How to Say ‘It’s My Treat, Let Me Host’ in Chinese?

Are you wondering how to express “It’s my treat, let me be the host” in Chinese? Perhaps you’ve invited your Chinese friend to dinner and want to convey this sentiment effectively. Let’s explore the best way to express this in Chinese!


Jīn tiān de cài hěn là, bú guò wǒ hén xǐ huān.
A: 今天的菜很辣,不过我很喜欢。
These dishes are very spicy, but I like it.

Wǒ zhī dào nǐ yě xǐ huān chī là, suǒ yǐ jiù dài nǐ lái zhè er le.
B: 我知道你也喜欢吃辣,所以就带你来这儿了。
I knew you love spicy food, so I brought you here.

Zhēn guò yǐn a! Fú wù yuán, mǎi dān!
A: 真过瘾啊!服务员,买单!
It was terrific. Waitress, bring me the bill.

Děng deng,shuǒ hǎo le, jīn tiān wǒ zuò dōng!
B: 等等,说好了,今天我做东!
Wait, I have told you, let me be the host today!

In this dialogue, “zuò dōng (做东)” means “to be the host”. Do you understand the meaning? Why “zuò dōng (做东)” means “be the host”?

1. In ancient China, houses were typically square and faced south (e.g., courtyard houses).

Si he yuan in China

2. The central area was the living room, where two chairs faced south. The host would invite guests to sit in the chair on the west side, while they themselves sat in the chair on the east side. Therefore, “坐东” (zuò dōng), or “sit in the east,” referred to sitting in the host’s chair, signifying being the host. For example, “今天我做东” (jīn tiān wǒ zuò dōng)! Let me be the host today!

House in China

3. Similarly, in Chinese, “东 (dōng)” often carries the meaning of “host,” as in “房东 (fáng dōng),” which means landlord.

Let’s practice: 今天你做东,下次我做东 (Jīn tiān nǐ zuò dōng, xià cì wǒ zuò dōng). Have you understood the meaning?

Interested in learning more about this usage or the culture surrounding courtyard houses with our professional teachers? Join the eChineseLearning Summer Chinese Language Program now!

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