Sequencing past events with "houlai"
"⋯⋯, 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.
[Past Event 1] ，后来 ，[Past Event 2]
Here are some examples of this pattern in action:
- 他 说 他 会 来 ，后来 又 说 不 来 了 。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 。They had a fight last week and they made up afterwards.
- 他 以前 是 厨师 ，后来 当 了 老板 。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 。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 。My parents disapproved in the beginning, but they approved later.
- 空调 我 上 个 月 修好 了 ，后来 又 坏了 。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 。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 。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 。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 。Beijing used to be called Beiping and got changed into Beijing afterwards.
- Before and after with "zhiqian" and "zhihou"
- Saying "ever since" with "yilai"
- In the future in general
- Comparing "houlai" and "ranhou"