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nathanuk88

Past Tense

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nathanuk88

Hello!

I was wondering is there a past tense in chinese? how do you form it?

I would a appriciate your help!

Thanx!

Nathan :D

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shibo77

Hello!

Present

我吃苹果. Wo3 chi1 ping2 guo3.

I eat (the/an) apple. (English: Present)

I am eating (the/an) apple. (English: Present Progressive)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Past (Experienced) If one has committed an action before.

VERB + 过guo4

我吃过苹果. Wo3 chi1 guo4 ping2 guo3.

I ate (the/an) apple. (English: Past)

I have eaten (the/an) apple. (English: Present Perfect)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Perfect (Completed) If one has finished an action before.

VERB + 了le5

我吃了苹果. Wo3 chi1 le5 ping2 guo3.

I have eaten (the/an) apple. (English: Present Perfect)

I ate (the/an) apple. (English: Past)

I had eaten (the/an) apple. (English: Past Perfect)

我吃了苹果(又吃了香焦). Wo3 chi1 le5 ping2 guo3 (you4 chi1 le5 xiang1 jiao1).

(**see below)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Past Perfect (Experienced and Completed) If one has committed an action and finished that same action before another past action.

VERB + 过guo4 + 了le5

我吃过了苹果... Wo3 chi1 guo4 le5 ping2 guo3...

I had eaten (the/an) apple... (English: Past Perfect)

(This sentence is incomplete, there must be a following phrase denoting another past action.)

我吃过了苹果又吃了香焦. Wo3 chi1 guo4 le5 ping2 guo3 you4 chi1 le5 xiang1 jiao1.

I had eaten (the/an) apple, (before/then/and/also) I ate (the/a) banana.

(**see above)

This may be replaced by:

我吃了苹果又吃了香焦. Wo3 chi1 le5 ping2 guo3 you4 chi1 le5 xiang1 jiao1.

With the same meaning.

-Shibo :mrgreen:

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beirne

Chinese does not technically have a past tense. Verbs are not conjugated into past tense and there are not auxilliaries indicating the tense. Instead Chinese uses words like le, zai, and guo to indicate aspect, which indicates the state of an action. Past tense is inferred from the context. For example, a word like zuo2tian1 can be used in a sentence to indicate that something took place yesterday, therefore in the past.

The perfective -le indicates that an action is completed, although not everyone agrees with this explanation. Completed actions often take place in the past, so sentences with -le usually indicate a past action, but -le can be used to describe future completion as well. You cannot automatically put -le after a Chinese verb to make the past tense in the way you can put -ed at the end of an English verb. For example:

Ni3 zuo2tian2 tiao4wu3 tiao2 de hen3 hao3.

"You danced very well yesterday"

Ta1 yi3qian2 chang2chang2 lai2 kan4 wo3.

"He often came to see me in the past."

The sample senteces came from Lesson 27 of A Practical Chinese Grammar, my favorite Chinese Grammar book.

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SassybutSweet

Can you tell me where I might be able to get a copy of that book?! It seems very helpful!!! :help

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SassybutSweet

XIE XIE NI!!! :clap:clap:clap

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