Lesson One: How are you?

Lesson One: How are you?

This first lesson begins with some simple greetings that you can use at any time of day. Grammar focuses on two common forms of asking questions. Explanations are given for writing the eight new characters taught in this lesson.

Conversation: 你好吗?


nǐ hǎo ma?

How are you?


wǒ hěn hǎo, xiè xiè.

I am fine, thank you.


nǐ ne?

And you?


wǒ yě hěn hǎo.

I am fine too.

New Words
pron. (singular) you

pron. I, me, self
adj. good, fine
adv. very, quite, very much
adv. also; too
vb. thanks, thank you
mapt. (question form used at the end of sentence)
pt. (for questions on a subject under consideration)

Correct Usage

你好(nǐ hǎo) is the most common greeting and can be used at any time of day.

nín is a polite usage of that is used to show respect when addressing elders.

Grammar Points

Asking questions with

There are many forms for interrogative sentences in Chinese. One of the most common is to add to the end of a sentence. It is not necessary to change the word order of the sentence.

Asking questions with

Another form of interrogative sentence in Chinese is to add after the noun and pronoun. 你呢? is similar to “And you?” in English.


Read the following phrases and translate them into English.

  • 你好吗?
  • 我很好.
  • 你呢?
  • 谢谢.

Writing Exercises

If possible use paper with squares on it. Remember each character should appear as if it is inside a square without touching the edges of the square. Refer to the writing basics lesson if you are unsure of the different strokes.

Chinese Character Hen

Chinese Character Ma

This concludes the first lesson. You should now be familiar with 7 different Chinese characters and be able to make several sentences using them. Read over this lesson’s contents as many times as necessary until you feel you have mastered all the material.


  1. Hari Kc
    Jun 08, 2012 @ 16:22:39

    Hi Sir/Ms,
    I am very much interested to learn Chinese language. I think this free site and the techniques of teaching is very good. I humblly appreciate to you. I hope It will be more fruitful me.
    By looking your favourable follow up.
    HariKc, Nepal
    Now, Dubai, UAE


    • Naomi
      Jun 13, 2012 @ 18:34:36

      I am Very interested in learning another language . Chinse is my top interest !

      ( :


  2. Melchizedek Divine
    Jun 11, 2012 @ 10:31:03

    Hello. I am much interested in learning how to speak, read and write the Chinese language. What other advice do you have for me? GOD bless you.


  3. Xue Hao
    Jun 13, 2012 @ 09:44:06

    Thanks for the comments. Of course we recommend you follow the lessons on this site to learn Chinese. It helps you if do the lessons in the order they are written. And don’t worry if you need to go slowly and read things over several times. There is no royal road to success – learning a new language takes time.

    I will put together a blog posts of tips on how to study Chinese.


  4. Naomi
    Jun 13, 2012 @ 18:35:23

    I love it !


  5. Nancy
    Jun 19, 2012 @ 16:45:41

    why no song?


    • Xue Hao
      Jun 19, 2012 @ 22:36:46

      What kind of song?


      • Shi An Li
        Oct 04, 2013 @ 00:53:40

        I think he refers to the sound, how it is supposed to be pronounced. I think it is essential as the meaning changes depending on the tone used.


  6. balochi zinadini
    Aug 01, 2012 @ 18:13:49

    wawww very good pro lessons


  7. Giash Uddin
    Aug 30, 2012 @ 10:32:31

    I am very new in learning Chinese language. I am very glad to be able to learn the primary lesson


  8. Phan
    Sep 17, 2012 @ 01:46:11

    Its reallly helpful. Could you please provide audio for pronunciation? It would make your lessond more interactive. Thanks a load.


    • Xue Hao
      Sep 17, 2012 @ 07:09:51

      Great suggestions! Thanks for the ideas. In fact, we are planning to add some audio and video to the lessons. Not sure when this will happen but keep checking this site for further updates.


  9. theo
    Oct 12, 2012 @ 19:12:30

    Can you please put audios with each statement so that we can hear the correct pronunciation,thanks.


  10. ramesh
    Nov 05, 2012 @ 11:12:47

    i want to learn Chinese thruogh tamil on computer its possible?


  11. Ghanshyam
    Nov 11, 2012 @ 07:10:02

    it’s very simple and useful techniqaue to learn. thank you.


  12. shyla
    Feb 11, 2013 @ 20:31:13

    But how can you remember what to say and when to say it?


    • Xue Hao
      Feb 17, 2013 @ 02:45:24

      Practicing with a Chinese speaker helps. Repeat the conversation exercises on this site until you have them memorised. Listening to what the other person says is an important part of learning a language. Don’t just think about what you need to say, try to hear what the other speaker is saying.

      Anyone else have any tips?


