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RicardoNicho

Adverb 才

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RicardoNicho

Hi!

 

I have some doubts about this character. I know it suggests lateness or tardiness.

 

If i say for example: 我昨天五点才回家。Yesterday I didn't go home until 5 pm. It does concretely say that I arrived at 5 pm? Or just that at 5 pm, i was not at home (and I don't know what time it was when I arrived)

 

Another example:

我请她六点吃饭,他六点半才来。..... He didn't come till 6:30. But it gives certain that she has arrived at 6.30? Or it just says something like : The last time I had checked the time, it was 6:30 pm, and she wasn't there yet.

 

Thanks :)

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abcdefg

我昨天五点才回家。

 

This indicates to me that the speaker thought he would be home earlier than 5. At 5 he finally got home.

 

我请她六点吃饭,他六点半才来。

 

At 6, she finally arrived.

 

(I am not a grammarian.)

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edelweis

我昨天五点才回家。

"Yesterday I didn't come home until 5. "

This means that I reached home at or maybe around 5.

However, the exact hour does not matter very much.

What is important is that usually I come home earlier, for instance at 4.

But yesterday I arrived later than expected.

 

 

我请六点吃饭,六点半才来。

Same thing: the expectation was that he would come at 6.

The exact hour he arrived is not very important: maybe it was 6:25 or 6:35.

What is important is that he arrived later than expected.

 

The opposite is which you can use in the same type of sentence, if something happened earlier than expected.

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RicardoNicho

Thank you for the answers. So that's not important the exact time. It is just to give an idea of lateness.

....六点半才来It was 6:30 and he wasn't there yet, maybe he arrived at 6:45pm, maybe at 7:00pm, or maybe he didn't arrive at all.

I think i got it now.

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abcdefg
It was 6:30 and he wasn't there yet, maybe he arrived at 6:45pm, maybe at 7:00pm, or maybe he didn't arrive at all.

 

No. He did arrive, but later than expected, later than planned, later than hoped, later than agreed, etc.

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edelweis

@Ricardo: Hmm no I don't think that's it.

 

 

He definitely arrived at 6:30. Maybe a few minute before or after. But he arrived well before 7pm.

The point is that he was expected at 6, so when he arrived he was half an hour late.

This is why you use 才.

 

 

 

If you wanted to say that he still hadn't arrived at 6:30 (maybe he arrived at 6:45, maybe at 7pm, maybe never) you would say

六点半还没来.

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Altair

 

我昨天五点才回家。Yesterday I didn't go home until 5 pm.

 

Both 回家 and "go home"/"return home" can have a time of departure and a time of arrival.  Is it unambiguous in either language which point in time is referenced by 5 pm, absent sufficient context?

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RicardoNicho

Thank you for your answers :)

 

Now i got it!

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