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Lesson 055 Where Do You Study?

07-08-2010 15:30 BJT

Yajie: Da jia hao. Wo shi YJ. Welcome to Chinese Studio on China Radio International.
Cam: Ni men hao. Wo shi Cam. What do we have planned for today, Yajie?
Yajie: Well, we’ve been learning how to talk about jobs. 你在哪工作?Literally, where do you work? But when you meet a student without a job, what would you say to start the conversation?
Cam: That’s a good question.  Let’s find out in Key Words of the Day. 

Key Words of the Day
你在哪儿上学?Where do you study? 上学, go to school or study.  学生, student, University, 大学;Middle school, 中学;Primary school小学. All in today’s Chinese Studio.  

Cam: Hey Yajie, today’s topic is really timely. I am actually meeting with some university students next week to help them learn English.  Now I can practice my Chinese, too!  
Yajie: Good times. In Chinese, student is 学生.
Cam: 学生(xue2 sheng1), student. How about university student?
Yajie:大学学生 University student。University, 大学. 大, d-a, fourth falling tone. Basically it means ‘big’. And 大学学生 can also be shortened to just大学生
Cam: I see. 大学学生 (da xue xue sheng) and 大学生(da xue sheng) are the same. Both mean university student.


Yajie: 上学, go to school or study. 上, sh-ang, fourth tone. 上 means to go. And 学, as we mentioned just now, x-ue, second tone, which means school. 
Cam:上学, go to school. 你在哪儿上学 (ni3 zai4 nar3 shang4 xue2)? Where do you study? Ni3 means you, zai nar is at where, and shang xue is study.  Where do you study?
Yajie: 我在北京大学上学。I study at Peking University. Cam, you know, Peking University, 北京大学, is one of the most prestigious universities in China.
Cam: Yes, I’ve heard of it. (wo zai Beijing da xue shang xue).


Cam: Yajie, how do you say middle school and primary school in Chinese?
Yajie: Middle school. 中学.中, zh-ong, first tone, means ‘middle’. And primary school is 小学 (xiao).
Cam: I know 小 means ‘little or small’.
Yajie: Right. 小学, primary school.
Cam: It’s funny. 小学, primary school, literally means ‘small school’. 中学,middle school. And 大学, university, ‘big school’。Easy to remember.


Cam:小张在哪儿上学(xiao3 zhang1 zai4 nar3 shang4 xue2)? Where does Xiao Zhang study?
Yajie: 她在中学上学 (ta1 zai4 zhong1 xue2 shang4 xue2)。She is studying at the middle school. So she is a middle school student. 中学生.
Cam: 中学生(zhong1 xue2 sheng1), a middle school student。So 小学生(xiao3 xue2 sheng1) must be a primary school student。
Yajie: Right. For example, He is a primary school student. 他是小学生。他在小学上学 (ta1 zai4 xiao3 xue2 shang4 xue2)。He’s studying at the primary school.

Key Words Reminder:
你在哪儿上学?Where do you study? 上学, go to school or study.  学生, student, University, 大学;Middle school, 中学;Primary school小学

Yajie: Now it’s time for the daily quiz. What is the meaning of 我在北京大学上学。Send us your answer to
Cam: And drop us a line anytime.  Email us at or visit us at and click “Learn Chinese”.
Yajie: Class is over. Don’t forget to join us again same time tomorrow. I’m YJ, 再见。
Cam: I’m Cam, ming tian jian. 

Editor:Shi Taoyang |Source: CRI

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