Toll Free - U.S.& Canada:  1-800-791-9386   Hong Kong:  800-930-623   Australia:  1-800-779-835
Free online Chinese learning support
  • Follow us on Facebook!
  • Watch Our YouTube Videos!
  • Follow us on Twitter!
  • Follow us on WeChat!
    Follow Us in WeChat by Scanning!
    Follow Us in "WeChat"
    by Scanning
  • Follow us on LinkedIn
  • Explore Our Instagram Videos & Photos!
United Kingdom:  0-800-086-8969   Germany:  0-800-180-0341   Singapore:  800-130-1652
France:  0-805-080-689   Spain:  900-838-906    

10 Essential Chinese Sentences for Traveling in China (Part 2)

Jul. 8, 2015
Essential Chinese phrases

Asking What Something Is:

Zhè shì shénme?
这    是  什么?
What is this?

Here “这(zhè)” means “this”, “是(shì)” means “is”, and “什么(shénme)” is “what.” Traveling in China, you will certainly see many things that are new to you. This sentence will come in very useful when you want to ask locals to explain what things are!


Lù Xī: Qǐngwèn zhè shì shénme?
露西:请问        这  是   什么?
Lucy: What’s this?

Lǐ Yuè: Zhè shì tánghuà.
李月: 这    是  糖画。
Li Yue: This is a sugar painting.

Asking for the Price:

Zhège duōshǎoqián?
这个    多少钱?
How much is this?

Shopping is always on any traveler’s agenda, so use this sentence to ask about the price. “多少钱(duōshǎoqián)” means “how much (money)”, and if the seller knows what you are referring to, you can leave out “这个(zhège)” and just ask “多少钱(duōshǎoqián)?”


Chinese knot - 中国结(zhōngguójié)” width=

Ai Měi: Nǐhǎo, zhège zhōngguójié duōshǎoqián?
艾美: 你好, 这个    中国结          多少钱?
Amy: Hello, how much is this Chinese knot?

Shòuhuòyuán: 10 kuàiqián.
售货员:          10块钱。
Seller: Ten yuan.

To Pay the Bill:

Fúwùyuán, mǎidān.
服务员,    买单。
Waiter, the check please.

This sentence is used when you are ready to pay the bill. In Chinese, many personal pronouns don’t alter according to gender, so “服务员(fúwùyuán)” here is the general term for both waitresses and waiters.

Also, in this sentence “买(mǎi)” means “buy” and “单(dān)” refers to “bill”.

Asking for Change:

Wǒ xiǎng huànyíxià língqián.
我   想       换一下      零钱。
I want to change some money.

The sentence will help if you want to break larger bills for taking a bus or something else that requires smaller change. In China, you can change money in kiosks, supermarkets, and so on.

Knowing how to change money will come in handy during your travels in China, so let’s take a look at how to do it in Chinese.


Lǐ Shā: Qǐngwèn zhèběnshū duōshǎoqián?
李莎: 请问        这本书        多少钱?
Lisa: How much is this book, please?

Shòuhuòyuán: 15 kuài.
售货员:          15块。
Seller: 15 yuan.

Lǐ Shā: Wǒ gěi nǐ 20 kuài, qǐng zhǎo wǒ 5 zhāng 1 kuàide hǎoma?
李莎: 我  给  你 20块,  请      找    我  5张         1块的     好吗?
Lisa: I’ll give you 20 yuan. Can you give me five 1 yuan notes?

Shòuhuòyuán: Hǎode.
售货员:          好的。
Seller: OK.

I Don’t Understand.

Wǒ tīngbùdǒng.
我    听不懂。
I don’t understand.

When facing language barriers, this sentence will be extremely helpful! After using this sentence, the speaker may then try to explain to you in another way, or, if necessary, the person you are speaking with can use body language which can help a lot.


Mǎ Kè: Nǐhǎo, wǒ xiǎng huànyíxià língqián.
马克: 你好, 我  想      换一下      零钱。
Mark: Hello, I want to change some money.

Shòuhuòyuán: Hǎode. Qǐngwèn nín yào duōdà miànzhí de?
售货员:          好的。 请问         您   要   多大   面值      的?
Seller: OK. What denominations do you need?

Mǎ Kè: Miànzhí? Bùhǎoyìsi, wǒ tīngbùdǒng.
马克: 面值?     不好意思,我 听不懂。
Mark: Denominations? Sorry, I don’t understand.


1. “这是什么(Zhè shì shénme)?” is used when you want to ____.
A. Ask for the price
B. Ask what something is
C. Get directions

2. If you don’t understand what people are saying, what should you say?
A. “对不起, 打扰一下(Duìbùqǐ, dǎrǎo yíxià).”
B. “我听不懂( tīngbùdǒng).”
C. “谢谢(Xièxiè).”

dá rǎo yí xià).”

3. When you want to break larger bills for taking a bus or something else, 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


Got questions? Take a free 1-to-1 lesson with one of our professional teachers by signing up below:
Name:  E-mail: 
Country/Region:  Tel: 
By clicking Submit, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.



Wow, great,your answers are all right. We keep updating the posts, please feel free to check.

Lingqian is not ‘Money” Money is Qian.
Lingqian is small bills.

Write a comment

Your Name: 
Your Email:  Your email address will not be published.
Verification Code:  Verification Code Unclear? Try another one
By clicking Submit, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
Email This Article
Recipients' email addresses:
(separate recipients with comma)
Your name:
Your e-mail address (optional):
Your message (optional):
Verification Code:
By clicking Send, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Get 11 FREE Mandarin E-books
Sign up for a free trial now!
Get more information about our Chinese lessons through live chat
Get a FREE live 1-to-1 lesson and FREE e-books. Complete the form below:

By clicking Submit, you agree to our

Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.