How to Say “Hurt” in Chinese: A Comprehensive Guide

Learning how to express the concept of “hurt” in Chinese can be both interesting and useful. Whether you want to describe a physical injury or an emotional pain, this guide will walk you through various formal and informal ways to convey this notion effectively. While there are no specific regional variations for the word “hurt” in Chinese, we will explore different expressions commonly used across the Chinese-speaking world. So, let’s dive in!

Formal ways to say “hurt” in Chinese

When it comes to formal situations, it’s helpful to have a polite and proper vocabulary. Here are some common words and phrases you can use to express “hurt” formally in Chinese:

1. Verbs

  • 伤害 (shāng hài): This term translates directly to “hurt” and is widely used to describe both physical and emotional pain. It is the most formal and versatile word for “hurt” in Chinese.
  • 疼痛 (téng tòng): Primarily used for physical pain, especially when associated with an injury or illness.

2. Nouns

  • 伤处 (shāng chù): Refers specifically to the place or area that is injured, often used to indicate a specific location or body part.
  • 伤害 (shāng hài): While mainly used as a verb, “伤害” can also be employed as a noun to specifically mean “harm” or “injury.”

Informal ways to say “hurt” in Chinese

In informal conversations, particularly among friends, family, or peers, Chinese speakers often use more colloquial and expressive language. Here are some commonly used informal expressions for “hurt” in Chinese:

1. Verbs

  • 痛 (tòng): This term is commonly used to describe physical pain. It can be used alone or in combination with body parts to indicate specific areas of discomfort.
  • 伤心 (shāng xīn): When it comes to emotional pain, “伤心” is a popular phrase that literally means “to hurt the heart.” It is used when someone is feeling sad, heartbroken, or emotionally hurt.

2. Adjectives

  • 疼 (téng): Similar to “痛,” this adjective is used to describe physical pain. It is a more casual alternative and is often used in everyday conversations.
  • 心疼 (xīn téng): Combining the word for “heart” (心) and “疼,” this phrase expresses the feeling of being empathetically hurt or distressed.

Common Expressions Using “Hurt” in Chinese

To further enhance your understanding, here are some practical examples and expressions using the vocabulary we have discussed:

“她被车撞伤了 (Tā bèi chē zhuàng shāng le).” Translation: “She got hurt in a car accident.”

In this example, we see how the verb “伤” is paired with the noun “伤处”denoting the injured body part or area.

“他说的话让我很伤心 (Tā shuō de huà ràng wǒ hěn shāng xīn).” Translation: “What he said hurt me a lot.”

Here, we observe the informal phrase “伤心” used to describe emotional pain caused by hurtful words.


Learning how to express “hurt” in Chinese provides you with essential vocabulary for both formal and informal contexts. With these formal and colloquial phrases, you can confidently communicate both physical and emotional hurt. Remember to adjust your language choice based on the situation and the level of formality required. Practice using these expressions in your conversations to become more fluent and proficient in Chinese. Happy learning!

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