Learn to Say and Write "I" in Chinese

Pronunciation, Radical Composition, and More

Night market Mong Kok, Hong Kong
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The Chinese symbol for "I" or "me" is 我 (wǒ). Easily remember how to write 我 by understanding the Chinese character's radicals and interesting etymology.

"Me" Versus "I"

While the English language has separate terms that differentiate between "me" and "I", Chinese is simpler. One character, 我, represents both "me" and "I" in the Chinese language

For example, 我饿了 (wǒ è le) means "I am hungry." On the other hand, 给我 (gěi wǒ) translates to "give me."


The Chinese character 我 (wǒ) is composed of 手 (shǒu), which means hand, and 戈 (gē), which is a dagger-like tool. In this case, 手 is used here in the form of 扌, the hand radical. Thus, 我 appears as a hand holding a little spear. 


我 (wǒ) is pronounced using the third tone. This tone has a falling-rising quality.

Character Evolution

An early form of 我 showed two spears crossing. This symbol evolved into its present form over time. Depicting a hand holding a spear, the Chinese character for "I" is a symbol of ego assertion and therefore an appropriate representation of “I" or "me.”

Mandarin Vocabulary with Wǒ

Here are five examples of common Chinese phrases that incorporate the character, 我:

我們 traditional / 我们 simplified (wǒ men) - We; us; ourselves

我自己 (wǒ zì jǐ) - Myself

我的 (wǒ de) - Mine

我明白 ( wǒ míngbái) - I understand

我也是 (wǒ yěshì) - Me too

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Su, Qiu Gui. "Learn to Say and Write "I" in Chinese." ThoughtCo, Oct. 19, 2017, thoughtco.com/wo-chinese-character-profile-2278378. Su, Qiu Gui. (2017, October 19). Learn to Say and Write "I" in Chinese. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/wo-chinese-character-profile-2278378 Su, Qiu Gui. "Learn to Say and Write "I" in Chinese." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/wo-chinese-character-profile-2278378 (accessed March 19, 2018).