Jump to: navigation, search

Expressing "when" with "dengdao"

(Redirected from ASG68F61)

The word 等到 (děngdào) can trip up learners, because while it can literally mean "to wait until," it also has the less literal translation meaning "when (the time comes)" or "by the time (something happens)." This is a pattern that appears in complex sentences, with 等到 acting as a conjunction and appearing in the first part as the first word in the sentence.

Used for the Future

When talking about the future, the second part of the sentence uses (jiù) or (zài).

Structure

等(到) + Time / Event ,Subj. + 再 / 就 + Predicate

The predicate part of the pattern can be a verb or an adjective.

Examples

  • 等到 老板 知道 麻烦 了。Děngdào lǎobǎn zhīdao jiù máfan le.When the boss finds out, we'll be in trouble.
  • 雨 停 了 我 出门 。Děng yǔ tíng le wǒ zài chūmén.When the rain stops, I'll go outside.
  • 等到 秋天 ,这些 树叶 会 变 黄 。Děngdào qiūtiān, zhèxiē shùyè jiù huì biàn huáng.When autumn arrives, these leaves will turn yellow.
  • 做 完 这个 项目 ,我 休假 。Děng zuò wán zhège xiàngmù, wǒ jiù xiūjià.I will take a vacation when I finish this project.
  • 等到 老板 签 了 字 ,我 做 安排 。Děngdào lǎobǎn qiān le zì, wǒ zài zuò ānpái.I will make arrangements once the boss signs off on it.

Used for the Past

For the past, the second part of the sentence uses (cái). This pattern is very similar to how 直到 (zhídào) is used to mean "all the way until", and also overlaps with the use of 才 to express lateness.

Structure

等(到) + Time / Event ,Subj. + 才 + Predicate

Examples

  • 我 回 了 家 , 发现 手机 忘 在 了 出租车 上 。Děng wǒ huí le jiā, cái fāxiàn shǒujī wàng zài le chūzūchē shàng.I didn't realize I left my cell phone in the taxi until I got home.
  • 等到 孩子 上 了 小学 ,她 开始 工作 。Děngdào háizi shàng le xiǎoxué, tā cái kāishǐ gōngzuò.She didn't start working until her children had started elementary school.
  • 学生 都 安静 了 ,老师 开始 上课 。Děng xuéshēng dōu ānjìng le, lǎoshī cái kāishǐ shàngkè.The teacher didn't begin the class until the students all became quiet.
  • 他 有 了 孩子 , 知道 做 父母 多么 不 容易 。Děng tā yǒu le háizi, cái zhīdào zuò fùmǔ duōme bù róngyì.It wasn't until he had had a child that he realized how hard it is to be a parent.
  • 等到 他 到 家 了 , 发现 他 没有 带 钥匙 。Děngdào tā dào jiā le, cái fāxiàn tā méiyǒu dài yàoshi.It wasn't until he got home that he found that he didn't have his keys.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books