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Lesson 24 What Chinese words could you use to express “finally”, “at last”?

Posted by Grace Feng on August 12, 2012

Lesson 24 What Chinese words you could use to express "finally", "at last"?My Learn Mandarin Online lesson series do not only cover grammar points, but also high frequent vocabulary patterns. In this lesson, we’ll explore what Chinese words we can use to express words like “finally“, “eventually“, “at last“, “in the end” etc. Those are words that are quite often used to conclude a story or the description of an event. I find that it’s very hard not to use these words if you need to tell people what happened in the end.

If you don’t know how to express them in Chinese, you might have to leave your suspense in the air for your Chinese listener by not properly concluding your story, or, you might confuse people in the order of time.

Well, after reading this post, I hope you will be able to deliver your ending in a perfect way. :-)

Now, let’s get started. Usually, “finally” can be equivalently replaced by “最终 zuìzhōng” or “最后 zuìhòu“. However, depends on your context, words like “结果 jiéguǒ“, “终于 zhōngyú” or “总算 zǒngsuàn” can also be used. Sometimes they are swappable, sometimes they are not. There are no simple rules you can go by to decide which one to use. It really helps if you can learn and memorize the examples I show you here and re-enforce them moving forward. Those are some common patterns that you can reuse.

First of all, let’s start with new words first. Please use the estroke tool under the new word table to practice your writing if needed.

zuìzhōng zuìhòu  jiéguǒ
[hanzi]最终[/hanzi] (final; ultimate;) [hanzi]最后[/hanzi] (final; last; finally; ultimate;) [hanzi]结果[/hanzi] (to bear fruit; at last)
zhōngyú  zǒngsuàn  shìgù 
[hanzi]终于[/hanzi] (in the end; eventually;) [hanzi]总算[/hanzi] (at long last; finally;) [hanzi]事故[/hanzi] (accident)
chízǎo  fāshēng nǔlì 
[hanzi]迟早[/hanzi] (sooner or later) [hanzi]发生[/hanzi] (to happen; to occur;) [hanzi]努力[/hanzi] (great effort; to try hard)
bìng zhì  hěn jiǔ 
[hanzi]病[/hanzi] (illness) [hanzi]治[/hanzi] (cure; treatment) [hanzi]很久[/hanzi] (very long duration)

 

  • You can copy and paste a few characters together into the box. They’ll show in the animation window one by one.
  • Once the stroke animation stops, click in the animation window and hit ENTER to replay it.
  • You can use the sliding bar to control writing speed of the animation.

 

mèimei zuìzhōng méiyǒu qù shàngxué.

妹妹最终没有去上学.

My sister didn’t go to school at last.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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sān gè yuè hòu, wǒ zǒngsuàn zhǎo dàoliǎo gōngzuò.

三个月后, 我总算找到了工作.

After three months, I finally found a job.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

download link

 

zhèyàng dehuà shìgù chízǎo huì fāshēng.

这样的话事故迟早会发生.

If we let it be, accidents are bound to happen eventually (sooner or later).

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

download link

 

tā hěn nǔlì, dàn zuìhòu háishi méiyǒu guò.

她很努力, 但最后还是没有过.

She worked very hard, however she didn’t pass in the end.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

download link

 

māma de bìng zhì le hěn jiǔ, jiéguǒ háishi méi zhìhǎo.

妈妈的病治了很久, 结果还是没治好.

Mom has been treated for her desease for a long time, however she wasn’t cured in the end.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

download link

 

After learning and practicing these words in the example sentences, please randomly pick any Chinese articles from the web or any Chinese reading materials you have to see whether you can find the keywords you learned in this post. See what patterns they are used in the article and whether you can make out the meaning on your own.

In brief, the more you read, practice and memorized, the easier you’ll feel about using them.

Let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Feel free to leave your comment by using what you’ve learned today.

London Olympic Games!At last, let’s cheer for all the amazing athelets in London Olympic Games! (最后, 让我们一起为奥运健儿加油!)

 

Related posts:

Lesson 7 Focus on Chinese sentence patterns first or Chinese vocabulary first?
Reading, Listening and Speaking practice 13
Reading, Listening and Speaking practice 19

 

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5 Responses to “Lesson 24 What Chinese words could you use to express “finally”, “at last”?”

  1. nothing

    Cliff:

    08-16-2012 7:40 pm

    Found your site today, and I am excited to follow along. Thanks for this service you provide. My wife and I just love visiting China and have many friends there now. Miss them.

    Reply

    • nothing

      Grace:

      08-18-2012 7:27 pm

      Welcome to my blog Cliff!

      Hope you can find some China memories back on this site. Don’t be afraid to ask if you need any help …

      :-)

      Grace

      Reply

  2. nothing

    :

    03-15-2016 3:41 pm

    您好老师,
    请帮我懂这两个问题:
    1)在《妈妈的病治了很久,结果还是没有治好》,不是应该《妈妈的病被治了很久》”passive voice” 吗?
    2)还有我不懂《这样的话》?

    Reply

    • nothing

      Grace Feng:

      03-19-2016 4:49 am

      苏, 你好, 我去旅游了,才回来,希望我的回答不是太晚:

      Strictly speaking, passive voice should use 被. However, there are lots of cases we just skip 被. How to tell when we can skip 被, when we can not? Honestly, I don’t know. What I can tell is, as long as it won’t be misunderstood as the opposite, it’s ok to skip 被.

      For example,

      这件衣服(被)洗了好多次了。 (OK to skip.)

      这个小孩被打了好几次。 (Not OK to skip. If you skip 被, it’ll become “the kid hit others many times”, not “the kid got hit by others many times”.)

      It proves again that Chinese is not very strict on grammar, isn’t it?

      :-)

      这样的话: (an expression) – if we let it continue like this …

      Grace

      Reply

  3. nothing

    nameKevin Pears:

    11-02-2016 7:38 am

    wonderful (美妙) web site.. after many years of dabbling I think this is the method for me to learn best… great work, thanks
    Kevin
    凯文,中国,福建,福州

    Reply

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