Start learning the most common Chinese phrases

Chinese is a fascinating and melodic language that is thought to be the most happy language in the world. So, why not learn a few basic Chinese phrases and expressions to enhance your general knowledge and become happier in the process?

There’s an infinite number of sentences in the Chinese language that make learning Chinese feel overwhelming. Let's stay optimistic. We have some good news: you only need to know a fraction of the total number of Chinese sentences to be able to speak Chinese fluently. For example, by knowing as little as 100 words you will understand 50% of any text in Chinese. That's right! You don't have to know the ins and outs of Chinese to have a real conversation with someone from China.

The secret is to learn Chinese the smart way. Start with the most common Chinese phrases and expressions and build from there. Learning sentence after sentence, you’ll feel one step closer to fluency. Then, to lock the knowledge in, use the Chinese sentences you learned in real conversations. So, why not make the first step towards learning Chinese today? Let’s go over some common sentences in Chinese you can learn right now. These are just a fraction of the phrases spoken by native Chinese speakers you can listen to on Mondly, our high rated language learning app loved by millions of people around the world.

Top 10 Chinese phrases and sentences you need to know

We have prepared a list of common Chinese expressions that will help you have a basic conversation in Chinese in no time. Let's dig in!

1. 早上好 = Good morning.

If you find yourself in Hong Kong it is always polite to say “Hi” every morning because Chinese speakers are really sociable. “Good morning” in Chinese is "早上好".

Now enjoy being greeted by a native speaker:

早上好

2. 下午好 = Good afternoon.

But what if it's later in the day and you want to greet someone from China? Well, “Good afternoon” in Chinese is "下午好".

Now listen to how a Chinese speaker would pronounce it:

下午好

3. 李先生 = My name is Mondly.

Let's say your name is Mondly, you are traveling to Beijing and meet someone on the street. To introduce yourself you can say "我叫蒙德利" which means "My name is Mondly" in Chinese.

Listen to how a person from Beijing would pronounce this phrase:

李先生

4. 很高兴认识你 = I'm pleased to meet you.

Now that you have introduced yourself, a Chinese speaker would respond "我很高兴见到你" which means "I'm pleased to meet you" in Chinese.

Listen to a native Chinese speaker saying that exact sentence to you right now:

很高兴认识你

5. 你好吗? = How are you?

At this point it might be polite to ask the person you are having a conversation with "How are you?" in Chinese.

It’s really easy to pronounce. Here's how to say it:

你好吗?

6. 你在哪里? = Where are you?

Chinese speakers are known to be really friendly, so it wouldn't be unusual to make a Chinese friend during your travels. But friends are sometimes late to meetings in which case you might have to call them and ask "Where are you?" in Chinese.

Here's a native speaker showing you how to say it:

你在哪里?

7. 我要一杯啤酒。 = I'd like a beer.

And because you might find yourself in a bar when visiting China you might have to learn how to order a beer in Chinese.

Let a native Chinese speaker show you how it's done:

我要一杯啤酒。

8. 对不起 = I'm sorry.

There are times when what you ordered is out of stock, so a bartender might say "对不起" which means "I'm sorry" in Chinese.

Listen to how it's pronounced:

对不起

9. 一会儿见! = See you soon!

This is a good way of saying "See you soon" in Chinese to a co-worker from Shanghai that you are probably going to see the next day.

Delight your senses with a Chinese speaker saying the phrase:

一会儿见!

10. 再见 = Good-bye.

Let's end with the best way to end a pleasant conversation politely. This is another way of saying "Goodbye" in Chinese.

Here's how a person from China would pronounce it:

再见
Image showing the basic Chinese phrases and Chinese sentences you can learn with Mondly

Did you know?

The Chinese people are famous for their words of wisdom and puns which are more popular in China than the jokes told in the Western countries. One of the most popular Mandarin expressions used on New Year's Eve is “nián nián yǒu yú” (年年有餘). By saying it, you wish people a year of abundance. If you’ve ever visited China or the local Chinatown, you’ve probably seen this phrase painted alongside a representation of a fish on the doors or walls of restaurants or regular Chinese houses. This is because the “yú” in “nián nián yǒu yú” means both abundance and fish. Being a sign of abundance, Chinese people have the tradition of eating fish on New Year’s Eve.

As for words of wisdom, the Chinese have offered the world some of the most famous proverbs. One of the most popular ones is “Qiān lǐ zhī xíng, shǐ yú zú xià” (千里之行,始于足下) and it means “A journey of 1000 miles begins with one step”. It was first said in the 6th century BC by Laozi, one of the biggest Chinese philosophers. We love this proverb because it perfectly describes the lengthy journey to becoming fluent in Mandarin Chinese. However, like all journeys, it all starts with one single step, with one lesson.

The benefits of learning the most common Chinese phrases first

Get smarter day by day

Learning a new language is a perfect way to boost your IQ. In no time, your brain will make new connections and associations and you’ll feel that learning Chinese was one of the best choices you ever made.

Have real conversations in Chinese today

Once you start learning a few basic sentences in Chinese you will have the knowledge to start your first Chinese conversation. That’s why, at Mondly, we’ve created experiences that simulate real life conversations to get you speaking Chinese in no time.

Become fluent in Chinese quicker

Starting with the basics, we quickly lay a foundation for you to learn more complex Chinese phrases and sentences. We gradually build your Chinese knowledge so you get fluent faster than you could imagine.

Feel how easy to learn the Chinese language can be

Every language experience should start gradually, from the easiest to the more complex concepts. Starting with the easiest and most common Chinese phrases, you will feel confident in your ability to learn a new language. That’s one of the core principles Mondly is built on.