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Using the verb "xing"

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The verb 姓 (xìng) literally means "to be surnamed" or "to have the surname." It may seem awkward at first that there's a verb just for this, but you'll find that it's used quite often in Chinese.

Giving One's Surname

姓 (xìng) is used most often to tell someone your own surname ("family name" or "last name"), or to ask the surname of someone else.

Structure

Subj. + 姓 + [Surname]

Examples

  • 王。xìng Wáng.My family name is Wang.
  • 你 老板 李 吗? Nǐ lǎobǎn xìng Lǐ ma?Is your boss's last name Li?
  • 那 个 帅哥 张。Nàge shuàigē xìng Zhāng.That handsome guy's last name is Zhang.
  • 我 爸爸 周,我 妈妈 林 。Wǒ bàba xìng Zhōu, wǒ māma xìng Lín.My father's family name is Zhou. My mother's family name is Lin.
  • 他 女朋友 钱。Tā nǚpéngyou xìng Qián.His girlfriend's last name is Qian.
  • 你好,我 毛。Nǐ hǎo, wǒ xìng Máo.Hello. My last name is Mao.
  • 赵,我 太太 也 赵。xìng Zhào, wǒ tàitai yě xìng Zhào.My last name is Zhao. My wife's last name is also Zhao.
  • 我 的 中文 老师 陈。Wǒ de Zhōngwén lǎoshī xìng Chén.My Chinese teacher's surname is Chen.
  • 你 奶奶 也 陈 吗 ? Nǐ nǎinai yě xìng Chén ma?Is your grandma's family name also Chen?
  • 他们 都 李。Tāmen dōu xìng Lǐ.All of their surnames are Li.

Asking Someone's Surname

You can also use 姓 (xìng) to ask people their surnames. You could do this quite directly by saying:

  • 你 姓 什么? Nǐ xìng shénme?What is your last name?

However, the formal way to ask has a set form:

  • 您 贵 姓 ?Nín guì xìng?What is your honorable surname?

Literally this means "What is your honorable surname?" Use this form to be polite when asking people their surnames.

See also

Sources and further reading