Recommended books

Recommended books for elementary learners of Mandarin Chinese (HSK 2)

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Do you want to pass the HSK 2 exam? This is the place for you to browse books that will send you on your way to continue learning and developing Mandarin Chinese skills to further your knowledge. 

Pick the perfect books for you

Congratulations on reaching this far in learning Mandarin Chinese! It may not seem as much, but the basics are always the hardest parts of learning a new language and possibly a very different one from the ones that you already know. 

We want to let you know that we invested time researching the marketplace for the best Mandarin Chinese textbooks and other printed materials, so you don’t have to. Just scroll, read and pick the ones you like or need the most. 

Before you start browsing, know that for a complete and solid foundation in Mandarin Chinese, we recommend that you pair your printed or other online learning resources with our Online Mandarin Chinese Dictionary for HSK for the simple reason that it is the only online dictionary that you will ever need to learn Chinese both thoroughly and quickly.

Enjoy your Mandarin Chinese learning journey and feel free to return to us anytime; our doors are always open. 

HSK Standard Course Level 2 covers 300 words (of Levels 1 and 2) and language points required by the HSK Level 2 test. The book is illustrated with photos that match the style of the test and is printed in full colour. Upon finishing this book, students will be able to “understand and use a few simple Chinese words and sentences to meet their specific needs in communication and to prepare themselves for further learning”. 

There are 15 lessons in this course. The topics are as follows:

Lesson 1 jiǔ yuè 北京 Běijīng 旅游 lǚyóu zuì hǎo September is the best time to visit Beijing

Lesson 2 měi tiān liù diǎn 起床 qǐchuáng I get up at six every day

Lesson 3 Zuǒ biān 红色 hóng sè de shì de The red one on the left is mine

Lesson 4 zhè 工作 gōngzuò shì bāng jiè Shào de He recommended me for this job

Lesson 5 jiù mǎi zhè jiàn Take this one

Lesson 6 怎么 zěnme chī le ?  Why don’t you eat more?

Lesson 7 jiā 公司 gōngsī yuǎn Do you live far from your company

Lesson 8 ràng xiǎng xiǎng zài 告诉 gàosu Let me think about it, and I’ll tell you later

Lesson 9 tài duō méi zuò wán There were too many questions; I didn’t finish all of them

Lesson 10 Bié zhǎo le shǒu zài zhuō shǎng ne Stop looking for your cell phone; it’s on the desk

Lesson 11 Sān suì He is three years older than I am

Lesson 12 穿 chuān tài shǎo le You wear too little

Lesson 13 Mén kāi zhāo ne The door is open

Lesson 14 kān Guò 电影 diànyǐng Have you seen that movie

Lesson 15 新年 xīn nián jiù yāo dào le The New Year is coming


Are your conversations in Chinese suffering due to a lack of vocabulary? Do you have no idea how to order a meal in Beijing or book a room at a Shanghai hotel?

If your answer to any of the previous questions was ‘Yes’, then this book is for you!

If there’s even been something tougher than learning the grammar rules of a new language, it’s finding the way to speak with other natives in that tongue.

Any student knows this – we can try our best at practicing, but you always want to avoid making embarrassing mistakes or not getting your message through correctly.

Until now.

We have compiled OVER ONE HUNDRED conversational Chinese stories for beginners along with their translations, allowing new Chinese speakers to possess the necessary tools to begin studying how to set a meeting, rent a car or tell a doctor that they don’t feel well. We’re not wasting time here with conversations that don’t go anywhere: if you want to know how to solve real-life problems (while learning a ton of Chinese along the way), this book is for you!

How Conversational Chinese Dialogues works:

  • Each new chapter will have a fresh, new story between two people who wish to solve a common, day-to-day issue that you will surely encounter in real life.
  • A Chinese (Mandarin) version of the conversation will take place first, followed by an incredibly useful Hanyu Pinyin romanization. This system allows you to fully identify the correct pronunciation of Chinese characters, which are typically tough for non-Chinese speakers to read!
  • Accurate English translations follow each Chinese conversation, providing you with the opportunity to understand everything that has been said.
  • A helpful introduction and conclusion that will offer you important strategies, tips and tricks to allow you to get the most out of this learning material.

The best Chinese Grammar Textbook & Workbook Pack you can find. Very straightforward and useful.

Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar provides an innovative reference guide to Mandarin Chinese, combining traditional and function-based grammar in a single volume.

The book is divided into two parts. Part A covers traditional grammatical categories such as phrase order, nouns, verbs and specifiers. Part B is carefully organized around language functions and notions such as:


  • Communication strategies
  • Making comparisons
  • Giving and seeking information
  • Expressing apologies, regrets and sympathies

The two parts of the Grammar are closely linked by extensive cross-references, providing a grammatical and functional perspective on many patterns. All grammar points and functions are richly illustrated with examples, with a strong focus on contemporary usage.

Main features of the book include:


  • Examples given in simplified characters, traditional characters and romanization (pinyin)
  • Clear explanations and accessible descriptions
  • Particular attention to areas of particular difficulty for learners of Mandarin Chinese

Implementing feedback from users of the first edition of the Grammar, this second edition has been revised throughout to offer expanded explanations, examples, cross-referencing, and indexing and brand new chapters on aspect, resultative verbs, directional verbs and “ba” sentences.

