13

我们 [wǒmen] and 咱们 [zánmen] both means: we, but when I should use 咱们, 我们?

What is the difference?

1
  • There are already some answers there, but bare in mind the the use of the words may vary from place to place.
    – fefe
    Jun 9, 2014 at 3:32

4 Answers 4

13
  1. 我们 can be used both formally and colloquially across all Chinese speaking regions, while 咱们 appears more in spoken language and more in Northern China.

  2. 我们 may or may not include the listener, depending on the context, while 咱们 almost always includes the listener.

  3. Although 咱们 includes both parties, there can be a strong or even exclusive focus on one party, either the speaker (e.g. 瞧咱们的 = "we'll show you how it's done") or the listener (e.g. 咱们不怕 = "let us not be afraid"). This type of usage is very common in Northern China but can be quite unfamiliar/unnatural to other Chinese speaking regions.

References:

[1] http://www.chiculture.net/0615/html/d16/0615d16.html

[2] http://www.fed.cuhk.edu.hk/~pth/pth_passage01.php?passage=99

3

"咱们" is more like a colloquial usage, especially in northern China(Beijing dialect makes extensive use of it, for example "咱几个"(roughly "we several people") , "咱哥俩"(we two brothers).) While "我们" is the general written/spoken form and is commonly used all over China.

1

我们 and 咱们 can be used interchangeably,though 咱们 would less likely be used in formal writings. Because 咱们 is less formal, it makes the speaker seem more relatable to the person they are talking to (e.g 咱们俩是哥们,we are buddies).

1

咱=我:咱不懂他的话。 咱们=我们 including the listener: 同志,您别客气,咱们军民是一家人。 As possessive pronoun: 咱=咱们(的):咱村全都富起来了。(Here it could be a villager talking to another villager, or talking to an outsider, or even an outsider talking to a villager (the outsider was trying to sound friendly and close by using the term to include himself as part of “us”. The outsider could simply say 你们村全都富起来了。but he would sound alienating himself from the villagers or the listener.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.