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Answers to the Exercise on “你(nǐ)” and “您(nín)”

Nov. 27, 2013

Answer: C

In the Chinese language, both “你()” and “您(nín)” mean “you,” but they are quite different in usage.

“你()” is used for informal interactions. “你()” is used to address children, peers, subordinates etc. While “您(nín)” is a more polite and formal expression. “您(nín)” is used to address elders, officials, leaders, or a stranger you are asking for help.


Tom, nǐ qù kàn diànyǐnɡ ma?
Tom,你去 看   电影       吗?

Tom, will you go to see the film?

Yéye, nín zuìjìn shēntǐ hǎo ma?
爷爷,您  最近   身体   好   吗?

Grandpa, how are you recently?

Nín hǎo, qǐng wèn qù huǒchēzhàn zěnme zǒu?
您   好, 请    问    去  火车站          怎么    走?

Hello, could you tell me how to get to the train station?

When addressing the teacher, a student will usually use “您(nín)” to be polite and to show respect. Therefore in our test the answer is C.

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