50+ Basic Chinese Phrases To Boost Your Skills

Do you know that you can survive in countries like China, Taiwan, and Singapore by simply memorizing basic Chinese phrases? Yep, you read that right! While this may seem like a challenging language to learn, having knowledge of some of the basic expressions can undoubtedly take you far when interacting with the Chinese people [中国人, Zhōngguó rén]. If you are ready to find out more about this, keep reading below!

How To Speak Chinese Like A Native

When learning Chinese, it’s expected that everyone dreams of speaking like a native speaker. So, to accomplish your goal, you can’t skip learning the Chinese pronunciation lesson as it’s a tonal language. Allow me to explain that in the section below briefly.

Chinese Has 4 Tones

  • First tone: (neutral)
  • Second tone:
  • Third tone:
  • Fourth tone:

By the way, there’s a debate regarding a fifth tone. Let’s focus on the four major tones to make things easier for a beginner like you. The phrases covered in this post will all use the tones described above so that you can practice too while learning expressions. Let’s get started!

Basic Chinese Phrases

All basic Japanese phrases you need

Chinese Phrases Used At The Airport

Whether arriving or departing at the airport, you will eventually meet at least one Chinese person. It can be ground staff or other passengers. So you better have these basic Chinese phrases in mind.

Chinese PhrasesPronunciationEnglish Definition
我要去飞机场wǒ yào qù jīchǎngI’m going to the airport.
这是我的护照zhè shì wǒ de hùzhàoHere’s my passport.
我把笔记本电脑需要单独拿出来吗?wǒ bǎ Bǐjìběn diànnǎo xūyào dāndú ná chūlái ma?Do I have to take out my laptop?
我没有需要申报的东西wǒ méiyǒu xūyào shēnbào de dōngxiI have nothing to declare.
请给我一个靠窗口的座位qǐng gěi wǒ yíge kào chuāngkǒu de zuòwèiI would like to have a window seat.
请给我一个靠走廊的座位qǐng gěiwǒ yíge kào zǒuláng de zuòwèiI would like to have an aisle seat.
飞行时间有多长?fēixíng shíjiān yǒu duō cháng?How long is the flight?
行李领取处在那儿离?xínglǐ tíqǔ zài nà’er lí?Where’s the baggage claim area?

Chinese Phrases Used At The Hotel

Let’s say you’re a backpacker who doesn’t like planning in advance. So you prefer to walk into any hotels you feel like. But, perhaps, you’ve to practice these basic Chinese phrases beforehand to secure that your trip will be smooth.

Chinese PhrasesPronunciationEnglish Definition
还有空房吗?Hái yǒu kōng fáng ma?Do you have any rooms available?
房价多少?Fáng jià duō shǎo?What’s the room rate?
我想住 2 晚Wǒ xiǎng zhù liǎng  wǎnI want to stay for two nights.
包含早饭吗?Bāo hán zǎo fàn ma?Is breakfast included?
早饭几点钟?Zǎo fàn jǐ diǎn zhōng?What time is breakfast?
几点可以入住?Jǐ diǎn kě yǐ rù zhù?What’s the check-in time?
几点退房?Jǐ diǎn tuì fáng?What’s the checkout time?

Chinese Phrase Used For Shopping

Imagine traveling to a Chinese street market or department store with plenty of beautiful things you can’t wait to purchase. But, you’re not the kind of person who can spend money quickly, so you want to ask a vendor for more details. So here are the common Chinese phrases you need.

Chinese PhrasesPronunciationEnglish Definition
百货公司在哪儿?Bǎi huò gōng sī zài nǎ ér ?Where’s the department store?
这个多少钱?Zhège duōshǎo qián?How much is it?
我可以试一试吗?Wǒ kěyǐ shì yī shì ma?Can I try it on?
试衣间在哪里?Shì yī jiān zài nǎlǐ?Where’s the fitting room?
太贵了Tài guì leToo expensive
可以便宜一点吗?Kěyǐ piányí yīdiǎn ma?Can you give me a lower price?
我不需要发票Wǒ bù xūyào fāpiàoI don’t need a receipt.

