Compliments are a vital part of daily social interactions across the globe. China is certainly no exception…
For the video below I asked people to share real examples of compliments they’d recently given a friend. (You can download all the answers in mp3 format at the bottom of this page)
Press play to watch the video!
Now, let’s take a quick look at how and when these compliments are used.
1: 你太棒了！ nǐ tài bàng le！
Did your friend ace a test or get a promotion 6 weeks after starting a new job..? Do you know someone who speaks 7 languages and want to tell them how impressed you are…? This phrase is great for complimenting people on their achievements or skills.
2 : 你真牛B！nǐ zhēn niú B！
“You’re freaking awesome!”
This is another colloquial way to express amazement over something someone has done or is able to do. But… word of caution: While this expression sounds mighty cool to some, others feel it has a downright vulgar and inappropriate ring to it. (Find out why here)
3: 你真漂亮！nǐ zhēn piào liàng！
“You’re really beautiful!”
One of the most common (and generic) ways to compliment a woman on her appearance in Mandarin.
4: 你好美哦! nǐ hǎo měi ó！
“You’re so beautiful!”
Essentially the same meaning as #3…
5: 你好帅！nǐ hǎo shuài！
“You’re so handsome!”
One of the most common (and generic) ways to compliment a man on his appearance in Mandarin.
6: 今天你真帅！jīn tiān nǐ zhēn shuài！
“You look really handsome today!”
The “jīn tiān” (today) here doesn’t imply that the guy you say it to normally isn’t handsome… but something makes him look particularly good today. Maybe it’s the new haircut or the stylish shirt he’s wearing..?
7: 穿衣服真配你！ chuān yī fú zhēn pèi nǐ！
“You look great in those clothes”
If you know someone who puts a fair bit of time and effort into choosing their outfit each day (or for special occasions), this phrase for complimenting people on what they’re wearing might be a good one to pick up.
8: 你对我真好！nǐ duì wǒ zhēn hǎo！
“You’re so good/nice to me!”
This one is perfect for expressing gratitude when a friend helps you out or shows that they care about you. You’re hungry and your friend buys you a nice meal. It’s cold outside and your friend lends you a warm coat. Your phone is broken and your friend fixes it for you…
9: 我好喜欢你啊！wǒ hǎo xǐ huān nǐ a！
“I really like you!”
While this can have romantic undertones (depending on context), it also works perfectly well as a friendly “compliment” for someone who makes you feel good in one way or another.
10: 你今天看起来超有精神的! nǐ jīn tiān kàn qǐ lái chāo yǒu jīng shén de！
“You look vibrant today!”
When someone shows up with a smile on their face and looks unusually energetic, this compliment will likely boost their positivity and energy levels even further!
11: 你在我心中是最完美的！ nǐ zài wǒ xīn zhōng shì zuì wán měi de！
“You’re perfect to me!”
This one is particularly suitable for cheering people up in situations when they’re insecure or don’t feel good about themselves… It literally translates as “In my heart you are the most perfect!”.
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