Top 30 Colloquial Chinese Phrases ( Free Chinese Audio Lessons )

Colloquial Chinese, China Blog, How to Say "Go die" in Chinese


Free Colloquial Chinese Lessons with Audio
: 30 Colloquial Chinese Phrases that can be used by Beginners – Advanced Chinese students.

These quick Colloquial Chinese lessons have been prepared by our teaching staff at That’s Mandarin.

Learning colloquial Chinese phrases is essential to communicate confidently and effectively in Chinese in a broad range of situations. No prior knowledge of the language is required. Please listen to the audio examples and practice.

Have we missed out one of your favorites? Please leave it in the comments below and we will add it to our list.

1. “Pumped (Excited)” Chinese Phrase 16. “You Know” in colloquial Chinese
2. “Cute” in colloquial Chinese 17. “Go Die” in Chinese (our favorite)
3. “Thank you, boss.” in Chinese 18. “Shrewd” Chinese Phrase
4. “An Eyesore” Chinese Phrase 19. “Send Chills Down One’s Spine” in Chinese
5. “Important Things Need to Be Said Thrice” in Chinese 20. “Insider” in Chinese
6. “To Panic” in Chinese 21. “Who do you think you are?” Chinese Phrase
7. “Down-to-earth” in colloquial Chinese 22. “Use Your Hands to Make the Shape of a Heart”
8. “Feel Completely Lost” Chinese Phrase 23. “Dirty Poor” in Chinese in Chinese
9. “It’s So Embarrassing!” in Chinese 24. “Asking for Trouble” Chinese Phrase
10. “Bystanders” in Chinese 25. “Friendship is Fragile.” Chinese Phrase
11. “Upstart” in Chinese 26. “Slow-witted” in Chinese
12. “Speechless” Chinese Phrase 27. “Brain Hole” in colloquial Chinese
13. “Buy, Buy, Buy” in Chinese 28. “Foodie” Chinese Phrase
14. “Internet Celebrity” Chinese Phrase 29. “Too beautiful to bear” in colloquial Chinese
15. “Extremely” in colloquial Chinese 30. “Half Alive” in Chinese

 

1. “Pumped (Excited)”in Colloquial Chinese

China Blog, How to Say "Pumped (Excited)" in Chinese

How to Say "Pumped (Excited)" in Chinese

 

() in this case means “to pump up”.
鸡血 (jī xuě) means “chicken blood”.

Put together, the phrase 打鸡血 (dǎ jī xuě) is often used to describe a person who is pumped up about something.

How to Say "Pumped (Excited)" in Chinese

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2. “Cute” in Colloquial Chinese

China Blog, How to Say "Cute" in Chinese

How to Say "Cute" in Chinese

 

(méng) means cute.
萌萌哒 (méng méng da) is used to describe somebody or something as cute and adorable.

How to Say "Cute" in Chinese

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3.“Thank you, boss.” in Chinese

China Blog, How to Say "Thanks, boss!" in Chinese

How to Say "Thanks, boss!" in Chinese

 

谢谢 (xiè xiè): to thank, or thank you
老板 (lǎo bǎn): boss
谢谢老板 (xiè xiè lǎo bǎn): “Thank you, boss.”

In day-to-day use, whoever you’re saying this to doesn’t necessarily need to be your boss. It could be anyone who has given you something nice, or done you a favor.

How to Say "Thanks, boss!" in Chinese

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4.“An Eyesore” in Colloquial Chinese

China Blog, How to Say "An Eyesore" in Chinese

How to Say "An Eyesore" in Chinese

 

(): spicy,
眼睛 (yǎn jīng)

We use this phrase to describe something which is unpleasant to see, something you wish you could unsee. It’s often used in a joking tone.

How to Say "An Eyesore" in Chinese

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5.“Important Things Need to Be Said Thrice” in Chinese

Colloquial Chinese, China Blog, How to Say "Important Things Need to Be Said Thrice" in Chinese

 

How to Say "Important Things Need to Be Said Thrice" in Chinese

 

重要 (zhòng yào): important,
事情 (shì qíng): matter(s),
说三遍 (shuō sān biàn): to say something three times.

We use this phrase to underscore something really important.

How to Say "Important Things Need to Be Said Thrice" in Chinese

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6.“To Panic” in Chinese

Colloquial Chinese, China Blog, How to Say "to Panic" in Chinese

How to Say "to Panic" in Chinese

 

(fāng) means “square”.

We say 方了 (fāng le) when something unexpected has happened and you start to panic and don’t know what to do.

How to Say "to Panic" in Chinese

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7.“Down-to-earth” in Colloquial Chinese

China Blog, How to Say "Down-to-earth" in Chinese

 

How to Say "Down-to-earth" in Chinese

 

(jiē): to link, to connect;
(): the ground

接地气 (jiē dì qì) is to be down-to-earth.

