Mandarin Grammar

Make an Invitation

Learning Objectives

  • Learn how to make an invitation in Mandarin.

Learning Video

Additional Notes

Let learn how to make an invitation in Mandarin Chinese, including keywords and grammatical structures often used in making an invitation request.

In Chinese, to ask if a person is available for an activity such as watching movie, taking a dinner or going a party with you, it is common to say,

  • “你有空吗, nǐ yǒu kōng ma?“ (Are you available?)

The structure is: Subject + yǒu kōng + ma?

The subject can be:

  • “你, nǐ “ (you), or

  • “他, tā“  (he), or

  • “他们, tā men“  (they), or

  • someone else.

“有空, yǒu kōng” means available.

“吗, ma” is a question word, used at the end of the sentence to make a sentence become a question.

When putting these words together to form a question sentence which means : “Are you available?”

If you would like to ask a person’s availability at a certain time, you can add a specific time before or after a Subject.

Examples of the specific time as follows:

  • "今天, jīn tiān" (today)

  • "明天, míng tiān" (tomorrow)

  • "后天, hòu tiān" (the day after tomorrow)

  • "上午, shàng wǔ" (in the morning)

  • "下午, xià wǔ" (in the afternoon)

The structures are : 

Subject + time + yǒu kōng + ma?

Time + Subject + yǒu kōng + ma?

Here are some examples :

  • "你今天有空吗, nǐ jīn tiān yǒu kōng ma?" (Are you available today?)

  • "你明天有空吗, nǐ míng tiān yǒu kōng ma?" (Will you be available tomorrow?)

  • "明天上午你有空吗, míng tiān shàng wǔ nǐ yǒu kōng ma?" (Will you be available tomorrow morning?)

If a person is available for your invitation to join your activity, it is common to say,

“我请你去, wǒ qǐng nǐ qù ...”, which means “ I invite you to…”

The structure for inviting a person for an activity is as follows:

 Subject A [请, qǐng] Subject B [去, qù] to do something

( It means "A [invite] B [to go] to do something" )

In this structure, the Subject can be

  • “你, nǐ" (you), or

  • “我, wǒ" (I), or

  • “他, tā," (he), or

  • someone else.

“请, qǐng” means to invite.

“去, qù” is a verb means to go.

“to do something” can be, for examples, having dinner, watching movie, drinking coffee, and so on.

Let’s take more examples:

  • "大卫玛丽吃晚饭, dà wěi yāo qǐng mǎ lì chī wǎn fàn。 "  (David invites Mary to have dinner.)

  • "他们看电影, tā men yāo qǐng kàn diàn yǐng。"  (They invite me to watch movie.)

  • "他喝咖啡, tā yāo qǐng hē kā fēi 。"  (He invites me to drink coffee.)