It’s so easy to look back on things which happened in the past, on decisions you have made…, and wish you could have had better foresight. Unfortunately, no-one can predict the future as, if they could, we’d all be millionaires! But reality means that we all make decisions we’d like to change—both business wise and personal. Not to worry, we all make mistakes! So learn how to talk about them in Mandarin Chinese…

In this Podcast, you will learn:

(i) To talk about some decisions you made in the past you wish you hadn’t

(ii) How to discuss some of your main regrets


Two colleagues talk about their regrets:


(Zài jiē shàng)

(on the street)


A: Nǐ zhī dào me, wǒ xiàn zài tè hòu huǐ dāng chū méi bǎ gǔ piào dōu mài le!

You know what I really regret is that I didn’t sell all my stocks earlier.


B: A duì, xiàn zài gǔ piào diē de zhè me lì hài.

Ah right, now stocks have fallen so much.


A: Āi, zhēn shi shī suàn, shī suàn a!

I really miscalculated.


B: Nǐ zhī dào wǒ tè hòu huǐ shén me me?

Do you know what I really regret?


A: Shén me?



B: Wǒ hòu huǐ, Běi Jīng fáng jià pián yí de shí hòu, wǒ méi zǎo diǎn zài Běi Jīng mǎi jǐ tào fáng. Wǒ zhēn méi xiǎng dào xiàn zài fáng jià zhǎng chéng zhè yàng!

I regret that I did not buy a few apartments when the price was low in Beijing in the early days. I didn’t expect housing price to increase so much.

Chinese words and phrases mentioned in this Podcast:



当初:in the first place, earlier in time, in the very beginning




股市大跌:stock market crash

厉害:serious damage, a big crash

失算:miscalculate, misjudge

房价:housing price(s)

便宜:lower, cheaper


买几套房:buy a few apartments

没想到:did not expect

涨成这样:increase so much

Cultural/Grammar note:

When you would like to express ‘regret’, you could use the following sentence structure:

Subject +后悔+ a time in the past + the thing you did that you regret



Tā hòu huǐ yī nián qián hé nǚ péng yǒu fēn shǒu.

He regrets that he broke up with his girlfriend a year ago.

If you want to express ‘I should have done something’ or ‘I should not have done something’ in Chinese, you can use the following sentence structure:


wǒ dāng chū yīng gāi/ bù yīng gāi…



Wǒ dāng chū bù yīng gāi hé tā fēn shǒu.

I shouldn’t have broken up with her.


Jīn tiān zǎo shàng nǐ yīng gāi hé wǒ mén yī qǐ lái/ nǐ jīn tiān zǎo shàng yīng gāi hé wǒ mén yī qǐ lái.

You should have come with us this morning.


Wǒ bù yīng gāi mǎi nà tiáo qún zi.

I shouldn’t have bought that dress.

Mandarin Chinese learning resources we recommend:

round-italki-logo-3d-01Using 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 SchoolKeats 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.


Yes! I’d like to learn Mandarin Chinese more effectively

Narrated by Song Liu

Our Podcast narrator, is a native Chinese speaker and is originally from Beijing, China and is keen to help you get ahead with learning. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a Master of Arts in Communication Studies. Song also hosted a Mandarin live call-in news and music radio show in the Bay Area.

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