Being able to describe your daily routine or daily activities in Mandarin Chinese shows that you’ve passed one step from the beginner level to the intermediate one. If you still struggle at using common expressions in Chinese to describe your daily habits, don’t worry, this article has been made for you.
SOME COMMON USED VOCABULARY IN CHINESE TO DESCRIBE DAILY ROUTINES
ADVERBS OF TIME:
早上 – zǎoshang – morning
中午 – zhōngwǔ – noon
下午 – xiàwǔ – afternoon
晚上 – wǎnshàng – evening
昨天 – zuótiān – yesterday
今天 – jīntiān – today
明天 – míngtiān – tomorrow
早上七点 – zǎoshàng qī diǎn – 7 am
晚上十点 – wǎnshàng shí diǎn – 10 pm
…之后 – …zhīhòu – after, later, afterward
…之前 – …zhīqián – before
…的时候 – …de shíhòu – when (used in non-interrogative sentences)
起床 – qǐchuáng – get up, get out of bed
洗脸/洗澡 – xǐliǎn/xǐzǎo – wash the face / take a shower
吃早餐 – chī zǎocān – eat breakfast
刷牙 – shuāyá – brush one’s teeth
穿衣服 – chuān yīfú – wear clothes
化妆 – huàzhuāng – put on make-up
刮胡子 – guā húzi – shave the beard
收拾床 – shōushí chuáng – make the bed
出門 – chūmén – go out, leave home
去学校/去公司 – qù xuéxiào/qù gōngsī – go to school / go to work (公司: go to the company)
坐公车 – zuò gōngchē – take the bus (坐: sit on)
坐地铁 – zuò dìtiě – take the metro
开车 – kāichē – drive
学习 – xuéxí – study
上课/上班 – shàngkè/shàngbān – attend class, go to class
吃中餐 – chī zhōngcān – eat lunch
吃饭 – chīfàn – eat, have a meal (lit. eat rice)
下课/下班 – xiàkè/xiàbān – get out of class / get off work
去健身房 – qù jiànshēnfáng – go to the gym
去咖啡馆 – qù kāfēi guǎn – go to a coffee shop
去电影院 – qù diànyǐngyuàn – go to the cinema
回家 – huí jiā – go home
做饭 – zuò fàn – to cook (lit. make rice)
做作业 – zuò zuo yè – do homework
吃晚餐 – chī wǎncān – eat dinner
去睡觉 – qù shuìjiào – go to sleep
BASIC SENTENCES IN CHINESE TO DESCRIBE DAILY ROUTINES
Now, to make a basic sentence, you can pick a subject (which would be 我 wǒ – I, to talk about you), an adverb of time, a verb, and an object. For example:
Wǒ jīntiān zǎoshang qī diǎn qǐchuáng.
Today, I got out of bed at 7 am.
Wǒ zuótiān zhōngwǔ chī shālā hé niúròu miàn.
Yesterday at noon, I ate salad and beef noodles.
Wǒ míngtiān wǎnshàng qù diànyǐngyuàn.
I will go to the cinema tomorrow evening.
Adverbs of time such as 之前 zhīqián, 之后 zhīhòu, 的时候 de shíhòu, are placed after the verb and the object:
Wǒ chī zǎocān zhīhòu, shōushí bèibāo qù shàngkè.
After eating breakfast, I packed my bag and went to class.
Xiàbān zhīhòu, zuò gōngchē qù jiànshēnfáng.
After getting off work, I took the bus to go to the gym.
Chī zǎocān de shíhòu hēle yībēi nǎichá.
I drank a glass of milk tea when eating breakfast.
If you want to include someone who did an action with you, you should use the structure: Subject 1 + (Adverbs of time) + 跟gēn /和hé (with) + Subject 2 + 一起yīqǐ (together) + Verb + Object
Wǒ zuótiān gēn māmā yīqǐ zuò fàn.
I cooked with mom yesterday.
Wǒ jīntiān hé wǒ de tóngxué yīqǐ zuò zuo yè.
Today I did my homework with my classmate(s).
Wǒ míngtiān xiàwǔ gēn wǒ de shìyǒu yīqǐ qù kāfēi guǎn.
I’ll go to a coffee shop tomorrow afternoon with my roommate(s).
When listing a lot of things you did during your day, it is better not to repeat the subject 我 so that it doesn’t sound too repetitive:
Wǒ jīntiān wǎnshàng qù jiànshēnfáng yǐhòu, kāichē huí jiā. Dàojiā de shíhòu zuò zuo yè.
After going to the gym this evening, I drove back home. When I arrived home, I did my homework.
AN EXAMPLE OF HOW TO DESCRIBE “A TYPICAL DAY OF MINE”
Now, you are ready to describe your day. First, I’ll write mine below to give you an example. You can then write on your own in the comments section, we will answer you to help you correct mistakes and give you more suggestions.
我昨天早上七点起床。Wǒ zuótiān zǎoshang qī diǎn qǐchuáng.
I woke up at 7 am yesterday.
吃早餐刷牙之后出门坐公车去上班。Chī zǎocān shuāyá zhīhòu chūmén zuò gōngchē qù shàngbān.
After eating breakfast and brushing my teeth, I left home and took the bus to go to work.
中午的时候跟同事一起吃饭。Zhōngwǔ de shíhòu gēn tóngshì yīqǐ chīfàn.
At noon, I had lunch with my colleagues.
Xiàbān zhīhòu, wǒ zuò dìtiě qù jiànshēnfáng.
After getting off work, I took the metro to go to the gym.
Huí jiā de shíhòu gēn wǒ de shìyǒu yīqǐ zuò fàn. Wǎnshàng shí diǎn qù shuìjiào.
When I came home, I cooked with my roommates. At 10 pm, I went to sleep.
IT IS YOUR TURN NOW!
你昨天做什么？Nǐ zuótiān zuò shénme?
What did you do yesterday?
Answer in the comments section below, and if you want to improve your Chinese skills rapidly, you can try our free demo online class by clicking on the link below. We have certified TutorMing teachers that can give you a real Chinese class experience and help you overcome the challenges encountered when learning Mandarin. They are really nice and very skilled, so don’t hesitate to have a try 🙂