Polite Expression in Chinese

Posted by Lilian Li on May 3, 2017

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Being polite to people requires not only a good manner but also some polite expressions, especially when you are talking to the elders and strangers. So, how many polite expressions do you know in Chinese?

Greetings

nǐ hǎo 你好 & nín hǎo 您好 Hello

‘你好’ must be the very first and the most common word that you heard in Chinese, even for the people who haven’t study Chinese before. It’s useful for most of the people but would be sound not that polite if the person you meet is an elder. Thus, there has another version of ‘你好’ which is ‘您好’. I have a foreigner friend who are in the same age with me and says ‘您好’ to me all the time, although he want to show his politeness to me, it makes me feel unease for being too polite. So please note that there has no need to say ‘您好’ all the time, but just to your betters and the people you honored to.

zǎo shàng hǎo
早上好: Good morning

xià wǔ hǎo
下午好: Good afternoon

xià wǔ hǎo
下午好: Good afternoon

wǎn shàng hǎo
晚上好: Good evening

hěn gāo xìng rèn shí nǐ
很高兴认识你: Nice to meet you

hǎo jiǔ bú jiàn
好久不见:Long time no see

qǐng 请: Please

‘请’ is a very welcoming word to use in daily work, phone call and asking for help.

qǐng zuò
请坐!Please take a seat.

qǐng shāo děng yī xià
请稍等一下。 Please kindly wait a moment.

qǐng wèn ,shēn zhèn dà xué zài nǎ
请问,深圳大学在哪? Excuse me, where is Shenzhen University?

qǐng nín zhǔn shí cān jiā huì yì
请您准时参加会议。 Please attend the conference on time.

qǐng bāng wǒ dǎ yìn chū lái
请帮我打印出来。Please help me to print it out.

rú guǒ nín yǒu rèn hé yí wèn ,qǐng suí shí hé wǒ lián xì 。
如果您有任何疑问,请随时和我联系。 If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Other polite expressions

duì bú qǐ
对不起:Sorry

bú hǎo yì sī
不好意思:Sorry

xiè xiè
谢谢Thank you

zài jiàn
再见:Goodbye

bú kè qì
不客气:You’re welcome

méi guān xì
没关系:It’s okay

zhù nín yī lù shùn fēng
祝您一路顺风:Bon voyage.

má fán nín le
麻烦您了:Sorry for troubling you.

qǐng wèn nín guì xìng
请问您贵姓?May I ask, what is your surname?

Now, I bet you have alreayd known some Chinese polite expressions. If you want to learn more Chinese daily phrases, you can book a free trial here and let our professional teachers help you now!

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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