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Sequencing past events with "houlai"

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"⋯⋯, 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 week, but it broke again after that.
  • 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 teacher 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 and got changed into Beijing afterwards.

See also

Sources and further reading

Books