10 Essential Chinese Words for Greetings and Introductions

Greetings and introductions are essential for forming connections with people. Whether you’re traveling to China or meeting Chinese speakers in your community, learning basic phrases can help you build relationships and show your respect for their culture. In this section, we will introduce you to the 10 essential Chinese words for greetings and introductions that will help you start conversations and make a good impression.

Key Takeaways

  • Mastering these 10 essential Chinese words can help you engage in simple conversations with Chinese speakers.
  • Knowing basic Mandarin greetings and introductions can show your respect for Chinese culture and build relationships with Chinese speakers.
  • Regular practice is key to becoming more proficient in using Chinese words for greetings and introductions.
  • Politeness and appreciation are highly valued in Chinese culture, so be sure to learn the phrases for please, thank you, sorry, excuse me, and you’re welcome.
  • By introducing yourself confidently, you can make a lasting impression when meeting new people in China or abroad.

Basic Greeting Words

In Mandarin Chinese, greetings play a significant role in social interactions. Learning how to greet people appropriately can help you begin conversations and form positive relationships. Here are the most common Chinese greeting words:

Greeting Chinese Characters Pronunciation
Hello 你好 Nǐ hǎo
Good morning 早上好 Zǎo shàng hǎo
Good afternoon 下午好 Xià wǔ hǎo
Good evening 晚上好 Wǎn shàng hǎo
Goodbye 再见 Zài jiàn

Note: In Mandarin, “Ni hao” is the most commonly used greeting, while other greetings are used depending on the time of day.

Introducing Yourself

Introducing yourself in Chinese is a great way to break the ice and make connections with Chinese speakers. Here are a few self-introduction phrases to get you started:

Wǒ jiào [Your Name].

Wǒ shì cóng [Your Hometown] lái de.

Wǒ zhèngzài xuéxí [Your Occupation/Course of study].

The above phrases will help you introduce yourself to others by stating your name, where you come from, and what you do or study. Practice saying them aloud to improve your pronunciation.

When meeting someone new, it’s also common to ask for their name and provide a friendly greeting. Here are a few examples of basic questions and responses:

Question Response
Nǐ jiào shénme míngzì?
(What’s your name?)
Wǒ jiào [Name].
(My name is [Name].)
Nǐ cóng nǎlǐ lái?
(Where are you from?)
Wǒ cóng [Hometown] lái.
(I’m from [Hometown].)
Nǐ xuéxí shénme?
(What do you study?)
Wǒ zhèngzài xuéxí [Course of study].
(I’m currently studying [Course of study].)

Remember to smile and speak slowly when introducing yourself in Chinese. The effort you put into learning these basic phrases will be greatly appreciated by native speakers.

Expressing Politeness and Appreciation

To navigate Chinese culture successfully, it’s crucial to learn how to express politeness and appreciation properly. Here we will give you the five most essential phrases that will help you show respect and gratitude in Mandarin.

Phrase Chinese Character Pronunciation
Please qǐng
Thank You 谢谢 xiè xiè
Sorry 对不起 duì bù qǐ
Excuse Me 请问 qǐng wèn
You’re welcome 不客气 bù kè qì

Please and excuse me are two really important words that you’ll use often in China, especially when asking for something. Make sure to use them regularly to show respect to the person you are speaking with.

You can use thank you to express gratitude in many different situations. Don’t hesitate to use it when someone does something nice for you or helps you out with something.

If you make a mistake or accidentally offend someone, use sorry to show your regret and respect. It’s an essential part of being polite in Chinese culture.

Finally, when someone thanks you for something, you can reply with you’re welcome to show that you were happy to help and that they don’t need to feel embarrassed or indebted to you.

Asking and Answering Basic Questions

Asking and answering questions is an essential part of basic conversation. In this section, we will explore some common phrases and vocabulary used when making inquiries and providing responses in Mandarin.

Asking about Well-Being

To ask about someone’s well-being in Chinese, you can use the phrase “Nǐ hǎo ma?” which translates to “How are you?”

You can respond to this question in a few different ways, depending on your level of familiarity with the person. For example:

  • If you want to say “I’m fine, thank you”, you can say “Wǒ hěn hǎo, xièxiè nǐ.
  • If you’re not feeling well, you might say “Wǒ bù shūfú.” meaning “I’m not comfortable.”
  • If you’re feeling fantastic, you might say “Wǒ hěn yóukù.” which means “I’m very happy!”

Asking for Directions

When visiting a new place, it’s common to ask for directions in Mandarin. Some useful phrases for this include:

  • Qǐngwèn, xiànzài zěnme zǒu?” which means “Excuse me, how do I get there now?”
  • Zhè lǐ yǒu jīntiān shìyòng de dìtiě ma?” which means “Is the subway available here today?”
  • Nǐ zhīdào zěnme qù Běijīng gōngyù ma?” which means “Do you know how to get to the Beijing apartment?”

Other Common Questions

In addition to well-being and directions, there are a variety of other questions you might encounter in everyday conversation. Here are a few examples:

  • Nǐ jiào shénme míngzì?” which means “What is your name?”
  • Nǐ shì nǎ guó rén?” which means “What country do you come from?”
  • Nǐ xué shénme zhuānyè?” which means “What’s your major?”

Being able to ask and answer basic questions is an essential skill when learning Mandarin. With these phrases and vocabulary in your repertoire, you’ll be able to participate in simple conversations and expand your language abilities.


In conclusion, mastering the basics of the Chinese language is crucial for beginners. By learning the ten essential Chinese words for greetings and introductions, you will be able to communicate effectively with Mandarin speakers and make a good impression. Remember to practice regularly to improve your proficiency in Mandarin phrases for beginners and explore more aspects of the Chinese language basics. We hope this article has provided you with valuable information to begin your journey into the fascinating world of Chinese language and culture.


What are the 10 essential Chinese words for greetings and introductions?

The 10 essential Chinese words for greetings and introductions are hello, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, goodbye, your name, where are you from, nice to meet you, what do you do, and thank you.

How do I say hello in Mandarin?

In Mandarin, you can say “nǐ hǎo” to greet someone, which means hello.

What is the phrase for good morning in Chinese?

To say good morning in Chinese, you can use the phrase “zǎo shàng hǎo”.

How do I introduce myself in Chinese?

To introduce yourself in Chinese, you can say “wǒ jiào” followed by your name, which means “my name is”.

What are polite expressions in Chinese?

Polite expressions in Chinese include “qǐng” (please), “xièxiè” (thank you), “duìbuqǐ” (sorry), “bùhǎoyìsi” (excuse me), and “bú kèqi” (you’re welcome).

How do I ask for directions in Mandarin?

To ask for directions in Mandarin, you can say “qǐng wèn, zài nǎlǐ?” which means “excuse me, where is it?”

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