1.The Perfect Aspect and the aspectual particle 了: In Chinese, the aspectual particle may 了occur after the predicate verb to indicate the completion of an action. The basic patterns are as follows: Affirmative: Subject Predicate verb Aspectual particle Object 我 吃 了 I ate. 他 买 了 三本书 He bought three books. 车老师 喝 了 那瓶橘子水 Teacher Che had have that bottle of OJ. Negative: Subject Negation Predicate verb Object 我 (还) 没 吃 (呢) I haven’t eaten yet. 他 没有 买 三本书 He didn’t buy three books. 车老师 没 喝 那瓶橘子水 Teacher Che did not drink that bottle of OJ. Interrogative: Subeject Predicate verb Aspectual Particle Object Question format 你 吃 了 没有/吗 Did you eat? 他 买 了 三本书 没有/吗 Did he buy three books? 车老师 喝 了 那瓶橘子水 没有/吗 Did Teacher Che drink that bottle of OJ? Notes: (1). The completion of an action has nothing to do with time. A perfect aspect of an action can happen in the future. For example: 明天吃了早饭你可以看电视。 Tomorrow you can watch TV after finish the breakfast. 老师，下了课，你有空吗？ Teacher, Do you have class when the class is over? (2). A complete action often takes place in the past, but it does not mean all actions that happen in the past should be in the perfect aspect. For example: 去年我常常去我妈妈家。 Last year I often went to my Mom’s house. 昨天下午三点我看书。 I read at three yesterday afternoon. (3). In a sentence with verbal constructions in a series, the perfect aspectual particle 了 is usually suffixed to the second verb. For example: 我去图书馆找了你要的资料。 I went to the library to look for the information you want. 今天我用法文写了两封信。 Today I wrote two letter in French. (4). When the verb is reduplicated, the aspectual particle is placed before the reduplicted verb. For example: 她看了看书，说:"这不是我的。" She took a look at the book, and said: “This is not mine.” 2. The adverbs 再,又,and 还: The adverbs 再,又,and 还 can all be translated into English as “again”. Although they all indicate the repetition of an action or a state, they are used differently in a sentence. 再 indicate that the action is going to recur. For example: 我三点给她打了一个电话。她不在。我六点再打。 I called her at three. She was not there. I’ll call again at six. 你作的点心真好吃。我再吃一点，好吗？ The pastry you made are delicious. May I have some more. 你这次游得不好。再游一次。 You did not swim well this time. Do it once more. 又 indicates that the repeated action had already taken place. For example: 她上午去了图书馆，下午又去了，所以现在她不在这儿。She went to the library this morning, (She) went again this afternoon. So she is not here right now. 我昨天给她打了个电话，她不在。今天我又给她打了个电话，她又不在。 I called her yesterday. She was not in. I called her again today. She was still not in. 他昨天没吃饭。今天又没吃饭。 He did not eat yesterday, and again he didn’t eat today. 还 is used in both interrogative and declarative sentence to express a repetition which is NOT YET realized, but will be realized in the future. For example: 这个电影不错。你还看吗？ 我还看。 The movie is not bad. Do you want to see again? I do. 明天你还来吗？我还来。 Will you come again tomorrow? I will. 还 can also be used in an interrogative or declarative sentence with an auxiliary verb. It is placed before the auxiliary verb, and optional 再 can be placed after the auxiliary verb. For example: 你明年还想(再)去中国访问吗？我还想(再)去。 Next year do you want to visit China again? I do want to go again. 你明天还能帮我去图书馆找资料吗？ Can you go again to the library to help me look for some materials? 3. The expression 除了...以外,..还/也...and 除了...以外,...都...： The expression 除了...以外,...还/也...indicates an inclusion. Its English equivalent is “besides”. For instance: 除了法文以外，她还会说中文和英文。 Besides French, she also speaks Chinese and English. 你除了喜欢玩电脑以外，还喜欢什麽？ What else do you like besides playing with computer? 每个星期我除了去健身房锻炼以外，还去医院当义工。 Every week besides going to the gym to exercise, I also go to the hospital to work as a volunteer. Contrary to 除了...以外,...还/也... , the expression 除了...以外,...都...indicates exclusion. Its English counterpart is “except for”. For instance: 除了小王以外，我们都去参加春节联欢会。 Except for Wang, we'll all go to the get-together party for the Spring Festival. 除了周末以外，他每天都有课。 Everyday he has class, except for the weekend. Sometimes, “以外”in the expression can be omitted. For example: 除了写汉字，昨天晚上我还看了课文。 Besides writing characters, I also read the text last night. 昨天的晚会，除了酒，茶和咖啡我都没有喝。 Except for wine, I did drink neither tea nor coffee at yesterday's party. 4.Time word +就 vs. time word +才: In a sentence, 就 and 才 can be placed after the time word and before the verb to indicate the speaker’s point of view as to whether the event expressed by the verb is later or earlier than expected. For example: 我五岁就开始学中文。(earlier than expected) At the age of five I began to learn Chinese. 我五岁才开始学中文。(later than expected) Only at the age of five did I began to learn Chinese. 她明天就可以走。 She can leaves as early as tomorrow. 她明天才可以走。 She can’t leave until tomorrow. Note that time word, sometimes can also be an event which take place first. For example: 我吃了饭(以後) 就去。 After eating, I will go right away. 我吃了饭(以後)才去。 I won’t go until I eat. 他来了(以後)就打电话。 As soon as he came, he made phone calls. 他来了(以後)才打电话。 He did not call until he came. Note that, there is always a aspectual particle 了placed after the first verb, which indicates the first event completes, before the second event takes place. Summary: Subject Time phrase Adverb 就/才 Verb phrase English translation 我妈妈 1995年 就 来这儿了。 My Mom came hear as early as 1995. 我弟弟 昨天晚上很晚 才 回来。 My younger brother did not come home until late last night. 我 看了新闻 就 去上课。 I will go to class as soon as I watch the news. 她 去了邮局 才 跟我一起去找 车老师。 He did not go with me to look for Teacher Che until he went to the post office.