Sequencing past events with "houlai"
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.
[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 month, but it broke again afterwards.
- 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 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 。Beijing used to be called Beiping. Later, the name was changed to Beijing.
- Before and after with "zhiqian" and "zhihou"
- Saying "ever since" with "yilai"
- In the future in general
- Comparing "houlai" and "ranhou"