Learn How to “Split the Bill” in Chinese!

How do you split the bill in Chinese? When you eat out with friends, family, or on a date, learn how to discuss paying the bill with Chinese teacher Angela from BLCU!

Will you split the bill when you eat out with your friends?

Nǐ gēn péngyou chīfàn huì AA zhì ma?

你跟朋友吃饭会AA制吗?

AA or AA制(zhì) means to split the bill.

It sounds like an English word but I think it is only used in China. And I don’t even know where this word AA in Chinese is coming from. Maybe means Algebraic Average.

Caroline and I are the same. We always split the bills when we eat out with friends.  Unless there is something special, such as a birthday, moving to a new house, and so on. We will pay for the friends on those special days.

Wǒ hē Caroline gēn péngyou chīfàn yìbān dōu huì AA. Chúfēi yǒu tèbié de rìzi, bǐrú guò shēngrì, bān le xīn fángzi děngdeng.

我和Caroline跟朋友吃饭一般都会AA。除非有特别的日子,比如过生日,搬了新房子等等。

split the bill in chinese

Wǒ qǐng kè.

我请客.

it’s my treat.

请(qǐng) means please.

客(kè) is from the word 客人(kèrén) guest. To treat means I’ll be the one to please the guests and pay for everything.

Jīntiān wǒ qǐng kè.

今天我请客。

split the bill in Chinese

OK, then who pays or who should pay on a date?

Caroline thought the boy should pay or they can pay in turns.

Yuèhuì de huà, tā juéde nánfāng fù huòzhě lúnliú fù bǐjiào hǎo.

约会的话,她觉得男方付或者轮流付比较好。

轮流(lúnliú) in turns

I thought if the boy ask me to split the bill or 我们AA吧(wǒmen AA ba). That has a meaning we won’t have the next date.

For family dinner, I have a very large family on my mom’s side. We’ll have dinner together during the Chinese New Year or other holidays. They will pay in turns. Like my aunt pay this time then my uncle will pay next.

In Caroline’s family, elder member of the family like grandparent will pay. Or big brother will treat his bother and sisters.

split the bill in Chinese

Wǒmen jiā shì zhǎngbèi qǐng kè.

我们家是长辈请客。

Alright! How about you? Leave us a comment and let us know if you will split the bill when you eat out with your friends, family, or on a date. Now that you know how to split the bill in Chinese, remember to practice with your Chinese colleagues and friends!

Nǐmen huì AA zhì ma?

你们会AA制吗?

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Savannah Billman has a master's degree in Chinese Law and Society at the Yenching Academy of Peking University. She holds a B.A. from NYU Shanghai and has also written for The World of Chinese, TechNode, SupChina, and Sixth Tone.
Savannah Billman
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