After learning about being polite by using 用一下, 用一用, and 用用 (etc.) instead of just 用 (see my previous question), I'm a bit more careful when asking for things.

The other day I was at the cafeteria and I wanted to 打包 (dǎbāo) = take away, so I said:

Wǒ xiǎng dǎbāo

But it doesn't following one of the polite forms above, so I'm worried it was a bit blunt. Nevertheless, 打包一打包 and 打打包包 seem overly long (and I'm not sure they're correct) and 打包一下 seems strange to me since I will be permanently taking away the food.

Question: What is a polite way to ask to take away my meal?

  • 1
    我想打包 is absolutely OK. If you really worry about that, simply add "谢谢". Commented Apr 25, 2018 at 5:20
  • 2
    Or just say 打包 or 帮我打包.
    – dan
    Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 3:30
  • 1
    If you want to use the VV form, you should say 打打包, 打一打包 or 打一下包. 打包 is not only a verb, it's a "VO-verb". Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 13:55
  • @EnricoBrasil well, 打打包,打一打包 sounds like a light joke. 打一下包 sounds ok. I wouldn't suggest 打打包 and 打一打包 in the restaurant setting.
    – dan
    Commented Apr 27, 2018 at 3:09
  • Well, if it sounds like a joke, than VV, V一V and V一下 are not completely the same, and we should go correct all the Chinese grammars out there... ;) Commented Apr 27, 2018 at 12:58

2 Answers 2


No, just say

"Hello! Waiter! I need (my food to be) taken away, is that ok?"


"Hello! Waiter! Can you help me package (my food)?"

I don't know how you talk about this in English-speaking country, but I will use that sentence in China.

打包一下 is ok. This action only happened once, once it's done, you'll take away your food, the waiter knows about that. This putting your food into a bag action will not last very long.


You could say any of the following:

Usually I get asked whether I will be packing the leftovers.
Me: (indicate I’m ready for the bill)
Waiter: 好的,要打包嗎?
Me: 要,謝謝。

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