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.