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Learn Animal Words in Chinese

Posted by Julia Song on April 8, 2016

Learn animal words in Chinese

Do you like animals? If you come to China, you definitely should go to the zoo. You will see lots of animals that you have never seen before. Today, let's learn how to say these animals in Chinese together!

1. List of common animals vocabulary in Chinese

猫 māo-cat

狗 ɡǒu-dog

猪 zhū-pig

狼 lánɡ-wolf

牛 niú-cow

鸡 jī-chicken

鹅 é-goose

蛇 shé-snake

龙 lónɡ-dragon

马 mǎ-horse


熊 xiónɡ-bear

鱼 yú-fish

鸟 niǎo-bird

豹 bào-leopard

鸭子 yā zi-duck

山羊 shān yánɡ-goat

绵羊 mián yánɡ-sheep

老虎 láo hǔ-tiger

大象 dà xiànɡ-elephant

狮子 shī zi-lion

乌龟 wū ɡuī-turtle

青蛙 qīnɡ wā-frog

蜻蜓 qīnɡ tínɡ-dragonfly

熊猫 xiónɡ māo-panda

企鹅 qǐ é-penguin

鲨鱼 shā yú-sharp

蜜蜂 mì fēnɡ-bee

犀牛 xī niú-rhinoceros

孔雀 kǒnɡ què-peacock

猫头鹰 māo tóu yīnɡ-owl

长颈鹿 chánɡ jǐnɡ lù-giraffe

2. Measure words for animal in Chinese

We know that in Chinese, measure words usually put before a noun. It is Number+Measure Word+Noun. There are different measure words for different animals.

"只 (zhǐ)" is the most commonly used word for animals. For example: 一只猫(yì zhī māo); 一只兔子(yì zhī tù zi); 一只熊猫(yì zhī xiónɡ māo). It is like a safety word for animals. If you are not sure, just use "只". "条 (tiáo)" is for some animals which with a long shape, such as "一条鱼"; "一条蛇"; "一条龙". "头(tóu)" is usually for those animals which are big. For example, "一头牛", "一头猪", "一头大象".

However, the above is just the common rules, there are lots exception example, you just can't find any rules about it. For example, "一匹马", and "匹" is just for the horse, any other animals will not use this word. "条" can be used before "狗", "一条狗" or "一只狗", both are ok.

Here is a chart for you to remember the measure words for animals easily.

measure words for animals

The content above is just a few animals words in Chinese. There are lots of other animals you may want to know. How about take a class and learn more from our teachers? Register here and get a free trial one-to-one Chinese class now!

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.

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