6 Small Talk Phrases in Chinese

7 mins read

Are you learning Chinese? If so, you’re probably wondering how to make small talk in Chinese. Whether you’re visiting China or communicating with locals in your hometown, small talk can be an essential tool to learn in any language, especially if you want to meet new people and make friends. Luckily, there are some universal phrases that will help get you started on your journey toward making small talk in Chinese. And it will be a great boost if you are looking to learn Chinese.

How To Say Good Morning in Chinese:

Good morning, 早上好。Zǎoshang hǎo.

This is one of most popular Chinese phrases, and for good reason: it’s short and easy to say! Use it when you meet someone in the morning or when you see a friend out of context.

For example, if you run into your coworker on your way to lunch or catch up with an old classmate while running errands after work. Good afternoon, 下午好。Xiàwǔ hǎo. Like good morning, good afternoon is pretty straightforward and very useful. You can use it when you meet people during lunch time or after work as well as at any other time during daylight hours.<This part should talk about – like:跟…一样的 Good evening, 晚上好。Wǎnshàng hǎo .

Although not quite as common as good morning or good afternoon, saying good evening isn’t totally unheard of either.

How To Say I Love You in Chinese

我爱你 (Wǒ ài nǐ)

These little words are easy to say, but they pack a big punch. While it’s a wonderful feeling to be in love, it can also be overwhelming if you and your Chinese partner aren’t on the same page regarding love and commitment. Love is tricky enough in English—try translating that into Chinese! One reason for confusion is because there are numerous ways to express I love you in Chinese; one of which involves actually saying those three little words.

How to Say How have you been recently in Chinese


Nǐ zuìjìn zěnmeyàng?

In Chinese, you’d say recently [subject particle] [verb], how have you been? In Mandarin, as in many other languages, there are different versions of how are you? The most formal version is nǐ hǎo (你好), which literally means you good. This is how you would ask how someone is doing in Chinese if they’ve just come back from a long trip.

How to Say Have You Eaten in Chinese

Nǐ chī fàn le ma?

It is one of those phrases that every learner should know. It’s a simple question and answer pair that is used in just about every situation where there is food available. While you may be tempted to use it all of the time when speaking with Chinese people, don’t do it! In fact, if you use ‘Have you eaten?’ in any situation other than when asking if someone has already had dinner or lunch (or breakfast), your listener will think you’re weird. Instead, save your limited supply of small talk phrases for more important conversations. And remember: while they might seem like a great way to get things started with a new acquaintance, they aren’t an excuse for not knowing how to say anything else.

How to Say What are you doing in Chinese


Nǐ zài gàn má?

In China, if you would like to start a casual conversation with your close friends, it is common for people to say what are you doing. If someone asks what are you doing in Chinese, he or she is not asking about your work but rather if you have time for a chat. The question itself can be interpreted as Are we good enough friends that I can ask how your day was? If your friend asks what are you doing in Chinese and then says something along the lines of I’ll come over later, it means he or she wants to spend some time with you. This phrase is used by both men and women.

How to Say My Name is in Chinese


Wǒ de míngzì shì

Since it is a basic question, you may need to use it in written form as well which can go like this…

If you want to say your full name, you can use 我的名字, which means My Name. Just replace wǒ in 我叫 with wǒ de, and if there’s a -哥 or -姐 in your name, just add 个 at the end. So my full name would be 我的名字,阿国毅! 太好了! = My Name, Ah Guokai. Nice to meet you!

The Conclusion

When in China, you’ll want to be prepared. Don’t fret—there are plenty of Chinese small talk phrases that you can use. And here they are! Read through them today and practice a few when next you’re abroad! If you want to learn Chinese seriously but haven’t access to physical classes, online Chinese learning can help you.

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