又 [you4] is usually used as an adverb or a conjunction in sentences. This article will introduce some  of the core usages of 又. Generally speaking, 又 means “again”, “and” and “but”. The meanings (and usage) will vary accordingly with different scenarios. 

1. In the sense of “again”, 又 can indicate disapproval or negative feeling. For instance:

今天又有考试。(There is another exam today).

明天又要下雨。(It’s going to rain again tomorrow)

昨天他又迟到。(He was late again yesterday)

All the above examples express the that actions or events (考试,下雨,迟到)have happened again, and can also convey that the instances have been ongoing for some time. 

2. In the sense of “and”, 又 usually connects two similar conditions or qualities. These qualities may be both positive or both negative (i.e.: utilising 不 + ADJECTIVE) For example:

他又高又帅。 (He is both tall and handsome).

这个房子又漂亮又干净 (This house is both beautiful and clean).

运动完后,我又不累又不饿 (Following exercise, I am neither tired nor hungry).

3. In the sense of “but”, this usage is normally is used in colloquial conversation. It is, for the student studying Chinese, very complicated to grasp.

Different from the two previous usages, this time 又 conjuncts two opposite decisions, feelings or conditions. In this sense, 又 leads to some comparisons of contrasting situations. For instance:

我之前想去游泳,现在又不想去了 (Before I wanted to go swimming, but now I don’t want to).

你刚才不是说要吃鱼吗? 现在又要吃鸡肉了?(Didn’t you just say you wanted to eat fish, but now you want to eat chicken?)

他刚和他女朋友分手,现在又有新女朋友。(He just broke up with his girlfriend, but now he has a new one).

 Good luck!

Jing and Michael

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