Open Class Chinese - Daily Mandarin-

Ask For Directions

If you are going to a Chinese-speaking country, in case you are unable to find a specific place without getting lost, it is important you can ask for directions in Mandarin. Today’s conversation talks about how to ask for directions and how to understand the directions be given.

Listen to conversation

Ye Zi cannot find a way to a train station, she meets Jia Ming on the street and asks for directions to take a bus to go there.

Play the audio track

00:00 / 00:57

帅 哥 …… 不 !

shuài gē …… bù !

Handsome …… No … !

00:00 / 00:03

先 生 , 不 好 意 思 , 打 扰 一 下

xiānsheng , bù hǎo yì si , dǎ rǎo yí xià 。

Sir, I am sorry to bother you.

00:00 / 00:04

有 什 么 事 吗 ?

yǒu shén me shì ma ?

What is the matter?

00:00 / 00:02

我 想 去 火 车 站

wǒ xiǎng qù huǒ chē zhàn,

I want to go to the train station.

00:00 / 00:02

请 问 可 以 坐 什 么 交 通 工 具 过 去 ?

qǐng wèn kě yǐ zuò shénme jiāo tōng gōng jù guò qù ?

what kind of vehicle can I take here?

00:00 / 00:04

你 可 以 坐 八 号 公 交 车

nǐ kě yǐ zuò bā hào gōng jiāo chē 。

You can take No. 8 bus.

00:00 / 00:03

这 里 公 交 车 站 蛮 的 ,

zhè lǐ lí gōng jiāo chē zhàn mán jìn de ,

It is close to the bus stop,

00:00 / 00:03

坐 公 交 车 去 火 车 站 , 大 约分 钟 就 到 了 。

zuò gōng jiāo chē qù huǒ chē zhàn, dà yuē sān fēn zhōng jiù dào le 。

Just take about 3 minutes to the train station.

00:00 / 00:05

非 常 方 便 !

fēi cháng fāng biàn !

very convenient!

00:00 / 00:02

Vocabulary to know

00:00 / 00:03

打扰 [ dá rǎo ] (v)

Disturb, bother

00:00 / 00:03

不 要 打 扰 我 !

bú yào dá rǎo wǒ !

Don't bother me!

00:00 / 00:02

一下 [ yí xià ] (num)

Used after a verb,indicating an act or an attempt

00:00 / 00:03

你 应 该 休 息 一 下 。

nǐ yīnɡ ɡāi xiū xi yí xià。

You should take a rest.

00:00 / 00:02

想 [ xiǎnɡ ] (mod)

To want, would like

00:00 / 00:03

我 想 再 要 一 杯 咖 啡 。

wǒ xiǎnɡ zài yào yì bēi kā fēi 。

I would like another cup of coffee.

00:00 / 00:02

火车站 [ huǒ chē zhàn ] (n)

Railway station

00:00 / 00:02

火 车 站 在 哪 里 ?

huǒ chē zhàn zài nǎ lǐ ?

Where is the railway station?

00:00 / 00:02

交通工具 [ jiāo tōnɡɡōnɡ jù ] (n)

Vehicle

00:00 / 00:03

你 有 什 么 交 通 工 具 吗 ?

nǐ yǒu shén me jiāo tōnɡ ɡōnɡ jù mɑ ?

What vehicles do you own?

00:00 / 00:02

可以 [ kě yǐ ] (adj)

Can be, may be

00:00 / 00:04

我 可 以 和 你 一 起 去 吗 ?

wǒ kě yǐ hé nǐ yì qǐ qù mɑ ?

Can I go with you?

00:00 / 00:02

公交车 [ gōnɡ jiāo chē ] (n)

Bus

00:00 / 00:02

公交车来了。

gōng jiāo chē lái le 。

Here comes the bus.

00:00 / 00:02

离 [ lí ] (v)

To be away from

00:00 / 00:04

这 儿 离 火 车 站 远 吗 ?

zhèr lí huǒ chē zhàn yuǎn mɑ ?

Is here far from the train station?

