Mandarin Placement Terms

Using Mandarin placement terms for describing locations

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 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.

Mandarin Placement Terms - Here and There

here - zhèlǐ - 這裡
there - nàli - 那裡
over here - zhèbiān - 這邊
over there - nàbiān - 那邊

Mandarin Placement Terms – Right and Left

right - yòu - 右
left - zuǒ - 左
right side - yòubiān - 右邊
left side - zuǒbiān - 左邊
beside - pángbiān - 旁邊

Mandarin Placement Terms – 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

Now proceed to page twofor example sentences using this vocabulary.

Mandarin Language - Placement Terms

Example Sentences

EnglishPinyinCharacters
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。
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Su, Qiu Gui. "Mandarin Placement Terms." ThoughtCo, Apr. 27, 2017, thoughtco.com/mandarin-placement-terms-2279634. Su, Qiu Gui. (2017, April 27). Mandarin Placement Terms. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/mandarin-placement-terms-2279634 Su, Qiu Gui. "Mandarin Placement Terms." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/mandarin-placement-terms-2279634 (accessed January 17, 2018).