Similar to our 6 basic sentences using time, here are 6 sentences you can use while shopping in China.

(Remember you can hover over over the Chinese for pinyin)

1.一瓶可乐多少钱?

Let’s start with the most important thing. How to ask how much something costs. 瓶 means bottle. 可乐 is Cola. So 一瓶可乐 means “1 bottle of cola”. Then we add the following 多少钱 which is essentially “How much money is it?”. 多少 can have a lot of meanings but here it is “how much” and 钱 simply means money.

2. 苹果多少钱一斤?

Here we start with the word apples (苹果) then follow it up with the previously learned 多少钱. Then 一斤. This unit of measurement is equal to 0.5 kg and is commonly used when buying things. By adding this then the sentences changes from “How much are the apples?” to “How much is half a kg of apples?”.

4.一共多少钱?

一共 means “altogether” and can be used before 多少钱 to ask “How much does this cost altogether?”.

3.这双鞋很合适。我要这双鞋。给你钱。

Just like in English we say “a pair of shoes” in Chinese we used the character “双” to represent a pair of something. In this sentence we have “双鞋” which means a pair of shoes. 这双鞋 would mean “This pair of shoes”. Then we have a common adjective which is 合适 meaning suitable or appropriate. So 这双鞋很合适 means “This pair of shoes is suitable for me”.

我要 can mean “I want” so 我要这双鞋 would mean “I want this pair of shoes”.

Finally we have 给你钱. A common mistake Chinese people make is to translate this literally and say “Give you money”. However, it should be translated to “Here you are” or “Here’s the money”. 给 means give but we cannot use give in this context in the English language.

5.这个牌子的手机质量很好

Getting a bit harder now. 牌子 in this sentence means “brand” and 手机 is a phone so the first few characters is saying “This brand of phone”.

质量 means quality. and we know that 很好 is a common way to say “good”.

Knowing this, how would you translate this sentence? Comment below and let us know.

6.有别的颜色的吗?

If you want to know if the item you want to buy comes in any other colors you can ask the sentence above. 别的 means “other”. 颜色 means color.

Any questions?

If you have any comment on how we could improve then please let us know, alternatively if you have any questions about the sentences or want to practice some Chinese then you can comment below.

For beginner learners then I really recommend picking up a level 1 book from the Chinese Breeze series. These books have helped me a lot.

Thanks for reading.