Talking about Nationality in Mandarin

Words and Expression to Master

NoMandarinEnglish
1同学 (tóngxué)classmate
2们 (men)suffix to indicate plurality
3来 (lái)to come
4介绍 (jièshào)to introduce
5一下儿 (Yīxiàr)used after a verb to show a brief action
6姓 (xìng)to be surnamed, surname
7的 (de)particle to indicate possession
8哪 (nǎ)which
9国 (guó)country
10人 (rén)people, person
11他 (tā)he
12她 (tā)she
13认识 (rènshì)to know someone
14很 (hěn)very
15高兴 (gāoxìng)glad happy
16也 (yě)too, also
17呢 (ne)modal particle for elliptical question

Now let’s learn about some countries names.

  1. China:中国 (Zhōngguó)
  2. The United State of America: 美国 (Měiguó)
  3. Germany: 德国 (Déguó)
  4. Korea: 韩国 (Hánguó)
  5. Thailand: 泰国 (Tàiguó)
  6. England: 英国 (Yīngguó)
  7. French: 法国 (Fàguó)

They all end with the word (guó) which means country; but some other countries names don’t end with the word 国 (guó).

e.g:

  1. Brazil: 巴西 (Bāxī)
  2. South Africa: 南非 (Nánfēi)
  3. Italy: 意大利 (Yìdàlì)
  4. Australia: 澳大利亚 (Àodàlìyǎ)
  5. Canada: 加拿大 (Jiānádà)
  6. Japan: 日本 (Rìběn)
  7. Indonesia: 印度尼西亚 (Yìndùníxīyà)
  8. Malaysia: 马来西亚 (Mǎláixīyà)
  9. Singapore: 新加坡 (Xīnjiāpō)
  10. Russia: 鲁西亚 (Lǔ xīyǎ)
  11. India: 印度 (Yìndù)

If you want to say the people who are from these countries, simply add the word 人 (rén), they then become:

  1. 中国人(Zhōngguórén)
  2. 美国人(Měiguórén)
  3. 德国人 (Déguórén)
  4. 韩国 人(Hánguórén)
  5. 巴西人 (Bāxīrén)
  6. 南非人 (Nánfēirén)
  7. 意大利人 (Yìdàlìrén)
  8. 澳大利亚人 (Àodàlìyǎrén)
  9. 加拿大 (Jiānádàrén
  10. 日本 (Rìběnrén)

Now let’s make some sentences to introduce from which country someone comes from.

  1. 我是中国人。(Wǒ shì Zhōngguórén)I am Chinese.
  2. 他是美国人。(Tā shì Měiguórén) He is American.
  3. 她是意大利人。 (Tā shì Yìdàlìrén) She is Italian.

To ask someone’s nationality, you’ll need the question word 哪 (Nǎ), which means ‘which’. Then the interrogative sentence becomes:

你是哪国人?

Nǐ shì nǎ guórén?

From which country are you?

The answer is:

我是中国人。

Wǒ shì Zhōngguórén.

I am from China/I am a Chinese.

Let’s see some other examples:

A:他是哪国人?

Tā shì nǎ guórén?

From which country is he?

B: 他是加拿大人。

Tā shì Jiānádà rén.

He is from Canada/He is a Canadian.

A: 她是哪国人?

Tā shì nǎ guórén?

From which country is she?

B: 她是韩国 人。

Tā shì Hánguó rén.

She is from Korea/She is a Korean.

A: 他们是哪国人?

A: Tāmen shì nǎ guórén?

From which country are they?

B: 他们是日本 人。

Tāmen shì Rìběn rén.

They are from Japan/They are a Japanese.

When you ask ‘你是哪国人?Nǐ shì nǎ guórén?’, it means that you really don’t know from which country someone is. But if you already get some clues, such as how he/she looks, how he/she speaks using his/her language or his/her English accent and you just want to make sure if he/she from the country you guess, from example, if you want to ask some one “Are you Korean?”, you can say 你是韩国人?(Nǐ shì Hánguó rén ma?).

Yeach…don’t forget to put the word 吗 (ma) and a question mark at the end of the sentence to mark it interrogative sentence (yes/no question).

If the answer is yes, then the person will answer by repeating the verb 是 (shì) and add the whole statement.

, 我是韩国人。

Shì, wǒ shì Hánguó rén.

Yes, I am a Korean.

