A Tale of Two Countries in English  for Chinese Students

Lesson 1: The Geography

The Geography of U.S.

The United States, located in the central part of the North American Continent, is one of the largest countries of the world.  It borders on Canada in the north, and Mexico in the south.  In its east coast lies the Atlantic Ocean, in its west coast the Pacific Ocean, and in the south the Gulf of Mexico.

The U.S. consists of fifty States, Washington, D.C., its capital, and other territories.  When it declared independence in 1776, it had only 13 States, all in the east coast, such as New York and Virginia.  Other States were later "conquered" or bought from France, Mexico and Russia.  The 49th State to join the Union was Alaska, and the 50th Hawaii, both in 1959.

The Mississippi is the longest river in U.S., flowing in the Central Plains from north to south.  In the west are the Rocky Mountains, and in the east the Appalachian Mountains.  The highest mountain is Mt. McKinley in Alaska, 20,320 ft (6,198 m)
above sea level.  In the southwest, is the peninsula of Florida.

The largest city is New York City, with a population of seven million.  Other larger cities are: Chicago, Illinois;  Los Angeles and San Francisco, California; and Miami, Florida. 
[Written by Yoshi MIKAMI, 07/07/2004]

New Words

The Gulf of Mexico = 墨西哥湾             
Mt. McKinley = 麦 金利山
peninsula = 半岛
D.C. (District of Columbia) = 美国地区       
The Rocky Mountains = 落基山脉
The Appalachian Mountains = 阿巴拉契山脉


  1. Where is the United States located?
  2. How many States are there in U.S.?
  3. Which States were the last to join the Union?

The Geography of China

China, located in Far East, at the eastern end of the Asian Continent, is one of the largest countries of the world.  It borders on Russia and Mongolia in the north, and on Vietnam, India and other countries in the south.  In its eastern and southeastern sides lie the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea, the South China Sea, and the Pacific Ocean.

China consists of the four municipalities directly under the Central Government, 23 Provinces, 5 Autonomous Regions, and other areas.  The last area that was made a province is Hainan in the south (1988).  Hongkong (Xianggang) and Macao (Aomen) were returned to China in 1997 and 1999, respectively, now governed as the Special Administrative Regions.  The Province of Taiwan is now under the control of the government in  Taipei (

The Chang (Long) River, formerly called the Yangtze River, the Huang (Yellow) River and the Heilong (Black Dragon) River, called the Amur River in Russia,  are China's longest rivers, that all flow from west to east.  In the western part of China is the Xinjiang-Uigur Autonomous Region,
where the Gobi Desert is.  In the Tibet Autonomous Region, in the southwest, are the Himalayan Mountains, which include Mt. Everest, 8,854 meters (29,028 feet) above sea level, called Qomolanma (Zhumulanma) in Tibettan (Chinese), the world's highest mountain.  In the Yellow Sea, there are the Shandong and Liaodong Peninsulas.

Shanghai, with a population of over ten million people, is
the largest city in China.  Shanghai, Beijing, the capital, Tianjing, and Chongqing are the four municipalities directly under the Central Government.  Some other large cities are: Nanjing in Jiangsu Province, Guangzhou in Guangdong Province, and Shenyang in Liaoning Province.

 [Written by Yoshi MIKAMI, 07/07/2004, updated 07/08/2004]

New Words

Mt. Everest = Qomolanma = 珠穆朗玛峰                       
The Gobi Desert = 戈壁滩 (戈壁荒漠)    
The Jiang River (Yangtze River) = 长江 (杨子江)     


  1. Where is China located?
  2. What are China's three largest rivers?
  3. What is the largest city in China?

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Prepared by Yoshi MIKAMI on July 7, 2004.  Updated on July 14, 2004.