Chinese Phrases Used At The Restaurant

The most delicious sauce is hunger, but it would be so much better to order the right Chinese food for yourself. So before you step into the local restaurant, make sure you practice ordering in the native language using any of the expressions below.

Chinese PhrasesPronunciationEnglish Definition
这里吃Zhè lǐ chīEat in
带走Dài zǒuTake away
两个人的餐桌Liǎng ge rén de cān zhōuA table for two, please.
我可以看一下菜单吗?Wǒ kě yǐ kàn yí xià cài dān ma?Can I see the menu?
这是什么?Zhè shì shén me?What’s this?
可以不放 (肉,鸡蛋) 吗?Kě yǐ bú fàng (ròu ,jī dàn) ma?Can you make it without (meat or egg)?
我要 。。。Wǒ yào…I want…
我不要 。。。Wǒ bú yào…I don’t want…
我不喝酒Wǒ bù hē jiǔI don’t drink alcohol.
买单Mǎi dānCheck, please.
All basic Japanese phrases you need

Chinese Phrases For Asking Directions

Getting lost is such a nightmare, so you better practice how to ask Chinese people about your destination.

Chinese PhrasesPronunciationEnglish Definition
我们在哪里?Wǒ men zài nǎ lǐ?Where are we?
最近的取款机在哪里?Zuì jìn de qǔ kuǎn jī zài nǎ lǐ ?Where’s the nearest ATM?
洗手间在哪里?Xǐ shǒu jiān zài nǎ lǐ ?Where’s the toilet?
火车站在哪里?Huǒ chē zhàn zài nǎ lǐ?Where’s the train station?
在哪里买票?Zài nǎ lǐ mǎi piào?Where can I buy the ticket?
这趟火车去Zhè tàng huǒ chē qù (běi jīng) ma?Is this the train going to Beijing?
这个站台对吗?Zhè gè zhàn tái duì ma?Is this the right platform?
哪里有宾馆?Nǎ lǐ yǒu bīn guǎnWhere can I find a hotel?

Chinese Phrases For Seeking Help

Indeed, you’re a foreigner and not familiar with your surroundings. You may need much assistance from Chinese people in any possible situation. So here are the basic phrases you should remember.

Chinese PhrasesPronunciationEnglish Definition
你能帮我一下吗?Nǐ néng bāng wǒ yīxià ma?Can you help me with something quick?
救命啊Jiùmìng aHelp!
请帮帮我Qǐng bāng bāng wǒPlease help me.

Chinese Phrases Used Inside The Classroom

In case you visit the country to study, no matter Chinese language class or pursue a higher degree. Here are the Chinese phrases you need in the classroom.

Chinese PhrasesPronunciationEnglish Definition
你好nǐ hǎoHello
你好吗?nǐ hǎo maHow are you?
上课了shàngkè leClass begins
下课xiàkèClass is over
请再说一遍qǐng zài shuō yī biànPlease say it one more time.
我懂了wǒ dǒng leI understand (I got it)
我不懂wǒ bù dǒngI don’t understand.
明白了míngbái leI understand
这是什么意思?zhè shì shénme yìsī?What does it mean?
请说慢一点qǐng shuō màn yīdiǎnPlease speak a little slower.


So you now have all the essential Chinese words and phrases you need to be able to survive in Chinese-speaking countries. But, it would be great if you could learn Chinese from its beginning structure rather than as a shortcut to remember words and phrases easier. Though these essential Chinese phrases can surely help you survive, you should study more about Chinese characters and upper-level Chinese to improve your skills further. With that said, we have a resource to recommend to you. Check it out below!

Learning Chinese In The Most Powerful Way With The Ling App

Reading this blog seems not enough for you, and now seeking many more useful phrases to learn? Then, we suggest you swipe up your phone to download the Ling App so that you can learn the Chinese language anytime and anywhere! We offer massive resources necessary to communicate with native speakers, from beginner to expert level.

Are you now feeling motivated to learn more? Download the Ling App from the Google PlayStore and Apple AppStore now, and prepare to be fluent in Chinese sooner!

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