Chinese Classroom Survival Guide || Essential Questions, Commands and Comments

Navigate the Chinese Classroom with Ease by Learning These Key Words and Phrases



As a beginner to the Chinese classroom, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, stressed and in-over-your-head.

The opening sentence was actually a friendly introduction and instruction:

“Hello everyone! I’m Teacher Lin, please take a sit and open your textbooks to page 1.”

When you’re in the early phases of Mandarin, commands and questions can sometimes end up knocking your confidence rather than building it up.

But that doesn’t need to be the case!

We’re here to help. This article is your essential guide for classroom Chinese, which will allow you to navigate each lesson with ease and focus more on the new class content.

So, let’s get started.

Chinese Classroom Phrases || Greetings and Politeness

Chinese Classroom Phrases || Classroom Instructions

Chinese Classroom Phrases || Asking Questions

Chinese Classroom Phrases || Expressing Understanding and Not Understanding

Chinese Classroom Phrases || Classroom Interaction

Chinese Classroom Phrases || Teacher Feedback

Chinese Classroom Phrases || BONUS Quiz!

Chinese Classroom Phrases || FAQs

Student Austin talks about learning Chinese – in Chinese! (With subtitles 😉)

Chinese Classroom Phrases || Greetings and Politeness

Greetings and politeness can really set the tone for conversations – and the classroom is no exception.

Let’s start with some basic phrases that will help you establish a polite and friendly tone in the classroom:

Hello你好Nǐ hǎo
Thank you谢谢Xièxiè
You’re welcome不客气Bù kèqì
It’s okay没关系Méi guānxi
(FREE) Pinyin Chart // Learn How To Read Pinyin in 5 Minutes Thumbnail

(FREE) Pinyin Chart // Learn How To Read Pinyin in 5 Minutes

Get Your FREE Downloadable Pinyin Chart – We spend hours behind the scenes creating excellent tools and useful things for you to use every day.

Chinese Classroom Phrases || Classroom Instructions

Understanding and responding to classroom instructions is crucial for a successful learning experience.

After all, learning a language will often include a range of activities to target the four main skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing.

You’ll be asked to ‘look’ at a certain character, ‘read’ it out loud or ‘write’ it down.

In more formal school environments, you may have to sit down and stand up when your teacher asks you to.

What have you found confusing in Chinese lessons? Let us know in the comments section!

Here are some commonly used phrases used by teachers:

Sit down坐下Zuòxià
Stand up站起来Zhàn qǐlái
Complete ___完成 ___Wánchéng ___
Some extra Chinese language classroom phrases for you to learn!

Chinese Classroom Phrases || Asking Questions

You probably won’t understand every single thing you learn in class the first time you hear it (and if you do, tell us your secrets!!)

Asking questions in class is a valuable skill for learning and clarifying doubts.

When learning Chinese, there’ll be some questions that you’re more likely to ask that others.

Here are some of the most common classroom questions and requests to get you started:

What is …?什么是…?Shénme shì…?
How do you do …?怎么做…?Zěnme zuò…?
Please repeat请再说一遍Qǐng zài shuō yībiàn
Can you speak slower?你能说慢一点吗?Nǐ néng shuō màn yī diǎn ma?
Please explain请解释一下Qǐng jiěshì yīxià
How do you say __ in Chinese?__ 用中文怎么说?__ Yòng zhōngwén zěnme shuō?
What does ___ mean?__ 是什么意思?__ shì shénme yìsi?
This word has two characters, what’s their meaning? 这个词有两个汉字,它们的意思是什么?Zhège cí yǒu liǎng gè hànzì, tāmen de yìsi shì shénme?
Let’s look at the previous page让我们看前一页Ràng wǒmen kàn qián yī yè
Excuse me, I have a question请问Qǐngwèn

Asking questions not only shows your engagement but also helps you gain a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

Chinese Classroom Phrases || Expressing Understanding and Not Understanding

When you grasp a concept or idea (or not!), it’s important to express your understanding to the teacher and your classmates.

