Describing a Workday in Mandarin Chinese

In Practical Chinese Phrases by Angel Huang1 Comment

How do you get to work? What do you do when you get there? And... how do you talk about this in Chinese?

In this post you’ll learn common words and phrases for describing things people often do...

... ​while getting ready for and going to work.

... ​while at work.

... ​during breaks at work.

... ​when getting off work.

Listen to (and repeat) the phrases in the videos. Then read the sample sentences for the phrases that are relevant to YOU.

Getting Ready for & Going to Work 

zhǔn bèi qù shàng bān 准备去上班

  • dài wén jiàn   文件   Bring documents

wǒ míng tiān yào dài wén jiàn  我明天要带文件。

I will bring the documents tomorrow.

  • dài bǐ jì běn  笔记本   Bring (your) laptop

wǒ měi tiān dài bǐ jì běn dào bàn gōng shì  我每天带笔记本到办公室。

I bring my laptop to the office every day.

  • shàng bān  上班   Go to work

wǒ xiàn zài qù shàng bān  我现在去上班。

I’m going to work now.

  • zì xíng chē   自行车   Ride (your) bike

wǒ qí zì xíng chē qù shàng bān 我骑自行车去上班。

I ride my bike to work.

  • zǒu lù  路  Walk / go on foot

wǒ zǒu lù qù shàng bān 我走路去上班。

I walk to work.

  • kāi chē   开车   Drive (your) car

wǒ kāi chē qù shàng bān 我开车去上班。

I drive my car to work.

  • zuò dì tiě   地铁   Take the metro

wǒ zuò dì tiě qù shàng bān 我坐地铁去上班。

I take the metro to work.

  • zuò gōng chē   公车   Take the bus

wǒ zuò gōng chē qù shàng bān 我坐公车去上班。

I take the bus to work.

At Work...

gōng zuò zhōng 工作中

  • fàng xià bāo   下包    Put down (your) bag

wǒ yī dào bàn gōng shì jiù fàng xià bāo 我一到办公室就放下包。

Once I arrive at the office, I put down my bag.

  • kāi diàn nǎo   电脑    Start (your) computer

wǒ kāi diàn nǎo kāi shǐ gōng zuò 我开电脑开始工作。

I start my computer and start working.

  • chá shōu yóu jiàn   查收邮件   Check (your) email

wǒ měi tiān chá shōu yóu jiàn 我每天查收邮件。

I check my email every day.

  • xiě yóu jiàn   邮件   Write emails

wǒ jīng cháng xiě yóu jiàn gěi jīng lǐ 我经常写邮件给经理。

I often write emails to my manager.

  • huí fù yóu jiàn   回复邮件   Reply to emails

wǒ bì xū zài 24 gè xiǎo shí nèi huí fù yóu jiàn 我必须在24个小时内回复邮件。

I have to reply to emails in 24 hours.

  • yóu jiàn   邮件   Send emails

wǒ yào fā yóu jiàn gěi kè fú 我要发邮件给客服。

I will send emails to customer service.

  • kāi huì   开会   Hold/attend a meeting

wǒ jīn tiān xià wǔ yào kāi huì 我今天下午要开会。

I am going to attend a meeting this afternoon.

  • xiě bào gào   写报告    Write reports

xīng qī wǔ yào xiě bào gào 我星期五要写报告。

I have to write reports on Fridays.

  • zuò chéng xiàn   呈现    Do/give a presentation

wǒ míng tiān yào zuò chéng xiàn 我明天要做呈现。

I am going to give a presentation tomorrow.

  • zuò fāng àn   方案    Make a proposal

wǒ yào gěi kè hù zuò fāng àn 我要给客户做方案。

I am going to make a proposal for my clients/customers.

  • jiàn kè hù   客户   See/meet clients/customers

wǒ měi tiān jiàn kè hù 我每天见客户。

I meet with clients every day.

  • diàn huà   电话   Make phone calls

wǒ měi tiān dǎ diàn huà gěi kè hù 我每天打电话给客户。

I make phone calls to my clients every day.

  • fù yìn wén jiàn   复印文件   Photocopy documents

wǒ mǎ shàng qù fù yìn wén jiàn 我马上去复印文件。

I will go and photocopy the documents right away.

  • sǎo miáo wén jiàn   扫描文件   Scan documents

wǒ jīn tiān yào sǎo miáo wén jiàn 我今天要扫描文件。

I have to scan the documents today.

During Breaks...

gōng zuò xiū xī shí jiān 工作休息时间

  • yī bēi kā fēi   一杯咖啡    Grab a cup of coffee

nǐ yào qù ná yī bēi kā fēi ma? 你要去拿一杯咖啡吗?

Do you want to go grab a cup of coffee?

  • yī bēi kā fēi   一杯咖啡    Drink a cup of coffee

wǒ měi tiān hē yī bēi kā fēi 我每天喝一杯咖啡。

I drink a cup of coffee every day.

  • chī fàn   饭    Eat (a meal)

wǒ měi tiān zhōng wǔ zài wài miàn chī fàn 我每天中午在外面吃饭。

I eat out at noon every day.

  • wán shǒu jī   玩手机    “Play with” your cellphone

wǒ xiū xī de shí hòu xǐ huān wán shǒu jī lǐ 我休息的时候喜欢玩手机。

I like to “play with my cellphone” during breaks.

  • kàn shì pín   视频    Watch videos

wǒ měi tiān kàn shì pín 我每天看视频。

I watch videos every day.

  • tīng yīn yuè    音乐    Listen to music

wǒ jīng cháng zài bàn gōng shì lǐ tīng yīn yuè 我经常在办公室里听音乐。

I often listen to music at the office.

  • shàng wǎng   上网    Be on the internet 

wǒ měi tiān shàng wǎng 8 gè xiǎo shí 我每天上网8个小时。

I am on the internet 8 hours every day.

  • liáo tiān   聊天   Chat(/gossip)

wǒ hé tóng shì liáo tiān 我和同事聊天。

I chat with my colleagues.

  • duǎn xìn   发短信   Send messages

wǒ yào fā duǎn xìn gěi lǎo bǎn 我要发短信给老板。

I am going to send a message to my boss.

  • kàn facebook/Instagram/wēi xìn    facebook/Instagram/微信    Check facebook/Instagram/Wechat

wǒ zhěng tiān kàn Facebook/Instagram/wēi xìn 我整天看facebook/Instagram/微信。

I check my facebook/Instagram/Wechat throughout the day.

Getting off  Work

xià bān 下班

  • guān diàn nǎo   电脑    Shut down (your) computer

qǐng guān diàn nǎo 请关电脑。

Please shut down the computer.

  • guān mén   门    Shut the door

jì dé guān mén 记得关门。

Remember to shut the door.

  • guān chuāng hù   窗户    Shut the window

qǐng guān chuāng hù 请关窗户。

Please shut the window.

  • chuān wài tào   穿外套    Put on your jacket

wǒ wàng jì chuān wài tào le 我忘记穿外套了。

I forgot to put on my jacket.

  • bāo   包    Grab your bag

wǒ qù bàn gōng shì ná bāo 我去办公室拿包。

I go and grab my bag at the office.

  • huí jiā   家    Return/go home

wǒ xià bān hòu mǎ shàng huí jiā 我我下班后马上回家。

I go home immediately after work.

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Have questions about any of the above..? Let me know in the comments below 🙂