How to Say "Down-to-earth" in Chinese

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8.“Feel Completely Lost” In Chinese

Colloquial Chinese, China Blog, How to Say "Feel Compltetely Lost" In Chinese

How to Say "Feel Compltetely Lost" In Chinese

 

(liǎn): face,
(mēng): to feel lost

Put together, 一脸懵逼 (yī liǎn mēng bī) literally means one’s face is full of the expression of feeling lost.

We use it to describe a person who is feeling completely lost and doesn’t know what to say.

How to Say "Feel Compltetely Lost" In Chinese

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9.“It’s So Embarrassing!” in Chinese

Colloquial Chinese, China Blog, How to Say "It's So Embarrassing!" in Chinese

How to Say "It's So Embarrassing!" in Chinese

 

This phrase is often used when something unexpected has happened to a person, and s/he has been put in an awkward situation.

How to Say "It's So Embarrassing!" in Chinese

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10.“Bystanders” in Colloquial Chinese

Colloquial Chinese, Colloquial Chinese, China Blog, How to Say "Bystanders" in Chinese

How to Say "Bystanders" in Chinese

 

(chī): to eat
(guā): melon
群众 (qún zhòng): crowds, masses

Put together, this phrase literally means “the crowds of people who are eating melons”, and it’s usually used to refer to bystanders or gawkers who have nothing serious to do, and are only there to watch a show.

How to Say "Bystanders" in Chinese

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11.“Upstart” in Chinese

Colloquial Chinese, China Blog, How to Say "Upstart" in Chinese

How to Say "Upstart" in Chinese

 

土豪 (tǔ háo) is used to describe someone who’s extremely rich, and is often used to refer to China’s nouveaux riches.

The character () literally means “earth”, and is associated with China’s poor, unsophisticated rural areas. (háo) is part of the word 豪华 (háo huá) – luxurious.

Used together, the term conjures up images of uncouth, uncultured people from the countryside who have become rich overnight, and who love to flaunt their wealth in the most ostentatious manner possible.It’s also often used jokingly on friends.

How to Say "Upstart" in Chinese

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12.“Speechless” in Colloquial Chinese

Colloquial Chinese, How to Say "speechless" in Chinese

How to Say "speechless" in Chinese

 

醉 (zuì) literally means drunk. But when you hear people say, 我也是醉了 (wǒ yě shì zuì le) , they’re not trying to tell you they’re tipsy. They’re saying they’re speechless and won’t make further comment on something.

 

How to Say "speechless" in Chinese

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13.“Buy, Buy, Buy” in Chinese

Colloquial Chinese, How to Say "buy, buy, buy" in Chinese

How to Say "buy, buy, buy" in Chinese

 

买 (mǎi) means to buy. Chinese people — girls especially! — love to buy so much you need to repeat the word three times!

How to Say "buy, buy, buy" in Chinese

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14.“Internet Celebrity” in ChineseColloquial Chinese, How to Say "Internet Celebrity" in Chinese

 

 

网 (wǎng) refers to the internet or the web,
红 (hóng) means popular.

 

网红 (wǎng hóng) is a term that is used to refer to internet celebrities – people who have gained fame on social media.

 

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15.“Extremely” in Colloquial Chinese

How to Say "extremely" in Chinese

How to Say "extremely" in Chinese

 

不要 means “don’t want”, however, 不要不要的(bú yào bú yào de) is often used these days to emphasize an adjective. It’s used in the following sentence structure:
“adjective + 的(de) +不要不要的(bú yào bú yào de)”.

How to Say "extremely" in Chinese

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16.“You Know” in Chinese

Colloquial Chinese, China Blog, How to Say "You Know" in Chinese

How to Say "You Know" in Chinese

 

“懂 (dǒng)” means “understand”.

The phrase 你懂的 (nǐ dǒng de) is used when something is very obvious and plain for all to see. Often, it’s used in situations where there is an inconvenient truth that is better left unsaid.

How to Say "You Know" in Chinese

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17.“Go Die” in Colloquial Chinese

Colloquial Chinese, China Blog, How to Say "Go die" in Chinese

How to Say "Go die" in Chinese

 

狗 (gǒu) means “dog”, but 狗带 (gǒu dài) has absolutely nothing to do with dogs.

It has entered popular usage these days among youngsters because it sounds like “go die”. You can use the phrase if you want to tell a friend to “go to hell” in a half-joking manner. Definitely not recommended for use when speaking with a stranger.

How to Say "Go die" in Chinese

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18.“Shrewd” in Chinese

Colloquial Chinese, China Blog, How to Say "Shrewd" in Chinese

How to Say "Shrewd" in Chinese

 

腹 () means “abdomen”, and 黑 (hēi) means “black”.

When you say someone has a 腹黑 (fù hēi) or “black abdomen”, you’re saying they are full of ideas up their sleeves.

This can be used to describe people who are shrewd and/or cunning, which can have a positive meaning depending on the situation.

