The Mandarin word for "friend" or "friends" is péngyou. It is made up of two characters: 朋 (péng) and 友 (yǒu), both of which mean “friend” and can be combined with other characters to express the many aspects of friendship.

Tā shì wǒ de hǎo péngyou.
He is my good friend.

Nǐ yǒu méiyǒu nán péngyou?
Do you have a boyfriend?
This word can also be used to refer to children in the word 小朋友, which literally means "small friends", but means "children".

It is less formal and not as common as the basic word 孩子, which can be used in almost any situation and is common in all regions.