52 Essential Words & Phrases for Going Shopping in Chinese
Who doesn’t like shopping?! Going Shopping in China is far more fun when you know the essential vocabulary for Shopping in Chinese so let’s learn 52 key words and other phrases together!
Shopping for gifts is gradually making its way up to our list of priorities.
That’s the perfect time of the year to learning about some useful essential words and expressions for Shopping in Chinese!
Shopping in Chinese – The Basics
Shopping in Chinese – The Sizes
Shopping in Chinese – Prices and Discounts
How to say Shopping in Chinese?
If you want to say “to go shopping” in Chinese, the most used and important word to learn is 购物 gòuwù, literally (purchase + things).
Why is this so important?
Because you will find it in many shopping-related words and expressions in this article, such as…
Shopping mall (购物中心 gòu wù zhòng xīn), a place where people buy 买 mǎi (mind the tone, 2nd and not 4th, as 卖 mài means to sell), items for themselves and gifts (礼物 lǐ wù) for family and friends.
To learn more about the Chinese gift-giving etiquette click here!
Once you reached the shopping mall, you may need to find the right section and the right category of products you want to buy, such as…
- Appliances 家电 jiādiàn
- Home 居家 jūjiā
- Home textiles 家纺 jiāfǎng
- Mobile phone 手机 shǒujī
- Digital 数码 shùmǎ
- Cars 汽车 qìchē
- Travels 旅行 lǚxíng
- Toys 玩具 wánjù
- Entertainment 娱乐 yúlè
- Beauty 美妆 měi zhuāng
- Personal care 个护 gè hù
- Women 女装 nǚzhuāng
- Men 男装 nánzhuāng
- Clothes 衣服 yī fú
- Underwear 内衣 nèiyī
- Shoes 鞋品 xié pǐn
- Luggage 箱包 xiāngbāo
- Jewellery 饰品 shìpǐn
- Accessories 配件 pèijiàn
- Sports 运动 yùndòng
- Outdoor 户外 hùwài
- Furniture 家具 jiājù
If you don’t know where to find the items you want to purchase, then all you need to do is to ask a shop assistant (店员 diànyuán) for the name of the category or product + 在哪里卖? (… zài nǎlǐ mài)
Nǚzhuāng zài nǎlǐ mài?
Where do you sell women’s clothing?
If you are buying clothes, then you might need to ask the shop assistant if you can try them on and where to find the fitting room:
Can I try it on? 我可以试一试吗？Wǒ kěyǐ shì yī shì ma?
Where is the fitting room? 试衣间在哪里？Shì yī jiān zài nǎlǐ?
At this point, the shop assistant might ask…
Shopping in Chinese: Sizes
What is your size? 你穿几号的? Nǐ chuān jǐ hào de?
Alternatively you may hear 你穿多大号? Nǐ chuān duō dà hào?
And you will answer
My size is… 我穿。。。 Wǒ chuān …
- S (小号 – xiǎo hào)
- M (中号 – zhōng hào)
- L (大号 – dà hào)
- XL (特大号 – tè dà hào).
Shopping in Chinese: Prices and Discounts
Usually, you will find the price of the item on the price tag (价格标签 jiàgé biāoqiān), but if there’s not one, then you might need to ask the shop assistant:
How much is this? 这个多少钱？Zhège duōshǎo qián?个 – gè (a generic catch-all measure word
If you want to be more precise, you can also replace “个”, with one these measure words:
- 件 jiàn – for clothes, furniture, luggage and for pieces in general
- 双 shuāng – for pairs, i.e. shoes, boots, socks
- 条 tiáo – for long things, like pants or jeans.
You might also ask:
Is there any discount? 有折扣吗？Yǒu zhékòu ma? OR 有打折吗? Yǒu dǎzhé ma?
Now, let’s make one thing clear here, discounts in Chinese work the other way around.
So if you see a sale sign in China offering “9折“, that doesn’t mean you will get the 90% off, but that you’ll pay 90% of the original price.
So using that logic, with a “6折” you’ll pay 60% of the original price, with a “4折” you’ll pay 40% of the original price and with a “1折” you’ll pay 10% of the original price (90% off).
JUST REMEMBER – the lower is the number before “折” the better is the discount!
Once you’re satisfied with the content of your shopping cart (购物车 gòuwù chē), you will go to the cash register (收银台 shōu yín tái) where the cashier (收银员 shōu yín yuán) will ask you:
Do you want to pay by card or cash? 你要刷卡还是付现金? Nǐ yào shuākǎ háishì fù xiànjīn?
Once you get your bag(s) (袋子 dàizi) and your receipt (购物小票 gòuwù xiǎo piào, also simply called 小票 xiǎo piào) you can go home and enjoy the satisfactory feeling of a fruitful shopping experience in China!
Shopping in Chinese – FAQ’s
If you want to say “to go shopping” in Chinese, you say 购物 gòuwù.
Yes there are, the biggest cities boast most big foreign brands and even the tier 2 and 3 cities are gaining increasingly more.
Brands like McDonalds, KFC and Starbucks are scattered all over China, even in the smaller cities.
How much is this in Chinese is 这个多少钱？Zhège duōshǎo qián?
Shopping mall in Chinese is 购物中心 gòu wù zhòng xīn.
Clothes in Chinese is 衣服 yī fú.
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