Second half, module 01: the basics – social side

This is a list of the introductory phrases of each task within the module 1 of HeadStart2 Mandarin, a language course available for free courtesy of the USA Government (I am in no way, shape, or form affiliated with it- just a learner sharing material with fellow learners).

Please read the introduction to understand how to use it 🙂


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TASK 1 Greetings and Introductions
TASK 2 Expression of Politeness
TASK 3 Useful Short Expressions
TASK 4 Food and Sanitation
TASK 5 Handling the Language Barrier


TASK 1 Greetings and Introductions

  • Hello (general) 你好! Ni3 hao3!
  • Hello (formal) 您好! Nin2 hao3!
  • Good morning.您早! nin2 zao3!
  • The weather is nice 今天天气很好. Jin1tian1 tian1qi4 hen3 hao3.
  • How are you? 你好吗? Ni3 hao3 ma?
  • I’m fine, thanks, and you? 我很好,谢谢,你呢? Wo3 hen3 hao3, xie4xie, ni3 ne?
  • What’s your name?你叫什么名字? Ni3 jiao4 shen2me ming2zi?
  • My name is John. 我叫约翰. Wo3 jiao4 Yue1han4.
  • Nice to meet you.很高兴见到你. Hen3 gao1xing4 jian4dao4 ni3.
  • Nice to meet you, too. 我也很高兴见到你. Wo3 ye3 hen3 gao1xing4 jian4dao4 ni3.
  • Welcome.欢迎. Huan1ying2.
  • Good-bye. 再见. Zai4jian4.
  • Mind your steps. 慢走. Man4zou3.
  • See you later. 一会儿见.yi1 hui4r jian4.
  • See you tomorrow. 明天见. Ming2tian1 jian4.

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TASK 2 Expression of Politeness

  • Thank you. 谢谢! Xie4xie!
  • Thank you very much.非常感谢你! Fei1chang2 gan3xie4 ni3!
  • You’re welcome. 不客气. Bu4 ke4qi4.
  • Please come in. 请进. Qing3 jin4.
  • Excuse me.对不起. Dui4bu4qi3.
  • I’m sorry. 很抱歉.hen3 bao4qian4.
  • This is for you.这是送给你的. Zhe4 shi4 song4gei3 ni3 de.
  • Please, accept it, it’s yours. 请收下,这是送给你的. Qing3 shou1xia4, zhe4 shi4 song4gei3 ni3 de.
  • It’s just a little thing.这只是小意思. Zhe4 zhi3 shi4 xiao3yi4si2.
  • You shouldn’t have.你不必这样. Ni3 bu4bi4 zhe4yang4.
  • No, thank you. 不,谢谢. Bu4, xie4xie.
  • May I enter? 我可以进来吗? Wo3 ke3yi3 jin4lai2 ma?
  • Yes, you may enter. 是的,你可以进来. Shi4de, ni3 ke3yi3 jin4lai2.
  • No, you may not enter. 不,你不能进来. Bu4, ni3 bu4 neng2 jin4lai2.
  • Please wait.请等一下. Qing3 deng3 yi1xia4.

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TASK 3 Useful Short Expressions

  • Yes. 是.shi4.
  • No. 不是. Bu4 shi4.
  • OK. 好. Hao3.
  • Maybe. 可能.ke3neng2.
  • No problem. 没有问题. Mei2you3 wen4ti2.
  • Are you ready? 准备好了吗? Zhun3bei4 hao3 le ma?
  • One moment, please. 请稍等. Qing3 shao1 deng3.
  • Is this right?这对不对? Zhe4 dui4 bu4dui4?
  • No, that’s wrong. 不对,错了. Bu4dui4, cuo4 le.
  • Who is this man? 这个男人是谁? Zhei4ge nan2ren2 shi4 shui2?
  • Who is this woman? 这个女人是谁? Zhei4ge nü3ren2 shi4 shui2?
  • Is this your child?这是你的孩子吗? Zhe4 shi4 ni3de hai2zi ma?
  • Are you sure? 你肯定吗? Ni3 ken3ding4 ma?
  • Do you have…? 你有没有…? ni3 you3mei2you3…?
  • Yes, I have some. 对,我有. Dui4, wo3 you3.
  • Ki Janguo (a male name) 李建国 li3 jian4guo2.
  • Zhang Lili (a female name) 张莉莉 zhang1 li4li4

