The Chinese word 先 can be translated to “first” or “prior” in English. It is commonly used to indicate priority or precedence in a sequence of events or actions. For example, one might say “先吃饭再看电影”, which means “eat first, then watch the movie”. It can also be used as a polite honorific title when addressing someone older or of higher status, such as “先生” which means “mister” or “sir”.
Adverb: early, former, first, before
|我们先去吃饭再去看电影||wǒmen xiān qù chīfàn zài qù kàn diànyǐng||Let’s eat first before we go watch the movie|
|你先去等着，我马上就来||nǐ xiān qù děngzhe, wǒ mǎshàng jiù lái||You go wait first, I’ll be right there|
|先别着急，慢慢来||xiān bié zhāojí, màn màn lái||Don’t rush first, take it slow|
|我先问问老板再给你答复||wǒ xiān wèn wèn lǎobǎn zài gěi nǐ dáfù||Let me ask the boss first before I give you an answer|
|你先写完作业再玩电脑游戏||nǐ xiān xiě wán zuòyè zài wán diànnǎo yóuxì||Finish your homework first before you play computer games|
|我们先去逛逛商场，看看有什么好东西||wǒmen xiān qù guàng guàng shāngchǎng, kàn kàn yǒu shénme hǎo dōngxī||Let’s go window shopping first and see if there’s anything good|
|你先别打扰我，我正在工作||nǐ xiān bié dǎrǎo wǒ, wǒ zhèngzài gōngzuò||Don’t disturb me first, I’m working|
先 is part of HSK Level 3 in HSK 2.0. In the newer HSK 3.0 it is part of HSK Level 1.