Learn Chinese Shopping Vocabulary
Posted by Julia Song on 2015-11-12 12:00:41 1846


If you take a walk in China, you’ll see a lot of markets, shops, and malls everywhere. I’ve been asked countless times by my students how to bargain with shop owners properly and not be tricked. So, today I will help you learn some words you can use for shopping. Let’s get started!

Before you go shopping, these are the important words you should know first:

kàn 看 to look
shì 试 to try
mǎ 码 size

These three words can be very useful for the following situations:

Situation 1 - In the shop

Aren’t you tired of being followed and asked by the shop assistant, ”Nǐ hǎo, nǐ xǐhuan ma? 你好,你喜欢吗?Hello do you like it?” At that moment is the perfect time to say, ”Xièxie, wǒ kàn yíxiàr! 谢谢,我看一下儿!Thanks, I just want to have a look.” The clerk will understand that you want to be left alone.

Situation 2- To try the clothes

You have your eye on a beautiful shirt and want to try it on, so you can say ‘Nǐ hǎo, wǒ xiǎng shì yīxiàr你好,我想试一下儿’.

Situation 3 - To ask for the size

When you need to find a larger or smaller pair of shoes or an article of clothing, you can put the number before the Chinese word ”mǎ 码“ for the size.

‘Yǒu méiyǒu 38 mǎ?有没有38 码?”Do you have size 38?”

Now, let’s move a little bit forward! Here are some more complex situations:

Situation 4 - To ask for a discount

You may wonder if it is possible to have a discount and want to know how to ask for a lower price. The truth is it’s possible if you go to a small shop, restaurant, etc., but probably not in the shopping mall where they have fixed prices. So the question, “Do you have a discount?“ goes like:

Nǐmen dǎzhé ma?你们打折吗? or

Piányi yīdiǎnr, kěyǐ ma? 便宜一点儿,可以吗? (Can you give me a cheaper price?) In most cases, if you say these sentences sincerely the shop owner will give you at least 10% off. If you say you will bring your friends to shop, you may be surprised how happy the shop owner will be!

Situation 5 - To exchange an item

If you need to go back to the shop and exchange color or size, then you need to use the key word: huàn 换 “to exchange/ change.”

- To exchange for another color:
Nǐhǎo, wǒ xiǎng huàn bié de yánsè. Nǐmen hái yǒu shénme yánsè?

Hello, I want to exchange for another color. What colors do you also have?

These are the color words you need:

黑色 hēi sè black
棕色 zōng sè brown
白色 bái sè white
灰色 huī sè grey
蓝色 lán sè blue
紫色 zǐ sè purple
红色 hóng sè red
金色 jīn sè gold
黄色 huáng sè yellow
银色 yín sè silver
绿色 lǜ sè green
粉红色 fěn hóng sè pink
米色 mǐ sè beige

- To exchange for another size:

Nǐhǎo, wǒ xiǎng huàn chéng jiādà /dà /zhōng /xiǎo mǎ.
Hello, I want to exchange for another color. What colors do you also have?

If you want to live in China, knowing how to go shopping is not enough. Learn more daily Chinese with our professional teachers, here to book a free trial class!

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