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After or before a specific time

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As well as talking about the "before" and "after" in general, you can use 以前 (yǐqián) and 以后 (yǐhòu) to talk about things that happened before or "after" specific times.

When a Time is Specified

Structure

Time + 以前 / 以后, Subj. + Verb + Obj.

The time can be a specific time or date.It could also be an action or event or an action.

Examples

  • 早上 十点 以前 ,公司 没人。 Shí diǎn yǐqián, wǒ zài jiā.I will be at home before ten o'clock.
  • 三 年 以前 , 我 来 到 了 上海 。 Sān nián yǐqián, wǒ lái dào le Shànghǎi.Three years ago I came to Shanghai.
  • 几天 以前 刚刚 见 过 她。 Wǒ jǐtiān yǐqián gānggāng jiàn guo ta.I just saw her a few days ago.
  • 下午 三点 以后 , 我 不 在 家 。 Xiàwǔ sāndiǎn yǐhòu, wǒ bù zài jiā.After three o'clock in the afternoon, I will not be at home.
  • 一 个 月 以后 开始 上班 。 yī gè yuè yǐhòu kāishǐ shàngbān.She will start working after one month.
  • 结婚 以前 , 你 应该 先 买 房子。 yǐqián, nǐ yīnggāi xiān mǎi fángzi.Before getting married, you should first buy the house.
  • 来 中国 以前 , 你 男朋友 会 说 中文 吗? Lái Zhōngguó yǐqián, nǐ nánpéngyou huì shuō Zhōngwén ma?Before coming to China, can your boyfriend speak Chinese?
  • 今年 中秋节 以后 ,我 没 见 过 他。 Jīnnián zhōngqiū jié yǐhòu,wǒ méi jiàn guo tā.I haven't seen him since this Mid-autumn Day.
  • 吃 完 午饭 以后 , 我们 要 开会。 Chī wán wǔfàn yǐhòu, wǒmen yào kāihuì.After finishing lunch, we are going to have a meeting.
  • 到 家 以后 给 我 打电话。 dào jiā yǐhòu gěi wǒ dǎ diànhuà.After you arrive home, you call me.

When an Event is Specified

Verb + 以前 / 以后, Subj. + Verb + Obj.

Examples

  • 早上 十点 以前 ,公司 没人。 Shí diǎn yǐqián, wǒ zài jiā.I will be at home before ten o'clock.
  • 三 年 以前 , 我 来 到 了 上海 。 Sān nián yǐqián, wǒ lái dào le Shànghǎi.Three years ago I came to Shanghai.
  • 几天 以前 刚刚 见 过 她。 Wǒ jǐtiān yǐqián gānggāng jiàn guo ta.I just saw her a few days ago.
  • 下午 三点 以后 , 我 不 在 家 。 Xiàwǔ sāndiǎn yǐhòu, wǒ bù zài jiā.After three o'clock in the afternoon, I will not be at home.
  • 一 个 月 以后 开始 上班 。 yī gè yuè yǐhòu kāishǐ shàngbān.She will start working after one month.
  • 结婚 以前 , 你 应该 先 买 房子。 yǐqián, nǐ yīnggāi xiān mǎi fángzi.Before getting married, you should first buy the house.
  • 来 中国 以前 , 你 男朋友 会 说 中文 吗? Lái Zhōngguó yǐqián, nǐ nánpéngyou huì shuō Zhōngwén ma?Before coming to China, can your boyfriend speak Chinese?
  • 今年 中秋节 以后 ,我 没 见 过 他。 Jīnnián zhōngqiū jié yǐhòu,wǒ méi jiàn guo tā.I haven't seen him since this Mid-autumn Day.
  • 吃 完 午饭 以后 , 我们 要 开会。 Chī wán wǔfàn yǐhòu, wǒmen yào kāihuì.After finishing lunch, we are going to have a meeting.
  • 到 家 以后 给 我 打电话。 dào jiā yǐhòu gěi wǒ dǎ diànhuà.After you arrive home, you call me.