Introducing people in Chinese – Free Beginner’s Chinese Course – Lesson 5

In this lesson we will learn how to introduce friends and family in Chinese.

Previous Lesson Review

Before we begin, please be sure to review the previous lessons:

How to introduce someone in Chinese

To introduce someone in Chinese you simply say “this is” zhèshì (zhè shì) followed by whomever you are introducing.

zhè shì
This is…

If were introducing Mary we would say:

zhè shì Mary
This is Mary

To break down this phrase:

zhè (zhè) shì (shì)
zhè shì
This is

In addition to remembering “this is” zhèshì (zhè shì) as a very useful phrase, you should also try to remember the individual characters “this“ zhè (zhè) and ”is” shì (shì)

How to ask who someone is in Chinese

To ask who someone is in Chinese you would simply ask “this is who?” zhèshìshéi? (zhè shì shéi?).

zhè shì shéi?
This is who?

shéi (shéi) is the Chinese word for “who” and is worth remembering as a piece of very useful vocabulary. Here is a breakdown of the phrase “this is who?” zhèshìshéi (zhè shì shéi):

zhè (zhè) shì (shì) shéi (shéi)
zhè shì shéi
This is who

With this we can have a simple conversation

zhè shì shéi?
This is who?

zhè shì Mary
This is Mary

If you recall from our last lesson, the way to say “Mary in Chinese is (Mǎ​lì), thus you can say:

zhè shì mǎlì
This is Mary

How to introduce your friends, family and colleagues in Chinese

How to say my and yours in Chinese

Before we can introduce people we need to learn how to say “my”, as in “my mother”, “my husband” or “my colleague”.

The Chinese word for “my” and “your” in Chinese are made up of the characters for “me” (wǒ) or (nǐ) “you” plus the de (de) character. The 的 character is a special character used to indicate possession, and is roughly the equivalent of an apostrophe s in English.

de (wǒ de)
wǒ de

de (nǐ de)
nǐ de

If you’d like to know more about “de” check out our post on how to use ‘de’ in Chinese – 的, 地 and 得

Building on this, we can now say “this is my…”

zhè shì wǒ de
This is my…

Now we can pair this up with the words for friends, family and colleagues, we learned in the previous lesson, for example:

zhè shì wǒ de
This is my colleague

zhè shì wǒ de
This is my friend

zhè shì wǒ de māmā
This is my mother

Here is a break down of “this is my mother” zhèshìdema (zhè shì wǒ de mā​ma) for clarity:

zhè (zhè) shì (shì) de (wǒ de) ma (mā​ma)
zhè shì wǒ de māmā
this is my mother

How to politely introduce someone in Chinese

If you would like to be more polite, you can instead say saying “allow me to introduce”

ràng wǒ jièshào
Allow me to introduce…

We can pair this phrase with what we’ve learned before, for example:

ràng wǒ jièshào wǒ de bàba
Allow me to introduce my Dad

ràng wǒ jièshào Mike
Allow me to introduce Mike

ràng wǒ jièshào wǒ de péngyǒu
Allow me to introduce my Mum

Here is a break down of the last phrase for clarity:

ràng (ràng) (wǒ) jièshào (jiè​shào) de (wǒ de) péngyou (péng​you)
ràng jièshào wǒ de péngyǒu
allow me (to) introduce my friend


This is the key vocabulary and phrases learned in this lesson.

Lesson key vocabulary

English Chinese (Pinyin)
this zhè (zhè)
is shì (shì)
who shéi (shéi)
my de (wǒ de)
allow ràng (ràng)
introduce jièshào (jiè​shào)
Lesson key vocabulary

Lesson key phrases

English Chinese (Pinyin)
this is zhèshì... (zhè shì...)
this is who? zhèshìshéi? (zhè shì shéi?)
this is my… zhèshìde (zhè shì wǒ de)
allow me to introduce… ràngjièshào... (ràng wǒ jiè​shào...)
Lesson key phrases


In this lesson you’ve learned how to introduce people and ask who someone is. Key points to remember are:

  • There are different Chinese words for elder and younger siblings.
  • de (de) is the characer in Chinese that indicates possession, so for example it changes:
    • me (wǒ) into my de (wǒ de)
    • you (nǐ) into your de (nǐ de)
  • shéi (shéi) is the Chinese character that means “who”. As a bonus, you could add de (de) to shéi (shéi) to create the word “whose” shéide (shéi de) as in “whose friend is this?” zhèshìshéidepéngyou? (zhè shì shéi de péng​you?)

Check back for next Beginners lesson, which we’ll release soon. In the meantime, why not check out some of our other Beginners posts?