After all, if you don’t understand a word, sentence or grammar point, you could really benefit from further explanation.

It can also be helpful to say if you’ve studied something before.

Use these phrases to do so:

Got it我明白了Wǒ míngbái le
I don’t understand我不明白Wǒ bù míngbái
I know我知道了Wǒ zhīdào le
I don’t know我不知道Wǒ bù zhīdào
I understand了解Liǎojiě
I already studied that我已经学过了Wǒ yǐjīng xuéguòle

Chinese Classroom Phrases || Classroom Interaction

In a classroom, you’ll often engage in discussions, group work, or peer-to-peer interactions. Here are some phrases to help you participate effectively.

I agree我同意Wǒ tóngyì
I disagree我不同意Wǒ bù tóngyì
I have a question我有一个问题Wǒ yǒu yīgè wèntí
Let me think about it让我想一想Ràng wǒ xiǎng yīxiǎng
I finished我完成了Wǒ wánchéngle
I finished (a written activity)我写完了Wǒ xiě wánle

BONUS: Want to cheer on your classmates? Check out our guide on encouragement in Chinese

Chinese Classroom Phrases || Teacher Feedback

Very good很好Hěn hǎo
Excellent非常好Fēicháng hǎo
Great很棒Hěn bàng
You did great做得很棒Zuò dé hěn bàng
That’s rightduì
That’s incorrect不对Bù duì
Try again再试一次Zài shì yīcì
Pay attention to pronunciation注意发音Zhùyì fāyīn

And there you have it!

That’s our list of must-know words and phrases for any Mandarin Chinese language classroom that should lead to a smoother and more enjoyable learning experience.

These phrases will help you build rapport with your teachers and peers, participate actively in class, and express your thoughts and ideas effectively.

Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to use these phrases in your classroom interactions.

Happy learning! 加油!

Chinese Classroom Phrases || BONUS Quiz

Welcome to the Solar System quiz! Enter your First name and email to begin. Don't worry you can unsubscribe at any time!

First Name
What is 卫 星?

What is "Earth" in Chinese?

What is 黑 洞?

What is 月 亮?

What is "Jupiter" in Chinese?

What is 彗 星?

What is 小 行 星?

What is 太 空?

What is 火 箭?

What is "Neptune" in Chinese?

What is "Saturn" in Chinese?

What is "Sun" in Chinese?

What is "Uranus" in Chinese?

What is "Mercury" in Chinese?

What is "Pluto" in Chinese?

What is "Venus" in Chinese?

What is 重 力?

What is 银 河 系?

What is 星 星?

What is "Mars" in Chinese?

Chinese Classroom Phrases || FAQs

How do I politely ask a question in Chinese?

To indicate that you’d like to ask a question, you should say 请问 (qǐngwèn), which literally means ‘please ask’. To learn more about asking questions in Chinese, including how to say words like ‘who’, ‘when’ and ‘why’, check out our questions in Chinese blog.

How do you say ‘look’, ‘read’, ‘write’ and ‘say’ in Chinese?

In Chinese, look is 看 (kàn), read is 读 (dú), write is 写 (xiě) and say is 说 (shuō)

How do you say ‘I agree’ and ‘I disagree’ in Chinese?

To agree with someone, you could say 我同意 (wǒ tóngyì). For ‘I disagree’, you can say 我不同意 (wǒ bù tóngyì)

How do you say ‘good’ in Chinese?

Good in Chinese is 好 (hǎo), which is pronounced a little like ‘how’ in English.

Very good is 很好 (hěn hǎo) and extremely good is 非常好 (fēicháng hǎo)

Where can I improve my Chinese?

To study 24/7 with certified, native speaker teachers, you can check out our Flexi Classes platform.

If you’d like to really fast track your Chinese, you could even try a homestay program in Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei or our other cities!

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