Archive for the ‘Sentence structures’ Category

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


I just wanted to share a great little sentence pattern I picked up today. 

Verb + 不动 + 了 means “I can’t perform x anymore.”  For instance, 我跑不动了 (I can’t run anymore) or 我爬不动了 (I can’t climb anymore).

The implication of 不动了 is that the speaker has run out of energy, or is too tired to perform the verb.  

The inclusion of 不动 is therefore exceptionally vivid – the speaker is so exhausted that they (if the Hanzi are read literally) cannot move!

了 indicates that the state has recently changed, and that the lack of energy/onset of tiredness has just hit home.

So, having written all of that – I’m pretty tired too.  It must be time to 睡觉!


In Chinese, past actions can be discussed with 了 or 过.  Additionally, a third structure may be used.  This is the 是…的 structure.

The 是…的 structure can be used under a special set of circumstances, namely:

A completed past action; where both the speaker and the listener have knowledge of the action to which the speaker refers.

The general structure can be: [subject] + 是 + [predicate]  +  的
The main function of  the 是…的 sentence structure is to highlight and emphasise the: time, manner, purpose or place of a past action.   To illustrate,


The above sentence highlights the time of the action (yesterday)


The above sentence emphasises the method of transport (by air)


The above sentence draws attention to the aim of the action (in order to see you)


The above sentence stresses the place of departure (from school)

From these examples, we notice that the 是…的 structure doesn’t concern itself with the completed action.  Instead, it highlights aspects which have a connection to the performance of the action.

In addition, most of the time 是 can be omitted from the structure, whereas 的 cannot.  For instance,


Michael and Jing