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Basic Chinese words and pronunciation

Basic Chinese words and pronunciation

Here is a list of basic Chinese word and pronunciation. This is one of the best ways to start learning Chinese. Learn the first 100, 250, or 500 most important words and start applying them with practical sentences and more! The most important note to remember, though, is to make sure your pronunciation and tones are correct! If you don’t have these down, then no native speakers can understand you.

For each word, we’ve provided the Chinese character, the pinyin, the part of speech, and the English meaning. Use the pinyin to make sure you’re nailing the pronunciation and tone. For those of you that don’t know pinyin, please come to check out our Pinyin course which has 6 lessons to teach you everything you need to know. Quick quiz! How to do the “J” sound in pinyin? How about “zh?” Are they the same? Can you hear the difference?

If you’re not sure, then watch our quick review video of all Chinese pronunciation and our video on the tones.

 

List of Basic Chinese words

jiào Verb to be called
xìng Noun/Verb surname, one’s family name is
名字 míngzi Noun name
哪国人 nǎguórén Phrase a person of which country
Pronoun you
Pronoun I, me
认识你很高兴 rènshì nǐ hěn gāoxìng Phrase It’s nice to meet you
shì Verb is
美国 Měiguó Noun United States
中国 Zhōngguó Noun China
máng Adj busy
lèi Adj tired , tiring
hǎo Adj good
你们 nǐmen Pronoun you (plural), y’all
学生 xuéshēng Noun student, students
老师 lǎoshī Noun teacher
再见 zàijiàn Phrase goodbye
日本 Rìběn Noun Japan
Pronoun He, him
yào Verb to want
喜欢 xǐhuan Verb to like
Verb to drink
chī Verb to eat
咖啡 kāfēi Noun coffee
cài Noun dish, cuisine
chá Noun tea
kǒu Measure word measure word for family members
Measure word general measure word, measure word for people
爸爸 bàba Noun father
妈妈 māma Noun mother
哥哥 gēge Noun older brother
姐姐 jiějie Noun older sister
弟弟 dìdi Noun younger brother
妹妹 mèimei Noun younger sister
jiā Noun home, family
Conj and
shéi Pronoun who
gǒu Noun dog
好看 hǎokàn Adj good-looking
shū Noun book, books
兄弟姐妹 xiōngdì jiěmèi Noun siblings
房子 fángzi Noun house
家人 jiārén Noun family member
介绍 jièshào Verb to introduce
漂亮 piàoliàng Adj beautiful
zhāng Measure word a measure word for photograph, picture, paper, table etc.
女儿 nǚér Noun daughter
māo Noun cat
照片 zhàopiàn Noun pictures, photos
duō Adj many, more
liǎng Numeral two
可爱 kěài Adj cute,lovely
kuài Measure word piece; dollar
bēi Measure word cup, cups
píng Measure word bottle, bottles
mǎi Verb buy
qián Noun money
东西 dōngxi Noun thing, things, stuff
谢谢 xièxie Phrase Thank you
不客气 búkèqì Phrase You’re welcome
xiē Measure word some
bǎi Noun hundred
一共 yígòng Adv altogether
今天 jīntiān Noun today
几点 jǐdiǎn Phrase What time
fēn Noun minute
kàn Verb to read, to watch
电影 diànyǐng Noun movie
上网 shàngwǎng Verb Object Surf Internet
现在 xiànzài Noun now
bàn Noun half
zuò Verb to do
做饭 zuòfàn Verb Object to cook
吃饭 chīfàn Verb Object to eat
请问 qǐngwèn Phrase Excuse me, may I ask…
饭馆 fànguǎn Noun restaurant
服务员 fúwùyuán Noun waiter, waitress
杯子 bēizi Noun cup
zhēn Adv really
点菜 diǎncài Verb Object to order food
好吃 hǎochī Adj tasty/delicious
shuǐ Noun water
shǎo Adj few
买单 mǎidān Verb Object to pay
昨天 zuótiān Noun yesterday
明天 míngtiān Noun tomorrow
什么时候 shénme shíhou Phrase when
上午 shàngwǔ Noun morning
星期 xīngqī Noun Week, day of the week
起床 qǐchuáng Verb Object wake up
早饭 zǎofàn Noun breakfast
睡觉 shuìjiào Verb Object sleep
上课 shàngkè Verb Object go to class,attend class
xiǎng Verb to want to ,to plan to/to think
yuè Measure word month
Measure word day
下午 xiàwǔ Noun afternoon
晚上 wǎnshàng Noun evening
qǐng Verb to treat, to invite
lái Verb to come
有空 yǒukòng Verb have free time, to be free
对不起 duìbùqǐ Phrase sorry
没关系 méiguānxi Phrase that’s ok, no problem
生日 shēngrì Noun birthday
打球 dǎqiú Verb Object to play ball games, ball sports
篮球 lánqiú Noun basketball
球赛 qiúsài Noun match, ball games
逛街 guàngjiē Verb Object shopping
周末 zhōumò Noun weekend
早起 zǎoqǐ Verb to wake up early
觉得 juéde Verb to feel,to think,to consider
好玩儿 hǎowán’er Adj interesting, fun, enjoyable
运动 yùndòng Noun exercise, to exercise
电影院 diànyǐngyuàn Noun cinema
学习 xuéxí Verb to study
酒吧 jiǔba Noun bar
啤酒 píjiǔ Noun beer
有意思 yǒuyìsi Adj interesting, fun
无聊 wúliáo Adj boring,bored
麻烦 máfán Verb be annoyed,to bother, troublesome, annoying
出门 chūmén Verb Object to go outside
zhǒng Measure word kind,type
一起 yìqǐ Adv together
算了 suànle Phrase forget about it
下雨 xiàyǔ Verb Object raining
外面 wàimiàn Noun outside
没问题 méi wèntí Phrase no problem
可是 kěshì Conj but
做菜 zuòcài Verb cooking
唱歌 chànggē Verb to sing
shuō Verb say,speak a language
汉语 hànyǔ Noun Mandarin
英语 yīngyǔ Noun English
不错 búcuò Adj pretty good, not bad
jiāo Verb to teach
写字 xiězì Verb Object to write
kuài Adj fast, quick
功课 gōngkè Noun homework
图书馆 túshūguǎn Noun library
中饭 zhōngfàn Noun lunch
晚饭 wǎnfàn Noun dinner
中午 zhōngwǔ Noun noon
非常 fēicháng Adv very,extremely
Noun question
nán Adj difficult

 

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