Self Introduction in Mandarin

Words and Expressions to Master

MandarinPinyinEnglish
你好!Nǐ hǎo!Hello!Hi!
hǎogood, fine
you
老师lǎoshīteacher
mainterrogative particle
no, not
I, me
学生xuéshēngstudent
she
谢谢xièxieThank you.
不客气Bù kèqìYou are welcome.
nínyou (honorific)
留学生liúxuéshēngforeign/international student
Jiàoto call, to be called
什么shénmewhat
名字míngzìname
xìng family name
认识rènshìknow, recognize
hěnvery
高兴gāoxìnghappy, glad
also
医生yīshēngdoctor

你好!(Nǐ hǎo), 你 (nǐ) means you and 好 (hǎo) means good, you good. But the meaning is actually hello or hi.

See the following example:

A: 你好!(Nǐ hǎo)

A: 你好!(Nǐ hǎo)

The respond to 你好!(Nǐ hǎo) is also 你好!(Nǐ hǎo).

If you want to be more polite, you can say 您好!(Nín hǎo!) The answer is the same, 您好!(Nín hǎo!).

If you meet someone for the first time in China and you don’t know his/her name, just ask his/her family name by saying:

A: 您贵?(Nín guìxìng?) What is your family name?

B: 我李。 (Wǒ xìng Lǐ.) My family name is Lǐ.

If you want to know their full name or first name, just say:

A: 你叫什么名字?(Nǐ jiào shénme míngzì?) What is  your full/first name?

B: 我叫李小明。(Wǒ jiào Lǐ Xiǎomíng.) My name is Li Xiaoming.

Remember, (xìng) is used to ask or introduce someone’s family name, and 叫 (jiào) is used to ask or introduce someone’s full name.

Common Chinese names consist of two or three syllables. For example: 张伟 (Zhāng Wěi) two syllables and 王秀英 (Wáng Xiù Yīng) three syllables. 张(Zhāng) and 王 (Wáng) are both Chinese family names. 伟 (Wěi) and 秀英 (Xiù Yīng) are their given names. Chinese family names always come at the beginning of the given or full names.

Let’s practice the complete dialogue!

X: 您好!

X: Nín hǎo!

Y: 您好!

Y: Nín hǎo!

X: 您贵

X: Nín guìxìng?

Y: 我李, 叫李小明。您贵

Y: Wǒ xìng Lǐ, jiào Lǐ Xiǎo Míng. Nín guìxìng?

X: 我姓王,叫王秀英。认识你很高兴。

X: Wǒ xìng Wáng, jiào Wáng Xiù Yīng. Rènshì nǐ hěn gāoxìng.

Y: 我也很高兴

Y: Wǒ yě hěn gāoxìng.

Sentences with 是 (Shì)

你是学生吗?

Nǐ shì xuéshēng ma?

Affirmative: Subject+是 (shì)+Noun

1.我是学生。(Wǒ shì xuéshēng.) I am a student.

2.他是老师。(Tā shì lǎoshī.) He is a teacher.

3.你是医生。(Nǐ shì yīshēng.) He is a doctor.

Add 是 (shì) after the subject for the affirmative sentence.

Negative: Subject+(bù) + 是 (shì)+Noun

1.我是学生。(Wǒ bù shì xuéshēng.) I am not a student.

2.是老师。(Tā bù shì lǎoshī.) He is not a teacher.

3.是医生。(Nǐ bù shì yīshēng.) He not is a doctor.

Add (bù) before 是 (shì) for the negative sentence.

Interrogative: Subject+ 是 (shì)+Noun + 吗(ma)?

1.你是学生吗? (Nǐ shì xuéshēng ma?)  Are you a student?

2.他是老师吗? (Tā shì lǎoshī ma?) Is he a teacher?

3.你是医生? (Nǐ shì yīshēng ma?) Are you a doctor?

Add 吗(ma) and a question mark at the end of an affirmative sentence to make an interrogative sentence.

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Filed under: Mandarin Chinese

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