07 June, 2015

Aspects In Chinese (Summary)

Chinese language does not use "tenses". "How is the past tense formed?" or "What is the past tense in Chinese?" are actually non-sensical questions. 

To distinguish past, present and future, Chinese use either auxillary verbs or general context (time words). To refer to events in the past, "grammatical aspects" are used. There is a number of particles to indicate distinctions of aspect: 

aspects in chinese language

The translations provided are based on the supposition that the point of view is "now". To shift to the past of future point of view, it is necessary to use time words. E. g., 
昨天他写信。– zuó tiān tā xiě xìn – Yesterday he wrote letters (a basic statement). 
昨天他写了两封信。 – zuó tiān tā xiě le liǎng fēng xìn – Yesterday he wrote two letters.

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