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Expressing "again" in the future with "zai"

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While 又 (yòu) is used for "again" in the past, 再 (zài) is used for "again" in the future. That is, 再 is used when something has happened once and it will happen again.

再 Used as "Again"

The basic structure for using the future "again" is:

Structure

Subj. + 再 + Verb Phrase

Examples

  • 我 明天 来 。Wǒ míngtiān zài lái.I'll come again tomorrow.
  • 说 一 遍 。Qǐng zài shuō yī biàn.Say it again, please.
  • 我 想 看 一 遍 。Wǒ xiǎng zài kàn yībiàn.I want to watch it again.
  • 试 一下 。zài shì yīxià.Try it again.
  • 你 可以 帮 我 问 一 下 吗?Nǐ kěyǐ bāng wǒ zài wèn yīxià ma?Can you ask for me one more time?

In fact, this structure is present in one of the most common Chinese phrases: "再见!" In this case, it literally means "See you again!"

再 Used as "Another" or "Some More"

The English word "another" is often avoided altogether by using 再.

Structure

Subj. + 再 + Verb Phrase

Examples

  • 吃 一点。Zài chī yī diǎn.Eat more.
  • 我们 找 一 个 人 吧。Wǒmen zài zhǎo yī gè rén ba.Let's find another person.
  • 我们 等 他 五 分钟 吧 。Wǒmen zài děng tā wǔ fēnzhōng ba.Let's wait for him five more minutes.
  • 给 我 五十 块。zài gěi wǒ wǔshí kuài.Give me fifty more kuai.
  • 我们 给 她 一点 时间 。Wǒmen zài gěi tā yīdiǎn shíjiān.We'll give her a little more time.

再 Used as "Continuous Action"

Here 再 is similar to the English "for a while longer" or "keep [going/doing]."

Structure

Subj. + 再 + Verb Phrase

Examples

  • 找 找。Zài zhǎozhao.Keep looking a little bit.
  • 等 等 他 吧。Zài děngdeng tā ba.Keep waiting for him for a little while.
  • 时间 还 早, 玩 一会儿 吧。Shíjiān hái zǎo, zài wán yīhuǐ'er ba.It's still early. Let's keep playing for a while.
  • 现在 才 六 点 半,我 想 睡 一会儿。Xiànzài cái liù diǎn bàn, wǒ xiǎng zài shuì yīhuǐ'er.It's only 6:30. I want to sleep a little longer.
  • 你们 想 不 想 休息 一会儿?Nǐmen xiǎng bu xiǎng zài xiūxi yīhuǐ'er? Do you guys want to rest for a little longer?

See Also

Sources and further reading

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