In male-female marriage we use the two verbs;

  • 嫁給 (jiàgěi)
  • 娶 (qǔ)

But these are gender specific.

  • a woman can 嫁給 a man
  • a man will 娶 a woman

So how does this work in same-sex marriages?

  • Same-sex marriages are not recognized in many countries. I suspect that there isn't any special Chinese term to cater for this. It is quite likely that the same marriage vows are used: the dominant half 娶; the other half 嫁.
    – 杨以轩
    Jul 15, 2013 at 7:42
  • First of all, the same-sex marriage hasn't been legal yet in China. So I've never heard of whether there's any specific verb similar to 嫁/娶 for same-sex marriage. Maybe a general expression is enough: Tom要和Jim结婚. It will sound more natural than saying Tom要嫁给Jim or Tom要娶Jim.
    – Stan
    Jul 15, 2013 at 7:44
  • as I understand it there was a gay marriage in Taiwan en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_Taiwan Jul 16, 2013 at 0:36

3 Answers 3


The simple answer is either word will work.

The nuance is little different though, as the word selection would show who has a "male" role or "female" role in the marriage. If this not clear, then the person who is more important (this may depend on context) would be assumed the "male" role, such as the 女总理 in Jodie's answer.

  • So its the "marital role" as perceived by the speaker, that matters. Thanks. Jul 19, 2013 at 12:48

I have a Chinese magazine article about the prime minister of Iceland from about 3 years ago and the title is 冰岛女总理娶同性女友. Based on that, perhaps 娶 for anyone (male or female) marrying a woman and 嫁给 for anyone marrying a man.

  • 1
    Good point. But such usage would indicate the "active" one and the "passive" one in a couple. For example, 冰岛女总理娶同性女友 suggests that 女总理 is the Tomboy role.
    – Stan
    Jul 15, 2013 at 17:10
  • 2
    I agree with Stan here on the role each partner plays having an effect on the word being used. I would probably add 'political/financial position' to this as well. Jul 17, 2013 at 3:28

Most of time,in same-sex marriages ,there has an assertive "man"(which called "攻") and a easygoing "women"(called “受”).

So customary, we use "‘攻’‘受’" or “‘受’ 嫁给 ‘攻’

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