Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Some daily Chinese expressions

You must be familiar with expressions like Ah! Oh! etc in English language. Chinese language has similar expressions to indicate different emotions as well. Let’s look at some of them:

哎呀 (āiyā): an expression of wonder, shock, etc.


Āiyā, nǐ wèishéme gàosu tā?

Oh! Why did you tell her?

哎呦 (āiyōu): an exclamation usually indicating disappointment


Āi yōu, wǒ hái méiyǒu zuò gōngkè

Ah! I still haven’t done my homework.

(ō): an expression indicating a sudden realization

噢, 他是你的哥哥

Ō, tā shì nǐ dí gēgē

Oh! He is your brother.

Another character, same sound but different tone, can also be used in a similar context:

(ó): an expression to indicate a sudden realization


Ó, shì zhèyàng

Oh! That’s how it is


  1. Good to know. An Iranian student came to my office the other day and asked, "Why has the International House become China Town?" since we have so many new Chinese international students (many of whom are staying in our office while searching for off-campus housing), it kind of feels like Shanghai instead of Massachusetts!

  2. Haha, hope you have been using some of the Chinese you have learned in this blog :)