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The Most Common Mandarin Words

A - B

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There are many Mandarin frequency lists which show the relative frequency of Chinese characters. For example, the Chinese Text Computing web page has several lists of Chinese characters compiled from various sources.

However, Chinese words are often composed of more than one character, so lists of single characters can be deceiving.

The list below shows the most common Mandarin words, as opposed to individual characters. Some of the entries are indivudual characters, but the majority are character compounds which form Mandarin words. Adapted from the Steering Committee of the Test of Proficiency - Huayu

a

Traditional: 啊
Simplified: 啊
Pinyin: a

Meaning: Interjection showing surprise, doubt, approval, or consent. Can be pronounced in any of the four tones.

ā yí

Traditional: 阿姨
Simplified: 阿姨
Pinyin: ā yí

Meaning: Auntie

ài

Traditional: 愛
Simplified: 爱
Pinyin: ài

Meaning: to love; affection; to be fond of; to like

āi

Traditional: 哎
Simplified: 哎
Pinyin: āi

Meaning: an interjection; hey

ăi

Traditional: 矮
Simplified: 矮
Pinyin: ăi

Meaning: short (not tall)

ān jìng

Traditional: 安靜
Simplified: 安静
Pinyin: ān jìng

Meaning: quiet; peaceful; calm

ān pái

Traditional: 安排
Simplified: 安排
Pinyin: ān pái

Meaning: to arrange; to plan; to set up

ān quán

Traditional: 安全
Simplified: 安全
Pinyin: ān quán

Meaning: safe; secure; safety; security

ba

Traditional: 吧
Simplified: 吧
Pinyin: ba

Meaning: (modal particle indicating polite suggestion); ...right?; ...OK?

bà ba

Traditional: 爸爸
Simplified: 爸爸
Pinyin: bà ba

Meaning: (informal) father

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