In today's video lesson we’ll learn how to use the 要……了 Structure to say "it''s almost..." in Chinese and the 都……了 Structure to say "it's already..." in Chinese.
要(yào) is a very useful word in Chinese. We've already learned three usages before and in today's lesson we'll learn the fourth one. Here's a quick summary:
1. 要 as a Modal Verb, suggesting having the plan or intention to do something.
2. 要 as a Modal Verb, suggesting, should do something.
3. 要 as a Verb, suggesting to want something, to want to own something.
4. NEW 要 as a Modal Verb, suggesting (1) soon will or (2) soon to be going to
The fourth usage of 要 is what we will discuss in today's lesson - the 要……了 Structure. When the Modal Verb 要 suggests the meaning of "soon will...", it is usually used with Modal Particle 了 (Compare with Dynamic / Aspect Particle 了 here) at the end of the sentence as well, forming the 要……了 Structure.
In sentences with the 要……了 structure, the Subject is usually omitted because it is already implied by the context. (Review Grammar: Zero-Subject Sentences 无主句 Wúzhǔjù)
In some context, the 要……了 Structure can be translated as "it's almost..." in Chinese.
The 要……了 Structure can usually be used with the word 快(kuài, fast; quickly) as well, like this:
Generally 快要……了 and 要……了 has the same meaning, only 快要……了 might sound a little bit sooner.
We've learned 都(dōu) meaning "both/all" before. However, in the 都……了 Structure, the Adverb 都 suggests “already”, and is used together with Modal Particle 了 at the end of the sentences.
Also when the Subject is implied, it can be omitted as well.