Basic Chinese Greetings

Greetings are always one of the first things one learns when studying a new language. They are the key to ensuring the people you talk to have a good impression of you right from the beginning.


A proper Chinese greeting can really open up the gate to a fuller, desired conversation. If you’re looking to taking your Chinese speaking skills to the next level, then knowing the basic greetings will be essential.

In today’s post on Survival Chinese with Oge, we’ll share with you the most basic Chinese words and phrases you should know as a beginner. Even if you know zero Chinese right now, this will be a great starting point to kick start your Mandarin journey.


Exchanging pleasantries

1. Hello

Hello  –  nǐhǎo  (literal translation means “You good!”) –  你好
Hello –   nín hǎo (a formal and respectful way for addressing superiors) – 您好 •

2. Thank you

Thanks   :   xièxiè  – 谢谢
Thank you   :   xièxiè nǐ   – 谢谢你
xièxiè nín   – 谢谢您

If you want to deeply express your gratitude, you can mention the person’s name : Thank you, Mike : xièxiè nǐ, Mike : 谢谢你 Mike.

3. My pleasure/You are welcome

         – bùkèqì  : no need to be courteous, its my pleasure  :   不客气

– bùyòngxiè – no need to thanks, no worries, its not a big deal : 不用谢

English Pinyin Character
How are you? nǐhǎo ma? 你好吗?
I’m fine, thank you. wǒ hěn hǎo, xièxiè. 我很好, 谢谢。
And you? nǐ ne? 你呢?
I’m fine too, thank you. wǒ yě hěn hǎo, xièxiè. 我也很好,谢谢。
Also, too   yě
Basic Greetings 1 on a table

Other words used in a basic greeting dialogue

Please qǐng 请 
Good bye zàijiàn 再见
Sorry duìbuqǐ 对不起
Alright, It’s Okay  méiguānxi 没关系


1. Good Morning ´

zǎoshàng hǎo
This is a greeting made in the early hours of the morning, usually between the time you wake up and 9am.

Good Morning!

shàngwǔ hǎo  
This is a greeting made at any time of the morning hours, usually before noon.

Good Morning!

2. Good Afternoon

  xiàwǔ hǎo 
This greeting is usually said between the hours of 12pm (中午) when you can greet 中午好 to around the hours of 6pm. 12pm is referred to as 中午 which means midday and at midday, you can greet 中午好 zhong wǔ hǎo.

Good Afternoon!

3. Good Evening  

wǎnshàng hǎo 
This greeting is usually said in the evenings when the sun is going down and after the hours of 6pm, usually around office closing hours.

Good evening!

4. Good Night 

This is what you say when you want to go to bed.

Good Night!

5. Safe journey

This is said when a person is about to embark on a journey.

Safe Journey!

6. Welcome

This is said at a person’s arrival to express that he or she is received with gladness.


7. Good Bye

This is said to bid farewell when a person is departing.


´Good Morning     shàngwǔ hǎo      上午好

´Good Afternoon     xiàwǔ hǎo      下午好

´Good Evening          wǎnshàng hǎo      晚上好

´Good Night      wǎn’ān      晚安

´Safe journey     yīlùpíngān       一路平安

´Welcome      huānyíng   欢迎

´Good Bye        zàijiàn        再见

Attached here is a playlist of the videos under this series. Feel free to learn or keep busy with them.

Tell a friend to tell a friend.

Invite your friends to class.

Repeat after the teacher.
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