Learn how to say the verb “Eat” in Mandarin Chinese
Similar to the way Americans greet each other by saying “how’s it going?”, in Chinese culture people often say: “have you eaten?” This phrase refers to the old times when food mattered a lot to Chinese people, especially for those farmers who needed food to give them energy to do their work. At times, food was scarce and Chinese people showed their care and concern for one another by asking “have you eaten?” Today, Chinese people still use this phrase to show care when they see each other. Thus, “have you eaten” is a common greeting phrase but does not refer to whether or not you are hungry. They just want to be friendly and say hello. So next time if your Chinese friends ask you “have you eaten?”, remember, they’re just trying to be nice, not inviting you out to dinner.
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