Mr Wang () and Ms Zhang () have been working all morning for a neighborhood cleanup project.


Ní hǎo!你好!Hello!
Ní hǎo!你好!Hello!
Nín guì xìng?您贵姓?What is your family name?
Wǒ xìng Wáng,nǐ ne?我姓王,你呢?My family name is Wang, and you?
A, ní hǎo Wáng xiānsheng ,wǒ xìng Zhāng.阿,你好,王先生。我姓张。Oh, hello Mr. Wang, I am named Zhang.
Ní hǎo Zhāng xiáojiě. Nǐ lèi ma?你好,张小姐。你累吗?Hello Ms. Zhang, are you tired?
Wǒ bú lèi ,nǐ ne?我不累,你呢?I am not tired, how about you?
Wó yě bú lèi.我也不累。I am also not tired.
Qǐng wèn, tā jiào shénme míngzi?请问,她叫什么名字?May I ask, what is her name?
Tā? Tā jiào Lǐ Měiměi.她?她叫李美美。Her? She is called Li Meimei.
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Chinese names

A Chinese name starts with family name, followed by given names. This is the opposite of English, so the terms “first name” and “last name” are not helpful when talking about Chinese people. Using the terms “family name” and “given name” will avoid confusion. Names with a title also follow a pattern that differs from English: the title follows the name.

Family name Given name
Wáng Mǎkè
Zhāng Mǐn
Family name Title
Wáng xiānsheng
Zhāng lǎoshī
他,她him/her/she/he/itPronoun, third person singular
lèitiredAdjective, “to be tired”
先生xiānshengMr.Polite title for a man. Like all titles, it comes after the name.
小姐xiáojiěMs.Polite title for a woman.
xìngfamily nameVerb meaning to have a particular family name
贵姓guì xìnghonorable family nameOnly used when asking someones name
jiàocalledVerb, meaning “to be called” or “to be named”
什么shénmewhatQuestion word, equivalent to “what”
名字míngzìnameNoun, could mean full name, family name or given name
wènaskVerb, meaning “to ask”
请问qǐng wènMay I ask ..Expression used to preface a question
WángWongFamily name
LeeFamily name