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Mandarin Pronouns


There are just three basic pronouns in spoken Mandarin:

  • I, me - wǒ - 我
  • You - nǐ - 你
  • He, Him / She, Her / It - tā


Plurals are formed by adding 'men' at the end of the pronoun:

  • We, Us - wǒ men - 我們
  • You - nǐ men - 你們
  • They, Them - tā men - 他們

When speaking to elders or someone in authority, it is more polite to address them formally with nín 您 instead of the less formal nǐ - 你.

Written Forms

He, she, and it all have the same sound - tā, but they use different characters for writing:

  • he - 他
  • she - 她
  • it - 它

In spoken Mandarin, the context of the sentence will usually (but not always!) tell you whether the speaker is referring to a man, a woman or a thing.

Reflexive Pronoun

Mandarin also has a reflexive pronoun zì jǐ -自己, used when both subject and object are the same. For example:

Tā xǐ huàn tā zì jǐ – He likes himself.

Zì jǐ can also be used directly after a noun or pronoun to intensify the subject. For example:

Wǒ zì jǐ xǐ huàn. – I, myself, like it.

Sound Clips of Mandarin Pronouns

Here are some example sentences using Mandarin pronouns.

Audio files are marked with ►

Wǒ - 我

I am a student.
Wǒ shì xuéshēng.

I like ice cream.
Wǒ xǐhuān bīngqílín.

I don’t have a bicycle.
Wǒ méi yǒu jiǎotàchē.

Nǐ - 你

Are you a student?
Nǐ shì xuéshēng ma?

Do you like ice cream?
Nǐ xǐhuan bīngqílín ma?

Do you have a bicycle?
Nǐ yǒu jiǎotàchē ma?

Tā - 她

She is a doctor.
Tā shì yīshēng.

She likes coffee.
Tā xǐhuan kāfēi.

She doesn’t have a car.
Tā méi yǒu chē.

Wǒmen - 我們

We are students.
Wǒmen shì xuéshēng.

We like ice cream.
Wǒmen xǐhuan bīngqílín.

We don’t have a bicycle.
Wǒmen méi yǒu jiǎotàchē.

Tāmen - 他們

They are students.
Tāmen shì xuéshēng.

They like coffee.
Tāmen xǐhuan kāfēi.

They don’t have a car.
Tāmen méi yǒu chē.

Zìjǐ - 自己

He lives by himself.
Tā zìjǐ zhù.

I will go myself.
Wǒ zìjǐ qù.
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