Chinese lessons with Julie. Don't ask " how are you", ask " did you eat?". Surprising phrases with verb " To eat".


Hi everyone!!

We are going to start learning phrases with words that are connected with food. Chinese people love to eat and cook food. We say in China that the person who gives us food is our God/ Heaven. Food is so important for Chinese culture that we don't ask : " How are you?", we say " Have you eaten?" " Did you eat?". So don't take it personally if Chinese person asks you directly : " 吃饭了吗?" 吃 - to eat, 饭 - eat. Even when we invite other people to go out, we invite to eat. Going out with friends means eating out a lot.

Eating expressions

吃苦 - Eating bitterness.

It is used when the person has to bear difficulties or hardships. For example, if someone had a hard childhood, you can say 他小時候吃了不少苦. He suffered a lot in his childhood.


吃豆腐 - Eating tofu.

This is a really funny expression with a good interesting story that I found on internet.

Apparently it refers to a Tofu-shop a long time ago where the husbands rubs the tofu at night and the wife sells it during the day. To sell more tofu the wife flirts with her customers and the customers even grope her. The jealous wives of these "customers" will afterwards complain to their husbands: "So you went out to eat tofu again" Source

You must be very careful when you use this expression and the degree of sexuality depends on context.

吃醋 - Eating vinegar

We use this phrase when someone feels jealous. The face expression of a person who ate vinegar and who is jealous look similar.

吃心- Eating heart ❤

We use this phrase when someone is sensitive.

吃驚 - Eating surprise

We use this phrase to talk about a person who is shocked.


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Wow, it is surprising how they relate situations to food!

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