  13. Rishi Ram Parajuli
    May 16, 2013 @ 13:07:36

    I love this site as it gives lots of ideas. Since practicing online is not easy most of time in our country due to poor electricity supply and availabilty of internet. So I would be grateful to you if you suggest and recommend for best books and CDs that can be used in our context to improve speaking and writing Chinese.


  14. D'Nat
    Aug 12, 2013 @ 18:14:57

    I always thought I’d have to sing and draw to be able to speak and write Chinese. Thank you for simplifying it. I’m enjoying it so far.


  15. Rishi Ram Parajuli
    Aug 13, 2013 @ 15:23:55

    Some 2 months ago, I joined Confucius center who is teaching Chinese in Nepal for several years. However, due to my personal problems I could not continue the class for very long due to my personal problems. However, I am still eager to learn by some alternative means. I hope this one will be one of the best ways for me for now considering my personal situation. Thank you very much providing an opportunity to me to continue the Chinese lesson.


  16. KK Singh
    Sep 02, 2013 @ 21:36:35

    How about teaching Chinese with voice chatting for better pronunciation?


  17. Tenzin
    Oct 27, 2013 @ 17:21:53

    I want to learn chinese language


  18. Shokufeh
    Feb 10, 2014 @ 23:50:16

    hello Xue Hao ;
    I`m a beginner to learn Chinese. I see that you`re so enthusiastic to teach the others your language, so maybe my tips would help you. First of all ,please change the color of your site. When I look at for even some short minutes, my eyes get hurt. Second , one of the things that play an important role in learning any language, is to hear it a lot. So you`d be better to make many audio lessons (of course possible to download!) as soon as possible. Because in that way anyone can listen to them when she/he is free or is on her/his way home. and one more last tip: if you make all your lessons that you`ve written above in a pdf file, so that it`s possible to download, it`ll be very useful and beneficial to everyone. I will visit your site again and if you liked, I`d introduce you a site which is teaching another East Asian language very well.
    Hope you success ;)


    • Xue Hao
      Feb 11, 2014 @ 15:16:57

      What is the other East Asian language site? I’d like to have a look.

      What part of the site is hurting your eyes? Is it the text and background? That can be improved. But I think the red theme is easy on the eyes. Red is an important color in Chinese culture – usually meaning luck, as in the red envelopes people receive at Chinese New Year. Lanterns and other decorations at holidays are usually red, plus there is Chairman Mao’s Little Red book.


      • Shokufeh
        Feb 12, 2014 @ 00:00:54

        Hello again;
        First thanks for answering me so quickly, I can`t believe it ! about the site, it is:
        Actually I did not know red is an important color in China! but I think you can a little lighten it. And if the color of the text itself was black, it would be best.
        One more thing: I must appreciate you for the good textuality of your lesson!
        Hope you success ;)


        • Xue Hao
          Feb 12, 2014 @ 07:15:08

          Thanks for the feedback. I’ll work on incorporating some of your suggestions.

          The Talk to me in Korean site looks really good. Really pleasant blue and easy on the eyes.


    • Shokufeh
      Feb 15, 2014 @ 23:28:19

      Hello ;
      Wow! this is much better with black text! Thank you for noticing my comment!
      Did you really like the site? Glad to hear that. I thought it might somehow, you know, bother you.
      Not even the color, but also the procedure of teaching is so interesting and unique! I think the textuality of your lessons is as good as theirs, so it seems if the audios come, that would be perfect!
      And : I don`t know how you did that, but the animations for teaching how to write Chinese are great, I really admire you for that.
      Hope you success :)


  19. alfred muia
    Mar 25, 2014 @ 16:42:45

    hi am a Kenyan living in our capital city of Nairobi and having a limited access to the computer i would like to request if its possible for me to be getting the lesson in my email in box so that i can be reviewing them from time to time, for i would love very much to learn Chinese now that African country’s and especially Kenya HAVE REALIZED that our best friends are chines and are doing most of our business with china i know this will open opportunities for me pliz n God will bless u


  20. Qui Min Chen
    Apr 07, 2014 @ 02:23:54

    Hello, I am a young girl who is Chinese and knows the basic speech and writing of Chinese , but do not know advanced Chinese. Some suggestions might be that (if this is not too hard) you have an chat bot that speaks the language so the person could practice their speech. This is a great website, thank you!


  21. Abeeha
    Apr 29, 2014 @ 02:23:16

    I am very much into Chinese and want to learn it and to be able to speak it And I love your lesson no. 1
    I want to thank you very much!!!!!
    And pls teach me more



  22. Thuong Pham
    May 30, 2014 @ 18:20:52

    Hi, I’m really excited in Chinese and i think this website is pretty good, but it’s more convenient if you put audio in each text. Thus, it’s gonna be easier to learn how to speak ‘em


  23. stephane Abena
    Sep 02, 2014 @ 21:58:59

    I love this site. I ‘m a beginner in the learning of the chinese languege and my first impression is already that i’ll enjoy learning chinese on this website.


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