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Level 2 Lesson 24.1 – Soon Will… / Almost… / Already…

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The 要……了 Structure | The 都……了 Structure

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.

VOCABULARY


GRAMMAR


Grammar 1: The 要……了 Structure · HSK 2

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.

Subject + + Predicate + 了

For example,

  • wǒ yào jiéhūn le
    我要结婚了。
    I soon will get married.
  • Lǎo Zhōng yào hé tā qīzi líhūn le
    老钟要和他妻子离婚了。
    Old Zhong soon will get divorced with his wife.

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)

(Subject)+ Predicate + 了

For example,

  • yào xiàyǔ le
    要下雨了。
    (It) is going to rain soon.
  • yào shí'èr yuè le
    要十二月了。
    (It) is going to be December soon.

 

In some context, the 要……了 Structure can be translated as "it's almost..." in Chinese.

For example,

  • zhè bù diànyǐng yào wán le
    这部电影要完了。
    This "bu" (of) movie "soon will" end.
    This "bu" of movie is almost over.
  • yào shí yuè le
    要十月了。
    (It) "soon will" (be) be October.
    (It) is almost October.

 

Grammar 2: The 快要……了 Structure · HSK 2

The 要……了 Structure can usually be used with the word 快(kuài, fast; quickly) as well, like this:

(Subject +)+ Predicate + 

Generally 快要……了 and 要……了 has the same meaning, only 快要……了 might sound a little bit sooner.

For example,

  • jīnglǐ kuài yào hé zhàngfu líhūn le
    经理快要和丈夫离婚了。
    (The) manager soon will get divorced with (her) husband.
  • yīnwèi xiǎng māma,nà ge háizi kuài yào kū le
    因为想妈妈,那个孩子快要哭了。
    Because of missing (their mom), that kid is almost crying.
  • nǐ xiànzài zhǎng de zhēn shuài!wǒ kuài yào bú rènshi nǐ le!
    你现在长得真帅!我快要不认识你了!
    You look really handsome now! I almost (do) not recognize you!

 

Grammar 3: The 都……了 Structure - "It's Already..." in Chinese · HSK 2

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.

Subject + 都+ Predicate + 了

For example,

  • Xiǎo Zhāng dōu tán liàn'ài le
    小张都谈恋爱了。
    Little Zhang is already in a romantic relationship.
  • wǒ dōu gěi tā xiě le sì fēng xìn le, tā hái méi huí wǒ
    我都给他写了四封信了,他还没回我。
    I already wrote four "feng" (of) letters to him, he (has) not yet reply me.

Also when the Subject is implied, it can be omitted as well.

(Subject) 都+ Predicate + 了

For example,

  • dōu shíyī diǎn le
    都十一点了。
    (It) (is) already 11 o'clock.
  • dōu zǒu le shí nián le, nǐ hái zài děng shénme
    都走了十年了,你还在等什么?
    (The person) (has) already gone (for) 10 years, what are you still waiting (for)?
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