Career Magazine

129: How to Talk About Your School Or School Days in Mandarin Chinese

By Learnmandarinnow

Our school days are important and memorable times of our lives; days we often look back on with great affection. When you think back, what do you remember? What stands out in your mind?

In this Podcast, you will learn:

(i) To talk about events in the past when you were at school or university

(ii) How to recall some of things you may have done or liked when you were younger


Two people are remembering their school years:


(zài jiē shàng)

(on the street)

A: 高考刚结束,你看街上这些高中生,都好开心好轻松的样子。

Gāo kǎo gāng jié shù, nǐ kàn jiē shàng zhè xiē gāo zhōng shēng, dōu hǎo kāi xīn hǎo qīng sōng de yàng zǐ.

The university entrance exams have just finished. Look at those secondary school students on the street, they all look so happy and relaxed.

B: 是啊!哎,你高中时候什么样儿啊?

Shì ā! Ài, nǐ gāo zhōng shí hòu shén me yàng er ā?

Yeah! Hey, what were you like in secondary school?

A: 哈哈,我高中时学习可是班里数一数二的,但是体育不太好。你呢?

Hā hā, wǒ gāo zhōng shí xué xí kě shì bān lǐ shǔ yī shǔ èr de, dàn shì tǐ yù bù tài hǎo. Nǐ ne?

Haha, I was one of the best students in class in secondary school, but my PE was not great. How about you?

B: 我学习只能算是中等生吧,但我很爱参加学校的各种活动。

Wǒ xué xí zhǐ néng suàn shì zhōng děng shēng ba, dàn wǒ hěn ài cān jiā xué xiào de gè zhǒng huó dòng.

I was just average, but I loved to participate in all kinds of school activities.

Chinese words and phrases mentioned in this Podcast:

高考:the university entrance exam

刚结束:have just finished

街上:on the street

高中生:secondary school student

好(轻松):very (relaxed)




高中:secondary school

学习:study/academic performance

班里:in class

体育:PE class


中等生:a student of average academic achievement

参加:take part in/participate in

各种:all kinds of


Cultural/Grammar notes:

‘数一数二’ is an idiom in Chinese which means if somebody or something is not in first place, they/it are/is in second place.

‘可是’ in this conversation does not mean ‘but’, rather it is an auxiliary word expressing emphatic tone.

Mandarin Chinese learning resources we recommend: 

Keats Chinese School
Keats Chinese School, which was founded in 2004, is one of the top Mandarin Chinese language schools in China, offering both one-on-one immersion Mandarin courses and small group Chinese classes. Located in Kunming, Keats develops personalised exercises and materials for students to meet their learning goals and requirements and can arrange a student visa for its 16 week course.

Using Italki, a unique system of learning Mandarin Chinese where you interact with real teachers, is widely recognised as an effective way to learn a new language! You’ll make more progress and learn how native Chinese speakers really speak. Plus, Italki is more affordable than offline tutors, offline schools and software, and is convenient to use at your own pace and place!

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