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Lesson 7 Phone Cards

Chinese Lover


1)正好 indicates a convenient coincidence


Are you going to the post office? What a coincidence! You can help me to mail a letter.


It's just so happened that I have time today. Let's go together.

2)怎么 How, used before a verb to make a question about how something is done


May I ask how toget to the Forbidden City?


Do you know how to get to the zoo fairly quickly?


Making Phone Calls in China

Making phone calls in China is much easier and cheaper than it used to be. At most hotels, you can dial directly from your room, although, as we saw in the dialogue, a deposit is often required. Sometimes you can simply have the front desk swipe your credit card as a deposit.

Local calls are usually 7 or 8 digits, depending on the city. Large cities like Beijing switched to 8 digit numbers several years ago. The largest cities have a 2 digit area code. 10 for Beijing, 21 for Shanghai. Smaller locations have 3 digit area codes. For example, Chengde to the north of Beijing is 314. To make a domestic long distance call, you usually dial 0, then the area code followed by the local number. For long distance calls, you can also buy phone cards that give you heavily discounted rates on long distance charges.

10 digit phone numbers are also very common in China, and they usually start in 1,3. These are for cell phones. The numbers are longer because most of these phones can be used while roaming anywher in China. Rather than have a separate area code, the area code is built into each cell phone number. Cell phones are extremely common in China. At least in the cities, it seems just about everybody has one, from high school students to retired people. Cell phones are not very expensive, so it makes sense to buy one if you are in China for more than just a few weeks. For shorter trips, you can even rent cell phones.

Substitution and Extention

1)正……呢 something is on going


We are right in the middle of climbing the Great Wall when it rained yesterday.

2)先……,然后…… first (something) , then (something else)


Let's go to the Summer Palace first, and then we will go to the Great Wall.

3)V+ V a repeated verb like this indicates a short period of time, or brings a softer tone to the sentence


Too tired, let's take a break.


Xuemei:We should give my cousin and uncle in Shanghai a call.

Huang:I was just thinking about that too.

Xuemei:I don’t know if there’s news about the luggage.

Huang:Just as well we could ask our cousin.

Xuemei:We can make local calls from the phone in our room.

Huang:(reads service directory)Dial zero first,then the phone number.

Xuemei:(dials)0-45687425,it’s ringing.

(Xuemei hands the phone to Huang)

Huang:Hello, it’s Huang Renhao.

cousin:Renhao,how are you guys?wher are you staying?

Huang:Everything’s fine,we’re staying at the Mingyue Hotel.

cousin:Mingyue Hotel,that’s not too far from our place. But there’s no news about the luggage.

Huang:No news yet.

cousin:I’d love to come see you tomorrow, are you free?

Huang:How does tomorrow afternoon sound?

cousin:Sure, that’s fine with me. That’s settled then.

Huang:Let’s have dinner together tomorrow night,bring Liu Yong with you. We haven’t seen each other for years.

cousin:Great,which room are you in?

Huang:Room 918,just call the switch then ask for extension 918. The hotel switchboard number is 96452626.

cousin:I’ve got it. See you Tomorrow.

Huang:Still no news on the luggage. My cousin is coming tomorrow.

Xuemei:That’s wonderful,we haven’t seen here in so many years.

Huang:Make a call to Shanghai.

Xuemei:You can’t make long distance calls from the phone in our room.

Huang:Let’s go down and ask.

(at Reception)

Huang:Hello. We’d like to call Shanghai. What’s the best way to do that?

Reception:You can apply the long distance call service. Then you can make long distance calls in your room.

Xuemei:Are there any other ways?

Reception:You can also buy a phone card that works on all these public phones.

Huang:How much does a phone card cost?

Reception:There are three types of cards that cost 30 Yuan, 50 Yuan or 100 Yuan each.

Huang:I’ll buy a 50 Yuan card.

Reception: OK. Here you are.

Xuemei:How do we make long distance calls to Shanghai?

Reception:Dial Shanghai’s area code first, it’s 021,then dial the number.

Huang:Thank you!

Reception: My pleasure.