Languages › Mandarin Mandarin Placement Terms Share Flipboard Email Print Getty Images / Linka A. Odom Mandarin Vocabulary Mandarin History and Culture Pronunciation Understanding Chinese Characters By Qiu Gui Su Chinese Language Expert Qiu Gui Su is a native Mandarin speaker who has taught Mandarin Chinese for over 20 years. our editorial process Qiu Gui Su Updated November 05, 2019 The Mandarin language uses two “suffixes” for placement terms: miàn and biān. Both of these words mean “side,” but biān emphasizes divisions (such as borders) between things. Biān is used for things on the side (such as the right side or left side) and miàn is used for locating things within a sphere (such as above or in front of). Once you are familiar with Mandarin language placement terms, the use of miàn and biān will come automatically, since each word is used exclusively within certain phrases. For example, the Mandarin language has only one phrase for “opposite” (duìmiàn), so once you have learned this vocabulary you will not likely try to say it as duìbiān. Here and There here - zhèlǐ - 這裡there - nàli - 那裡over here - zhèbiān - 這邊over there - nàbiān - 那邊 Right and Left right - yòu - 右left - zuǒ - 左right side - yòubiān - 右邊left side - zuǒbiān - 左邊beside - pángbiān - 旁邊 Around opposite - duìmiàn - 對面in front - qiánmiàn - 前面behind - hòumiàn - 後面on top - shàngmiàn - 上面under - xiàmiàn - 下面inside - lǐmiàn - 裡面outside - wàimiàn - 外面 Placement Terms English Pinyin Characters The tea is here. Chá zài zhèlǐ. 茶在這裡｡ The book is there. Shū zài nàlǐ. 書在那裡｡ The notebook is over here. Bǐjìběn zài zhèbiān. 筆記本在這邊｡ The cup is over there. Bēizi zài nàbian. 杯子在那邊｡ This is my right hand. Zhè shì wǒ de yòu shǒu. 這是我的右手｡ This is my left hand. Zhè shì wǒde zuǒ shǒu. 這是我的左手｡ The bag is on the right side. Dàizi zài yòubiān. 袋子在右邊｡ The book is on the left side. Shū zài zuǒbiān. 書在左邊｡ The bank is beside the post office. Yínháng zài yóujú pángbiān. 銀行在郵局旁邊｡ My house is opposite the school. Wǒ jiā zài xuéxiào duìmiàn. 我家在學校對面｡ He is sitting in front of me. Tā zuò zài wǒ qiánmian. 他坐在我前面｡ The bus is behind (us). Chē zǐ zài hòu miàn. 車子在後面｡ The book is on top of the table. Shū zài zhuōzi shàngmian. 書在桌子上面｡ The cat is under the chair. Mào zài yǐzi xiàmian. 貓在椅子下面｡ The children are inside the school. Háizi zài xuéxiào lǐmiàn. 孩子在學校裡面｡ The dog is outside the house. Gǒu zài fángzi wàimian. 狗在房子外面｡ Giving Directions in Chinese Learning Mandarin vs Cantonese Understanding Mandarin Chinese Tones Pinyin Romanization to Learn Mandarin Travel Vocabulary An Insider's Guide to Mandarin Chinese Pronunciation Learning Mandarin Chinese How to Use Time Phrases in Mandarin Chinese Understanding the Use of Numbers in Mandarin Chinese The Mandarin Tone System Mandarin Chinese Love Vocabulary How to Say "And" in Chinese Using the Telephone in Mandarin Mandarin Chinese Hotel Vocabulary Telling Time in Mandarin Chinese Why Learn Mandarin Chinese?