Posted by Grace Feng on February 7, 2013
Since he was seven years old, he started to go to school on his own.
Before we look at the Chinese way of saying it, please review the following new words first. Please use the estroke tool under the new word table to practice your writing.
|Simplified Chinese||Traditional Chinese||Mandarin Pinyin||English Definition|
|自从||自從||zi4 cong2||since (a time); ever since;|
|七岁||七歲||qi1 sui4||seven years old|
|开始||開始||kai1 shi3||to begin; to start|
|再也||再也||zai4 ye3||(not) any more|
|出现||出現||chu1 xian4||to appear; to show up|
|以后||以後||yi3 hou4||afterwards; later on|
|骂||罵||ma4||to scold; to abuse|
Are you done? Yes? Good.
Now, we can start by using the direct translation of the word “since” in Chinese: “自从”. Then the whole sentence can be translated into this:
zìcóng tā qī suì， kāishǐ zìjǐ shàngxué le。
The above sentence can be understood by Chinese. However, the word flow is not quite comfortable. It will be more smooth if we convert the above sentence into the following sentence pattern :
自从。。。开始, 就 。。。
zìcóng。。。 kāishǐ, jiù 。。。
zìcóng tā qī suì kāishǐ， jiù zìjǐ shàngxué le。
Now the sentence is getting smoother and much more comfortable. “自从” can also be shortened to “自” or “从“. Therefore, the following two sentences are good too:
zì tā qī suì kāishǐ， jiù zìjǐ shàngxué le。
cóng tā qī suì kāishǐ， jiù zìjǐ shàngxué le。
You can also use another sentence pattern to express “since”, this one is mostly used in spoken mandarin:
打。。。开始, 就 。。。
dǎ。。。 kāishǐ, jiù 。。。
Let’s fit our example into this pattern:
dǎ tā qī suì kāishǐ， jiù zìjǐ shàngxué le。
You might have noticed that there is a “就” appears in all above examples at the beginning of the second clause. You can review the usage of “就” in Lesson 16 The usage of Chinese character “就”.
The function of “就” here is as a conjunction to connect the two clauses. It can be replaced by other words as long as the other words could connect the two clauses similarly as “就”. For example,
dǎ tā qī suì kāishǐ， yǐjīng zìjǐ shàngxué le。
“打。。。开始，。。。” and “自从。。。开始。。。” can also be written like this:
打。。。起,。。。 dǎ。。。 qǐ,。。。
自打。。。起,。。。 zìdǎ。。。 qǐ,。。。
If you just want to say “since then….“, then there are a few phrases you can choose from to express just that:
从那以后。。。 cóng nà yǐhòu。。。
自那以后。。。 zì nà yǐhòu。。。
打那以后。。。 dǎ nà yǐhòu。。。
Are you clear now? Before we finish, let’s look at three examples that express “since then …“:
cóng nà yǐhòu, tā zàiyě méiyǒu chūxiàn。
Since then, she had never appeared.
zì nà yǐhòu, tā jiù zhēn de àishàng le tā。
Since then, he had fallen in love with her.
dǎ nà yǐhòu, māma méiyǒu zài mà guò tā。
Since then, his Mom never scolded him anymore.
Now it’s time for a good rest! Good night, my friends! :-)
Category: JLC Chinese grammar lessons
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