Expressing "not anymore" with "le"
In a negative sentence, the sentence-final 了 (le) can take on the meaning of "(not) anymore" or "no longer." The word 已经 (yǐjīng), which means "already," may nor may not accompany it.
不 with Only 了
不 + [Verb Phrase] + 了
Note that without the 了 this pattern is still correct, but then the resulting sentence would no longer indicate a change (which is the whole point of the word "anymore").
- 我 不 想 吃 了 。I don't want to eat anymore.
- 你 不 喜欢 我 了 吗？You don't like me anymore?
- 你们 不 能 打 了 。You can't fight anymore.
没有 with Only 了
没(有) + [Noun Phrase] + 了
Again, without the 了 this pattern is still correct, but then the resulting sentence would no longer indicate a change (which is the whole point of the word "anymore").
- 没有 纸 了 。in other words, "we're out of paper"There's no paper anymore.
- 手机 没 电 了 。My cell phone has run out of power.
- 他 没有 家 了。He doesn't have a home anymore.
Adding 已经 for Emphasis
Use of the word 已经 (yǐjīng) to mean "anymore" is optional for this pattern, but either 不 (bù) or 没有 (méiyǒu) will be needed to make the verb negative. The sentence-final 了 (le) is required, though, since 已经 is used.
已经 + 不 + [Verb Phrase] + 了
已经 + 没(有) + [Noun Phrase] + 了
- 我 已经 不 住 这里 了 。I don't live here anymore.
- 他 已经 不 在 这儿 工作 了 。He doesn't work here anymore.
- 他们 已经 不 在 一起 了 。They are no longer together.
- 我们 已经 没有 钱 了 。We all don't have money anymore.
- Expressing "already" with "yijing"
- Expressing "already" with just "le"
- Change of state with "le"
- Uses of "le"
Sources and further reading
- Basic Patterns of Chinese Grammar (p. 68) →buy
- Chinese: An Essential Grammar, Second Edition (pp. 126-9) →buy
- Mandarin Chinese: A Functional Reference Grammar (pp. 238-99) →buy
- New Practical Chinese Reader 2 (新实用汉语课本2) (pp. 217-8) →buy
- New Practical Chinese Reader 3 (新实用汉语课本3) (pp. 64-5) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 1, Part 2 (3rd ed) (p. 8) →buy
- 40 Lessons for Basic Chinese Course (基础汉语40课上册） (p. 239)→buy
- Chinesegrammar.info: Chinese le grammar summary (了)