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How to express directions

Direction is an important communicative topic. The context of this video is at school.

Direction is an important communicative topic.

The context of this video is at school.One of the instructors didn’t know where the restroom is, so she asked the following question.


Location word 在(zài) somewhere

洗手间在哪儿? (Xǐshǒujiān zài nǎr?)
Where is the restroom?

To answer the above question, we need to learn the necessary vocabulary about position.

  • 前边(qiánbian) in front, front
  • 后边(hòubian) after, behind
  • 左边(zuǒbian) left
  • 右边(yòubian) right
  • 旁边(pángbiān) beside, next to
  • 对面(duìmiàn) opposite; across from
Here is an example to answer the first question.
洗手间在图书馆旁边。 (Xǐshǒujiān zài túshūguǎn pángbiān.)
The restroom is next to the library.
Here is a sentence pattern for describing the distance between two locations.
A 离(lí) B 远(yuǎn)
4号楼离1号楼很远。 (sìhàolóu lí yīhàolóu hěn yuǎn.)
Building 4 is far away from the Building 1.
A 离(lí) B 近(jìn)
食堂离1号楼很近。 (Shítáng lí yīhàolóu hěn jìn.)
The cafeteria is close to Building 1.
“远(yuǎn)” and “近(jìn)” is a pair of antonyms. “远(yuǎn)” means “far” while “近(jìn)” means “close”.
In Chinese, “turn left” and “turn right” are expressed with a co-verb 往(wǎng) which indicates the direction of motion towards a certain place.
  • 往左拐(wǎng zuǒ guǎi) turn left
  • 往右拐(wǎng yòu guǎi) turn right
  • 拐(guǎi) turn.

If you have any other questions about direction and position, please leave us comments freely.

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Learn Chinese: Introduction to Chinese Conversation

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