293 Single

Did you know that the biggest retail day in a year is on “singles day” in China, something that was created by the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba! ShaoLan and Jesse from Transition talk about how to describe being single in Chinese. This is something that young people don’t tend to ask directly, but may whisper in a party to find out if a particular person is single or “available.” Elders, however, tend to be more direct, so if a Chinese elder asks you if you are single, it might be because they have an idea to set you up with a niece or nephew! This word can also be broken down to describe other single things, such as a single train ticket or a single bed!

In Chinese, the way to say “single” is 單身/单身. The first character 單/单 means single, alone or individual, while the second character 身 means “body,” so when you are a “single body” then it means you are not a couple, you are just you, “single” 單身/单身.

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單身 / 单身
dān shēn
Single, individual / dān
單 / 单
Are you single?
你單身嗎? / 你单身吗?
nǐ dān shēn ma?
Is he single?
他單身嗎?/ 他单身吗?
tā dān shēn ma?
I am not single.
我不是單身 / 我不是单身
wǒ bù shì dān shēn
I am married.
我結婚了/ 我结婚了
wǒ jié hūn le
Married, to get married
結婚 / 结婚
jié hūn
I am still single.
我還是單身 / 我还是单身
wǒ hái shì dān shēn
Single person
單人 / 单人
dān rén
single person bed
單人床 / 单人床
dān rén chuáng
單程 / 单程
dān chéng
One-way ticket
單程票 / 单程票
dān chéng piào
Do you want an one-way ticket?
你要單程票嗎? / 你要单程票吗?
nǐ yào dān chéng piào ma?

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