1.2.0 - Grammar Points

你[] VS 您[nín]


  • 你[] means you, as opposed to courteous 您[nín].

你[] is used when the person you speak to or write to is at around your age or social position, such as your friends, peers, classmates or your junior.


  • 您[nín] means you (polite form) as opposed to informal 你[].

您[nín] is used when the person you speak to or write to is much older than you, or when you simply want to show more respect to someone, such as your superior, your client or your grandparents.


E.g.

A: 奶奶,您好!

Nǎinai, nín hǎo!

Hello, grandma! (polite)

B: 你好,Tom!

Nǐ hǎo,Tom!

Hello, Tom!


E.g.

A: 老师,您好!

Lǎoshī, nín hǎo!

Hello, teacher! (polite)

B: 你好,Sam!

Nǐ hǎo, Sam!

Hello, Sam!

Discussion

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