Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the National Chiao Tung University's online course, Fall in Love With Mandarin. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 18 seconds After watching the dialogue, did you learn the way how to ask someone’s name in Chinese?

Skip to 0 minutes and 32 seconds 請問(Qǐng wèn)means excuse me, may I ask This is very formal and polite way to start a conversation 你(nǐ)is you 叫(jiào)is to be called 什麼(shén me)is What 名字(míng zi)is Name 什麼 is very common question word in Chinese How do you use it? It’s very different from English In English “what” is put in the beginning of the sentence but in Chinese, 什麼 is put in the end of the sentence. If you want somebody’s name You say 你叫什麼名字(nǐ jiào shén me míng zi) This literally means You call what name So in English It is What is your name So how do we answer this question

Skip to 1 minute and 25 seconds 姓(xìng)is verb and followed only by family name (surname) 叫(jiào)is also verb but followed by given name or full name In this context, we can translate this sentence into My last name is Bai given name is Ru Yu In other words My name is Bai Ru Yu We also have other ways to answer this question

Skip to 2 minutes and 0 seconds In Chinese, to be polite, people often ask somebody’s last name only.

Skip to 2 minutes and 4 seconds You can say:

Skip to 2 minutes and 11 seconds This means You last name what Put it together You have What is your last name? How do you answer this question

Skip to 2 minutes and 26 seconds It sounds very easy, right? But it’s not really easy. In English you just need subject and plus to be verb last name In Chinese you just replace the verb to be with 姓(xìng) After learning this grammar to ask somebody their name did you get the structure of Chinese name yet In Chinese last name comes first and given name comes second This is totally opposite to English name For example 姓(xìng)+ 名字(míng zi) 白(bái) is Last name 如玉(rú yù)is given name 白如玉(bái rú yù)

What's your name?

“What’s your name” is the most important question when we meet a new friend. The way to make questions in Mandarin is very different from English. Let’s see how different it is.

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Fall in Love With Mandarin

National Chiao Tung University