320 Excuse Me May I Ask

Robin Mitchell is a singer and songwriter from the city of Bristol in the UK. He learns from ShaoLan how to say “excuse me, may I ask ..” in Chinese, a phrase which ShaoLan says she will use at least 30-40 times a day when she is in China! In fact, the first character of this word can be used in all kinds of contexts, one of the most useful being in a restaurant situation, so ShaoLan takes the chance to teach Robin the most useful restaurant phrases that all involve the same word, including “it’s on the house!”

The way to say “excuse me” or “please” in Chinese, is 請問/请问. The literal meaning of the first character 請/请 is “please” and the second character 問/问 means “to ask”, so “please ask” is the way to say “excuse me” in a very polite way.

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Music with various types

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Excuse Me, May I Ask
請問 / 请问
qǐng wèn
請 / 请
To ask
問 / 问
May I ask you?
請問你 / 请问你
qǐng wèn nǐ
May I ask are you single?
請問你單身嗎? / 请问你单身吗?
qǐng wèn nǐ dān shēn ma?
May I ask do you have money?
請問你有錢嗎? / 请问你有钱吗?
qǐng wèn nǐ yǒu qián ma?
Treat somebody to something
請客 / 请客
qǐng kè
It’s on me; It's my treat!
我請客 / 我请客
wǒ qǐng kè
It’s on you.
你請客 / 你请客
nǐ qǐng kè
老闆 / 老板
lǎo bǎn
It’s on the house
老闆請客 / 老板请客
lǎo bǎn qǐng kè
Please sit
請坐 / 请坐
qǐng zuò
Please come in
請進 / 请进
qǐng jìn
Mr., Sir
xiān shēng
Please drink some tea
請喝茶 / 请喝茶
qǐng hē chá
Please eat
請吃 / 请吃
qǐng chī
Please pay the bill
請付錢 / 请付钱
qǐng fù qián
May I ask how much it is?
請問多少錢? / 请问多少钱?
qǐng wèn duō shao qián

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