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4 Must-Know Ways to Address Chinese Young Men

Sep. 2, 2015
Chinese Young Men

In a previous lesson we learned how to address young Chinese women, so how about young Chinese men?

In general, depending on different situations and the age of the person speaking, there are four ways to address young Chinese men:

帅哥(shuàigē)

“帅哥(shuàigē)” literally means “handsome man.” This casual term is usually used to address peers in informal situations. For instance, if you meet a man who is about your age on the street and you want to ask directions, you can say “帅哥, 你好, 请问…怎么走?(Shuàigē, nǐhǎo, qǐngwèn … zěnmezǒu?) Hey man, how do I get to …, please?” Certainly, it doesn’t matter whether the man is handsome or not, the term is just sometimes used to show courtesy when starting a conversation.

Examples:

Wáng Jìng: Shuàigē, zhè shì nǐde shǒujī ma?
王静:         帅哥,  这  是  你的 手机   吗?
Wang Jing: Buddy, is this your phone?

Lǐ Chéng: Ō, shìde, xièxie.
李成:   噢,是的,谢谢。
Li Cheng: Oh, yeah. Thank you.

Lǐ Lín: Shuàigē, dǎrǎo yíxià, qǐngwèn xǐshǒujiān zài nǎlǐ?
李琳: 帅哥,  打扰  一下,请问     洗手间      在 哪里?
Li Lin: Hey pal, sorry to bother you. Where’s the restroom, please?

Wáng Fēng: Zài nàlǐ.
王峰:         在 那里。
Wang Feng: Over there.

Nàwèi shuàigē shì nǐde nánpéngyou ma?
那位    帅哥     是  你的 男朋友          吗?
Is that handsome guy your boyfriend?

小伙子(xiǎohuǒzi)

“小伙子(xiǎohuǒzi) young man/boy” is always used by the elderly to address young men in informal situations. It also conveys a sense of geniality.

Examples:

Zhāng Jùn: Yéye, nín qǐng zuò.
张       俊:爷爷,您  请   坐。
Zhang Jun: Grandpa, sit down please.

Lǎorén: Xièxiènǐ, xiǎohuǒzi.
老人:  谢谢你,小伙子。
Old man: Thank you, young man.

Xiǎohuǒzi, zhè fùjìn yǒu zhōngguóyínháng ma?
小伙子,   这  附近 有   中国银行               吗?
Young man, is there a Bank of China nearby?

Tā shì yígè búcuòde xiǎohuǒzi.
他 是  一个 不错的    小伙子。
He is a good boy.

大哥(dàgē)

“大哥(dàgē)” originally refers to the eldest brother in one’s family, but here you can use it to politely address men who are strangers and a little bit older than you. It is also used to refer to men who perform certain services, for example, “快递大哥(kuàidì dàgē)” – courier, “送水大哥(sòngshuǐ dàgē)” – water deliveryman, etc.

Examples:

Kuàidìdàgē, xièxiènǐ.
快递大哥, 谢谢你。
Thank you, sir(courier).

Bùhǎo yìsi, dàgē, qǐngwèn zhèlǐ shì shídàiguǎngchǎng ma?
不好意思,大哥,请问      这里 是  时代广场              吗?
Excuse me, sir. Is this Times Square?

Dàgē, kéyǐ bāng wǒmen pāi zhāng zhào ma?
大哥,可以 帮     我们    拍   张      照     吗?
Sir, would you please take a photo for us?

先生(xiānsheng)

“先生(xiānsheng) Mr.” is used in formal situations like dinner parties, meetings, and so on. In such situations, men of all ages can be called “先生(xiānsheng).” If you know their family names, you should typically add the family name in front of “先生(xiānsheng),” as in “李先生(lǐ xiānsheng) Mr. Li,” “张先生(zhāng xiānsheng) Mr. Zhang,” “王先生(wáng xiānsheng) Mr. Wang,” etc.

Examples:

Lǐ xiānsheng, nínhǎo, zhè shì wǒde míngpiàn.
李 先生,      您好,  这  是  我的   名片。
Hello, Mr. Li. This is my card.

Zhāng xiānsheng, gōngxǐ nín!
张         先生,          恭喜    您!
Mr. Zhang, congratulations!

Nǚshìmen, xiānshengmen, dàjiā wǎnshànghǎo!
女士们,    先生们,         大家  晚上好!
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen!

Quiz:

1. How should you address a young man at a conference?
A. “帅哥(shuàigē)”

B. “先生(xiānsheng)”

C. “大哥(dàgē)”

2. If an old lady wants to ask a young man for help, what would she most probably call him?
A. “大哥(dàgē)”

B. “帅哥(shuàigē)”

C. “小伙子(xiǎohuǒzi)”

See Answer Analysis

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Comments

Thanx for this, xiexie ni jiao wo. Wo xian zai dong le.

谢谢, 谢谢你

谢谢。

很有意思

very nice lesson thank you

very nice lesson, thank you

thank you for your lesson

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