Utterly Essential Vocabulary for Shopping in Chinese 🛍

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

Shopping BONUS! – Quiz

Shopping in Chinese

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
  • Shopping in Chinese
Going to Shanghai? Let us tell you where to go Shopping in Shanghai

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)

For example:

  • 女装 在哪里卖?
  • 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

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!

Shopping in Chinese

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!

BONUS: For those who will be shopping in China sometime soon, don’t forget to check out our Alipay for Foreigners and WeChat Pay for Foreigners blogs to make paying a seamless experience!

Shopping in Chinese – Quiz

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Shopping in Chinese – FAQ’s

How do you say “Shopping” in Chinese?

If you want to say “to go shopping” in Chinese, you say 购物 gòuwù.

Are there many foreign brands in China?

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 do you say “How much is this” in Chinese?

How much is this in Chinese is 这个多少钱?Zhège duōshǎo qián?

How do you say “Shopping Centre” in Chinese?

Shopping mall in Chinese is 购物中心 gòu wù zhòng xīn.

How do you say Clothes in Chinese?

Clothes in Chinese is 衣服 yī fú.

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  4. George

    Yay! I love shopping. Thanks for this

    1. Max Hobbs

      Always a pleasure!

  5. Thomassen Schneider

    Thanks for sharing this kind of blog! Can always be useful to know some of these words.
    King regards,

    1. Max Hobbs

      Most welcome Thomassen!