Structure of days of the week
星期 (xīngqī) means "week" in Chinese. This is also used to indicate which weekday you are talking about.
Days of the week in Chinese are formed by the word "week" followed by a number:
Notice that Sunday is the only exception. Rather than a number, 天 (tiān) is used. More formally, Sunday is also referred to as 星期日 (Xīngqīrì).
One other implication of this system that you may not have noticed: "day one" is Monday. In Chinese culture, the first day of the week is Monday, and not Sunday.
- 今天 是 星期一 吗？是 is optionalIs today Monday?
- 明天 星期五，太 高兴 了。Optional 是 omittedTomorrow is Friday. I'm so happy.
- 星期三 我 不在 上海。I'm not here in Shanghai on Wednesday.
- 星期二 早上 我 很 忙。I am busy on Tuesday morning.
- 你 星期天 要 做 什么？What are you doing on Sunday?
- 上 个 星期五 我 跟 他 见面 了。I met him last Friday.
- 这 个 星期三 晚上 你 有空 吗？Are you free this Wednesday evening?
- 下 个 星期四 是 我 的 生日。My birthday is on next Thursday.
- 这个 星期五 晚上 我们 要 去 酒吧。We're going to a bar this Friday night.
- 星期六 和 星期天 我们 不 上班。Saturday and Sunday we don't work.
Other Words for "Week"
Hopefully this doesn't freak you out, but there are actually two other ways to say "week" in Chinese. You should still learn 星期 (xīngqī) first, and that's really all you need as a beginner.
The other words for "week" are 礼拜 (lǐbài) and 周 (zhōu). Skip them for now unless you really need them.
Sources and further reading
- New Practical Chinese Reader 1 (新实用汉语课本1) (pp. 123) →buy
- New Practical Chinese Reader 1 (新实用汉语课本1)(2nd ed) (pp. 142) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 1, Part 1 (3rd ed) (pp. 72) →buy