Chinese words are often composed of more than one character, so vocabulary lists of single characters can be deceiving. Learn the most common Mandarin words, as opposed to individual characters, and learn how to speak the language.
Meaning: Interjection showing surprise, doubt, approval, or consent. Can be pronounced in any of the four tones.
太好吃啊! (tài hào chī a)
Meaning: short (not tall)
他很矮 (tā hěn ǎi)
He is very short.
Meaning: aunt; auntie
Meaning: safe, secure, safety, security
晚上安全吗? (wǎn shàng ān quán ma)
Is it safe at night?
Meaning: modal particle indicating polite suggestion (right?; okay?)
下雨了，我们留在家里吧? (Xià yǔle, wǒmen liú zài jiālǐ ba)
It's raining; let's stay at home, okay?
Meaning: eight (8)
一个团队有八个人 (yī gè tuán duì yǒu bā gè rén)
A team has eight people.
Meaning: a measure word, a marker for direct-object, to hold, to contain, to grasp, to take hold of
我要一把筷子(wǒ yào yī bǎ kuài zi)
I want one chopstick.
Meaning: (informal) father
Meaning: white, snowy, empty, blank, bright, clear, plain, pure, gratuitous
她穿白色的裤子 (t ā chuān bái sè de kù zi)
She is wearing white pants.
白天那么漂亮 (b ái tiān nà me piào liang)
It's so pretty during the daytime.
Meaning: department store
Meaning: team, class, rank, squad, a work shift, a measure word, a surname
她在班上排名第一 (tā zài bān shàng páimíng dì yī)
She is ranked number one in her class.
你想下一班 公共汽车 (nǐ xiǎng yào xià yī bān gōnggòng qì chē)
You want the next bus.
Meaning: remove, transport, move (relatively heavy items)
我要搬家 (wǒ yào bānjiā)
I am moving places.
深层清洁房间就要把钢琴搬出去 (shēn céng qīng jié fáng jiān jiù yào bǎ gāngqín bān chū qù)
Deep cleaning a room requires the piano to be moved out.
Meaning: half, semi-, incomplete, and a half (after a number), half
她吃了一半的饼干 (tā chī le yī bàn de bǐnggān)
She ate half a cookie.
Meaning: means, method, way (to do something)
Meaning: to assist, to support, to help, group, gang, party
Meaning: help, give (lend) a hand, do a favor, do a good turn
你需要帮忙吗? (nǐ xū yào bāngmáng ma)
Do you need help?
Meaning: a stick, club or cudgel, smart, capable, strong
我的记忆棒已满 (wǒ de jìyì bàng yǐ mǎn)
My memory stick is full.
Meaning: to cover, to wrap, to hold, to include, to take charge of, package, wrapper, container, bag, to hold or embrace, bundle, packet, to contract (to or for)
地铁很挤，他紧紧的抱着背包 (dì tiě hěn jǐ, tā jǐn jǐn de bào zhe bèi bāo)
The subway was so packed, he hugged his backpack tightly.
Meaning: steamed stuffed bun
这些包子很好吃 (zhè xiē bāozi hěn hào chī)
These steamed stuffed buns are so delicious.
Meaning: to eat until full, satisfied
吃饱了 (chī bǎo le)
Meaning: to hold, to carry (in one's arms), to hug or embrace, surround, cherish
拥抱我 (yǒng bào wǒ)
Meaning: newspaper, newsprint
Meaning: cup, a measure word
我要一杯冰水 (wǒ yào yī bēi bīng shuǐ)
I want a glass of cold water.
Meaning: cup, glass
给我你的杯子 (gěi wǒ nǐ de bēi zi)
Give me your cup.
Meaning: by (a marker for passive voice sentences or clauses), quilt, blanket, to cover, to wear
钱包被坏人抢走了 (qiánbāo bèi huàirén qiǎng zǒule)
The wallet got stolen by the bad guys.
这个被子很舒服 (zhè ge bèizi hěn shū fú)
This blanket is very comfortable.
Meaning: roots or stems of plants, origin, source, this, the current, root, foundation, basis, a measure word
他是本地人 (tā shì běndì rén)
He is a local.
Meaning: book, notebook, edition
Meaning: pen, pencil, writing brush, to write or compose, the strokes of Chinese characters
Meaning: a particle used for comparison and "-er than;" to compare, to contrast, to gesture (with hands), ratio
上海比大理热闹多了 (shànghǎi bǐ dàlǐ rènào duōle)
Shanghai is much more lively than Dali.
Meaning: compare, contrast, fairly, comparatively, relatively, quite, rather
我比较喜欢咖啡 (wǒ bǐ jiào xǐ huan kāfēi)
I prefer coffee.
Meaning: to have to, must
Meaning: side, edge, margin, border, boundary
Meaning: a time, everywhere, turn, all over, one time
Meaning: leave, depart, separate, distinguish, classify, other, another, do not, must not, to pin
Meaning: other people, others, another person
Meaning: icebox, refrigerator, freezer
Meaning: biscuit, cracker, cookie
Meaning: ailment, sickness, illness, disease, fall ill, sick, defect
Meaning: sick person, [medical] patient, invalid
Meaning: correct, right, not bad, pretty good
Meaning: not only (but also)
Meaning: you're welcome, impolite, rude, blunt, don't mention it
Meaning: need not
Meaning: (negative prefix) not, no
Meaning: feel embarrassed, be ill at ease, find it embarrassing
Meaning: not necessarily, maybe
Meaning: to wipe, to erase, rubbing (brush stroke in painting), to clean, to polish
Meaning: to guess
Meaning: ability, talent, endowment, gift, an expert, only (then), only if, just
Meaning: dish (type of food), vegetables
Meaning: to participate, to take part, to join
Meaning: dining hall
Meaning: dining table
Meaning: grass, straw, draft (of a document), careless, rough, manuscript, hasty
Meaning: lawn, meadow, sod, turf
Meaning: always, ever, often, frequently, common, general, constant
Meaning: frequently, usually, often
Pinyin: chànggē（ér ）
Meaning: sing, to call loudly, to chant
Meaning: to quarrel, to make a noise, noisy, to disturb by making a noise
Meaning: shirt, blouse
Meaning: result, score, mark, achievement
Meaning: city, town
Meaning: to eat till full, satisfied
Meaning: to arrive late
Meaning: to go out, to come out, to occur, to produce, to go beyond, to rise, to put forth, to occur, to happen; a measure word for dramas, plays, or operas
Meaning: country, state, nation
Meaning: to come out, to emerge
Meaning: (v) go out
Meaning: to bore through, pierce, perforate, penetrate, pass through, to dress, to wear, to put on, to thread
Meaning: a boat, vessel, ship
Pinyin: chuāng /chuānghù
Meaning: shutter, window
Meaning: bed, couch, a measure word
Meaning: to blow, blast, puff, boast, brag, end in failure
Meaning: spring (season)
Meaning: nth, number (of times), order, sequence, next, second(ary), measure word
Meaning: intelligent, bright
Meaning: from, obey, observe, follow
Meaning: previously, formerly
Meaning: mistake, error, blunder, fault, cross, uneven, wrong