Preparing for the Big Election with “大选(dàxuǎn)”

general election

With the upcoming election it is time to hone your Chinese skills and learn how to give your opinion on this subject! Will you be voting for the first woman to become a U.S. president or Donald Trump? Perhaps you won’t be voting but still want to discuss this topics with Chinese friends. This lesson will teach you how to talk about elections.
First let’s start with the most important word: “选(xuǎn).” This word means to select or to choose and you will need to know it if you are going to discuss picking between two candidates! In Chinese, you might ask your friend, “你选谁?(Nǐ xuǎn shuí?) Who do you pick?” Let’s take a closer look at how to use this verb.


Xué zhōngwén, qǐng xuǎn eChineseLearning.
学     中文,      请     选   eChineseLearning。
Please pick eChineseLearning for studying Chinese.

Nǐ xuǎn A háishì B?
你  选   A  还是  B?
Do you choose A or B?

The next word you will need to know is “大选(dàxuǎn).”  This is the character “大(dà)” which means “big” put together with “选(xuǎn) choose,”  so its like literally saying “big choose.” Only when talking about presidential elections, can you use “大选(dàxuǎn)” which actually means “general election.” We can’t use this word when discussing electing a monitor in a class or in other similar situations.


Měiguó dàxuǎn, nǐ xuǎn Trump háishì Hilary?
美国       大选,    你 选    Trump  还是 Hilary?
Do you choose Trump or Hilary for the general election in America?

Lastly, you need to know how to say “候选人(hòuxuǎnrén) candidate.” It is the combination of the three words “候(hòu) wait+选(xuǎn) choose+人(rén) person.”  When you want to talk about a specific kind of candidate all you do is add the name of that position in front of this word, such as “position + 候选人(hòuxuǎnrén).” In Chinese president is “总统(zǒngtǒng),”  so presidential candidate is “总统候选人(zǒngtǒng hòuxuǎnrén).” If you want to say candidate for governor you can say “州长候选人(zhōuzhǎng hòuxuǎnrén)” and a candidate for a class monitor is “班长候选人(bānzhǎng hòuxuǎnrén).”


Trump hé Hilary shì měiguó zǒngtǒng hòuxuǎnrén.
Trump 和 Hilary  是   美国     总统         候选人。
Trump and Hilary are presidential candidates.

Nǐ xǐhuan nǎgè hòuxuǎnrén?
你  喜欢   哪个   候选人?
Which candidate do you like?

HSK 3 quiz

1. What is the meaning of “大选(dàxuǎn)?”
A. big choice
B. general election
C. election
D. select
2. Which of the following word means “president?”
A. 州长 (zhōuzhǎng)
B. 候选人 (hòuxuǎnrén)
C. 总统 (zǒngtǒng)
D. 班长 (bānzhǎng)

6 thoughts on “Preparing for the Big Election with “大选(dàxuǎn)””

  1. Renato G.F. Naso

    If I were Meiguoren I would chose Hillary of course, since I’m a feminist!!! (At everything which really counts, women are better!!!)

    1. jennifer.zhu

      Hi Renato, I’m glad you are interested in the article we posted. Hope you can discuss the topic with your friends in Chinese after reading the posts.

    1. jennifer.zhu

      Hi Kim. I’m glad you like the article we posted. We will keep updating more interesting posts, please feel free to check.

  2. Divya Garbyal

    Really nice way of teaching.
    But if we say 大选 for presidential elections…what about college elections?

    1. jennifer.zhu

      Hi Divya! I’m glad that you like the post. We can use “选举 (xuǎn jǔ)” for college elections.

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