Compliments play an important role in maintaining good social relationships. After all, it never hurts to make others feel good about themselves! Let’s learn how to pay your Chinese friends compliments in Mandarin.
First, let’s have a look at the most common sentence structure for compliments.
Nǐ + hǎo/zhēn + adj.
你 + 好/真 + adj .
This is an easy structure. “你(nǐ),” meaning “you,” refers to the person you want to pay the compliment to. You can also replace this with other personal pronouns or specific names. Next, “好/真(hǎo/zhēn)” means very/really. It is followed by an adjective, the characteristic that you are praising, such as “漂亮(piàoliang) pretty,” “聪明(cōngmíng) smart,” “帅(shuài) handsome,” etc..
Nǐ zhēn bàng!
你 真 棒！
You are awesome!
Nǐ zhēn kě’ài!
你 真 可爱！
You are really cute!
Tā hǎo shuài！
他 好 帅！
He is so handsome!
Here are some common words for praising people’s personalities and characteristics.
漂亮(piàoliang) pretty (Another usage of “漂亮”: “干得漂亮(Gàn de piàoliang)?”)
帅(shuài) handsome (Why girls like “高富帅” in China?)
体贴(tǐtiē) caring (Why Chinese People use “体贴 (tǐtiē)” to describe Boyfriends?)
If you are the one receiving a compliment, you may need to learn how to respond in the Chinese way.
Lǐ Qīng: Nǐde háizi zhēn cōngming！
李青： 你的 孩子 真 聪明！
Li Qing: Your kid is really smart!
Wáng Lín: Guòjiǎng le.
王林： 过奖 了。
Wang Lin: You’re too kind.
Lǐ Píng: Nǐ de zhōngwén zhēn bàng！
李平： 你 的 中文 真 棒！
Li Ping: Your Chinese is awesome!
Jack: Nǎli nǎli.
Jack: You flatter me.
Nán Shēng: Nǐ hǎo piàoliang!
男生： 你 好 漂亮！
Boy: You are so beautiful!
Nǚ Shēng: Xièxie.
Girl: Thank you.
1. Which of these is a compliment in Chinese?
A. “你好帅(Nǐ hǎo shuài)”
C. “哪里哪里(Nǎli nǎli)”
2. If you are the receiver of a compliment, to answer in the Chinese way, you should say ____.
A. “你真棒(Nǐ zhēn bàng)”
B. “过奖了(Guòjiǎng le)”