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Level 2 Lesson 20.1 – Test, I’ve Prepared For A Long Time

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Time Words 以前 and 以后 |  Topic-Comment Sentences in Chinese 主题评论句

In today's video lesson we’ll learn about Time Words 以前 and 以后 and Topic-Comment Sentences in Chinese - 主题评论句. We'll also learn the second way to say to do something for how many times - Times of Action and to do something for how long - Duration of Actions.

  • Time Words 以前 and 以后
  • Topic-Comment Sentences in Chinese 主题评论句 (I). See also (II).
  • To do something for how many times - Times of Action (II). See also (I) and (III).
  • To do something for how long - Duration of Actions (II). See also (I).

VOCABULARY


EXPRESSIONS


GRAMMAR


Grammar 1: Time Words 以前 and 以后 · HSK 3

以前 and 以后 are both Time Words, which means they are both Nouns.  以前 refers to "before the time point of 'now'”, and 以后 refers to "after the time point of 'now'”.

Both 以前 and 以后 can be used in three different ways:

  • by themselves
  • attached after a phrase
  • attached after a short sentence

(1) 以前 and 以后 used by themselves

For example,

  • wǒ yǐhòu xiǎng kǎo HSK kǎoshì
    我以后想考HSK考试。
    (In the) future I want to take (the) HSK test.
  • wǒ yǐqián zài fànguǎn sòng wàimài
    我以前在饭馆送外卖。
    (In the) past I delivered delivery food at (a) restaurant.

(2) 以前 and 以后 used attached after a phrase

For example,

  • mǎi diànnǎo yǐqián wǒ měitiān dōu kàn bàozhǐ
    买电脑以前我每天都看报纸。
    Before buying (a) computer I all (of) every day read newspaper.
  • zuò le zhèxiē tí yǐhòu wǒ kěyǐ kàn diànshì ma
    做了这些题以后我可以看电视吗?
    Can I watch TV after doing these questions?

 

(3) 以前 and 以后 used attached after a short sentence

For example,

  • wǒ rènshi tā yǐqián bù zhīdào tā shì nǐ péngyou
    我认识他以前不知道他是你朋友。
    I(,) before knowing him(,) (did) not know (that) he is your friend.
  • wǒ zhǔnbèi kǎoshì yǐhòu juéde nàxiē tí dōu hěn jiǎndān
    我准备考试以后觉得那些题都很简单。
    I(,) after preparing (for) the test(,) felt (that) those questions (are) all very easy.

 

Grammar 2: Topic-Comment Sentences in Chinese 主题评论句 · HSK 2

In Topic-Comment Sentences in Chinese 主题评论句 (zhǔtí pínglùn jù), a noun (Phrase) is put at the very beginning of the sentence, because it is the “Topic” that’s being discussed or talked about. And the rest will function as the “comment” about the Topic.

For example,

TOPIC COMMENT
kǎoshì chéngjì
考试成绩
test score
wǒ hái bù zhīdào
我还不知道
I still (do) not know
zhège wèntí
这个问题
this question
wǒ bùnéng huídá
我不能回答
I cannot answer
HSK kǎoshì
HSK考试
HSK test
nǐ zhǔnbèi le duōjiǔ
你准备了多久
how long (have) you prepared (for)
bàozhǐ
报纸
newspaper
nǐ gěi tā mǎi le ma
你给他买了吗
(did) you buy for him

 

Grammar 3: Times of Action (II) and Duration of Action (II) · HSK 2

Because we have Topic-Comment Sentences in Chinese 主题评论句, we can use this sentence structure to express Times of Action - to do something for how many times and Duration of Actions - to do something for how long.

 

(1) Times of Action (Topic Comment Sentences)

  • zhè bù diànyǐng wǒ kàn le sān cì le
    这部电影我看了三次了。
    This "bu" (of) movie(,) I watched (for) three times.
  • nà ge dìfang wǒ jīntiān qù le liǎng cì
    那个地方我今天去了两次。
    That place(,) I today went (for) two times.

 

(2) Duration of Action (Topic Comment Sentences)

  • zhèxiē tí wǒ zuò le sān shí fēnzhōng
    这些题我做了三十分钟。
    these questions(,) I did (for) 30 minutes.
  • zhè fèn bàozhǐ wǒ kàn le shí fēnzhōng
    这份报纸我看了十分钟。
    this copy (of) newspaper(,) I read (for) 10 minutes.
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