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    5 Common Mistakes with Chinese email writings

    5 Common Mistakes with Chinese email writings

    5 Common Mistakes with Chinese email writings


    There are by far 5 common mistakes with Chinese email writings and speech. 

    Learning Chinese can be both challenging and interesting. Most Chinese learners make mistakes while drafting emails. Below are five common mistakes with Chinese email writings.

    Forgetting to open and close the Business Email

    Most learners do not remember to open the conversation with a greeting and signing off. An email that does not adhere to this rule sounds harsh and demanding.

    Forgetting to include the subject

    Emails, unlike letters have a provision for writing the subject. Most Chinese Learners forget to include the subject in the subject matter space and include it in the body. This is unacceptable in email writing.

    Grammatical Errors

    Different languages have varying grammatical rules that need to be followed. It is common for Chinese learners to mix tenses, have improper sentence order and use direct translation. This is common among many foreign learners.

    Mixing formal and informal salutations

    Learners often find it challenging to keep up with various salutations. Some phrases that are acceptable in formal emails are not necessarily acceptable in informal emails.



    • Tense: This language does not have tenses.  All tenses are from words selected to inject a time element.  Verb tenses are generally written in the present.  To indicate past tense, the usual add words, such as:  English: ‘I have finished.’  Yet, in Chinese it is: ‘I finish already.’   This last word is what reflects the tense
    • Vowels:  Chinese speaking individuals have a difficult time ending sentences with consonants.  They usually end them with vowels.
    • Plurals:  When mentioning more than one thing, native speaker often forget that there is an ‘s’ at the end of a word.  For example:  Correct would be: I want two chocolates.  Incorrect would be:  I want two chocolate.
    • Question tags:  This may be one of the trickiest of them all.  If you ask, ‘you don’t like candy, do you?’  The most common English answer would be, ‘no, I don’t.’  However, in Chinese, they would respond with ‘Yes, I don’t.’  That’s because ‘Yes’ in Chinese means, ‘I agree with what you say.’
    • Objects:  Objects are frequently moved to the front of sentences, such as ‘China, I went for travel’ or ‘Denny’s I like for breakfast.’
    • Misgendering Pronouns: Since this language doesn’t use separate pronouns such as he,she, his, or her, Chinese speakers usually default to the masculine. If you are addressing a woman, be sure to use “she” and “her” instead.
    • First and Last Name Confusion: In Chinese, family name comes first and given name second, whereas in English it is given name first and family name second.
    • Preposition Confusion: In Chinese, there is one character that refers to both “in” and “at,” for example. Saying “he works in Amazon” sounds awkward to English speakers compared to “he works at Amazon”.


    Learn Mandarin is one of the most systematic languages in the world.  It is concise and also its written calligraphy is most beautiful.  As compare to learning English language, Chinese language can be challenging, but nothing is impossible to learn.