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Lesson 35 Second-hand Market

Chinese Lover







雪梅:20年也好,200年也好,好看就行,我想买回去摆在客厅里 。






















Xue Mei: Have you been to this place before?

Cousin: This is the first time. An old school friend told me about it.

Xue Mei: Actually, this secondhand market is quite big.

Cousin: My school friend comes here every once in a while.

Xue Mei: Is that a vase?

Cousin: It looks new, 20 years old at the most.

Xue Mei: 20 years,200 years. As long as it looks good,I want to buy it and put it in my living room.

Cousin: We can come back and buy it later, otherwise we’d have to carry it. It’s pretty heavy.

Cousin: What’s this cabinet made of?

Vendor: Red wood,real red wood. It’s been handed down in the family. It’s at least four or five hundred years old.

Cousin: Four or five hundred years old? Qing dynasty?

Vendor: Ming dynasty. Look at the craftsmanship. only furniture from the Ming dynasty is this well made.

Cousin: How much will you part with it for?

Vendor: One hundred thousand.

Xue Mei: That’s too expensive.

Vendor: It’s a family heirloom. We could never bear to sell it before.

Cousin: We’ll think about it.

Vendor: Sure. The price is still negotiable.

Xue Mei: I think it’s better to buy some little things. The bigger items are too expensive,plus they’ re hard to transport home.

Cousin: You think smaller things cost less? Some are very pricey, too.

Xue Mei: I know. Didn’t you buy a super expensive pen holder for me last time? We got so excited for nothing. It turned out to be a fake antique.

Cousin: Don’t bring that up again. You mustn’t keep rubbing salt into my wounds.

Xue Mei: Have a look over there. It’s all small items over there.

Cousin: One of the fun things about coming here is treasure hunting. You get something cheaply,go home and have it authenticated, and find it’s a real antique.

Xue Mei: But it’s not easy. You need an expert’s eye.

Cousin: Quick, look! There seems to be someone selling pen-holders.

Xue Mei: Pen holders again?


1)舍不得 to be unable to bring oneself to do something


I've never been able to bring myself to wear this piece of clothing.


He can't bear to leave his Chinese friends.

Sign Posts

Antique Markets

When you come to China, you have to check out the antique markets. But the most important thing to remember is buyer bewares. Many of the antiques you see may be reproductions. Of course, sometimes there is nothing wrong with buying a reproduction. For example, the real terracotta warrior statues are priceless, and literally are not for sale at any price. Other authentic antiques would not only be incredibly expensive, but in many cases are illegal to buy and sell, and restricted from taking out of the country.

As a general rule, any authentic antique over 100 years old can not be taken out of the country unless it has an official seal of approval from the national government department responsible for cultural artifacts. 古董 are antiques of any kind, 文物 are cultural relics and are protected by law.

But still, there are lots of treasures to be found at an antiques market. For example, you will find many items from the early years of the People's Republic of China, like statues and badges of Chairman Mao. There are also many items from pre-liberation times, 1911 to 1949, like the stamps and currency used during the Republic of China years or even from the time of Yuan Shikai, who tried to establish a new imperial dynasty. These coins are called 袁大头 because they show a large bust of Yuan Shikai. You can also find traditional items like snuff bottles 鼻烟壶. These markets will often have many modern productions of Chinese arts and crafts, like calligraphy 书法 and traditional Chinese painting 国画. These antique markets are one of the best places to pick up souveniers of your China trip.

Substitution and Extension

1)A也好,B也好,…… no matter A or B, something is true


No matter whether it's windy or whether it's raining, he persists with running everyday.



You could only have authentic Peking duck if you come to Beijing.

3)白+V to show that the actions fail


He's not at home. It appears that we've come in vain.