How to End A Conversation Nicely When Talking to Chinese?

Many people might find it difficult to politely withdraw themselves from a conversation which is tediously boring or has dragged on for too long, even in their mother tongue. For those of you who are learning Chinese and find themselves in such situations, this will be a useful piece of reading.

  • 不好意思,我得走了。
  • Bù hǎo yìsi, wǒ děi zǒule.
  • I am sorry, but I have to go.

△ Simplest and most direct.


  • 不好意思,我赶时间!
  • Bù hǎo yìsi, wǒ gǎn shíjiān. 
  • Sorry but I am in a hurry!

△ Simple and a bit dismissive, often used to reject a salespeople.


  • 不好意思,我等会儿有事,先走了啊!
  • Bù hǎo yìsi, wǒ děng huìr yǒushì, xiān zǒu le a!
  • Sorry I have something planned ahead. Gotta go!

△ Simple and casual.


  • 不好意思,等下我还要见一个朋友。今天我们先聊到这里吧,下次再约,怎么样?
  • Bù hǎo yìsi, děngxià wǒ háiyào jiàn yígè péngyou. Jīntiān wǒmen xiān liáo dào zhèlǐ ba, xiàcì zàiyuē, zěnmeyàng? 
  • Sorry I need to meet a friend later. How about we stop here today and schedule another date some other time?

 △ Indirect and implicit.


  • 不好意思打断您一下,我快赶不上车了,先走一步。
  • Bù hǎo yìsi dǎduàn nín yíxià, wǒ kuài gǎnbúshàng chē le, xiān zǒu yíbù.
  • Sorry to interrupt you. I don’t want to miss my train/bus/metro. I have to go.

△ Formal and polite


The closer of a relationship you have with the people you are conversing with, the more detailed your explanation need to be. Friends are often concerned and want to know why you are leaving. 

Well, we are not nosy. We are just curious and concerned about our friends:)

With these phrases, I am sure it will be less awkward when you have to leave in the middle of the conversation. At least, you’ve made an effort. 

Zhang Yan, is the newest member of the GoEast Team. She is passionate about teaching Chinese as a second language and takes great interests in Chinese and western cultures. Especially Western TV shows!