Chinese Exclamation Particles


One way to tell if you are mastering fluency in a language is how well you know the various exclamation particles used in the language, and more importantly whether you can reproduce them when the context is right.

The CLO podcast uses a lot of the particles you’ll see below in the various dialogues throughout the course. Here is a list of the more common ones – some sound and behave very similarly to their English counterparts. Others have similar behavior but with a different sound. Take a look below.

哈哈 / hāhā – Haha

哇 / wā – Wow

啊 / ā – Ah

嘿 / hēi – Hey

哦 / ó – Oh?

嗯 / ēn – Mmn (indicating acknowledgement).

唉 / āi – Indicates surprise

咦 / yí – Also indicates surprise

Since a lot of communication these days takes place on forums and social networking sites like Facebook, it’s common to see these characters sprinkled throughout. You can identify them by the 口 radical they all share.

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