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Sequencing past events with "houlai"

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The word 后来 (hòulái) is used to sequence past events in the same way that "afterward" is in English. Something very important to note is that 后来 can only be used with two events that have already occurred.

Structure

[Past Event 1] ,后来 ,[Past Event 2]

Examples

Here are some examples of this pattern in action:

  • 他 说 他 会 来 ,后来 又 说 不 来 了 。Tā shuō tā huì lái, hòulái yòu shuō bù lái le.He said he would come, but later he said that he's not coming.
  • 他们 上周 吵架 了 ,后来 和好 了 。Tāmen shàng zhōu chǎojià le, hòulái hé hǎo le.They had a fight last week, and they made up afterwards.
  • 他 以前 是 厨师 ,后来 当 了 老板 。Tā yǐqián shì chúshī, hòulái dāng le lǎobǎn.He used to be a chef. Afterwards, he became the owner.
  • 我 昨晚 走 得 早 ,不 知道 后来 发生 了 什么 。Wǒ zuówǎn zǒu de zǎo, bù zhīdào hòulái fāshēng le shénme.I left early yesterday evening, so I don't know what happened afterwards.
  • 开始 我 父母 不 同意 ,后来 他们 同意 了 。Kāishǐ wǒ fùmǔ bù tóngyì, hòulái tāmen tóngyì le.My parents disapproved in the beginning, but they approved later.
  • 空调 我 上 个 月 修好 了 ,后来 又 坏了 。Kōngtiáo wǒ shàng gè yuè xiū hǎo le, hòulái yòu huài le.I fixed the air conditioner last month, but it broke again afterwards.
  • 他们 在 一起 差不多 三 年 ,后来 分手 了 。Tāmen zài yīqǐ chàbuduō sān nián, hòulái fēnshǒu le.They had been together for about three years. But they broke up afterwards.
  • 她 以前 是 兼职 老师 ,后来 做 了 全职 。Tā yǐqián shì jiānzhí lǎoshī, hòulái zuò le quánzhí.She used to be a part-time teacher. Afterwards, she became full-time.
  • 我 的 大学 老师 辞职 了 ,后来 去 上海 做 生意 了 。Wǒ de dàxué lǎoshī cízhí le, hòulái qù Shànghǎi zuò shēngyi le.My college professor quit his job. Afterwards, he went to Shanghai to do business.
  • 北京 以前 叫 北平 ,后来 改成 了 北京 。 Běijīng yǐqián jiào Běipíng, hòulái gǎi chéng le Běijīng.Beijing used to be called Beiping. Later, the name was changed to Beijing.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books