How to End a Conversation Politely in Mandarin Chinese

In Practical Chinese Phrases by Angel Huang2 Comments

You’re talking to someone in Mandarin and you know it’s time to go.

Maybe you’re in a hurry, or maybe you just don’t want the conversation to continue…

The question is:

How do you end the conversation without coming across as rude or hurtful? 

The 5 phrases in the video below make for a good starting point!

You can download the audio and a pdf with the phrases from this video.

Conversational face-saving…

The “goal” of these phrases is to show that you need to end the conversation. Not because the person you’re talking to bores or annoys you, but because there’s something else you need to do.

In many situations it’s perfectly acceptable NOT to go into detail about what it is you need to do. A simple “apology” works well:

不好意思,我现在要走了。bù hǎo yì sī,wǒ xiàn zài yào zǒu le.

Sorry, I have to go now.

对不起,我要挂了。duì bù qǐwǒ yào guà le.

Sorry, I have to hang up.

At other times it’s a good idea to give a brief explanation/reason. Depending on the situation, this can be very specific (e.g. I have a plane to catch), or fairly vague like in these examples:

时候不早了,我得走了。shí hòu bù zǎo lewǒ děi zǒu le.

It’s getting late, I have to go.

我有事(儿),先走了。wǒ yǒu shì (er)xiān zǒu le.

I have things to do, I’ll leave first.

A great way to end a conversation is by letting the other person know that you appreciated the conversation (and would be happy to talk more some other time):

我们聊得挺开心的,改天再聊吧。wǒ men liáo dé tǐng kāi xīn degǎi tiān zài liáo ba.

It was great chatting with you, let's chat again another day.


Right click the buttons and select "Save as" to download.

Want more? Here's How to START a Conversation in Chinese.