5

In English, sometimes we'll refer to a person whose name is unknown or undisclosed as "Person A" particularly in hypothetical scenarios. Does a similar thing exist in Chinese that doesn't make use of English letters?

  • 1
    Some other alternatives: 某甲,某乙,etc. – xbh Nov 8 '18 at 3:40
13

You would say

甲、乙、丙、丁……

which come from 天干, you could also say

路人甲、路人乙、路人丙……

If you know the person's surname, you could also say

李某、王某……

In case if you want the specify that person's occupation

某市民、某员工、某政府工作人员……

  • what about 小明,小刚,小红,李华 – Voyager Mar 19 at 9:01
  • @rambler Those would almost be real name and nicknames, which can be commonly used in simple short made up stories. – zyy Mar 19 at 13:21
5

To refer to someone non-specific, you can say「某某/某人/某某人」.

我廠「某人」偷了東西,我不點他的名字,他應坦白交代。

Someone in my factory was stealing things. I won't mention him by name, but he should come forth honestly and explain himself.

To refer to Person A or Party A, for example in an agreement or contract, you can say 「甲方」(as opposed to Person/Party B「乙方」or both parties「雙方」).

4

In addition to those involving 某, as explained in other answers, there are some general names used quite often (e.g. in story-telling) like 张三 and 李四.

The complete list goes as: 刘一、陈二、张三、李四、王五、赵六、孙七、周八、吴九、郑十

Source: https://www.zhihu.com/question/63926768

  • 2
    Btw, I think this is the equivalent of John Doe (and Jane Doe) used in English. – zypA13510 Nov 25 '18 at 4:00
3

有个人。 means someone/somebody whom you don't know.

0

Let me introduce two things:

天干 (Celestial Stems):

甲 乙 丙 丁 戊 己 庚 辛 壬 癸

and

地支 (Terrestrial Branches):

子 丑 寅 卯 辰 巳 午 未 申 酉 戌 亥

These two things are often used for these purposes.


Example 1

某甲 person A

某乙 person B

Example 2

甲型肝炎 (甲肝) hepatitis A

乙型肝炎 (乙肝) hepatitis B

丙型肝炎 hepatitis C

丁型肝炎 hepatitis D

Example 3

甲型超声波 ultrasound A

乙型超声波 (B超) ultrasound B

Example 4

甲烷 methane

乙烷 ethane

丙烷 propane

丁烷 butane

戊烷 pentane

己烷 hexane

庚烷 heptane

辛烷 octane

壬烷 nonane

癸烷 decane

-1

Yes, it does. The most famous unknown person A is "张三" in Chinese.

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