10 Chinese Verbs You’ll Use Regularly

Having written an article previously on Mandarin words you’ll actually use, I decided to continue on a theme and write about Chinese verbs that get regular use. After all, it is useful for readers, it’s practice for me, and it is better than going to google translate with a random list.

10 Chinese verbs you will use every time you speak Chinese.

Shuō – to speak/say. Your beginner conversations are going to be all about how well, or how badly, you speak Chinese, so get used to saying Wǒ shuō.
míngbái-understand. This is unfortunate, but if you are in any way similar to me, then wǒ bù míngbái will be a go to phrase for the first three months or so of learning mandarin. (That means I don’t understand.)
Write: xiě. This is similar for learning via text on the internet. In fact, I will run down listening, reading and learning for the same reasons.
Listen: tīng
Read: dú
Learn: xué

Go as in to go. qù.  This is an easy verb. You might be visiting china, or have to go to work in the morning. Either way, this verb is your portal to talk about the future. Note, do not get to go confused with going to (do something) one is a verb, one denotes tense.

To work: Gōngzuò. It is something that will come up in regular conversation, so learn it.

To be: shì. I have written about this before. It is your go-to verb in many ways, and you will commit it to memory quickly. So much so that you’ll almost forget to put it on this list.

rènwéi is to think. As in, to be of the opinion. wǒ rènwéi pǔtōnghuà shì kùnnán de. I think that Chinese is difficult.

Chinese Verbs. A Conclusion.

These are ten that I have found useful, and I refer to them frequently. As far as Chinese verbs go, I think that these are quite general, so they should have widespread use for most mandarin learners. Other Chinese verbs you’ll want to commit to memory will vary depending on several things.

Your work. If you are a teacher, you will want to learn teach as a verb. If you are a fireman, you’ll want to learn the Chinese verb for fire-fighting. So on.
The same is true of your hobbies. If you are a scuba diver, then scuba diving should be near the top of your verb list. Ditto if you climb, write or knit as a hobby.

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