How to Say Hang Out and Stay at Home in Chinese

Like many other countries, in China, there are many national holidays. A huge number of people would take advantage of these holidays to travel with their family or friends. According to news reports, there are no less than 100 million people traveling for China’s National Day Holiday during the period October 1-7, in the year of 2014. This number has been increasing since then. So, if you plan to visit China, be sure to avoid these peak times!

A road filled with cars
From Wechat
The Great Wall stuffed with tourists
From China News

… Yep, we’ll pass on that.

A popular way to say “stay at home” is to use the verb “宅” / zhái which is used to mean “hang out at home”, rather than the more formal verb “待” /dāi (to stay [at a place]).

During this National Day Holiday week, you’ll hear a lot of Chinese people using the phrase:

From Baidu Chinese


Wǒ nìngyuàn zhái zài jiālǐ.

I’d rather hang out at home.

The more formal way would be:

wǒ nìngyuàn dāi zài jiālǐ.


“宅” refers specifically to staying at home (its formal definition is ‘residence’). So if someone is a homebody, you might say:

Tā hěn zhái.


A common name for teens who are tied to their computers at home is:

“宅女” / zháinǔ and “宅男” zháinán (female and male terms respectively).

Note: If you want to refer to staying at places other than home, choose 待 / dāi. For example:

Dāi zài nàr, bié dòng!

在那儿 别动!
Stay there, don’t move!

Wǒmen yào zài ZhōngGuō dāi liǎng ge xīngqī.
We will stay in China for two weeks.

 / zhái is a super practical verb, especially as winter approaches – try it out next time you just want a quiet night in!

Post by: Sarah Soulié

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