In this article, we are going to introduce you to how Chinese actually say “thank you” in Mandarin Chinese. As manners are important parts of every culture, you probably already knew how to say thank you in Chinese, which is “谢谢 xièxie.” So, what are we learning about in this article? First, let’s think of it this way; in the real world, we will say thank you in many different circumstances. Sometimes, we simply just say thank you. Sometimes, we will go into more detail for the effort others have made helping for us. Secondly, manners are one of the biggest differences in languages. How to say thank you properly? This is what we are learning about here.
Thank you in Mandarin Chinese infographic
Basic ways to say thank you in Mandarin Chinese
1. 谢谢 / 謝謝 xièxie Thanks, thank you.
When you say thanks or thank you in Chinese, you can either say “谢谢 xièxie” or add “你 nǐ” (which means you) after “谢谢 xièxie” to make it more specific.
There are two structures that we often use to go with “谢谢 xièxie,” which are:
太…了 tài…le means “too…, very”
太谢谢你了！Tài xièxiè nǐle!
Thank you very much!
Thank you so much!
非常… fēicháng… means very, extremely
非常谢谢你！Fēicháng xièxiè nǐ!
Thank you very much!
Thank you so much!
2. 感谢 / 感謝 gǎnxiè Many thanks
感谢 gǎnxiè is a bit more formal than 谢谢 xièxie. It also has a similar usage to 谢谢 xièxie. You can use “太…了 tài…le” and “非常… fēicháng…” sentence structures here.
太感谢你了！Tài gǎnxiè nǐle!
非常感谢你！Fēicháng gǎnxiè nǐ!
3. 谢啦 / 謝啦 xiè la and 谢了 / 謝了 xiè le
Both “谢啦 xiè la” “谢了 xiè le” can be translated to thanks. Those are very casual ways to express thank you in Chinese. We usually use it between friends, and not with someone who is older than you*. For instance:
A: Wǒ mǎile yībēi zhēnzhū nǎichá gěi nǐ, yīnwèi nǐ shàng xīngqí qǐng wǒ hēle kāfēi.
I bought a cup of bubble tea for you. Because you got a cup of coffee for me last week.
B: Xiè la!
* You may notice that we often use age when talking about manners in Chinese. If you talk to someone who is Chinese, you have to keep this mind all of the time. In Chinese traditional culture, we respect someone who is older than us. By saying respect, that includes us not usually talking casually to them, we use “您 nín” instead of “你 nǐ,” and we never call them by their first name. There are more Chinese cultural manners. You don’t have to know them all but stick to the ones you have learned. These are very different from many western cultures.
Expressing your gratitude in more detail
4. 谢谢你的帮忙！Xièxie nǐ de bāngmáng! Thank you for your help.
To someone who helps you in general. This can be used in both formal and informal circumstances. And the help can be either big or little. For instance, if someone sees you carrying heavy stuff on the way out of a store, and he helps you carry it to the car, you can use this sentence.
If one of your friends knows you have several household items that are broken, and he spends a whole weekend to help you fix everything with no charge, you can also say this. I may add “非常 fēicháng” at the beginning to express I really appreciate the help.
5. 谢谢你帮我... Xièxiè nǐ bāng wǒ… Thank you for helping me…
This sentence pattern has various uses. You can place it with whatever action they take to help you. Let’s see some examples below:
带东西 dài dōngxī bring stuff
谢谢你帮我带东西。 Xièxiè nǐ bāng wǒ dài dōngxī.
Thank you for helping me bring the stuff over.
洗碗 xǐ wǎn washing dishes
谢谢你帮我 洗碗 Xièxiè nǐ bāng xǐ wǎn.
Thank you for washing the dishes for me.
照顾小孩 zhàogù xiǎohái watch kids, take care of children
谢谢你帮我 照顾小孩 Xièxiè nǐ bāng
Thank you for watching the kids for me.
买东西 mǎi dōngxī
谢谢你帮我 买东西 Xièxiè nǐ bāng mǎi dōngxī
Thank you for buying stuff for me.
6. 谢谢你... Xièxiè nǐ… Thank you for...
This structure can simply be translated to “thank you for…” It is similar to the structure above. Let’s see some examples here:
载我回家。Zài wǒ huí jiā. Give me a ride home.
谢谢你载我回家。 Xièxiè nǐ zài wǒ huí jiā.
Thank you for giving me a ride home.
陪我去买东西。Péi wǒ qù mǎi dōngxī. Shopping with me.
谢谢你陪我去买东西。 Xièxiè nǐ péi wǒ qù mǎi dōngxī.
Thank you for shopping with me.
照顾我妈妈。Zhàogù wǒ. Take care of my mother.
谢谢你照顾我妈妈。Xièxiè nǐ zhàogù wǒ māma.
Thank you for taking care of my mom.
告诉我 。Gàosù wǒ. Telling me
谢谢你告诉我 。Xièxiè nǐ gàosù wǒ.
