Stuff you might be hearing – Shopping

There are certain things I always hear when shopping. So, I’ve gone ahead and tracked them down so we can understand every word.

  • Literal, word by word translations appear in [brackets].
  • Optional words appear in (parentheses)
  • Notes appear with an asterisk (*in parentheses)
  • Measure words are translated in {curly brackets}.
  • Alternative translations are separated by a slash (/)

First words

nǐ xiǎng/yào mǎi diǎn shénme? 你想/要买点什么?
= What would you like to buy? [you want buy little what]

nǐ xiǎng/yào mǎi diǎn shá? 你想/要买点啥?
= What would you like to buy? [you want buy little what (*northern dialect)]

nǐ yào shénme? 你要什么?
= What would you like? [you want what]

mǎi shénme? 买什么?
= What would you like? [buy what]

Time to pay

shōu nǐ bā kuài qián 收你八块钱
= Received your 8 yuan

zhǎo nǐ yí kuài qián 找你一块钱
= Here’s your 1 yuan change [find you 1 yuan]

Please wait

(shāo) děng yíhuìr 稍等一会儿
= just a moment [(little) wait a moment]

(shāo) děng yíxià 稍等一下
= just a moment [(little) wait a moment]

See also Stuff you might be hearing – Restaurants

6 Replies to “Stuff you might be hearing – Shopping”

  1. Hi, I did receive your email recently and haven’t replied (or switched my subscription yet) due to many things including lack of internet access and a job hunt that gets more desperate by the day, but as I was sitting in the office doing research on jobs I came across this site:
    and thought you might be interested, if you don’t already know of it. Don’t ask me how that site came up under my google job search, it just did. And yes, I am allowed to write run-on sentences even as an English teacher. So there.

  2. Hi,
    I’ve been reading your site for a while now, and it is really helpful for learning Chinese!

    I just wanted to point out that the last phrase in the “First Words” section has xiang instead of mai.

  3. Tiffany,

    Thanks [embarrassed chuckle]. As acceptable as both would be in that situation, I guess the pinyin and hanzi should match. I’ve changed it.

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