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Do Chinese People ever say 你好吗?

I have seen 你好吗 taught for "how are you" in more than one place, but heard a video where a person in China said you NEVER hear this in China. If Chinese people don't say this, what are the most common expressions that they use for "how are you?". The same video said that Chinese people really don't use these small talk introduction phrases so common in the West. They just directly say what they want to say. Is this true?

August 22, 2019



熟人之间是不会说“你好吗?”, 会直接说想说的话。陌生人之间通常会先说“你好” or "你好吗"。

Acquaintances don't say ‘how are you?’, directly say what they want to say. Strangers say 'how are you?'.


According to HelloChinese, cross-generational greetings may follow 你吃了吗 (literally have you eaten?), but young people may simply use 嘿(hei, transliteration of hey) or 早上好/晚上好 (zaoshang hao - good morning/wanshang hao - good evening)


According to my Beijing friend, whom I was interacting with while using HelloChinese, 早上好 is awkward or something, and they say 早安 only.


My friend from Anhui+Shanghai says the opposite! I learned to say 早安 in Taiwan, but she says it sounds like we're in a movie from the 1940s. For her, 早上好 is the only way to go. I don't know if it's a regional preference or what.


Same goes for 晚安!etc.


Wondering the same, such a mixed bag depending on what platform you're on


I am no expert, but on a channel I follow about Chinese (in Spanish), in a video about "basic greetings", she (from China) and another guy (from Taiwan) said that they do not actually use it, according to her they only ask when they are close to someone and are actually interested in knowing, also they will also ask about the specific matter (how is your health, how is your business, family, etc.), and not a generic "how are you?".

So, I am assuming it is true that 你好吗 is not actually used, or at least not in the same way we do use "how are you?".

Video for reference (in Spanish), about second 0:35: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCFGSEmXrTk


as a native chinese speaker, i agree with what is said on this video. 你好吗 the expression does exist in chinese, but it is not commonly used.

my guess (i wasn't realizing we seldom use “你好吗” before i saw your post): it is widely taught to non-native chinese speaker, i guess it's just because it is the closest equivalent of "how are you?" in many ways (but not in the frequency of usage) you can find in chinese. they are both three words sentences and "how" sounds like 好. a better translation should probably be “(最近)(你)怎么样啊?”


很好, 谢谢 我不会用你好吗我会说怎么样啊


Please add quote to the words you would speak - it's weird to see your reply for a regular Chinese people. A (more) proper way to express your words are: 好的,谢谢。我不会用“你好吗?”,我会说:“怎么样啊?”。 (Sorry for spoiling it...)


Thanks! I didn't know the same punctuation is used in Chinese as in English. In the 3 apps I use (Duolingo and 2 others) I haven't really seen punctuation used much, only characters.


I've only been learning Chinese for 6 months and haven't come'n very far in my vocabulary yet, but I also have a physical teacher called Tang ting, she's from China and taught me a lot of good information about the language, as for example that you use different greeting phrases in different provinces. In the province where she comes from (don't remember any of the provinces names sorry) they say "你好吗" when asking "how are you". Meanwhile in the more south east provinces they use "你吃饭了吗" which apparently is more of a traditional way of asking for someones well being :)

[deactivated user]



    The video posted above by DexRed made by native Chinese teachers would contradict what you say here. They say what you don't say is 你好吗, what you say instead is 怎么样?都好吗?and that you can use 怎么样 with everything, for example 你家怎么样?你工作怎么样? Etc. Although they do state that a generic "how are you?" isn't really used in Chinese.

    It is in Spanish, but they are both native speakers and the Chinese is shown on the screen.


    When my Chinese professor ask how are you, he says, 「你的身體好嗎?」 I soon learn that caring about someone’s health is a way to ask how are you in Chinese.

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