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Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds ZHANG Yanli: Nǐhǎo! I’m Zhang Yanli. “Nǐhǎo” means “hi” or “hello”. It’s the commonest way of greeting people. This is our first topic. That is greeting. You may start your conversations with “nǐhǎo” when you ask a pedestrian for direction or order meals in a restaurant. Well, sometimes we’d like to say “nínhǎo” instead to show our respect or politeness. For example, to our teachers or the seniors.

Skip to 0 minutes and 46 seconds Victor Kengo Umeuchi: Zhāng lǎoshī nínhǎo. Wǒ shì Méinèi jiànwǔ.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 seconds ZHANG Yanli: Nǐhǎo Méinèi jiànwǔ, hěn gāoxìng rènshi nǐ.

Skip to 0 minutes and 56 seconds Nice to meet you.

Skip to 0 minutes and 57 seconds Victor-Kengo Umeuchi: Nice to meet you. Let’s take a look at the sentence structure. Subject plus “shì” plus noun. “Shì” means “am, is, are”. The subject can be a personal pronoun like “wǒ”, I; “nǐ”, you. After “shì”, we’ll use a noun to introduce one’s identity. For example, wǒ shì Zhāng yànlì. I am Zhang Yanli.

Skip to 1 minute and 37 seconds Wǒ shì lǎoshī. I’m a teacher. In Chinese, when we address others we put occupation after someone’s family name. For example, “Zhāng lǎoshī”, Teacher Zhang. “Wáng jīnglǐ”, Manager Wang. “Lǐ yīshēng”, Doctor Lee.

Skip to 2 minutes and 0 seconds Victor Kengo Umeuchi: Zhāng lǎoshī, are there any other ways to greet each other?

Skip to 2 minutes and 4 seconds ZHANG Yanli: Yeah. You may replace “nǐ” or “nín” with other expressions. If you want to say hi to more than one person, you may say “nǐmen hǎo” or “dàjiā hǎo”, which means “hi everyone”. If you meet your teacher, you may say, “lǎoshī hǎo”, which means “hello teacher”. If in the morning, you may say “zǎoshang hǎo”, which means “good morning”.

Skip to 2 minutes and 40 seconds In our Chinese conversation, there are two other teachers. Nǐhǎo, wǒ shì Amy. Hěn gāoxìng rènshi nǐ! Nǐhǎo, wǒ shì Lydia. Hěn gāoxìng rènshi nǐ!

Skip to 2 minutes and 54 seconds Just now, we greeted you. Now you know how to reply.

Skip to 2 minutes and 58 seconds ZHANG Yanli: See, it’s not that difficult to learn Chinese. Later, we will learn something more challenging. Are you ready for that?

How to greet each other in Chinese

Welcome to start Chinese Conversation course with us. In this course, we will teach you how to interact with others using basic Chinese. Let’s start with how to greet each other.


In Chinese, the most common way to say “Hi” is “你好(nǐhǎo)”. Sometimes we may use “您好(nínhǎo)” to show respect to our teachers or the seniors.

Besides “你好(nǐhǎo)” and “您好(nínhǎo)”, there are other ways to greet others in daily life. We like to ask about a person’s action.

  • In the morning: 早上好! (zǎoshang hǎo) Good morning!

In order to introduce ourselves, the following pattern can be used.

Subject + 是 + Noun.

  • 我是张艳莉。 (Wǒ shì Zhāng Yànlì.) I am Zhang Yanli.
  • 我是老师。 (Wǒ shì lǎoshī.) I am a teacher.

When you meet a new friend, you can say “很高兴认识你 (Hěn gāoxìng rènshi nǐ) “ which means “Nice to meet you.”

If you have any questions about greetings, please don’t hesitate to leave us questions or comments.

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This video is from the free online course:

Introduction to Chinese: Conversation

Shanghai International Studies University (SISU)

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