Flattering & Giving Compliments in Chinese

Basic compliments in Chinese

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)?”)

美丽(měilì) beautiful

帅(shuài) handsome (Why girls like “高富帅” in China?)

酷(kù) cool

可爱(kě’ài) cute

聪明(cōngming) smart

热情(rèqíng) passionate

随和(suíhé) easy-going

幽默(yōumò) humorous

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.

Westerners are used to directly saying “Thank you” to show their acceptance or affirmation of compliments, but Chinese people like to appear more modest in the face of praise. Because of this, they would probably respond by saying “过奖了(guòjiǎng le) You’re too kind” or “哪里哪里(nǎli nǎli) You flatter me.” Of course, a few will be bold and simply say “谢谢(xièxie) Thank you!”


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.
女生:      谢谢。
Girl: Thank you.

HSK 3 quiz
1. Which of these is a compliment in Chinese?
A. “你好帅(Nǐ hǎo shuài)”

B. “谢谢你(Xièxienǐ)”

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)”

C. “不客气(Búkèqi)”

5 thoughts on “Flattering & Giving Compliments in Chinese”

  1. Hasanthika Gunawardhana

    i surched that web site. it is very helpful to improve my chinese language skills. Thankz a lot.

  2. Hasanthika Gunawardhana

    I searched that web site. it is very helpful to improve my chinese language skills . Thankz a lot.

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