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“赞(zàn)”- Must Know Word When Complimenting Someone in Mandarin

Jul. 16, 2014

With more and more Chinese people becoming internet users, Chinese social networks are growing ever more popular. Everyday, millions of Chinese netizens post their thoughts, their photos or even share tidbits of their daily personal lives on social media sites such as Weibo or Wechat. Consequently, many of their followers will comment on those posts or click the button-“赞(zàn).” So what does the Chinese character “赞(zàn)” mean? Read on for the answer in today’s online Chinese lesson.

“赞(zàn)” is basically used as a verb meaning “to praise” or “to laud.” However, it can also be used as an adjective to mean “something/someone is great or marvelous.”


J.K luólín de shū tài zàn le!
J.K  罗琳 的    书 太   赞 了!
J.K Rowling’s books are really great!

Nǐ de Facebook de tóuxiàng zhēn de hěn zàn!
你 的  Facebook 的   头像      真     的 很  赞!
Your profile picture on Facebook is really great!

Nowadays, most Chinese social networks have a “赞(zàn)” button, with the word “赞(zàn)” alongside a thumbs-up icon or a heart-shaped icon under every post, similar to the “Like” button on Facebook. “点(diǎn)” means “to click”, so, can you guess what “点赞(diǎnzàn)” means? If you guessed “to click on the thumbs-up button” you are right! If you “点赞(diǎnzàn)” it means that you agree with or like what your friends posted. With the “点赞(diǎnzàn)” system becoming so popular, it has become a new part of Chinese people’s daily conversations, a way to show their favorable emotion or praise for other people. The commonly seen sentence structure is “给(为)…点(个)赞.”


Wǒmen yào xuéhuì gěi zìjǐ diǎnzàn.
我们      要     学会   给 自己 点赞。
We should learn to praise ourselves.

Mǔqīnjié dào le, wǒmen wéi māma diǎn gè zàn ba!
母亲节    到 了,我们     为  妈妈     点    个 赞  吧!
Mother’s Day is coming, so let’s show our admiration to our mothers!

Chinese people usually like other people to “点赞(diǎnzàn)” on what they have posted because the more “likes” a post gets, the more popular their blog gets. However, if you are an active social network user, you may have noticed that some people click the “like” button without leaving any comment. In fact, some people seem to “like” each and every picture or post, no matter the content. Do you have such a friend in your life who “赞(zàn) Likes” each of your posts? If so, he is your “点赞之交(diǎnzànzhījiāo).” Friends like this always “like” anything you post. Even if you posted that you were sick in the hospital in your status, he would still give you a “赞(zàn) thumbs-up”.


1. If Linda gives you a “赞(zàn)” on pictures you posted, what does she mean?

A. She dislikes your pictures.

B. She doesn’t care about your pictures.

C. She likes your pictures.

2. Bob said “你太棒了, 给你点赞!” to his friend who won a ping-pong match. What does he mean?

A. Bob wants to click the button “Like” on his friend’s post.

B. Bob thinks his friend is really great.

C. Bob likes his friend.

See Answers

Chinese Popular Words (Fun Stuff)

General Chinese (Beginner Level)

General Chinese (Intermediate Level)

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