Category Archives: Chinese Expressions

Top 80 Most Common Polite Expressions in Chinese

Polite expressions (礼貌用语 lǐmào yòngyǔ) are often neglected by learners of Chinese. They are rarely covered in textbooks, and there is a general misconception that Chinese does not have many such expressions. While “manners” as we understand them in English-speaking countries are not typically observed in modern-day China, it would be incorrect to claim that […]

Another 45 Mandarin Sentences with Chinese Characteristics

(This post is a continuation from my previous article “45 Mandarin Sentences with Chinese Characteristics“.) The following is a collection of sentences in Mandarin which I believe are special in some way. What do I mean by “special”? Well, let’s just say grammatically and structurally they’re not exactly typical, and in most cases they stand-alone […]

Comprehensive Guide to Nouns Ending With 的 de

I don’t think you’ll find a list like this anywhere on the web, or in textbooks or grammar books. Indeed, I’ve read pretty much every major Chinese grammar textbook and do not remember seeing these nouns covered in any shape or form. So what is this post about? It’s a compilation of a very special […]

45 Mandarin Sentences with Chinese Characteristics

The following is a collection of sentences in Mandarin which I believe are special in some way. What do I mean by “special”? Well, let’s just say grammatically and structurally they’re not exactly typical, and in most cases they stand-alone as independent expressions. Plus, many of them contain elements of Chinese culture that set them […]

23 Actually Useful Proverbs (谚语)

Here’s a list of proverbs I’ve come across over the years that I think are actually interesting and useful in both conversation and writing. A translation for each is provided, along with an equivalent English expression where possible. 熟能生巧 shúnéngshēngqiǎo – Skill comes from practice; practice makes perfect. 百闻不如一见 bǎiwén bùrú yījiàn – Hearing something […]

10 Chinese Love Idioms

I’ve been looking through some old notes I had written a few years ago and was inspired to come up with a love/relationships theme for my next blog entry. Here’s a list I’ve come up with some (native-speaker-checked) example sentences to help you express more eloquently your past, present and future experiences with the lovers […]

20 Actually Useful Chengyu (成语)

Most advanced learners, I think, have a love-hate relationship with chengyu (成语), those pesky, mostly four-character idioms taken from classical China. Sure, you get learners who are obsessed with them and endeavour to memorise one hundred a month only to find their practical usage is hazy to say the least. (It’s also very difficult at […]