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8 Chinese Vocabulary Words For Summer You Should Know

Sara Lynn Hua | July 17, 2015 | | 0 Comments

The days are getting longer, the temperature is hitting the high 90°s (if you're in the Northern Hemisphere, at least) and school is finally out. This could only mean one thing...summer! In this Mandarin lesson, we will learn useful summer-related Mandarin Chinese vocabulary, as well as how to correctly apply them in daily conversation.

Let’s get started!


夏天 (xià tiān) = “Summer”

船(Chuán) = “Boat”

沙滩(Shā tān) = “Beach”
• “沙” means “sand”
• “滩” means “field by the water”
• All together, a sandy field by the water = beach

A tip from our Chinese tutors: There are many compound words in Mandarin Chinese that make complete sense as a sum of its parts. See the following words for some more examples.

墨镜 (mò jìng) = “Sunglasses”
• “墨” means “dark ink”
• “镜” means “glass”
• All together, glasses that are stained with dark ink = sunglasses

高温 (gāo wēn) = “High Temperature”
• “高” means “tall” or “high”
• “温” stands for “温度,” (Wēndù) which means temperature
• All together, 高温 = high temperature; similarly 低温 (Dīwēn) means low temperature

空调 (kòng tiáo) = “Air conditioner”
• “空” stands for “空气” (Kōngqì), which means “air”
• “调” means “to adjust”
• All together, 空调 = adjusting the air, which is how the air conditioner functions, cooling or heating the air to change the room’s temperature


度假 (dù jià) - “度” means “to pass.” “假” stands for “假期,” which means vacation or holiday. All together, “度假” means “to take vacation.” It is used as a verb.

暑假(shǔ jià) – “暑” means “summer heat.” “假” stands for “假期.” All together, 暑假 = “summer vacation.” It is a noun.

寒假 (hán jià) – “寒” means “winter cold.” “假” stands for “假期.” All together, 寒假 = “winter vacation.” It is also a noun.

TutorMing Tip: Please note that “假” here is read in the fourth tone “jià” and not the third tone “Jiǎ.” When read in the third tone, “假” means false or fake. But when read in the fourth tone, “假” refers to vacation.


1. English Translation: It’s too hot, so we need to turn on the air conditioner.
Chinese Translation: 今天天气____, ____我们要开空调。

a) 很热; 因为
b) 太热;所以

Answer: B

“很热” means “very hot.” But “太热” means “too hot,” and is a better choice for our translation.
“因为” means “because.” “所以” means “therefore” or “so.” Since we already presented the justification in the first part of the sentence, we need “所以” to connect the justification for action to the action required.

2. English Translation: We take a boat to the beach.
Chinese Translation: 我们__船去沙滩。

a) 坐
b) 做

Answer: A
While they both have the fourth tone “zuò”, “坐” means “to sit,” and “做” means “to make.” It makes more sense to sit on a boat to go to the beach, rather than making a boat to go to the beach, right?

Related: How To Use 作 vs. 做 in Chinese Grammar, How To Use: 坐 vs. 座 in Chinese Grammar

Hopefully you have learned a lot of summer-related Chinese vocabulary through this lesson, and are ready to practice your new skills! We hope you have a great summer and make sure to stay hydrated, or else you could experience symptoms of being "on fire."


Founded in 2004, TutorGroup, the parent company of TutorMing, created the first commercially available synchronous learning portal in the world. TutorGroup offers world class Chinese tutorsat TutorMing. For English learning, it offers VIPABC, TutorABC, and TutorABCJr. The company is backed by Alibaba, Softbank, Temasek, and Qiming Ventures.

Sara Lynn Hua

Sara Lynn Hua

Sara Lynn Hua is a contributing writer and editor for TutorMing. She grew up in Beijing, before going to the University of Southern California (USC) to get her degree in Social Sciences and Psychology. When she’s not reading up on Chinese culture, she enjoys crafting and painting.

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