Two coworkers, Mr Wang ()and Ms Ma (), are talking about birth signs. Download

ChineseEnglish equivalent
Ní shǔ shénme?你属什么?What’s your sign?
Wǒ shì yì jiǔ bā sì nián chūshēng de, suóyǐ wǒ shú shǔ.我是1984年出生的,所以我属鼠。I was born in 1984, so I am a rat.
Nǐ jīn nián èr shí wǔ suì le ma?你今年25岁了吗?Are you 25 years old this year?
Wó yě èr shí wǔ suì lè. nà nǐ dè shēng rì shì jǐ yuè jǐ hào?我也25岁了。 那你的生日是几月几号?I am 25 too. So, when is your birthday?
Wǒ dè shēng rì shì shí yī yuè èr shí qī hào.我的生日是11月27号。My birthday is 27th Nov.
À, nǐ dè shēngrì kuaì dào le.啊,你的生日快到了。Your birthday is coming soon.
Shìde, shì zhè gè xīng qī wǔ.是的,是这个星期五。Yes.It is this Friday.


shǔ<>Adjective. Be born in the year of (one of 12 animals)
jīn nián今年this yearNoun
chū shēng出生birthNoun
suìYear (of age)Noun
shēng rì生日birthdayNoun

Grammar Patterns

Jǐ yuè jǐ hào

This differs from the way English speakers would ask, but is a typical pattern to use when you are asking about the date of something.

Nǐ shǔ shénme?

This is not a grammatical sentence, it is more like a verbal shorthand. The correct sentence would be “nǐ de shǔ xiàng shì shénme?” (你的属相是什么). This is literally “your zodiac sign is what?”, but the shortened form is more often used in conversations.

Nà used as conjunction

We learned that nà (那) is a relative pronoun meaning “that”. In this dialog it is used as a conjunctions meaning something like “in that case”.

Chinese Zodiac

OrderChinesePinyinEnglishPersonality (from wikipedia)
1984shǔRatForthright, tenacious, systematic, meticulous, charismatic
1985niúOxDependable, calm, methodical, born leader, patient, hardworking, ambitious
1986TigerUnpredictable, rebellious, colorful, powerful, passionate, daring, impulsive
1987RabbitGracious, good friend, kind, sensitive, soft-spoken, amiable, elegant, reserved
1988lóngDragonMagnanimous, stately, vigorous, strong, self-assured, proud, noble, direct, dignified
1989shéSnakeDeep thinker, wise, mystic, graceful, soft-spoken, sensual, creative, prudent
1990HorseCheerful, popular, quick-witted, changeable, earthy, perceptive, talkative, agile
1991yángRamRighteous, sincere, sympathetic, mild-mannered, shy, artistic, creative, gentle
1992hóuMonkeyInventor, motivator, improviser, quick-witted, inquisitive, flexible, innovative
1993RoosterAcute, neat, meticulous, organized, self-assured, decisive, conservative
1994gǒuDogHonest, intelligent, straightforward, loyal, sense of justice and fair play, friendly
1995zhūPigHonest, gallant, sturdy, sociable, peace-loving, patient, loyal, hard-working


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