If you ever feel stuck for things to say when you meet people, here are a few simple sentence structures to help you ask some simple questions.

(Hover over the Chinese for pinyin)

1.你的家乡在哪儿

家乡 means hometown but these two characters could be replaced with 老家 which also means hometown.

2.你喜欢购物吗?为什么?

购物 means to go shopping. By adding 为什么 to the end then you are asking for them to explain their answer.

3.你家有几口人?

几 is a very common way of asking “How much/many”.

口 is a measure word similar to 个. It is used instead of 个 as the measure word for family members. For example. 我的家有四口人 would mean “There are 4 people in my family”.

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.

4.你有什么爱好?

爱好 is (in my opinion) a fantastic 2 character combination that means hobby. Because hobbies should be things that you love doing.

5.你最喜欢的食物是什么?

By adding 最 then you turn the verb 喜欢 into it’s superlative form (favourite). It can be used before virtually all verbs for example, 最美的 would mean “the most beautiful”

6.你结婚了还是单身?

结婚 means married and 单身 means single. By adding 还是 which means “or” then we have a simple way of asking someone to choose between two choices. Another example might be 你想去还是不想去?which would mean “Do you want to go or not?”

Thanks for reading

The next time you meet a Chinese speaker then surprise them by showing an interest in their lives. People are always more receptive when you ask then questions about themselves as opposed to starting every sentence with 我 (I). Thanks for reading!