Hello in Chinese

Feeling like nǐhǎo (你好) is no longer sufficient for saying hello to your Chinese-speaking friends? You've come to the right place! Here in this free lesson, you will learn different ways to greet friends and families, colleagues and even strangers.

Be sure to listen to the recordings and practice saying those terms. Once you've mastered the "hello" scene, it's a lot more easier to segue the conversation into areas that you are really passionate about!

Resources for further reading:

How to say "hello" in Chinese

We are extremely lucky to be living in an era where modern, or vernacular, Chinese is in vogue. In older times, saying hello could be a handful as the term to be used differs according to the time of the year, the person you are speaking with, the purpose of such conversation and so on. Nowadays, people more or less just go with simple "hello" and "hi", or maybe have a word play with phrases as casual as nǐ zěnmeyàng (你怎么样?), meaning "what's up?", to the more polite zuìjìn hǎoma (最近好吗? ), or "how is it going?".

As Chinese people aren't exactly big fans of hand shaking, cheek kissing or hugging, these hello's alone will get you a long way. So don't be shy when you practice saying them!

Pronouncing "hello" in Chinese

Chinese women - How are you?

The only tricky part in saying hello is that there are two ways of saying "you" in Chinese - the formal nín (您) and the casual (你). Just make sure to use nín (您) when you are addressing to someone you're meeting for the first time, a senior in terms of age or ranking, and a respected figure.

Now, let's give those terms a try!

Practice Your Pronunciation With Rocket Record

Rocket Record lets you perfect your Chinese pronunciation. Just listen to the native speaker audio and then use the microphone icon to record yourself. Once you’re done, you’ll get a score out of 100 on your pronunciation and can listen to your own audio playback. (Use a headset mic for best results.) Problems? Click here!



Hello (polite)



Hello (casual)


zǎoshàng hǎo

Good morning


wǎnshàng hǎo

Good evening

Sometimes, people might even just say "hello" and "hi" as in English when meeting friends or families. And just in case you are seeing someone who you haven't seen in a long time, the classic "long time no see" comes in handy! Let's give them some practice, shall we?







hǎojiǔ bújiàn

Long time no see

And now, to follow right behind those "hello's" and "hi's", here are some useful phrases.


Nǐ zěnmeyàng?

What's up with you? (Casual, for close friends)


Zuìjìn hǎo ma?

How are you recently?


Zuìjìn zěnmeyàng?

How is it going recently?

Lastly, if you want to make a perfect impression on someone that you're meeting for the first time (think potential boss or future in-laws), you have to nail these extremely polite and smooth lines!



It's such a privilege to meet you!


Chūcì jiànmiàn,qǐng duō zhǐjiào。

How do you do, it's an honor to meet you.

Great job! Now that you have a proper idea how to meet someone and start a conversation, why not explore more Chinese with us? Until the next lesson.

If you want more lessons on Chinese salutations then I recommend that you check out the following:

下次见! Xiàcì jiàn!

Lin Ping: Rocket Chinese

Make It Stick With Rocket Reinforcement

Reinforce your learning from this lesson with the Rocket Reinforcement activities!