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Greetings:

你好

The literal translation is “you good”. Many adjectives in Chinese also function as verbs. So here, “good” also functions as “to be good”.

你好吗?

This is asked more seriously than in English, where we casually ask “how are you?” It is usually asked of people you haven’t seen for a long time.

我很好

The has a lighter meaning than “very” in English, so here, 很好 could mean “pretty good.”

Pronoun summary:



他 / 她

Note: while the pronunciation of 他 / 她 for he and she is the same, when written there are separate characters for he (他) and she(她).

他好吗?

他很好 谢谢 谢谢你

Note: When the same character is repeated as in the above example, the second one frequently adopts a neutral tone

再见

The literal meaning is “again meet” or see you again (later)

Culture Note: When greeting someone in China, it is common to bow your head. For formal occasions, they will also shake hands as in the West. When businessmen meet it is obligatory to exchange business cards. When giving or receiving business cards, do so with both hands to show added respect.

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