The proper ways to describe a person’s personality in Chinese?

Posted by Grace Feng on May 30, 2012

The proper ways to describe a person's personality in Chinese?A person’s personality is a very important aspect of a person’s overall “quality “. Under many circumstances, we need to describe a person’s personality to others. Have you ever hesitated on saying something about a person in Chinese because you’re unsure about what words to use?

Well, today we’ll spend some time on getting the keywords right on this Learn Chinese online blog. You’ll learn some expressions that you could reuse in your own conversation in Chinese.

The first two keywords I’d like to introduce are positive ones on personality : 诚实 chéng shí (honest), 稳重 wěn zhòng (calm)

If you wanna point out that someone is lack of the above good merits, you can express it with a soft tone like this:

不够诚实 bù gòu chéng shí (not honest enough), 不够稳重 bù gòu wěn zhòng (not calm enough)

If you get rid of the character 够 gòu, then you are showing your completely negative attitude towards that person:

不诚实 bù chéng shí (not honest at all), 不稳重 bù wěn zhòng (not calm at all)

Therefore, please use it this way with discretion.

Let’s compare them in the following examples:

Xiǎojīn gōngzuò hěn rènzhēn, wéirén yě chéngshí.

小金工作很认真, 为人也诚实.

Xiao Jin is hard-working and honest.


Xiǎojīn gōngzuò hěn rènzhēn, dàn wéirén bùgòu chéngshí.

小金工作很认真, 但为人不够诚实.

Xiao Jin is hard-working but not honest enough.


Xiǎojīn gōngzuò hěn rènzhēn, dàn bùchéngshí.

小金工作很认真, 但不诚实.

Xiao Jin is hard-working but dishonest.



The following two are also popular expressions about personality that you really should know: 有责任感 yǒu zérèngǎn (responsible ), 顾大局 gù dàjú (mature, sensible )

顾大局 gù dà jú comes from the phrase of “照顾大的局面 zhàogu dà de júmiàn“. Literally it means “taking care of the overall situation “. It actually indicates a person that is not just focus on small things and easily gets grumpy. On the contrary, one that has more awareness of the overall situation and is willing to contain minor dissatisfactions to oneself for the sake of the majority. It’s a symbol of maturity in Chinese culture (when you grow out of the whining kid that you used to be… :-)


开明 kāi míng (open-minded),直爽 zhí shuǎng (straightforward ) are another two good merits that one should have, or try to have in today’world.

Both Chinese words are equivalent to their English translation, you should have no difficulty in understanding them. I found out that these two words are heavily used in English resumes to describes oneself’s personality.


To describe a person with very good social skills, you can use the following two expressions: 会做人 huì zuòrén  (good at people relationships),会来事儿 huì lái shìr rén ( good at socializing and connecting with people )

For example,

wáng jīnglǐ hěn huì zuòrén, yě hěn huì lái shìr。 měicì huódòng tā dōu néng gǎo dé ràng suǒyǒu rén dōu gāoxìng。


Manager wang is very good at people relationship, he is able to make everyone happy in any social event.

Can you use some of the Chinese expressions you learned today to describe your own personality or someone you know? Don’t be shy to share your practice with others in the comment area. Thanks!


Related posts:

What is actually being afraid of in Chinese expression 不怕一万,只怕万一?
Don't get yourself in unnecessary troubles - Chinese expression 多一事,不如少一事。
Words of wisdom while you're thinking about giving up - 行百里者半九十


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