Mandarin Chinese Grammar for Pimsleur Students/Past tense

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Past tense[edit]

Particles/characters used[edit]

There are some specific particles, characters or combination of characters used to make sentence past tense:

  • 了 - le
  • 过 - gùo
  • 是 ... 的 - shì ... de

了 le[edit]

了 is used either after the verb or after the sentence to make it past tense. According to Pimsleur tapes, 了 added directly after the verb is for telling a list of things you did in the past. For a simple statement that you did something, just add 了 after the sentence.

  • 我吃午饭了
  • 昨天我吃了早饭,吃了午饭,然后我吃晚饭了

过 gùo[edit]

过 is used to tell that you've had an experience and is added after the verb.

  • 我去过北京
  • 我来过这儿

是 ... 的 shì ... de[edit]

This is used to tell or ask something detailed about the past. 是 is added after the subject and 的 at the end of the sentence.

  • 你是什么时候去北京的?
  • 我是跟我的朋友一起看电影的