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20 Most Common Chinese Greetings for Beginner (2024 Updated)

Do you want to greet your guests or Chinese friends in Chinese? This article introduces you to the 20 most commonly used Chinese greetings and gives you their pronunciation. Everyone likes foreigners to speak Chinese, and here we are here to help everyone say hello in Chinese. Please follow this list of the most common Chinese greetings.

20 Most Common Chinese Greetings for Beginner (2024 Updated) - WuKong Blog

Part 1: How to Say Hello in Chinese Greetings

20 Most Common Chinese Greetings for Beginner (2024 Updated) - WuKong Blog

#1. 你好 (nǐ hǎo) – Hello

You might have already heard of this word: 你好 (nǐ hǎo), or ‘Hello,’ in Chinese. It is casual to say hello in Mandarin, and there are different phrases to use. 你好 (nǐ hǎo) is becoming less fashionable for many young Chinese people. It is perceived as a formal word between friends and colleagues. You can change the first word to the second tone in spoken Chinese if words have the third tone. 

#2. 您好 (nín hǎo) – Hello

您 (nín) is used for someone respectable or older. Thus, it could be in your family or at the workplace. 您好 is a formal way of saying hello in Chinese.

Part 2: How to Say Hi in Chinese Greetings

When it comes to soya hi to friends, colleagues, and classmates, the below-given three ways are commonly used nowadays. You can simply replace the English word with Chinese to get similar meanings when using a translator. This process is often used for brands, place names, and people. These words are becoming widely fashionable among Chinese youth.

#1. 嗨 (hāi)- Hi

#2. 哈喽 (hā lou)- Hello

#3. 嘿 (hēi)- Hey 

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Part 3: How to Say ‘How are you?’ in Chinese Greetings

#1. 你好吗? (nǐ hǎo ma) How are you?

The literal translation of this phrase is ‘You good?’ This is often taught to Chinese students, but its use is quite rare these days. Even in English, we rarely use this phrase. The case is similar for Chinese students too. 

#2. 吃了吗? (chī le ma?) – Have you eaten yet?

This is surprising but common in Chinese to ask, ‘How are you?’ This is something to get more personal with a friend, colleague, or sibling. Showing concern about another person’s health is quite common in Chinese culture. This is what is shown in this phrase. In local Chinese, you can experience this commonly among neighbors on the morning walk. You can even use this phrase to ask, ‘Do you have time?’ especially if it is lunch or dinner time.

Part 4: How to Say ‘Good Morning?’ in Chinese Greetings

20 Most Common Chinese Greetings for Beginner (2024 Updated) - WuKong Blog

Unlike English, Chinese have different time frames, from early morning to mid-morning. These splits work differently according to time. For instance, 早上好 is used between 6 and 9 a.m. If it is about 9 a.m.–12 p.m., 上午好 refers to mid-morning. 

#1. 早上好 (zǎo shang hǎo) – Good Morning

早 (zǎo) is a reference to early morning. You can also remember it as the sun 日 (rì) rising over a helmet. 

#2. 早 (zǎo) – Mornin

早 (zǎo) is usually used as a shortened version of 早上好 (zǎo shang hǎo); this creates a more usual look, like saying mornin’. 

Part 5: How to Say Good Afternoon in Chinese Greetings

下午好 (xià wǔ hǎo) – Good Afternoon

Just like saying good morning, you can wish any time of the day with the time phrase + 好. 下午 is used for good afternoon here. 午 refers to ‘noon’ or midday, so combining 下 makes ‘after the noon’. 

Part 6: How to Say Good Evening in Chinese Greetings

20 Most Common Chinese Greetings for Beginner (2024 Updated) - WuKong Blog

晚上好 (wǎn shang hǎo) – Good Evening

晚 (wǎn), or 晚上 (wǎn shang) refers to evening or night. Combining it with the character of good 好 (hǎo) creates a phrase to wish any time after the sunset.

晚上好 is still a greeting, irrespective of goodnight. Use the phrase 晚安 (wǎn ān) to say goodnight in Chinese. 

Part 7: Long Time No See In Chinese Greetings

#1. 喂 (wéi): Hey

This word is only used when on the phone.

#2.  好久不见 (hǎo jiǔ bu jiàn) – Long time no see

This is a great way to talk to someone if you haven’t seen them for a long time. By breaking these characters, you’ll get how this is a literal translation.

#3. 最近你怎么样? (zuì jìn nǐ zěn me yàng) – How’s things?

This is an informal phrase like saying ‘what’s up?’ to a friend or colleague.

最近。。。 (zuì jìn) – …recently

最近 (zuì jìn) refers to greetings such as since I saw you last’.

For example,

  • 最近在干嘛? (zuì jìn zài gàn má?) – What have you been doing recently?
  • 最近忙什么呢? (zuì jìn máng shén me ne?) What have you been busy doing recently?

Part 8: More Chinese greetings for different purposes are:

  • 干嘛呢? (gàn má ne?) – What are you doing?
  • 大家好 (dà jiā hǎo) Hello everyone
  • 很高兴见到你。 (hěn gāo xìng jiàn dào nǐ) Nice to meet you.
  • 很高兴再次见到你。 (hěn gāo xìng zài cì jiàn dào nǐ) Nice to see you again.
  • Good-bye. 再见。(zài jiàn)
  • Bye-bye. 拜拜。(bái bái)
  • See you later. 待会见。(dāi huì jiàn) 
  • Part 9: FAQs About Chinese Greetings
  • Q1. What are Chinese greeting faux-pas?
  • Not being formal enough could be the biggest mistake you can make in Chinese greetings when interacting with people, especially older people. You should make sure to use 您 (nín) when formally greeting. Use it when saying heel to:
  • Elder people, whether you know them or not,.
  • Older people you have just met and warned to show reverence.
  • Teachers and professors.
  • Business partners
  • Strangers
  • Incline for a more formal style when in doubt than a casual Chinese greeting style.
  • Q2.  Should you bow when saying hello to Chinese people?
  • No! This is a Japanese custom that many people confuse with Chinese. You don’t need to bow, as it is not a part of modern Chinese culture. People make a slight nod or bow when apologizing.


Did you have a good time learning Chinese phrases? Chinese greetings are perfect ways to connect with and impress your Chinese friends and colleagues. Everybody loves to hear greetings in their local language. We have compiled this considering the contexts. This is according to the important concept of filial piety in Chinese culture. If you don’t follow the context, you can easily annoy other people.

Variety of phrases means diverse ways to greet any Chinese person. You can easily determine what to choose according to the occasion. This is the tip of the iceberg in Chinese Mandarin. But the vastness of the Chinese language shouldn’t discourage you either. Keep learning! 




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