00:00 / 00:01

近 [ jìn ] (adj)

Near, close

00:00 / 00:03

商 店 离 我 家 很 近 。

shānɡ diàn lí wǒ jiā hěn jìn 。

The shop is close to my home.

Rules of Grammar

想 xiǎnɡ

  • The verb " 想 xiǎnɡ " can be used to express " would like to ", it is always put  before a verb. The structure is " Subject + 想 xiǎnɡ + Verb (+Object) ".

  • We use " 不 bù "  to from a negative sentence to mean " would not like to". 
    The structure is " Subject + 不 bù + 想 xiǎnɡ + Verb (+Object) ".

Example: 

  1. 我 想 去 超 市。  wǒ xiǎnɡ qù chāo shì 。 (I would like to go to the supermarket.)

  2. 你 想 喝 水 吗 ?  nǐ xiǎng hē shuǐ ma ?  (Would you like to drink some water?)

  3. 我 不 想 开 车。 wǒ bù xiǎnɡ kāi chē 。  (I would not like to drive.)

  4. 我 现 在 不 想 睡 觉。wǒ xiàn zài bù xiǎnɡ shuì jiào 。 (I would not like to go sleep now.)

离 lí

  • " 离lí "  is generally used to express the distance between two places whether they are close or far away from each other.

  • The pattern " Place1 + 离 lí + Place 2 + Adv. + 近 jìn / 远 yuǎn "  is used to express that two places are close / far with each other.

Example: 

  1. 我 家 离 公 司 很 近。 wǒ jiā lí gōng sī hěn jìn. (My house is close to my office.)

  2. 这 个 超 市 离 火 车 站 很 远。 zhè ɡe chāo shì lí huǒ chē zhàn hěn yuǎn. (This supermarket is far away from the train station.)

向 xiànɡ / 往 wǎnɡ

  • " 向 xiànɡ " and " 往 wǎnɡ " have the same meaning to indicate " towards or in the direction of ".

  • The sentence pattern is " 向 xiànɡ / 往 wǎnɡ 左 zuǒ 拐 ɡuǎi ", literally meaning " towards the left turn " in English, or simply means " to turn left ".

  • By the same pattern, " 向 xiànɡ / 往 wǎnɡ 右 yòu 拐 ɡuǎi ", meaning " to turn  right ".

Example: 

  1. 向 左 拐 直 走,会 有 一 个 十 字 路 口。xiàng zuǒ guǎi zhí zǒu,huì yǒu yí gè shí zì lù kǒu。(Turn left and continue walking, there will be a cross junction.)

  2. 往 右 拐 会 到 我 的 学 校  。wǎng yòu guǎi huì dào wǒ de xué xiào。Turn right and you will arrive at my school.

Write Chinese

想 [xiǎnɡ] (mod)

分钟[fēn zhōnɡ] (n)

Extended Learning

(1) Chinese Place Words


When asking for directions, you might need to mention some place words where you are looking for. Here are some common Chinese place words you might need to know as follows:

  • 超 市 chāo shì (supermarket)

  • 银 行 yín hánɡ (bank)

  • 医 院 yī yuàn (hospital)

  • 提 款 机 tí kuǎn jī (ATM machine)

  • 火 车 站 huǒ chē zhàn (train station)

  • 地 铁 站 dì tiě zhàn (subway station)

  • 公 交 (车) 站  ɡōnɡ jiāo (chē) zhàn (bus station)

  • 街 jiē (street)



(2)  Chinese Direction Words


You also need to know the following direction words:


  • 远 yuǎn (far)

  • 近 jìn (near)

  • 旁 边 páng biān (next to)

  • 前 面 qián miàn (in front of)

  • 后 面 hòu miàn (behind)

  • 对 面 duì miàn (across)

  • 左 边 zuǒ biān (left)

  • 右 边 yòu biān (right)

  • 北 边 běi bian (north)

  • 南 边 nán bian (south)

  • 东 边 dōng bian (east)

  • 西 边 xī bian (west)

  • 直 走 zhí zǒu (go straight)

  • 往 左 拐 wǎng zuǒ guǎi (turn left)

  • 往 右 拐 wǎng yòu guǎi (turn right)

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