learn chinese phrases

The Ultimate Chinese Weekend: All the Mandarin Phrases You’ll Need for Hanging Out

Want to have fun while speaking Chinese?

It’s easy to do. Simply bring Chinese learning along with you when you’re having fun or hanging out.

Language learning is a lifestyle, which means wherever you go and whatever you’re doing, it’s a chance to learn and apply Chinese—even when you’re chilling on the weekends.

You’ve worked hard to study and master Chinese phrases all week!

Why not put those hard-learned phrases to use by speaking Chinese on the weekend?

The Value of Weekend Chinese

The weekend is a great time to practice Chinese speaking. Why? Because it’s the chance for Chinese dialogue in real social and lifestyle situations.

It’s the perfect time to practice everyday common expressions, casual conversation and small talk.

Best of all, in casual situations, it’s okay to omit the subject in a sentence, or to speak incomplete sentences. The casualness of the weekend context frees you up to speak more, make more interjections and expressions and to not worry about being “perfect.”

Even if you’re not with other Chinese speakers, you can think relevant Chinese phrases to yourself while hanging out.

TGIF! Learn Chinese Phrases for the Weekend

Let’s celebrate! The weekend’s here. What better way to express your excitement than to say it in Chinese? Try these phrases on for size:

  • 好开心啊! 终于到周末了。 (hǎo kāi xīn a! zhōng yú dào zhōu mò le)
    Yes! The weekend’s finally here.
  • 我们周末去那里玩? (wǒ men zhōu mò qù nà lǐ wán)
    What should we do this weekend?

How to Use Chinese Phrases for Making Plans

Let’s start by learning how to suggest activities:

我们去____吧!(wǒ men qù____ba) Let’s go…

What do you feel like doing this weekend? You can suggest any plan of choice by using this simple phrase: 我们__(activity)__吧!(wǒ men qù____ba), which means, “Let’s go…” Simply insert your chosen activity in the blank, for example:

  • 我们去逛街吧。 (wǒ men qù guàng jiē ba)
    Let’s go shopping.
  • 我们去看电影吧。 (wǒ men qù kàn diàn yǐng ba)
    Let’s go for a movie.
  • 我们去吃饭吧。 (wǒ men qù chī fàn ba)
    Let’s go for a meal.

我想去 (wǒ xiǎng qù ) I wanna go…

Another easy way to bring up weekend plans is to simply say 我想去___(activity)___(wǒ xiǎng qù____), or “I wanna go…” Again, just complete the sentence with your desired activity, for example:

  • 我想去运动。 (wǒ xiǎng qù zuò yùn dòng)I wanna go work out.
  • 我想去做按摩。 (wǒ xiǎng qù zuò àn mó)
    I wanna go get a massage.
  • 我想去逛夜市。 (wǒ xiǎng qù guàng yè shì)
    I wanna go check out the night market.

Now that we’ve covered some basic phrases for proposing activities, it looks like we’re ready to head out!

Useful Chinese Phrases for Navigating Every Kind of Weekend Activity

Eating Out

Who’s hungry? Let’s grab a bite to eat! To survey what your friends feel like eating, ask:

  • 我们吃什么(wǒ men chī shén mē hǎo)
    What do you guys want to eat?/What should we eat?

Someone might answer you:

  • 我们吃日本料理吧。 (wǒ men chī rì běn liào lǐ ba)
    Let’s go have Japanese food.

Someone else may say:

  • 我想吃堡。 (wǒ xiǎng chī hàn bǎo bǎo)
    I feel like having a burger.

You can suggest having a variety of cuisines by using the pattern: 我想吃 (wǒ xiǎng chī) + country name + (cài) cuisine (or literally, dishes of food). For example:

  • 我想吃意大利菜。 (wǒ xiǎng chī yì dà lì cài)
    I feel like having Italian food.
  • 我想吃中国菜。 (wǒ xiǎng chī zhōng guó cài)
    I feel like having Chinese food.

If the food that you’re having is good, you can say 好吃! (hǎo chī) or “Delicious!”

Finally, when you’re full and ready to go, you can say 买单! (mǎi dān) or “Bill, please!”

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At the Mall

Hanging out with the gang at the mall? It’s time to pick up some new threads.

After choosing and trying on something nice, you want to get some expert peer opinion, so you ask:

  • 件衣服好看(zhè jiàn yī fú hǎo kàn ma)
    Does this look good on me?

If you want to be affirmative, you can say:

  • 你穿件衣服真好看。 (nǐ chuān zhè jiàn yī fú zhēn hǎo kàn)
    You look great in this.

If you think the piece of clothing is so-so, you can say:

  • 还可以。 (hái kě yǐ) 
    It’s okay…

还可以 (hái kě yǐ) means that it’s fine, which can also be a nice way of saying that it’s not great.

Next, you can ask the clerk if there are any sales: 

  • 有没有打折?(yǒu méi yǒu dǎ zhé)
    Is there any sale or discount?

