Open Class Chinese - Daily Mandarin-

Say Hello! How are You?

In English, when greeting a person, the most common greeting would be: Hello! How are you? In Mandarin, it often says ' 你好 ! '. Let learn how to talk about the greeting.

Listen to conversation

Mr. Wang is doing exercise in the playground and meets a new friend, Mr. Zhang. They introduce their surnames with each other.

Play the audio track

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nín hǎo!nín ɡuì xìnɡ?

Hello! How are you? What’s your (honorable) surname?

00:00 / 00:03


miǎn ɡuì xìnɡ wánɡ。

My (humble) family name is Wang.

00:00 / 00:02


wánɡ xiān shenɡ, nín shēn tǐ hǎo mɑ?

Mr. Wang, how is your heath?

00:00 / 00:04


hěn hǎo,xiè xie。nǐ ɡuì xìnɡ?

Very good, thank you . What’s your surname?

00:00 / 00:04


wǒ xìnɡ zhānɡ,wǒ de tài tɑi yě xìnɡ wánɡ。

My surname is Zhang. My wife's surname is also Wang.

00:00 / 00:05

Vocabulary to know

00:00 / 00:01

姓 [ xìnɡ ] (n)

Last name, surname

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wǒ xìnɡ lǐ。

My surname is lee.

00:00 / 00:02

贵姓 [ ɡuì xìnɡ ]

What is (your) honorable surname?

00:00 / 00:03

请问您贵姓 ?

qǐnɡ wèn nín ɡuì xìnɡ ?

May I have your last name?

00:00 / 00:02

免贵姓 [ miǎn ɡuì xìnɡ ]

(My) surname is ... (polite reply)

00:00 / 00:03


miǎn ɡuì xìnɡ wánɡ。

My surname is Wang.

00:00 / 00:02

身体 [ shēn tǐ ] (n)

Body, health

00:00 / 00:03

我的爷爷身体很好 。

wǒ de yé ye shēn tǐ hěn hǎo。

The heath of my grandfather is very good.

00:00 / 00:02

谢谢 [ xiè xie ] (v)

Thank you!

00:00 / 00:02

谢谢你帮我 。

xiè xie nǐ bānɡ wǒ 。

Thank you for helping me.

00:00 / 00:01

也 [ yě ] (adv)

Also, too

00:00 / 00:03

我也不认识他 。

wǒ yě bú rèn shi tā。

I don't know him either.

Rules of Grammar

你好 [ nǐ hǎo ] / 您好 [ nín hǎo ] - Hello!, How are you?

is a common greeting in Mandarin, which means "Hello! ", "How are you? ".

The standard reply is using the same word " 你好 nǐ hǎo " / "您好 nín hǎo ".


A: 您 好 ! nín hǎo !

B: 您 好 ! nín hǎo !

您贵姓 [ nín ɡuì xìnɡ ] - What is your (honorable) surname?

is a formal way to ask about one’s surname, the answer to this question is only "免贵姓 miǎn ɡuì xìnɡ + one's surname" or "我姓 wǒ xìnɡ + one's surname".

It never says "我姓李先生 wǒ xìnɡ lǐ xiān shenɡ" nor "我姓李明 wǒ xìnɡ lǐ mínɡ".


A: 您 贵 姓 nín ɡuì xìnɡ ?

B: 免 贵 姓 张 miǎn ɡuì xìnɡ zhānɡ。 OR  我 姓 张 wǒ xìnɡ zhānɡ。

吗 ma - a question word

is a question word to form a simple question in Mandarin.

The way is simply to add the interrogative particle " 吗 ma " at the end of a sentence.


A sentence: 

你 好 nǐ hǎo ! (Hello!). We add " 吗 ma " at the end of the sentence to convert it to a simple question as follows:

A simple question: 

你 好 吗 nǐ hǎo mɑ ? (How are you?)

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