises from the middle of the pitch. In pinyin, the second tone is written like an accent mark. So such a mark over the letter "a" would look like this: á. The second tone is often called the rising tone.

- The third tone starts in the middle and it goes down quickly and then rises up, so it is called the falling-rising tone. It is not the same as a second tone because it starts lower, falls down a little, and then goes back up again to the middle sound. The closest sound in English is "huh?" when said in disgust. In pinyin, the third tone is written as small "u" shape over a letter, like this: ǎ.

- The fourth tone is the shortest tone which starts high and falls rapidly. The stress would be similar to the stress when saying a strong "No!"

2. How to say I miss you in Chinese

我 想 你

wǒ xiǎng nǐ

I miss you

Be careful:
There is a pronunciation rule in Chinese: when a third tone word is followed by a third tone word, the second word will turn into a second tone. This means, the phrase "我想你 wǒ xiǎng nǐ" will be "我想你wǒ xiáng nǐ."

3.Add adverbs to show a different level of intensity

Learning one way to say I miss you in Chinese is not enough. Here are some adverbs you can put before the verb "想xiǎng," each presenting a different level of intensity. You probably already know how much Chinese people love to use "很hěn, "very," in a sentence, even though "very" is not a literal meaning. So, "很hěn" should not be stressed.

This table helps you choose a proper adverb before saying the sentence.

S Adv





不太bútài (not very)




有点儿yǒudiǎnr ( a little bit)

很 hěn (very, not necessarily mean it)

非常 fēicháng (very much)

特别 tèbié (especially)

太tài (too, so...)







死sǐ (extremely)

4. Formal expressions of I miss you:

Here, I also introduce two formal verbs as a substitute for "想xiǎng."

- 思念sī niàn
- 想念xiǎng niàn

These two words are much more formal than just "想xiǎng," which will be found in poems, novels or other literary works.

5. Do you miss me?

To know how to ask the question, "Do you miss me?" is extremely easy!

You just add the word "吗ma" after "你想我 Nǐ xiǎng wǒ," turns into "你想我吗?Nǐ xiǎng wǒ ma?"

In a Chinese sentence, the word "吗ma" is a question word, which is put after an affirmative sentence to make it a Yes/No question.

After today's lesson, I think you already know how to say "I miss you" in Chinese. If you want to learn more daily Chinese, contact us here and let our teachers help you!

About The Author

Julia Song

Julia Song is a Chinese learning teacher at Hanbridge Mandarin. Julia Song excels at linguistic pedagogy and one-on-one instruction with 8 years teaching experience and her cheerful attitude and close attention to her students' progress make her an excellent Mandarin teacher for students of all levels.

Learn Chinese online with Julia Song>>

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