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3.2.6: 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.


    Subj. + 姓 + [Surname]


    • 王。Wǒ 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。Wǒ 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.

    This page titled 3.2.6: Using the verb "xing" is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by .

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