Hot on Weibo: Use One Phrase To Prove You’ve Been to School

On Feb 28, 楸楸 (qiū qiū) sent out a simple tweet.

It went viral with over 12,700 retweets.

It continues to be a hot topic (话题 – huà tí) on Weibo (#一句话证明你上过学#).

The tweet?


“yòng yī jù huà zhèng míng nǐ shàng guò xué”

“Use One Phrase To Prove You’ve Been to School”

In case you didn’t catch all that, here’s a breakdown of the words:

用 (yòng): to use

一 (yī): one

句 (jù): measure word meaning phrase or sentence

话 (huà): words

证明 (zhèng míng): to prove or demonstrate

你 (nǐ): you

上过学 (shàng guò xué): to have gone to school before (上学 means to attend school, while 过 indicates that something has happened in the past)

The post also managed to attract over 2,000 comments. Here are some of the more notable ones.

1) “I Forgot to Bring My Homework”


“wǒ zuò yè wàng dài le “

我 (wǒ): I; me.

作业 (zuò yè): homework; school assignment

忘 (wàng): 不记得, 遗漏. 英: forget; neglect; overlook.

带 (dài): 随身拿着. 英: take; bring; carry.

了 (le): 用在动词或形容词后, 表示完成.

Explanation: Chinese students forget their homework too.

2) “Classmate, can you please copy a bit faster”


“tóng xué, má fan nǐ chāo kuài diǎn”

同学 (tóng xué): classmate

麻烦 (má fan): means “may I trouble you to…”

抄 (chāo): to copy

快点 (kuài diǎn): faster

Explanation: In high school and college, it’s common to copy homework. Usually the way it goes is one person does the homework, and many people copy it. The people copying the homework line up and the people in the back will urge the people in front to copy faster.

A side effect of this: Only a few versions of the homework circulate, and sometimes many people get problems wrong in exactly the same way.

3) “When the teacher comes give me a shout”


“lǎo shī lái le jiào wǒ yī shēng”

老师 (lǎo shī): teacher

来 (lái): to arrive

了(le): indicates the situation after the teacher has arrived

叫 (jiào): to call or shout

一声 (yī shēng): literally “one voice” — basically functions here as a measure word for a shout

Explanation: In addition to studying in class, some Chinese students also play with their phones, read comic books, and sleep. So they need their neighbors to warn them when the teacher comes nearby.

4) “Student #18 please stand up and answer this question”


“xué hào shì 18 hào de tóng xué qǐ lái huí dá yí xià zhè gè wèn tí”

学号 (xué hào): student number

是 (shì): to be or “is”

起来 (qǐ lái): to get up or stand up

回答 (huí dá): to answer

一下 (yí xià): “for a bit”

这(zhè): this

个(gè): measure word meaning “one of something” here

问题 (wèn tí): question

Explanation: In colleges it’s common to use numbers because professors can’t keep track of all the students’ names.

5) “Next semester I’m definitely going to study hard”

下学期我一定要好好学习 “

“xià xué qī wǒ yí dìng yào hǎo hǎo xué xí “

下 (xià): next.

学期 (xué qī): semester

我 (wǒ): I

一定 (yí dìng): certainly, definitely

要 (yào): will

好好 (hǎo hǎo): diligently

学习 (xué xí): to study

Explanation: Hard to resist Happy Farms. 

Since the popularity of this tweet, there have been a lot of other similar series, such as “One Phrase to Prove You’ve Been to Hangzhou” (一句话证明你来过杭州) or “One Phrase to Prove You’ve Been Abroad” (一句话证明你出过国). These kinds of tweets even have their own name: “一句话体” (One Phrase Style – yī jù huà tǐ).

Let us know if you like this post and we can cover other similar 一句话体!

And don’t forget to hop on over to FluentU and see some of these in action!

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