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Expressing "now" with "le"

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Chinese-grammar-wiki-le.jpg

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."

Structure

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

Examples

  • 知道 This is something I didn't know before nowZhīdào le.Got it. / I see.
  • Dǒng le.Now I understand.
  • 吃饭 Chīfàn le!Time to eat!
  • 我 走 Wǒ zǒu le.I'm leaving now.
  • 他 来 This can also mean "He's here now." Be careful! Tā lái le.He's coming over now. / He's on the way.
  • 上课 Shàngkè le! Class begins now!
  • 我 去 睡觉 Wǒ qù shuìjiào le.I'm going to bed now.
  • 快 点儿 ,开会 Kuài diǎnr, kāihuì le! Hurry up, it's time for the meeting now!
  • 到 你 Dào nǐ le.It's your turn now.
  • 电影 开始 Diànyǐng kāishǐ le! The movie is starting now!

See also

Sources and further reading

Books

Websites