In English, one might say "bless you" or "gesundheit" in response to a friend sneezing. Is there a Chinese equivalent? If so, what is it?

4 Answers 4


From Wikipedia: [which funnily enough has a Responses To Sneezing page]

Usual Responses and Notes

多喝点水 (Duō hē diǎn shuǐ), 一百岁 (yì bǎi suì), 保佑你 (bǎo yòu nǐ) or 长命百岁 (chánɡ mìnɡ bǎi suì); frequently, listeners do not comment on the sneeze.


"Drink more water","May you live for a hundred years.", "bless you." or "May you live to one hundred years."

sneezer reply:

呵呵,不好意思 (bù hǎo yì si)


"He he (No meaning, just smile politely)","Excuse me."

tl;dr: frequently, listeners do not comment on the sneeze.

Here's some info on Cantonese

Usual Responses and Notes

大吉利事. Sneezing in Southern Chinese culture means that someone is speaking ill behind your back.


"A great fortunate occurrence."

sneezer reply:





I think a general response would be "保重" (take care).

Never heard anyone saying things like: "一百岁 (yì bǎi suì), 保佑你 (bǎo yòu nǐ) or 长命百岁 (chánɡ mìnɡ bǎi suì);", that would be really creepy if I heard that.

"多喝点水 (Duō hē diǎn shuǐ)" would be fine, though, it's kinda like saying "保重", but it would be more likely to say when someone coughing, not sneezing.

You can add some trailing words like: "保重點", "保重啊", "小心點"...etc to be more natural.


First of all, there is no such social expectations in China nowadays.

However, in some areas, it may be appropriate to say "长命百岁"(wish you a long life). But again this is very uncommon nowadays. Maybe one would say it when an elderly sneeze or cough. More generally, there wouldn't be a response just to be polite.

If you really would like to express concern, you can ask whether they caught a cold or offer some advice such as "It's getting cold, you'd better put on a coat". However, those responses are not part a prescribed custom. It's part of your conversation and the sneezer will response to your question accordingly with the impression that you meant it.


i sneeze and no one really says anything in china. i dont think any1 say's bao y

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