This is the ideal reference grammar for learners of Mandarin Chinese at all levels, from elementary to advanced. No prior knowledge of grammatical terminology is assumed, and a glossary of grammatical terms is provided. This Grammar is accompanied by the Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar Workbook (978-0-415-83488-9; available for separate purchase), which features related exercises and activities.

A systematic overview of Mandarin grammar, oriented toward self-study, English-speaking students.

Through explanations of common mistakes learners make, useful example sentences and exercises with an answer key, this book provides a detailed introduction to the unique grammar structures of the Mandarin language.

Ideal for any student who is interested in taking their skills to the next level, this book makes the difficult task of perfecting grammar efficient, interesting and rewarding. Essential Mandarin Chinese Grammar is a perfect tool to help you form correct and natural-sounding sentences, and determine how to best use the grammar you need for reading or writing Mandarin.

Each example and exercise is written in both pinyin and Simplified Chinese Characters to accommodate learners with varying levels of character literacy, including those who have learned only to speak but not read.

When it comes to learning from your mistakes, this is arguably one of the best Chinese grammar books you can get. 

Rather than provide accurate examples, the book highlights the most common Mandarin grammar mistakes that learners make and corrects them. Before that, it provides detailed information on the grammar structure in question to give you a fairly solid understanding of the particular topic. There are also exercises at the end of each chapter.

Because of the unique way that this book presents examples, it makes learning grammar efficient, practical, and memorable. By the end of it all, you’ll be able to speak almost with native-level fluency with minimal grammatical errors! 

What we like about this book:

  • Uses meaningful examples that highlight common mistakes
  • Provides decent exercises and explanations
  • Focuses on natural-sounding speech patterns

This book is your route to mastering your first 500 Chinese words!

Learn with full-sentence examples, accompanied by Simplified Chinese characters, Pinyin pronunciation aid, and English definitions and complete translations. Not only that, but it comes with FREE AUDIO and a dedicated chapter to help say ANY number from Zero to Billions in Chinese with ease.

With this book by your side, you will be well on your way to effective communication in Chinese!

Learn and enjoy with:

  • Offers online bonus content that includes instructional videos, downloadable flashcards, and printable writing pages
  • Shows you how to write 100 Chinese characters
  • Provides instruction for beginners, students, and lifelong learners
  • Gives you helpful tips on how to memorize characters
  • Full list of vocabulary required for New HSK Levels 1-3
  • Simplified Chinese characters
  • Pinyin pronunciation aid and English definition for every word
  • Full-sentence examples with Pinyin and English translation
  • Exclusive Chinese learning tips
  • FREE downloadable audio, recorded by native speakers

This book will serve as your best friend in this exciting Chinese learning adventure.

Be bold, dream big, and believe in yourself!

A complete and easy-to-use guide for reading and writing Chinese characters.

Learning written Chinese is an essential part of mastering the Chinese language. Used as a standard by students and teachers learning to read Chinese and write Chinese for more than three decades, the bestselling Reading & Writing Chinese has been thoroughly revised and updated. Reading & Writing Chinese places at your fingertips the essential 1,725 Chinese characters’ current definitions, derivations, pronunciations, and examples of correct usage by utilizing cleverly condensed grids. This guide also focuses on Pinyin, which is the official system to transcribe Hanzi, Chinese characters, into Latin script, now universally used in mainland China and Singapore. Traditional characters (still used in Taiwan and Hong Kong) are also included, making this a complete reference.

Newly updated and revised, these characters are the ones officially prescribed by the Chinese government for the internationally recognized test of proficiency in Chinese, the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK). The student’s ability to read and write Chinese are reinforced throughout the text.

Key features of this newly-expanded edition include:

  • The 1,725 most frequently used characters in both Simplified and Traditional forms.
  • All 2,633 characters and 5,000+ compounds required for the HSK Exam.
  • Standard Hanyu Pinyin romanizations.
  • More mnemonic phrases and etymologies to help you remember the characters.
  • An extensive introduction, alphabetical index, and index according to stroke count and stroke order.
  • Completely updated/expanded English definitions.
  • Convenient quick-reference tables of radicals.
  • Updated and revised compounds, plus 25% more vocabulary now offered.
  • Codes to assist those who are preparing for the AP exam or the HSK exam.
A Boy and his Dragon

Once upon a time, a Little Boy was living in a village near the woods. One day, a Dragon came out of the cave secluded in the middle of the forest and began to relentlessly follow the Little Boy, always breathing on the back of his neck, burning the young boy at his slightest misstep.

The child received refuge in an old Temple where there were no mirrors allowed, and it was forbidden to speak of life before entering the sanctum. Ancient books, hidden rooms with unimaginable treasures and beauty beyond comprehension, became part of the boy’s new life.

Time went by until, one day, the now old young boy accidentally glimpses his own reflection in a pond. The Dragon smiled back.

Come for Knowledge. Stay for Wisdom.

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