Mandarin Pronouns

There are just three basic pronouns in spoken Mandarin:

  • I, me – wǒ – 我
  • You – nǐ – 你
  • He, Him / She, Her / It – tā


Plurals are formed by adding ‘men’ at the end of the pronoun:

  • We, Us – wǒ men – 我們
  • You – nǐ men – 你們
  • They, Them – tā men – 他們

When speaking to elders or someone in authority, it is more polite to address them formally with nín 您 instead of the less formal nǐ – 你.

Written Forms

He, she, and it all have the same sound – tā, but they use different characters for writing:

    he – 他
    she – 她
    it – 它

In spoken Mandarin, the context of the sentence will usually (but not always!) tell you whether the speaker is referring to a man, a woman or a thing.
Reflexive Pronoun

Mandarin also has a reflexive pronoun zì jǐ -自己, used when both subject and object are the same. For example:

Tā xǐ huàn tā zì jǐ – He likes himself.

Zì jǐ can also be used directly after a noun or pronoun to intensify the subject. For example:

Wǒ zì jǐ xǐ huàn. – I, myself, like it.
Sound Clips of Mandarin Pronouns

Here are some example sentences using Mandarin pronouns.

Audio files are marked with ►
Wǒ – 我

    I am a student.
    ► Wǒ shì xuéshēng.

    I like ice cream.
    ► Wǒ xǐhuān bīngqílín.

    I don’t have a bicycle.
    ► Wǒ méi yǒu jiǎotàchē.

Nǐ – 你

    Are you a student?
    ► Nǐ shì xuéshēng ma?

    Do you like ice cream?
    ► Nǐ xǐhuan bīngqílín ma?

    Do you have a bicycle?
    ► Nǐ yǒu jiǎotàchē ma?

Tā – 她

    She is a doctor.
    ► Tā shì yīshēng.

    She likes coffee.
    ► Tā xǐhuan kāfēi.

    She doesn’t have a car.
    ► Tā méi yǒu chē.

Wǒmen – 我們

    We are students.
    ► Wǒmen shì xuéshēng.

    We like ice cream.
    ► Wǒmen xǐhuan bīngqílín.

    We don’t have a bicycle.
    ► Wǒmen méi yǒu jiǎotàchē.

Tāmen – 他們

    They are students.
    ► Tāmen shì xuéshēng.

    They like coffee.
    ► Tāmen xǐhuan kāfēi.

    They don’t have a car.
    ► Tāmen méi yǒu chē.

Zìjǐ – 自己

    He lives by himself.
    ► Tā zìjǐ zhù.

    I will go myself.
    ► Wǒ zìjǐ qù.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *