Daily Routine in Chinese

Posted by Lilian Li on Jan 5, 2017

daily routine in Chinese


Whether you are staying in China for business or education, it is likely that you will be talking about your daily routine, to set a date, for example, or change schedule or simply introduce yourself and let people know you better. So this article will offer a few tips on how to talk about your daily routine in Chinese in five minutes!

First, you need to know how to express time:

Year - 年 nián
Date - 日/ 号 rì / hào
Month -月 yuè
Weekday - 星期 xīng qī

When expressing year, month and date, just add the number before the word年nián, 月yuè, 日/ 号 rì / hào. However, be careful when you read the year. For example, the year 2016 in Chinese is “2016 nián” and is read as “èr líng yī liù nián,” which means you need to read the numbers one by one: two, zero, one, six year.” However, for days of the week, from Monday to Saturday just add the numbers from 1 to 6 after the word 星期 xīng qī. But for Sunday, it’s xīngqī tiān.

Horological time:

O'clock - 点 diǎn
Quarter - 刻 kè
30 min - 半 bàn
Minute - 分 fēn

For horological time words, just add the number before the words to indicate time. For example:

7:30 am: 早上七点半 zǎoshang qīdiǎn bàn
10:00 am: 上午十点 shàngwǔ shí diǎn
12:15am: 中午十二点一刻 zhōng wǔ shíèr diǎn yī kè
3:45 pm: 下午三点三刻/ 下午四点差一刻 xiàwǔ sān diǎn sān kè / xiàwǔ sì diǎn chà yī kè
8: 20 pm: 晚上八点二十(分)wǎnshang bā diǎn èr shí (fēn)

Daily activites:

At work 在公司 zài gōngsī

Go to work 上班 shàngbān
Finish work 下班 xiàbān
Have a meeting 开会 kāihuì
Meet a client 见客户 jiàn kèhù
Go to the factory 去工厂 qù gōngchǎng
Sign a contract 签合同 qiān hé tóng

At school 在学校 zài xuéxiào

Go to school 上学 shàng xué
Finish a lesson 下课 xià kè
Have a lesson 上课 shàng kè
Have an exam 考试 kǎo shì

At home/ outside zài jiā/ wàimian

Get up 起床 qǐchuáng
Brush teeth 刷牙 shuāyá
Wash face 洗脸 xǐliǎn
Shave beard 刮胡子 guā húzi
Take a shower 洗澡 xǐzǎo
Change clothes 换衣服 huàn yīfu
Eat breakfast/lunch/dinner 吃早饭/中饭/晚饭 chī zǎofàn /zhōngfàn /wǎnfàn
Take metro/bus/taxi 坐地铁/公共汽车/出租车 zuò dìtiě /gōnggòng qìchē /chūzū chē

Now, you have all the words, so the only thing you need to do is to put the words together into a sentence. Here is basic sentence construction:

Subject + Time + Place + Verb + Object.

For example:

1. I get up at 6am, eat breakfast at home and take the metro to work at 7:15.
我早上六点半起床,在家吃早饭,七点一刻坐地铁上班。
Wǒ zǎoshang liù diǎn bàn qǐchuáng, zài jiā chī zǎofàn, qī diǎn yī kè zuò dìtiě shàng bān.

2. I have a meeting at 9:30 at the office.
我上午九点半在公司开会。
Wǒ shàngwǔ jiǔ diǎn bàn zài gōng sī kāihuì.

Now, it's your turn to tell me about your daily routine!

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About The Author

Lilian Li

Lilian Li has a master's degree in linguistics and didactics from Rennes University in France. An expert in linguistics and educational psychology, she has taught Chinese as a foreign language for several years, primarily in France.

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