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Where Is It?

Asking where things are


Find out where things are with this essential Mandarin lesson. Click on the links marked with ► to hear the audio examples.

(trad) 哪裡?
(simp) 哪里?

Where is it located?
zài nǎli?
(trad) 在哪裡?
(simp) 在哪里?

Where Is The ...?

The pattern for asking the location of a place or object is X zài nǎli? Here are some examples:

Where is the book?
shū zài nǎli?
(trad) 書在哪裡?
(simp) 书在哪里?

Where is the restaurant?
cāntīng zài nǎli?
(trad) 餐廳在哪裡?
(simp) 餐厅在哪里?

Where is the telephone?
diànhuà zài nǎli?
(trad) 電話在哪裡?
(simp) 电话在哪里?

May I Ask?

If you approach a stranger to ask where something is, it's polite to preface your question with qǐngwèn - may I ask?

May I ask where the train station is?
qǐngwèn, huǒchēzhàn zài nǎli?
(trad) 請問, 火車站在哪裡?
(simp) 请问, 火车站在哪里?

May I ask where Zhongshan Street is?
qǐngwèn, Zhōngshān lù zài nǎli?
(trad) 請問, 中山路在哪裡?
(simp) 请问, 中山路在哪里?

Where Do You ...?

When asking where an activity takes place, the pattern is SUBJECT zài nǎli X?

Where do you study?
nǐ zài nǎli niànshū?
(trad) 你在哪裡唸書?
(simp) 你在哪里念书?

Where do you buy groceries?
nǐ zài nǎli mǎi cài?
(trad) 你在哪裡買菜?
(simp) 你在哪里买菜?

Where does he exercise?
tā zài nǎli yùndòng?
(trad) 他在哪裡運動?
(simp) 他在哪里运动?
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