But if the answer is no, then the answer will be:

不是, 我不是韩国人。

Bùshì, wǒ bùshì Hánguó rén.

No, I’m not a Korean.

Let’s make some other sentences using the question particle (ma):

A: 你是老师吗?

A: Nǐ shì lǎoshī ma?

B: 不是, 我不是老师。

B: Bùshì, wǒ bùshì lǎoshī.

A: 他是学生吗?

Tā shì xuéshēng ma?

B: 不是, 他不是学生。

B: Bùshì, tā bùshì xuéshēng.

A: 玛丽吗?

A: Tā shì Mǎlì ma?

B: 不是, 不是

Bùshì, tā bùshì Mǎlì。

Now, please practice the following dialogue:

李老师: 你好!你是马丁吗?

Lǐ lǎoshī: Nǐ hǎo! Nǐ shì Mǎdīng ma?

马丁: 是, 我是马丁

Mǎdīng: Shì, wǒ shì Mǎdīng.

李老师:我叫李小明。 我是你的汉语老师。

Lǐ lǎoshī: Wǒ jiào Lǐ Xiǎo Míng. Wǒ shì nǐ de Hànyǔ lǎoshī.

马丁:李老师, 您好!

Mǎdīng: Lǐ lǎoshī, nín hǎo!

李老师:马丁, 你是哪国人?

Lǐ lǎoshī: Mǎdīng, nǐ shì nǎ guórén?

马丁: 我是加拿大人。

Mǎdīng: Wǒ shì Jiānádà rén.

李老师: 真的吗?

Lǐ lǎoshī: Zhēnde ma?

马丁真的,老师为什么?

Mǎdīng: Zhēnde, lǎoshī, wèishéme?

李老师:我很喜欢加拿大, 真想去那里。

Lǐ lǎoshī: Wǒ hěn xǐhuān Jiānádà, zhēn xiǎng qù nàlǐ.

马丁我会很开心欢迎您来加拿大。很高兴认识您, 老师。

Mǎdīng: Wǒ huì hěn kāixīn huānyíng nín lái Jiānádà. Hěn gāoxìng rènshì nín, lǎoshī.

李老师:我也是。

Lǐ lǎoshī: Wǒ yě shì.

们 (Men)

们 (men) is a suffix to denote plurality. It is used after a noun or pronoun.

For examples:

  1. Pronoun

我+们 = 我们 (wǒmen) ==> 我们是老师。(Wǒmen shì lǎoshī.) We are teachers.

你+们 = 你们 (nǐmen) ==> 你们是学生。(Nǐmen shì xuéshēng.) You are students.

他+们 = 他们 (tāmen) ==> 他们是我的朋友。(Tāmen shì wǒ de péngyǒu.) They are my friends.

2. Noun

同学+们 =  同学们(tóngxuémen) ==> 同学们好! (Tóngxuémen hǎo!)

朋友+们 =  朋友们(péngyǒumen) ==> 朋友们好吗? (Péngyǒumen hǎo ma?)

老师+们 =  老师们(lǎoshīmen) ==> 朋友们好! (Péngyǒumen hǎo!)

也 (Yě)

也 (yě) means also. It is used to show similarities.

For examples:

1.你是学生, 我也是学生。

Nǐ shì xuéshēng, wǒ yě shì xuéshēng.

You are a student, I am also a student/ I am too.

2.我们不是老师, 他们也不是老师。

Wǒmen bù shì lǎoshī, tāmen yě bù shì lǎoshī.

We are not teachers, they are also not teachers/neither are they.

3.他们不是中国人,我们也不是中国人。

Tāmen bù shì Zhōngguó rén, wǒmen yě bù shì Zhōngguó rén.

They are not Chinese, we are also not Chinese/ neither are we.

呢 (Ne)

呢 (ne) is a modal particle which is used for elliptical question. It is placed at the end of an interrogative sentence to indicate the question mood.

X: 他是美国人, 你呢?

X: Tā shì Měiguó rén, nǐ ne?

X: He is an American, how about you?

Y: 我是加拿大人。

Y: Wǒ shì Jiānádà rén.

Y: I am a Canadian.

X: 他是老师, 你呢?

X: Tā shì lǎoshī, nǐ ne?

X: He is a teacher, how about you?

Y:我是医生。

Y:Wǒ shì yīshēng.

Y: I am a doctor.

 

 

 

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