10 Most Useful Chinese Phrases and Expressions!

In China, a simple handshake or a kind greeting can go a long way. But speaking a little bit of Chinese can make a huge difference. You can create meaningful connections and get to experience Chinese culture. Get started and learn about the most useful Chinese phrases and expressions that you can use every day in China!

10 Most Useful Chinese Phrases and Expressions

Chinese people are very warm and friendly. They’re not shy to ask questions or converse with you. To help you make new friends, here are 10 of the most basic Chinese phrases and expressions!

1. 你好!Ni Hao – Hello/Hi
2. 你好吗?Ni Hao Ma? – How are you?
3. 很高兴认识你 Hen Gao Xing Ren Shi Ni – Glad to see you/Nice to meet you
4. 你叫什么名字?Ni Jao Shenme Mingzi – What’s your name?
5. 我叫 Wo Jiao – My name is…
6. 谢谢!Xiexie! – Thank you! or 非常感谢!Feichang Ganxie – Thank you so much!
7. 请问…? Qingwen…? – Could I ask…? (This is a polite way to ask a question)
8. 好的!Hao de! – OK!
9. 不好意思,可以问个路玛? Bu Haoyisi, Keyi Wen Ge Lu Ma? – Excuse me, could I ask for some directions?
10. 可以帮个忙吗?Keyi Bang Ge Mang Ma? – Could you help me?

More Chinese Words to Learn!

Generally speaking, you can address Chinese people by their family or first name. You can also place Mr. or Ms. in front of their names. This is commonly used in China and is therefore widely accepted.

An important part of Chinese language basics is addressing elders properly. Respect for elders is very important in Chinese tradition and culture. Therefore, you need to learn the right way to address them.

So, if you’re talking to a much older person than yourself, you can address him/her as “elder” followed by the surname. For example, Elder Li. If you’re speaking with someone younger, you can address him/her as “younger” then the surname.


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Content crafter at China Admissions with nine years of professional writing experience. Fil-Chinese who honors my heritage every day. On a fascinating journey exploring China and tracing my ancestry. See China through my lens.
Christine Chiu

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