Four different ways to describe your impression of a city in Chinese

Posted by Grace Feng on May 6, 2012

Four different ways to describe your impression of a city in ChineseWhen you get into a chitchat with a native Chinese, it’s quite likely that you’ll be asked about your impression of a city, it could be the city you’re currently in, or the city you come from, or a city that you mentioned you’ve been to.

Well, if you’ve learned mandarin for sometime you should be able to describe a bit with no problem. However, just as in any conversation, if you’re showing the other person your opinion with a bit more insight, people would be more engaged to continue the conversation.

On this Learn Chinese online FREE blog, I’d like to share some of comments you can make about your impression of a city to engage a longer conversation, instead of using “good” or “bad”, or vaguely “So so.”.

Let’s start with the usual question that you’ll hear regarding your impression of a city:

nǐ duì zhège chéngshì gǎnjué zěnmeyàng?


What’s your impression about that city?

[mp3j track=”impression01.mp3″]

The possible answers that I listed here are for your reference and may help you to bring out a longer conversation:


Point 1. Culture of a city

zhège dìfang hěn yǒu wénhuà qìxī, wǒ xǐhuan zhèyàng de dìfang….

这个地方很有文化气息, 我喜欢这样的地方….

It’s a place with culture, I like this kind of place …

[mp3j track=”impression02.mp3″]

Then your chatter might ask you, why you think so? What are the culture symbols you see and like here?

The ground you can cover could be: lots of family traditions, all kinds of local festivals, the way yourself being treated, the interesting menu in the restaurant, etc., etc…. You can go on and on on this.


Point 2. Living expenses of the city

If it’s a small city and living expenses is low, then it’s a positive thing. Comparing the living expenses here with where you lived before is a good start that could engage your chatter to bring in his/her side of financial opinions.

An example sentence you can use on living expenses :

zhèr de shēnghuó xiāofèi bùshì hěn gāo, jiù ná zhùfáng láishuō…

这儿的生活消费不是很高, 就拿住房来说…

The living expenses here is not that much. For example, housing expense here is …

[mp3j track=”impression03.mp3″]

If it’s a big city and the living expenses is high, then it is a negative aspect. You can compare it with another place and show how much more you need to earn to make ends meet. Your chatter is very likely to agree with you and join your complaints on the rising living expenses today.


Point 3. City attractions that impressed you

If you actually don’t have much of an opinion about the city being asked since you really don’t have that long period of time to know it much, at least you can shift the topic a bit off to it’s main attractions. Your impression on the tourist attractions you’ve visited is good enough to keep the communication going.

zhèr de lǚyóujǐngdiǎn hěn hǎowán, bǐrú shuō ….

这儿的旅游景点很好玩, 比如说 ….

The attractions that I’ve been to here was fun, such as …

[mp3j track=”impression04.mp3″]


Point 4. The local living habits that you observed and got an interest in.

This could be a broad range of topics. For example, why people eat lots of wild herbs that you’ve never seen before? Why People like to attach rwo drop down red paper stripes on their doors. Why big super market would set up a little shrine at the entrance? etc. etc….

This can go on and on too.

You can use the following sentence to kick off your discussion:

zhèr de shēnghuó xíguàn hěn yǒuyìsi, bǐrú shuō….

这儿的生活习惯很有意思, 比如说….

The living habbits here are very interesting, such as …

[mp3j track=”impression05.mp3″]

The above examples can give you some clues on how to respond to “city impression” questions in Chinese. You can use those beginning sentences to expand on whatever you want to talk about. It really helps in building a good conversation if you can somehow prepare in advance. The more topics you prepared, the more flexible you are for your next random conversation practice.

As long as you keep learning, thinking and practicing, your Chinese will become more and more fluent with no doubt.

加油! 朋友们!

(Keep it up, my dear friends!)


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5 Responses to “Four different ways to describe your impression of a city in Chinese”

  1. nothing

    Ross Cranwell:

    05-11-2012 10:51 am

    Nice list of ways to describe your impression of a city…I like the way the audio is slow, and then at “normal” speed..:-)


    • nothing


      05-11-2012 8:57 pm

      Hi Ross,

      All of the audio clips that are recorded by myself on this blog are made the same way, slow and normal. Glad to know it really helps…




  2. nothing


    05-15-2012 9:39 am

    A very helpful post! Thanks!


    • nothing


      05-16-2012 12:24 am

      Nice to see you again, Steve :-)


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