50 Most Useful Mandarin Chinese Words and Phrases for Social Occasions

Published on 02 February 2021

Language is a bridge between people. Using each the person’s language for greetings or chatting when meeting them for the first time can immediately shorten the distance between you.

Nowadays, there are more and more opportunities to encounter Chinese people in our work, study and lives, often through the Internet.

Even if you haven't planned to travel to China yet, even if you haven't planned to start studying Chinese seriously, knowing a few simple Chinese phrases or sentences can come in very handy and can help you establish new relationships quickly.

To help you, here are 50 or so of the most basic and common Chinese phrases and sentences that are frequently used in first meetings and early conversations

Memorise them and use them flexibly, so that you will have unexpected success when meeting Chinese people for the first time and hopefully make some new friends.

Chinese

Pin yin

English

你好

nǐ hǎo

Hello/ hey

你好吗

nǐ hǎo ma

How are you?

吃了吗

(nǐ) chī le ma

Have you eaten yet? or how are you?

你贵姓

nǐ guì xìng

What’s your family name?

我很好

wǒ hěn hǎo

I’m fine/good

谢谢

xiè xiè

Thanks /thank you

非常感谢

fēi cháng gǎn xiè

Thank you very much/ appreciate

qǐng

Please

请问

qǐng wèn

Excuse me

你真棒

nǐ zhēn bàng

You are great

真有意思

zhēn yǒu yì sī

Interesting

太好了

tài hǎo le

Very good

生日快乐

shēng rì kuài lè

Happy birthday

新年快乐

xīn nián kuài lè

Happy new year

恭喜发财

gōng xǐ fā cái

Wish you prosperity

恭喜恭喜

gōng xǐ gōng xǐ

Congratulations

对不起

duì bú qǐ

I’m sorry

请原谅

qǐng yuán liàng

Please forgive me

没关系

méi guān xì

That’s all right

没问题

méi wèn tí

No problem

等一会儿

děng yī huì ér

Please wait a moment

不好意思

bú hǎo yì sī

Sorry/excuse me

什么意思

shí me yì sī

Pardon

我不知道

wǒ bú zhī dào

I don’t know

我不懂

wǒ bú dǒng

I don’t understand

我明白了

wǒ míng bái le

I see

再见

zài jiàn

Good bye

回头见

huí tóu jiàn

See you in a while

祝你好运

zhù nǐ hǎo yùn

Good luck

祝你周末愉快

zhù nǐ zhōu mò yú kuài

Have a nice weekend

保持联系

bǎo chí lián xì

Keep in touch

我的名字是

wǒ de míng zì shì

My name is

我从英国来

wǒ cóng yīng guó lái

I come from UK

认识你很高兴

rèn shí nǐ hěn gāo xìng

Nice to meet you

你叫什么名字

nǐ jiào shí me míng zì

What’s your name?

我会说一点中文

wǒ huì shuō yī diǎn zhōng wén

I can speak some Chinese

你的英语很好

nǐ de yīng yǔ hěn hǎo

Your English is very good

今天天气不错

jīn tiān tiān qì bú cuò

The weather’s not bad today

你有什么爱好

nǐ yǒu shénme ài hǎo

Do you have a hobby?

我喜欢中国美食

wǒ xǐ huān zhōng guó měi shí

I love Chinese food

你想喝点什么?

nǐ xiǎng hē diǎn shí me

What would you like to drink?

干 杯

gàn bēi

Cheers!

我请客

wǒ qǐng kè

My treat

一共多少钱

yī gòng duō shǎo qián

How much in total?

可以用信用卡付款吗

kě yǐ yòng xìn yòng kǎ fù kuǎn ma

May I pay by card?

买单

mǎi dān

Take the bill please

可以帮我一个忙吗

kě yǐ bāng wǒ yī gè máng ma

Can you help me?

请问洗手间在哪里

qǐng wèn xǐ shǒu jiān zài nǎ lǐ 

Excuse me, where’s the toilet?

期待和你再次见面

qī dài hé nǐ zài cì jiàn miàn

Looking forward to see you again soon

保重

bǎo zhòng

Take care

我会想念你的

wǒ huì xiǎng niàn nǐ de

I’ll miss you

 

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