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10 Essential Chinese Sentences for Traveling in China (Part 1)

Jun. 29, 2015
Essential Chinese phrases


Nǐhǎo, hěn gāoxìng rènshi nǐ.
你好, 很   高兴       认识  你。
Hello, nice to meet you.

Here, “高兴(gāoxìng)” means “happy” and “认识(rènshi)” is “ to meet”. This sentence is always used when first meeting new friends or acquaintances.


Lǐ Yuè: Nǐhǎo, wǒ shì Lǐ Yuè.
李月: 你好,我   是  李月。
Li Yue: Hello, I am Li Yue.

Wáng Dōng: Nǐhǎo, wǒ shì Wáng Dōng, hěn gāoxìng rènshi nǐ.
王东:              你好,我   是  王东,          很   高兴       认识  你。
Wang Dong: Hi, I am Wang Dong. Nice to meet you.


Thank you.

“谢谢(xièxiè)” is the most common courtesy in Chinese, and it is also a simple way to express one’s gratitude. We also often say “谢谢你/您(xièxiè nǐ/nín)”. Keep in mind that we use “你()” when addressing a friend, someone younger, or someone of equal age/status. We use “您(nín)” in formal situations or with elders.


Fúwùyuán: Xiānsheng, zhèshì nínde kāfēi.
服务员:     先生,       这是   您的   咖啡。
Waiter: Sir, this is your coffee.

Jié Kè: Hǎode, xièxiè.
杰克: 好的, 谢谢。
Jack: OK, thanks.

Apologizing & Asking for Help:


“对不起(duìbùqǐ)” is mainly used to offer an apology. For example, if you accidentally step on someone else’s foot, you can use “对不起(duìbùqǐ)” to apologize.

Also, “不好意思(bùhǎoyìsi)” can be used in the same situation, but it is mostly used in spoken language and is not as formal as “对不起(duìbùqǐ)”.

Additionally, when you want to ask for help, you can use “对不起/不好意思, 打扰一下(duìbùqǐ/bùhǎoyìsi, dǎrǎo yíxià) sorry to bother you” to get someone’s attention and set the stage for what you want to say next.


Duìbùqǐ, dǎrǎo yíxià, qǐngwèn zhèlǐ yǒu diàntī ma?
对不起,    打扰  一下,请问      这里 有   电梯  吗?
Sorry to bother you, is there an elevator here?

Bùhǎoyìsi, dǎrǎo yíxià, qǐngwèn xiànzài jǐdiǎn le?
不好意思,打扰  一下,请问      现在    几点  了?
Sorry to bother you, what time is it?

Telling Someone You Want to Go Somewhere or Want Something:

Wǒ xiǎngyào qù ……
我   想要         去……
I want to go to ……

You can use this sentence to tell others your destination when asking for directions, taking a taxi, or buying train and bus tickets. You can add the name of the place after “去()”, such as “机场(jīchǎng) airport”, “酒店(jiǔdiàn) hotel”, “汽车站(qìchēzhàn) bus station,” and so on.


Wǒ xiǎngyào qù běijīng jīchǎng.
我   想要         去 北京    机场。
I want to go to the Beijing airport.

Wǒ xiǎngyào qù xiàrì jiǔdiàn.
我   想要         去夏日 酒店。
I want to go to the Summer Hotel.

“想要(xiǎngyào)” means “want” and after it, other than adding the place we want to go to, we can alternatively add the name of the object that we want. This type of sentence is used in situations like shopping, taking orders and so on.


Wǒ xiǎngyào yìbēi kāfēi.
我   想要        一杯 咖啡。
I want a cup of coffee.

Wǒ xiǎngyào zhèfú zhōngguóhuà.
我   想要         这幅   中国画。
I want this Chinese painting.

Getting Directions:

Qǐngwèn …… zàinǎr?
请问        …… 在哪儿?
Where is ……?

This sentence is always used for asking directions. Here “请(qǐng)” means “please”, used to show courtesy. “问(wèn)” means “ask” and “在哪儿(zàinǎr)” is “where”. We add the name of place after “请问(qǐngwèn)”.


Tāng Mǔ: Duìbùqǐ, dǎrǎo yíxià, qǐngwèn xǐshǒujiān zàinǎr?
汤姆:      对不起,打扰  一下,请问     洗手间     在哪儿?
Tom: Sorry to bother you, where is the bathroom?

Wáng Dōng: Zhízǒu zài zuǒzhuǎn jiùshì.
王东:           直走    再  左转         就是。
Wang Dong: Just go straight and turn left.


1. “请问……在哪儿?(Qǐngwèn …… zàinǎr)” is used when you want to ____.
A. Ask for the price
B. Ask what something is
C. Get directions

2. If you want to express your gratitude, what should you say?
A. “对不起(Duìbùqǐ).”
B. “我听不懂( tīngbùdǒng).”
C. “谢谢(Xièxiè).”

3. When you meet a new Chinese friend, you should say ____.
A. “服务员, 买单(Fúwùyuán, mǎidān).”
B. “你好, 很高兴认识你(Nǐhǎo, hěn gāoxìng rènshi nǐ).”
C. “我想换一下零钱(Wǒ xiǎng huànyíxià língqián).”

See Answers

HSK Test

General Chinese (Beginner Level) 

General Chinese (Intermediate Level) 

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Xièxiè for creating this exciting site
One can learn one or two things
Xièxiè once more

Hi Tebello, I’m glad you like the article we posted. We will keep updating the posts, please feel free to check and hope they can help you learn Chinese well.

在享有 “礼仪之邦” 美誉的中国游访,懂得待人接物的基本礼貌是很重要的。在中国,只要你能时刻注意礼仪,肯定会得到当地人们的礼遇,这是个人的经验。
有句谚语 : “问路不施礼,多走二十里!” 可见不注意礼貌可能会给你带来麻烦!

very useful.

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