Career Magazine

162: Discussing What Sport Should Do in Mandarin Chinese

By Learnmandarinnow

Now and then, most people like to play sports—helps them get some exercise and keep fit! Of course, there are team sports and individual sports but it’s not always practical just to play certain sports if there are not enough people available! Learn how to choose a sport to play with your friends…

In this Podcast, you will learn:

(i) To suggest playing some sports

(ii) How to discuss which sport to play and mention some pros and cons


Two friends plan to play a sport:


(zài jiē shàng)

(on the street)


Dà wěi, zán men hǎo jiǔ dōu méi tī qiú le.

Da Wei, we haven’t played soccer for a long time.


Shì a. Wǒ jiǎo dōu shēng le.

Yes, I’m a little rusty already.


Wǒ yě shì. Guān jiàn shì dā jiā dōu máng, zǒng yuē bù dào rén.

Me, too. The thing is that everyone is busy, and you can’t always find people to play together.


Yào bù zán liǎ hái shì dǎ wǎng qiú qù ba.

How about we play tennis?


Hǎo ba, bù guò, zhè cì wǒ kě bù huì ràng zhe nǐ lou!

Okay, but this time I will play with you for real!

Chinese words and phrases mentioned in this Podcast:


踢球:play soccer


脚都生了:my feet are rusty

生:short for ‘生疏’, which means you have not done something for a long time and you get rusty

关键:the key is that/ the thing is that


要不……还是:what about

打网球:play tennis

让着你:let you win

Cultural/Grammar note:

In the conversation, because playing soccer is associated with ‘feet’, we say ‘脚生了’ to express the fact that we have not played it for a long time and have become rusty. ‘生了’ is a very common expression in Chinese. E.g. 我好久都没有弹钢琴了,手都生了。 (wǒ hǎo jiǔ dōu méi yǒu tán gāng qín le, shǒu dōu shēng le.) (I have not played the piano for a long time, and have become rusty.)

‘还是’ is a very common and useful expression in Chinese daily conversation, which means ‘how about’ doing something or ‘had better’ do something.

Mandarin Chinese learning resources we recommend: 

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!

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.

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