Tag Archives: formal

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 […]

40 Terms Commonly Used in Chinese Academic Writing

The following is a collection of 40 terms that I have come across while reading Chinese academic writing such as papers, reports, theses, etc. I think this list will be very useful for any Westerner coming to China to study a Chinese-taught programme, but it can also be used by Chinese wishing to improve their […]

12 Basic Cohesive Devices in Formal English Writing (with Chinese translation)

I wrote this blog entry mainly for my Chinese students who have trouble with some basic cohesive devices in English – e.g. firstly/at first, lastly/at last, finally/ultimately, etc. However the word and sentence translations here I’m sure will also be helpful for Chinese learners. This is not supposed to be a comprehensive list of formal […]

74 Switch-Around Words in Mandarin

One unique phenomenon that learners of Chinese occasionally face is the accidental “swap-around” of double-syllable words when talking (and sometimes writing too). Because the vast majority of words in Mandarin are formed using two different characters, our brains will sometimes remember the word well enough but have trouble remembering which character goes before the other. […]