许个愿 (Make a wish)

At a colleague’s birthday party on the weekend, the birthday girl was ready to blow out the candles. Just before that, one of her friends said:

许个愿.
Xǔge yuàn.
Make a wish.

许 literally means ‘to allow, ‘to permit’; 愿 means ‘wish,’ or ‘desire.’

Someone else chimed in and said:

假如你有三个愿, 你许什么?
If you had three wishes, what would they be?

The birthday girl closed her eyes and for a few seconds the entire room was silent. She blew out the candles and then everyone sang Happy Birthday:

祝你生日快乐 ,祝你生日快乐...

One of the birthday girl’s colleagues was curious to know what she wished for:

你刚才许什么?
What wish did you make just now?/What did you wish for just now?

The birthday girl replied:

不告诉你, 是保密(bǎomì)

I'm not telling you. It’s a secret.

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