How to Say "Shrewd" in Chinese

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19.“Send Chills Down One’s Spine” in Chinese

Colloquial Chinese, China Blog, How to Say "Send Chills Down One's Spine" in Chinese

How to Say "Send Chills Down One's Spine" in Chinese

 

吸 () means to inhale, and 凉气 (liáng qì) refers to cold air.

We use this phrase to refer to someone who is frightened or astonished by something unexpected.

How to Say "Send Chills Down One's Spine" in Chinese

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20.“Insider” in Chinese

Colloquial Chinese, China Blog, How to Say "Insider" in Chinese

How to Say "Insider" in Chinese

 

(lǎo) means “old”
司机 (sī jī) means “driver”

We say someone is a 老司机 (lǎo sī jī) to imply that s/he knows something particularly well.

How to Say "Insider" in Chinese

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21.“Who do you think you are?” in Chinese

Colloquial Chinese, China Blog, How to Say "Who do you think you are?" in Chinese

How to Say "Who do you think you are?" in Chinese

 

(): why
上天: (shàng tiān): fly to the sky

你咋不上天呢?(nǐ zǎ bù shàng tiān ne)
“Why don’t you fly to the sky?”

We use this phrase when somebody is asking for too much as a way to express incredulity.

How to Say "Who do you think you are?" in Chinese

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22.“Use Your Hands to Make the Shape of a Heart” in Chinese

Colloquial Chinese, China Blog, How to Say "Use Your Hands to Make the Shape of a Heart" in Chinese

How to Say "Use Your Hands to Make the Shape of a Heart" in Chinese

 

(xīn) means “heart”.

比心 (bǐ xīn) is used (often by girls) to express one’s gratitude to somebody.

Literally, it means “use my hands to make the shape of a heart to show my love to you”.

How to Say "Use Your Hands to Make the Shape of a Heart" in Chinese

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23.“Dirty Poor” in Chinese in Colloquial Chinese

 

How to Say "Dirty Poor" in Chinese

 

(chī): to eat,
(): earth, mud.

When we refer to someone as as having to 吃土 (chī tǔ) in Chinese, we’re saying that they’re so poor that they can only “eat earth”.

How to Say "Dirty Poor" in Chinese

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24.“Asking for Trouble” in Colloquial Chinese

Colloquial Chinese, China Blog, How to Say "Asking for Trouble" in Chinese

How to Say "Asking for Trouble" in Chinese

 

(gǎo): to create, to meddle
事情 (shì qíng): things, matters

We say someone is trying to 搞事情 (gǎo shì qíng) when they’re causing unnecessary trouble or creating chaos.

How to Say "Asking for Trouble" in Chinese

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25.“Friendship is Fragile.” in Chinese

Colloquial Chinese, China Blog, How to Say "Friendship is Fragile" in Chinese

How to Say "Friendship is Fragile" in Chinese

 

友谊 (yǒu yí): friendship
小船 (xiǎo chuán): (little) boat
(fān): to overturn

友谊的小船说翻就翻: (lit.) The little boat of friendship can easily overturn.

Or in other words, friendship is fragile.

How to Say "Friendship is Fragile" in Chinese

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26.“Slow-witted” in Chinese

Colloquial Chinese, China Blog, How to Say "Slow-witted” in Chinese

How to Say "Slow-witted” in Chinese

 

(quē): to lack (something)
心眼儿 (xīn yǎnr): intelligence

We use 缺心眼儿 (quē xīn yǎnr) to describe someone as dim-witted or intellectually-challenged.

How to Say "Slow-witted” in Chinese

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27.“Brain Hole” in Colloquial Chinese

Colloquial Chinese, China Blog, How to Say "Brain Hole" in Chinese

How to Say "Brain Hole" in Chinese

 

(nǎo) means “brain”
(dòng) means “hole”

When we describe someone as having a huge “brain hole”, or 脑洞很大 (nǎo dòng hěn dà), we’re saying that they’re highly imaginative.

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28. “Foodie” in Chinese

Colloquial Chinese, China Blog, How to Say "Foodie" in Chinese

How to Say "Foodie" in Chinese

 

(chī): to eat

吃货 (chī huò) is the term we use to refer to foodies: people who love food, people who live to eat.

With so many amazing regional cuisines in China, it’s little wonder we’ve got so many 吃货 (chī huò) around.

How to Say "Foodie" in Chinese

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29.“Too beautiful to bear” in Colloquial Chinese

Too beautiful to bear

Too beautiful to bear in chinese

This phrase literally means: “The scene is too beautiful and I don’t dare see it with my own eyes.” It’s often used in a joking manner to describe something that’s hard to stomach visually.

Too beautiful to bear in chinese

 

 

30.“Half alive” in Colloquial Chinese

Colloquial Chinese, China Blog, How to Say "Half Alive” in Chinese

How to Say "Half Alive” in Chinese

 

() means “dead”
(): to go
(huó) means “alive”
(lái): to come

This phrase is often used to describe something fierce.

How to Say "Half Alive” in Chinese

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