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TASK 4 Food and Sanitation

  • Is this fresh? 这新鲜吗? Zhe4 xin1xian1 ma?
  • What kind of steamed bun is this? 这是什么馅儿的包子? Zhe4 shi4 shen2me xian4r de bao1zi?
  • This is a meat bun. 这是肉包子. Zhe4 shi4 rou4bao1zi.
  • This is a sweet bun.这是糖包儿. Zhe4 shi4 tang2bao1r.
  • What kind of fruit is this? 这是什么水果? Zhe4 shi4 shen2me shui3guo3?
  • These are Asian pears.这是鸭梨. Zhe4 shi4 ya1li2.
  • Would you like some more? 你想再来点儿吗? Ni3 xiang3 zai4 lai2 dian3r ma?
  • No, thank you, I have eaten enough.不,谢谢.我已经吃饱了. Bu4, xie4xie. Wo3 yi3jing1 chi1bao3 le.
  • Thank you. The meal was great.谢谢.饭很好吃. Xie4xie. Fan4 hen3 hao3 chi1.
  • Would you like some tea? 你想喝茶吗? Ni3 xiang3 he1 cha2 ma?
  • Is this water safe to drink? 这水能喝吗? Zhe4 shui3 neng2 he1 ma?
  • Boil the water. 把水烧开. Ba3 shui3 shao1kai1.
  • Bring us some boiled water. 给我们拿一些开水来. Gei3 wo3men na2 yi1xie1 kai1shui3 lai2.
  • Where can I wash my hands? 我在哪儿可以洗个手? Wo3 zai4 na3r ke3yi3 xi3 ge shou3?
  • Where is the latrine? 厕所在哪儿? Ce4suo3 zai4 na3r?

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TASK 5 Handling the Language Barrier

  • Do you speak English? 你会说英语吗? Ni3 hui4 shuo1 Ying1yu3 ma?
  • I don’t speak English.我不会说英语. Wo3 bu4hui4 shuo1 Ying1yu3.
  • Does anyone here speak English? 这儿有人会说英语吗? Zhe4r you3ren2 hui4 shuo1 Ying1yu3 ma1?
  • I don’t speak Chinese.我不会说中文. Wo3 bu4hui4 shuo1 Zhong1wen2.
  • What language do you speak? 你讲什么语? Ni3 jiang3 shen2me yu3?
  • I speak Chinese. 我讲中文. Wo3 jiang3 Zhong1wen2.
  • I speak Cantonese. 我说广东话. Wo3 shuo1 Guang3dong1 hua4.
  • Do you understand? 你懂吗? Ni3 dong3 ma?
  • I don’t understand. 我不懂 wo3 bu4dong3.
  • Please speak slowly. 请说得慢一点儿 qing3 shuo1 de man4 yi1dian3r.
  • Please repeat. 请再说一遍. Qing3 zai4 shuo1 yi1bian4.
  • I need an interpreter. 我需要一个翻译. Wo3 xüyao4 yi1ge fan1yi4.
  • The interpreter is coming. 翻译马上就来. Fan1yi4 ma3shang4 jiu4 lai2.
  • Where is the interpreter? 翻译在哪儿? Fan1yi4 zai4 na3r?
  • Roger. 明白. Ming2bai.
  • Over. 完毕. Wan2bi4.
  • I don’t know. 我不知道. Wo3 bu4 zhi1dao4.

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