Expressing "now" with "le"
现在 (xiànzài) isn't the only way to express "now." You'll notice that in many common expressions, 了 (le) is used in place of the word for "now."
This pattern is actually the same as change of state with "le", but the examples below are somewhat idiomatic and can also easily be confused with a direct translation of "now" in Chinese, so they get special treatment here.
[New Situation] + 了
- 知道 了 。This is something I didn't know before nowGot it. / I see.
- 懂 了 。Now I understand.
- 我 20 岁 了 ！I'm 20 years old now!
- 吃饭 了 ！Time to eat!
- 我 走 了 。I'm leaving now.
- 他 来 了 。This can also mean "He's here now." Be careful! He's coming over now. / He's on the way.
- 上课 了 ！ Class begins now!
- 我 去 睡觉 了 。 I'm going to bed now.
- 快 点儿 ，开会 了 ！Hurry up, it's time for the meeting now!
- 到 你 了 。It's your turn now.
Sources and further reading
- HSK Standard Course 1 (pp. 32) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Basic Patterns of Chinese Grammar (pp. 68) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Chinese: An Essential Grammar, Second Edition (pp. 126-9) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Mandarin Chinese: A Functional Reference Grammar (pp. 238-99) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- New Practical Chinese Reader 2 (新实用汉语课本2) (pp. 217-8) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- New Practical Chinese Reader 3 (新实用汉语课本3) (pp. 64-5) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 1, Part 2 (3rd ed) (pp. 8) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课上册） (pp. 239) [ →buy]