Mandarin: Clothes and accessories

How to say 'I wear' in Mandarin

When talking about what you wear in Mandarin, there are two phrases that can be used:

  • listen 我穿 Wǒ chuān - I am wearing, for clothes

  • listen 我戴 Wǒ dài - I am wearing, for accessories

Clothes in Mandarin

listen 毛衣máo yījumper
listen 大衣dà yīcoat
listen 短裙duǎn qúnskirt
listen 裤子kù zitrousers
listen 袜子wà zisocks
listen 衬衫chèn shānshirt

Did you know?

To say ‘I wear a jumper’ you would not simply say listen 我穿着毛衣 Wǒ chuān zhe máo yī - you have missed out the Mandarin equivalent of ‘a’.

In Mandarin, measure words (often called ‘classifiers’) are used to classify the type of object being discussed.

Measure wordUse
listen 一件 yí jiànFor sleeved clothing, eg coats, shirts, and jumpers
listen 一条 yì tiáoFor narrow and long clothes, eg skirts and trousers
listen 一双 yì shuāngFor pairs, eg shoes and socks

So, to say ‘I wear a jumper’ in Mandarin, you would say listen 我穿着一件毛衣 Wǒ chuān zhe yī jiàn máo yī.

Accessories in Mandarin

listen 帽子mào zi hat 
listen 围巾 wéi jīn scarf 
listen 眼镜yǎn jìng glasses 
listen 项链  xiàng liàn necklace 

Did you know?

As with clothing, measure words are used for accessories.

Some are the same as for clothing, but there are additional ones too.

Measure wordUse
listen 一顶 yì dǐngFor hats
listen 一副 yí fùFor glasses
listen 一条 yì tiáoFor narrow and long accessories, eg scarfs and necklaces

As with clothing, to say ‘I wear glasses’ you would need to include the measure word for 'a pair of':

listen 我戴着一副眼镜 Wǒ dài zhe yí fù yǎn jìng - I wear a pair of glasses

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