One time, I watched a film and noticed a different use of "本". As I know, "本" is generally used as classifiers. But this time, I learned that "本" here used as pronoun. Here's the example I took from the film.


From the sentence above, after "本", "月" and "公司" is added as noun. I have done some research and I found some resource at Chinese Grammar Wiki, but I don't clearly understand. Question from me:

  1. What kind of noun can be used after "本"? Will any kinds of noun be fit after followed by "本"?
  2. On what case should we use "本" as pronoun?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • "汉语水平考试(HSK)词典":本(代)[义8]自己的(one's own;native):~地|~文|都是~乡~土的,请多多关照|他~人并没有答应。
    – user6065
    Dec 21, 2017 at 7:11

3 Answers 3


As a pronoun 本 has two meanings, here’s oxfords definitions and example sentences


1 自己方面的 one's own


one's own department


our school

▶ 本地, 本国, 本人

2 这 this


defendant in this case


the present contract


In the second meaning you can see it means the same as 这 - so to answer question number one: yeah pretty much any noun can come after it but this is markedly more formal than 这 or 这个 - might sound very 官腔 if you were to use it in casual speech.

To answer question number two, when should we normally use 本 as a pronoun there are quite a few instances:

本周 if you’re a Starbucks guy this is a big one - this is their terminology for brewed coffee as opposed to espresso based drinks. If you’re preparing public speaking addresses 本周 is okay for this week as well but a bit stuffy for my liking.

本人 is good for addressing others personally like:


本地 is another common one used often in conversation.

  • Does it mean that "本" is only used in Written Chinese? Because when I noticed on the film, she didn't say it directly, she read from some kind of a letter (most likely from a company, because she said "本公司"). Any chance that this structure can be used in conversation?
    – Reynaldi
    Dec 21, 2017 at 2:07
  • @Reynaldi I edited my answer you can have a look. A lot of Chinese 书面语 is usually saved for letters, speeches or talks in the like - but these types of terminology are easy to give people a feeling of conceitedness -or- just leave them plainly unable to understand the words that are coming out of your mouth.
    – Mou某
    Dec 21, 2017 at 2:17
  • 1
    @Reynaldi It's not only used in written language, but as it carries a formal tone, whether it's proper for spoken language is really up to the specific context. For example in legal context, it should be used for formality and accuracy even if the communication is in spoken form. In social chitchat, it sounds stiff and should be avoided in general, but it's not super awkward to use.
    – NS.X.
    Dec 23, 2017 at 19:58

本 connotes 本源, 本质,origin, source, essence or that kind of idea. 本公司 means our company. 本人 means oneself. 本周:this week(the week itself)


本 is a modifier, as others have explained. It would be a stretch to call it a possessive pronoun, and it definitely is not a pronoun.

本 is used the same way other modifiers are used--right before the noun it modifies.

本 tends to be used more in written texts, because it "sounds" formal. In conversations, 本 may be used, but with a wink (or equivalent), to acknowledge its formal tone.

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