Using the verb "xing"
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.
Subj. + 姓 + [Surname]
- 我 姓 王。My family name is Wang.
- 你 老板 姓 李 吗？Is your boss's last name Li?
- 那 个 帅哥 姓 张。That handsome guy's last name is Zhang.
- 我 爸爸 姓 周，我 妈妈 姓 林 。My father's family name is Zhou. My mother's family name is Lin.
- 他 女朋友 姓 钱。His girlfriend's last name is Qian.
- 你好，我 姓 毛。Hello. My last name is Mao.
- 我 姓 赵，我 太太 也 姓 赵。My last name is Zhao. My wife's last name is also Zhao.
- 我 的 中文 老师 姓 陈。My Chinese teacher's surname is Chen.
- 你 奶奶 也 姓 陈 吗 ？Is your grandma's family name also Chen?
- 他们 都 姓 李。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? What is your last name?
However, the formal way to ask has a set form:
- 您 贵 姓 ？What is your honorable surname?
Literally this means "What is your honorable surname?" Use this form to be polite when asking people their surnames.
Sources and further reading
- HSK Standard Course 2 (pp. 83) 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课上册） →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 1, Part 1 (3rd ed) (pp. 22-3) 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课上册） →buy
- New Practical Chinese Reader 1 (新实用汉语课本1) (pp. 39) 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课上册） →buy
- Chinese: An Essential Grammar, Second Edition (pp. 49) 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课上册） →buy