Expressing "already" with just "le"

You understand the word 已经 (yǐjīng) to mean "already" in Chinese, and it is followed with a 了 (le). However, sometimes, that feeling of "already" can also be expressed with 了 (le) alone.


[Verb phrase] + 了


  • A: 老板 呢? Lǎobǎn ne ? Where is the boss ?
  • B: Zǒu le .He (already) left.
  • A: 孩子 还在 上 大学 吗? Háizi hái zài shàng dàxué ma ?Are your kids still in college ?
  • B: 毕业 Bìyè le .He (already) graduated.
  • A: 用 我 的 车 吧? Yòng wǒ de chě ba ?How about using my car ?
  • B: 我们 有 车 Xièxie, wǒmen yǒu chē le .Thanks.We (already) had a car.

See also

Sources and further reading