Guide: How to Say “Treat” in Chinese – Formal and Informal Ways

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on expressing the word “treat” in Chinese! Whether you’re traveling to China, studying Mandarin, or simply curious about the language, this guide will equip you with formal and informal ways to convey this concept. While regional variations exist, we will primarily focus on standard Mandarin Chinese, which is widely understood across different Chinese-speaking regions.

Formal Ways to Say “Treat”

When it comes to formal expressions of “treat” in Chinese, you have a few options:

1. Zhīxiāng (治疗)

The first formal term for “treat” is “zhīxiāng” (治疗). It specifically refers to medical treatment or therapy. This term is commonly used in professional settings such as hospitals or when discussing healthcare.


Wǒ yào qù yīyuàn zhīxiāng bìng.


I need to go to the hospital for treatment.

2. Dǔbì (毒痹)

“Dǔbì” (毒痹) is another formal way to say “treat” in Chinese. It specifically implies treating a paralysis or numbness caused by certain diseases or physical conditions.


Tā zhèngzài zhōngwèn yīshēng nàlǐ dǔbì.


He’s receiving treatment for paralysis at a Chinese doctor’s.

Informal Ways to Say “Treat”

Informal expressions of “treat” are more commonly used in day-to-day conversations. Let’s explore a few options:

1. Trè ( treat) / Dǎ treat (打 treat)

To express “treat” informally in Mandarin, you can use the English loanword “trè” (treat) or “dǎ treat” (打 treat), which incorporates the Chinese verb “dǎ” (打) meaning “to hit” or “to give.”


Wǒ jīntiān yào trè nǐ qù chī wǎnfàn.

我今天要 treat 你去吃晚饭。

I will treat you to dinner tonight.

2. Qiān tiáo jiǎo (请条教)

In some informal contexts, especially when speaking in certain Chinese dialects or amongst friends, you can use the phrase “qiān tiáo jiǎo” (请条教). This phrase directly translates to “please treat” and is slightly more casual.


Míngtiān wǒ wèn nǐ qǐng nǐ qǐngtiān qīngtiáo jiǎo.


Tomorrow, I’ll ask if you’d like to treat us.

Notes on Regional Variations

While the terms mentioned above are widely understood in most Chinese-speaking regions, it’s important to note that regional variations exist. Some dialects may have their own unique ways to express “treat.” For example, in Cantonese, the informal phrase “ngor ngoi” (我愛) is commonly used to mean “I’ll treat” or “I’ll pay.” If you’re in a specific Chinese-speaking region and wish to blend in, it can be useful to learn the local variations of “treat.”


Congratulations! You’ve learned various ways to say “treat” in Chinese. You are now equipped with formal expressions such as “zhīxiāng” (治疗) and “dǔbì” (毒痹), as well as informal options like “trè” or “dǎ treat” (打 treat) and “qiān tiáo jiǎo” (请条教). Remember, when choosing the appropriate phrase, consider the context and level of formality. Enjoy communicating in Chinese and sharing treats with your friends and colleagues!

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