New answers tagged word-requests
I think good old 你好 makes a very nice general-purpose way to get people's attention. It's not super-polite but it's not impolite either, and you can generally say it to any stranger to get their attention. I'm pretty sure it's ideal for the situation you describe, especially as you don't really have to think about it before blurting it out.
Before the '90s, 同志 (comrade) was a popular term that was fine to call others, both man and woman. But after Hong Kongers started to use it for another meaning (gay/lesbian), we stopped using it most of the time. Now we can use 先生 (sir), 小伙子 (young fellow), 帅哥 (handsome man), 朋友 (mate), 小姐 (miss), 美女 (beauty).
In my opinion, if you are adult and the person who droppd wallet is: younger than 11, you can call him or her "小朋友"; at the age of 11 to 18, you can call him or her "同学"; at the age of 18 to 24, you can call him "同学", "帅哥(cool man)", and call her "同学", "美女(beautiful girl)"; at the age of 24 to 35, you can call him "帅哥", and call her "美女"; older than 30, it ...
You would shout: 喂！喂！先生! 你掉了钱包! (Wèi! Wèi! Xiānshēng! Nǐ diào le qiánbāo!) Hey! Hey! Sir! You dropped your wallet! 喂 is important to attract attention. Note: Never use 小姐 (xiǎo jiě) to address a mainland Chinese woman. This has developed into a derogatory slang term meaning "slut" in mainland China (referring to those who work in hostess bars). It's ...
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