When discussing the house or a place in Chinese, traditionally, we used the noun 宅 [zhái]. The Chinese language regularly changes though and it has a much more interesting meaning today. You might find it even ties in nicely with some of our new habits from the Coronavirus!
Zhai doesn’t just mean house in Chinese?!
Correct, it doesn’t!
Overtime, the meaning has developed into “stay at home” or “stay in the building”. You’re not really discussing the house in Chinese anymore, but the actual act of staying somewhere.
Just as we used to stay in our homes, today 宅 [zhái] is used as a verb to stay somewhere. You can stay at home in Chinese, but that’s not the only way to use it!
That said – if you’re someone who enjoys staying at home, you might be a “宅男” (zháinán) or “宅女” (zhái nǚ”)!
Using Zhái as the verb to stay in Chinese
The grammar structure is simple:
宅 + 在 + some place.
zhōumò, wǒ doū xǐhuān zhái zài jiālǐ, bù chūmén
On the weekends, I like staying at home and not going out.
Watch our video with Teacher Li, then let us know either in the comments or on any of our social media accounts whether you’re a “宅男” or “宅女“!