Pictures for 方位词 Direction and Location Words in Chinese

By Ling-Ling Lisa Shih


Here are some posters that can help you visualize and learn Chinese direction and location words:

The Direction words_1.PNG
Direction and Location Words 2.PNG
Direction Words_3.PNG
wordoor chinese--nouns of locality.PNG
location from scontent.PNG

The Usage of Chinese Location Words

Direction Words 方位词,共有16个:


Direction Word (东/西/南/北/前/后/左/右/上/下/里/外)+Suffixes (边/面)–》Location Word

For example:

Direction word such as 东/西/南/北/前/后 /左/右/上/下/里/外, can take both 边/面.

But the following location words have to be memorized: 旁边, 对面 ,中间, and can not be switched to other suffixes.

Direction word

1、Location word used as an attributive :

Location word + 的 + noun ( “的” cannot be omitted ).

后面的一群人 Hòumian de yì qún rén: the group of people behind (the group of people which is behind)

对面的房子Duìmiàn de fángzi–the opposite house (The house which is opposite / across the way)

外边的车子 Wàibian de chēzi– the car outside (i.e. The car which is outside)

2、Location words used after a pronoun or noun, “的“ is optional.

Pron/Noun (+ 的) + location word:

你(的)后边 /学生(的)后边 ni (de) hòubian/xuésheng (de) hòubian–behind you/behind students

这个房子(的)外边 zhè ge fángzi (de) wàibian– outside this house

这座山(的)对面 zhè zuò shān (de) duìmiàn–The opposite of this mountain


1、 You can say the following phrases either way:

桌子的上(边/面) = 桌子上 Zhuōzi shàng on the table
门的后边 = 门后 Mén hòu behind the door
饭馆的前边 = 饭馆前 Fàn guǎn qián front of the restaurant
房间的里边 = 房间里 Fángjiān lǐ in the room
床的下边 = 床下 Chuángxià under the bed
沙发的旁边 = 沙发旁 Shāfā páng next to the sofa

2、Do not use direction words 里/里面/里边 with Geographical names (Country /Place) such as 中国,英国,北京,伦敦. For example:

She was working in Taiwan.
她在台北工作。Tā zài Tǎiběi gōngzuò(√)


There are many universities in the U.S.
美国有很多很好的大学。Měiguó yǒu hěnduō hěn hǎo de dàxué. (√)

3、 Some prepositions are used differently in Chinese. Where English uses “in,” Chinese may use “on” instead, for instance:

In her letter — 她的信上Tā de xìn shàng

In the book — 书上 Shū shàng

There’re some flowers on the tree. (树上有一些花。Shù shàng yǒu yīxiē huā.)

There’s a bird in the tree. (树上有一只鸟。Shù shàng yǒuyī zhǐ niǎo.)

Translate the following to Chinese:

1. Across from my school
2. The car in the back
3. The pen on the desk
4. The picture on the table
5. The people outside
6.The room in the middle
7. The birds outside
8. Under the table
9. Behind you

Can you translate the following passages into English:

  1. 一辆轿车停在了我的旁边,我就上车坐在后面左右摇摆,一会左,一会右,前前后后左左右右 …
  2. from 乾坤八针-第一章打酱油的-69书吧 (adapted for the Chinese learners)

    便这样,小李的师傅给他一百元,然后把他扔在高速公路旁边,自己回山 … 一下子走到马路中间去,不让前面那辆红色跑车开走。 … 让她觉得更害怕,车前面没有尸体,车底下也没有,车后面更没有…她明明看到自己把一个人撞了,可是怎么前前后后,左左右右一个人影也没有。


More on-line Resources for Direction/Location Words:


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