I have three questions about translating the English word "please" into Chinese:

  1. "Please hand me my phone" in Google translate is 请把手机递给我. I don't feel like I've heard a native speaker use 请 like that. Does that sentence sound natural? Is it commonly used? If not, what is the polite way ask for something like this?

  2. In English we'll say "please!!" as a stand alone sentence to indicate begging for something. I think the equivalent is 求你了! Is that right?

  3. In English, if a child demands something impolitely, we'll tell them, "say please". Is there a Chinese equivalent (of telling a child to ask politely)?

  • For 2., I hear people say 拜托.
    – Becky 李蓓
    Feb 29 at 5:36

2 Answers 2


Most of time, 请 is used for politely request/demand/ask/ nowadays. E.g. A teacher can say 请不要说话了. This demand is much milder than 闭嘴!

请把我的手机拿过来 can be a milder way to order or command. The tone plays an important role as well.

in your circumstances, I would probably say:

  1. 麻烦帮我把手机递给我. 麻烦 connotes to trouble you(sorry to bother),帮我: to help me(not your responsibility).

  2. 求你了 is a proper one for that sense of 'please!'.

  3. We can say to our children: 让人帮忙要说请字。

  1. It is neutral, but on most occasions, people will politely ask "可以把手機遞給我嗎?", or friendly say "把手機遞給我好(行/能)嗎?"

  2. It is rare to use "请你" as begging in the past, but has been used more frequently by people with western exposure. You can sometimes hear people say "请你了, 行嗎?" = "麻煩你了", "求你了".

  3. Again, the well-educated people with western exposure tend to tell their kids "對阿姨要有礼貌, 要說请."

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