Moving on, you might want to check out other stores. You can use this pattern:

  • 我想看____(type of clothing)____。 (wǒ xiǎng kān____)
    I wanna check out____.
  • 我想看鞋子。(wǒ xiǎng kàn xié zi)
    I wanna check out shoes.
  • 我想看游泳衣(wǒ xiǎng kàn yóu yǒng yī)
    I wanna check out swimwear.

Movies and Shows

Who doesn’t love a movie on the weekend? At the theatre, you might want to find out what your friends want to watch, so you ask:

  • 我们看什么好(wǒ men kàn shén mē hǎo?)
    What should we see?

After choosing a movie, you might want to start by getting tickets, or by checking if anyone wants popcorn or drinks:

  • 先去票吧 。(wǒ men xiān qù mǎi piào ba)
    Let’s get tickets first.
  • 要不要爆米花或饮料?(nǐ men yào bù yào bào mǐ huā huò yǐn liào?)
    Do you guys want popcorn or drinks?

At the end of the movie, find out if your friends liked the movie by asking:

  • 你觉得样? 喜欢吗?(nǐ jué de zěn me yàng? xǐ huān ma?)
    What do you think? Did you like it?

Your friends could give an evaluation of the movie:

  • 我觉得还不错。(wǒ jué de hái bù cuò)
    I thought it was alright.
  • 我觉得很聊。 (wǒ jué de hěn wú liáo)
    I thought it was boring.

Bars and Pubs

It’s happy hour. Time to unwind over a glass or a pint. Perhaps you want to buy someone a drink, so you say: 

  • 你要喝什么?(nǐ yào hē shén mē?)
    What do you want to drink?

Since you often don’t have just one drink, encourage the joviality by saying:

  • 再来一杯! (zài lái yī bēi)
    Have another one!

In every drinking situation, always remember the favorite phrase: 

  • 干杯! (gān bēi)


You don’t want to miss the must-see areas in your city. It’s time for sightseeing: 

  • 光吧。 (wǒ men qù guān guāng ba)
    Let’s go sightseeing.

To get an opinion of the best sites to visit, ask your friends:

  • 你觉得哪里好玩? (nǐ jué de nǎ lǐ hǎo wán)
    What’s good to see?

Every sightseeing locale is optimal for selfies and group pics. To add more smiles and faces to your photos, suggest to your friends: 

  • 跟我一起拍照吧! (gēn wǒ yī qǐ pāi zhào ba)
    Take a photo with me!

Spa or Salon

Sometimes you just need a little rest and relaxation. Ahhh, you deserve a spa or salon session. To propose various spa and salon activities, use the following phrases:

  • 我要按摩(wǒ yàoàn mó)
    I want to get a massage.
  • 我想去理发店剪头发 (wǒ xiǎng qù lǐ fà diàn jiǎn tóu fā)
    I want to get my hair cut.
  • 我想去做指甲。 (wǒ xiǎng qù zuò zhǐ jiǎ)
    I want to get a manicure.

After your queen-bee treatment, you deserve some compliments. Hopefully, your friends will tell you:

  • 你的发型很好看。(nǐ de fà xíng hěn hǎo kàn)
    Your hairstyle looks great.
  • 你今天很漂亮。 (nǐ jīn tiān hěn piào liàng)
    You look beautiful today.

Working Out

The weekend is the perfect time to get back on track with that January resolution to get in shape. Call up your workout buddies and say: 

  • 锻炼身体吧。 (wǒ men qù duàn liàn shēn tǐ ba)
    Let’s go work out.

Different people prefer different ways of working out. What’s your favorite work-out? Do you jive with any of the below?

  • 我喜跑步 (wǒ xǐ huān pǎo bù)
    I like running.
  • 我喜欢举 (wǒ xǐ huān jǔ zhòng)
    I like to lift weights.
  • 我喜欢做瑜伽。 (wǒ xǐ huān zuò yú jiā)
    I like to do yoga.

Running Errands

Finally, you might need to take precious time out to do some personal business, such as banking or making household purchases. Here’s some handy phrases to announce your errand-running intentions:

  • 我需要去 (wǒ xū yào qù yín háng)
    I need to go to the bank.
  • 我需要去采。 (wǒ xū yào qù cǎi gòu)
    I need to go buy some things.
  • 我需要去点事情。 (wǒ xū yào qù bàn diǎn shì qíng)
    I need to go run some errands.

When your friend or housemate returns home from his or her excursions, you can ask:

  • 你今天忙什么?(nǐ jīn tiān máng shén mē)
    What did you do today?

With all these phrases in your back pocket, you’re ready to head out and conquer the weekend. Have fun doing all your favorite weekend activities while using Chinese at the same time.

Don’t forget that a wonderful way to relax is to watch videos. These Chinese language videos feature English subtitles, Chinese characters and pinyin—super handy for any pro Chinese learner!

Have an awesome weekend!

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