Learning Chinese: 15 Idioms for Sounding Like a Native

Learning Chinese: 15 Common Idioms for Sounding Like a Native

You’ve been studying Chinese for a couple of years now and you probably learnt a lot of words, Chengyu, political and economic terms, which is amazing, but what’s the point of learning all these characters when you can’t actually be “yourself” while speaking Chinese with a native speaker?

With this list you’ll find the 15 of the most important phrases to express your feelings while you go out with your Chinese friends, ready?

Let’s start!

When your Chinese friend tells you that something crazy happened to him/her you might need to express your surprise by saying…

1. Seriously?! Really?!

15 Common Idioms

2. I can’t believe it!

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3. Are you kidding me?!

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There is another exclamation that might be really useful when you want to express your surprise, amazement, but also shock, exasperation and alarm. In English, you would say OMG! In Chinese it would sound like “Heaven!”…

4. Oh My God!

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Or if you prefer, you could also say…

5. Shoot!

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This phrase can also be written as “我了个去”, or abbreviated as “我去!

Sometimes, our friends can be undecided upon where they would like to go and what they would like to do. If they ask your opinion and you’re indifferent, you might need to know how to say…


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For telling our friend that his/her idea or suggestion seems like a good one…

7. Sounds good!

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When you want to say that what your friend is saying sounds quite true, reasonable or right, you can say…

8. It makes sense!

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Miscommunication happens a lot, especially among international friends, to say that you are not responsible for something bad, you can say …

9. It’s not my fault

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10. I didn’t do it on purpose

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Then when someone apologizes to you for doing or saying something wrong, you can say “it doesn’t matter”…

11.  It’s not a big deal!

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When someone is getting argumentative or annoying with you, even for a slapstick joke, you might need to say…

12. Give me a break!/Stop it!

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13. Come on/Don’t be like that!

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 14. What are you talking about?!

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Finally, if you want to open the window or smoke a cigarette but first you want to make sure your action won’t bother your friend, you can ask…

15. Do you mind?

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I hope you enjoy this article, have fun while learning Chinese with LTL Mandarin School!

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