Thank you for telling me.
7. 谢谢！麻烦你了！Xièxiè! Máfan nǐle! Thank you! Sorry for the trouble!
Even though the translation is “sorry for the trouble,” it is not really a formal apology. We use this term when someone does a favor we did not ask for, or someone does a favor for us and it has not caused them too much extra work. For instance, as I am writing this article, we are experiencing the coronavirus pandemic. We are trying to limit our trips to grocery stores. Many of my friends live around the area and we help each other out. Whenever someone is going to a grocery store, we ask around if other people need something from the same store and we can shop for them.
Wǒ jīntiān xiàwǔ yào qù hǎo shì duō mǎi dōngxī, nǐ xūyào shénme ma?
I am going to Costco this afternoon. Do you need anything?
Hǎo a, nǐ kěyǐ bāng wǒ mǎi yī bāo wèishēngzhǐ ma?
Sure. Could you grab a pack of toilet paper for me?
Hǎo, méi wèntí!
OK! No problem.
B: 谢谢！麻烦你了！Xièxiè! Máfan nǐle!
Thank you. Sorry for the trouble.
From the scenario, you can see A is not really going out of his way to buy the toilet paper. So, it doesn’t cause him much trouble to grab a pack for his friend. But for B, it is a favor. You can use this sentence in situations like this:
This is also often used in business and office settings. Someone who is at a higher level and asks his subordinate to do something, may end the conversation with this: 谢谢！麻烦你了！Xièxiè! Máfan nǐle!
谢谢！你太好啦！Xièxiè! Nǐ tài hǎo la!
谢谢！你最好啦！Xièxiè! Nǐ zuì hǎo la!
Thank you! You are the best!
We usually say this to our close friends or someone who may have a close relationship with us, like between husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, a significant one. This implies the action is a bit coquettish. For instance:
Nǐ lái de shíhòu, kěyǐ bāng wǒ mǎi yībēi rè kěkě ma? Wǒ jīntiān bú shūfú.
Girlfriend: When you come, could you buy me a cup of hot cocoa? I am not feeling well today.
Xièxiè! Nǐ zuì hǎole!
Girlfriend: Thank you! You are the best!
8. 谢谢大家... Xièxiè dàjiā… Thank you all...
We use this when giving a speech or talking to a group of people. See some examples below:
Xièxiè dàjiā lái cānjiā wǒmen de hūnlǐ.
Thank you all for coming to our wedding.
Xièxiè dàjiā lái tīng wǒ de yīnyuè huì.
Thank you all for coming to my concert.
Xièxiè dàjiā de zhīchí!
Thank you all for your support.
Xièxiè dàjiā de zhùfú!
Thank you all for your blessing!
9. 谢谢光临！Xièxiè guānglín! Thank you for coming!
Thank you for coming (a business). If you go to a store, a shop, a restaurant, etc., when you are about to leave, people who work there will say “谢谢光临！Xièxiè guānglín!” as thank you for coming in Chinese. But we only use it for finishing a visit to a business, and not at a person’s house.
Bonus: when the server says “谢谢光临 Xièxiè guānglín,” they usually add “欢迎再来 Huānyíng zàilái” or “欢迎常来 huānyíng cháng lái” after that. Those two terms mean we are looking forward to seeing you again (often.)”
Other ways to show your gratitude in Chinese.
In Chinese culture, we tend not to reply with “谢谢 xièxie” when someone compliments or praises you. We don’t think we deserve the honor to receive it. So, we usually will reply with:
10. 哪里哪里！Nǎlǐ nǎlǐ!
You will never guess what this literally means! It literally means “where where.”
We say this to show our modesty and politeness. It means I am not as good as you say.
Nǐ zhōngwén shuō dé zhēn hǎo, wánquán tīng bù chūkǒu yīn ne!
Your Chinese is really good. There is no accent!
B: 哪里哪里！Nǎlǐ nǎlǐ!
Thank you. You are flattering me.
11. 没有没有！Méiyǒu méiyǒu! and 不！不！Bù! Bù! No, no!
Pretty similar usage as “哪里哪里！Nǎlǐ nǎlǐ!” Let’s see an example:
Nǐ nǚ’ér cái wǔ suì, gāngqín jiù dàn dé zhème hǎo! Jiǎnzhí shì tiāncái értóng!
Your daughter is only five and she plays the piano so well. She is a genius!
Méiyǒu méiyǒu! Tā méiyǒu nàme lìhài!
No no! She is not that good.
How do you express thanks or gratitude in your language? Tell us!
Thank you in Mandarin Chinese Video
We have published some posts and infographics about manners and other Chinese expressions.
If you like this article, how to say thank you in Chinese, then 7 Ways to Say You’re Welcome in Chinese is an article you would like too, because there you will learn how to respond to others if they express their gratitude to you!