What to Never Say to a Chinese Woman: Here Are the 10 Worst Expressions (Part II)!

Chinese General Worst Expression

In a previous article, I introduced a popular speaking topic that I explore in my Mandarin Chinese classes with curious students: 10 Expressions You Should Never Say to a Chinese Woman. In Part I, I introduced the first 5 expressions that Chinese women hate to hear, from “多喝热水。(Duō hē rèshuǐ.)” = “Drink more hot water.” to “都是我的错。(Dōu shì wǒ de cuò.)”= “It’s all my fault.” Many Chinese guys don’t even realize how annoying and careless these expressions sound to a Chinese wife or girlfriend.
So, how do we know which expressions are so annoying? These ten expressions were selected by a random survey of female Chinese Internet users. The results were compiled onto a list titled “The Top 10 Chinese Expressions Men Say That Annoy Women the Most.”
And so today we learn expressions #6 to #10. Pay attention, guys!

#6: “随便。(Suíbiàn.) = Do as you please/whatever.”
Chinese General Worst Expression1

When a woman gives a man multiple choices for something to do, or for which dish to order off the menu, the most annoying answer from the man is often “随便。(Suíbiàn.) Do as you please/whatever.” It is a bit like saying “I don’t care. Do whatever you want.” Usually, women like to hear an opinion and appreciate some decision-making from their man!

For example:

Nǚ: Nǐ xiǎng yào qù kàn diànyǐng háishì qù guàngjiē?
女:你   想     要  去  看    电影       还是  去   逛街?
Woman: Do you want to go to a movie or go shopping?

Nán: Suíbiàn.
男:   随便.
Man: We can do as you please.

A woman may think “Why can’t he make a choice? I even offered him two specific choices. This should be easy enough, but…”.

#7: “还在吗? (Hái zài ma?) = Are you still online?”
Chinese General Worst Expression2

The situation: A woman is chatting online with a man. For a few moments, both sides remain silent in the conversation. When the man asks “还在吗?(Hái zài ma?) Are you still online?” The woman would consider this question a useless sentence, or nonsense. Usually, women don’t like to answer this kind of question. In a relationship between a wife and husband, or a boyfriend and girlfriend, women will feel better if the man can ge straight to the point with meaningful messages.
In China, most people don’t like when people use “在吗?(Zài ma?)” or “还在吗?(Hái zài ma?) Are you still online?” to start a conversation online. Asking this kind of question is a waste of time!

#8: “吃了没? (Chī le méi?) Have you eaten yet?”
Chinese General Worst Expression3

Women don’t like it when men ask “吃了没?(Chī le méi?) Have you eaten yet?”. Nearly all chats online begin with men asking “吃了没?(Chī le méi?) Have you eaten yet?”. At this time, women think: “Why he always asking if I have eaten or not whenever I’m online? Does he think I eat 24 hours a day? I’m not a machine!”

#9 “你忙!(Nǐ máng!) Get your things done first/Focus on your busy work first!”
Chinese General Worst Expression4

When men talk with women, men often don’t know what to say next. Some men may say “你忙!(Nǐ máng!) Get your things done first/Focus on your busy work first!” Some women may think “this man doesn’t really want to talk with me. If so, he wouldn’t ask me to get my work done before communicating. I’m’ a human, not a workaholic! If he likes me, what he really should want is for me to focus on him and talk more together. Anyway, if I’m busy, I won’t have time to pick up the phone when he calls or reply to his messages.” Can you imagine how the woman feels?

#10: “早点睡。(Zǎo diǎn shuì.) Sleep early/Go to bed early.”
Chinese General Worst Expression5

When men say “早点睡。(Zǎo diǎn shuì.) Sleep early/Go to bed early.” to a woman in a conversation, the woman may feel that the man wants to finish the talk as soon as possible, and cannot wait to say “good night”. Women may feel the man is impatient and doesn’t want to talk with them. “早点睡。(Zǎo diǎn shuì.) Sleep early/Go to bed early.” is often used as a farewell expression in a conversation in China, and therefore the woman will feel that you are trying to get out of the conversation due to lack of interest.

HSK 3 quiz

1. What is a good way to begin an online conversation with a Chinese woman in the evening:
A. 晚上好!(Wǎnshàng hǎo!)

B. 早点睡! (Zǎo diǎn shuì!)

C. 还在吗? (Hái zài ma?)

―Written by Becky Zhang―

Becky Zhang is a teacher at eChineseLearning.com. She has over eight years of experience teaching Mandarin Chinese to foreign students and promoting Chinese culture. She lives in Beijing but loves traveling to ancient Chinese villages. One day she’d like to be a tour guide in China!
Chinese Culture
General Chinese (Beginner Level)
General Chinese (Intermediate Level)

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