Asking "Where Do You Live?" in Mandarin

Shanghai skyline at dusk

Dove Lee / Getty Images

There are many ways to ask where a person lives, depending on how specific you wish to be, or whether the person is from another country. Just as there are many ways to ask the question, there are many possible answers.

The following lesson gives some common question forms, as well as possible answers, for talking about where someone lives in Mandarin Chinese. Please note the use of the co-verb ►zài (在). Its use in the question form is optional, but is almost always needed in the answer, unless the answer contains a qualifier like “near to” or “behind.”

Where Do You Live?

Audio files are marked with ►

Where do you live?
Nǐ zhù zài nǎli?​
What place do you live?
Nǐ zhù zài shēn me dìfāng?
I live in Beijing.
Wǒ zhù zài Běijīng.
I live close to the university.
Wǒ zhù zài dà xué jiē jìn.

Where Are You From?

Where are you from?
Nǐ cóng nǎli lái de?
I’m from San Francisco.
Wǒ cóng Jiùjīnshān lái dé.
I’m from England.
Wǒ cóng Yīngguó lái de.

Which Country Do You Come From?

Which country do you come from? (What nationality are you?)
Nǐ shì nǎ guó rén?
I’m from Canada. (I’m Canadian.)
Wǒ shì Jiānádà rén.​

What City Do You Live In?

What city do you live in?
Nǐ zhù zài nǎ yīge chéng shì​
I live in Shanghai.
Wǒ zhù zài Shànghǎi.

What Part of the City?

What part of the city do you live in?
Nǐ zhù zài shēn me dìfāng?
What part of Shanghai do you live in?
Shànghǎi shénme dìfāng?


Mandarin addresses are written the opposite of Western addresses. They start with the country, then the city, street, section, lane, alley, number, and floor.

What’s your address?
Nǐ de dì zhǐ shì shénme?
The address is #834 Quyang Street, 3rd Floor, Shanghai City.
Dì zhǐ shì Shànghǎi shì, Qǔyáng lù, 834 hào, sān lóu.
地址是 上海市曲陽路834號三樓。
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Your Citation
Su, Qiu Gui. "Asking "Where Do You Live?" in Mandarin." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Su, Qiu Gui. (2020, August 27). Asking "Where Do You Live?" in Mandarin. Retrieved from Su, Qiu Gui. "Asking "Where Do You Live?" in Mandarin." ThoughtCo. (accessed December 4, 2022).