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Expressing "again" in the past with "you"

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Whenever you want to express something like "you did it again!" in Chinese, you generally want to use 又 (yòu).

Used for the Past

Structure

Normally, 又 is used to express an action that has already happened again for (at least) the second time. It doesn't have to be in quick succession; it happened before, and now it's happened again.

又 + Verb + 了

Examples

  • 下雨 了 !Yòu xiàyǔ le!It rains again!
  • 迟到 了 。yòu chídào le.You came late again.
  • 写 错 了 。yòu xiě cuò le.I wrote it wrong again.
  • 宝宝 哭 了 。Bǎobao yòu kū le.The baby is crying again.
  • 喝醉 了 ?yòu hēzuì le?He got drunk again?

Colloquial Usage 又来了

"又来了" fits the above pattern, but is also a little tricky because it expresses something that is still ongoing, and has already started as the speaker is speaking. Literally it's say, "here it comes again," but it's more accurate to translate it as "there it is again," or "there [he] goes again." It indicates that the speaker is a bit annoyed that it happened again.

Other Usage

When it becomes clear that something is about to happen again, you can also use 又. It's almost as if it has already happened in your mind. In these cases, it's quite common for 又 to be immediately followed by 是 (shì), 要 (yào), 可以 (kěyǐ), 能 (néng), and you'll notice that there's often a 了, indicating that something is about to happen.

Examples

  • 今天 要 加班 吗 ?Jīntiān yòu yào jiābān ma?Do we need to work late today AGAIN?
  • 要 迟到 了 。yòu yào chídào le.I'm going to be late again.
  • 要 请假 ?yòu yào qǐngjià?Are you trying to ask for leave AGAIN?
  • 老板 请客 , 可以 吃 大餐 了 !Lǎobǎn qǐngkè, yòu kěyǐ chī dàcān le!The boss is going to treat us. We can have a big meal again!
  • 快 过年 了 ,我们 能 拿 压岁钱 了 !Kuài guònián le, wǒmen yòu néng ná yāsuìqián le!CNY is coming soon. We can get our new year money again!

See also

Sources and further reading

Books

Dictionaries

Websites