Wáng Xīng (王星) is catching up with Mǎkè (马克 about the details of his trip to Shanghai Download

Chinese English equivalent
王星 Nǐ qù guò Shànghǎi ma? 你去过上海吗? Have you been to Shanghai?
马克 Qù guò. jīnnián sān yuèfèn wǒ qù le. 去过。今年三月份我去了。 I have. I was there in March.
王星 Nǐ zài Shànghǎi chī le shénme? 你在上海吃了什么? What did you eat in Shanghai?
马克 Wǒ chī le hěn duō zhōngguó cài. 我吃了很多中国菜。 I ate many Chinese dishes.
王星 Nǐ chī le huǒguō ma? 你吃了火锅吗? Did you eat “hot pot”?
马克 Wǒ méi chī huǒguō, kěshì wǒ chī le málàtàng. 我没吃火锅,可是我吃了麻辣烫。 I didn’t eat hot pot, but I did eat “Mala tang”.
王星 Nǐ kàn le dōngfāngmíngzhū tǎ ma? 你看了东方明珠塔吗? Did you see the Pearl Tower?
马克 Wǒ méi kàn, wǒ tài máng le. 我没看,我太忙了。 I didn’t see it, I was too busy.
王星 Nǐ zài Shànghǎi gàn shénmele ? 你在上海干什么了? What were you doing in Shanghai?
马克 Wǒ zài Shànghǎi xué le Zhōngwén 我在上海学了中文 In Shanghai I was studying Chinese.
王星 Zài Shànghǎi ní mǎi dōngxi le méiyǒu? 在上海你买东西了没有? Did you buy something in Shanghai?
马克 Wó mǎi le sīchóu shuìyī. 我买了丝绸睡衣。 I bought silk pajamas.


Pinyin Chinese
guò (verbal complement) experienced
le (structural particle indicating completed action)
méi (adv) not (only for actions in the past)
jīnnián 今年 this year
yuèfèn 月份 month
cài (n) dish, as in type of food
huǒguō 火锅 (n) hot pot
kěshì 可是 (conj) but
málàtàng 麻辣烫 (n) a kind of soup
dōngfāngmíngzhū tǎ 东方明珠塔 (n) Pearl Tower, a famous landmark in Shanghai
dōngxi 东西 (n) something
sīchóu 丝绸 (n) silk
shuìyī 睡衣 (n) pajamas

Grammar Patterns

Aspect -vs- Tense

Chinese is different from English when it comes to expressing when things occurred. Where as in English we can put any action into one of three tenses (past, present and future), Chinese uses temporal aspect to distinguish time.

One example of a temporal aspect is an action has been completed. An another example is an action that is still happening. Both languages express the same range of meaning with regard to action, but they go about it in slightly different ways.

In Chinese the verbs are combined with words such as “le”, “méi”, and “guò” to provide time related information. These words are call “aspect markers”, because the indicate temporal aspects. This chapter addresses the simplest grammar patterns for discussing things that have already occurred.

Talking about something that occurred, using 了(le)

If you want to indicate that you have completed some action you can use the suffix “le”. In this case the “le” usually follows the verb directly, the sentence final “le” usually indicates a change of state. However, when asking a question, the “le” occurs directly before “ma”.

  • Wǒ qù le Shànghǎi. – I went to Shanghai.
  • Tā chī le huǒguò. – He ate hot pot.
  • Nǐ mǎi yīfù le ma? – Did you buy clothes?

Talking about experience using 过 (guò)

If you to indicate that you have experienced something, as opposed to having done something at a specific time you will follow the verb with “guò”. Although, this is a separate word we can call it a suffix.

  • Wǒ qù guò Shànghǎi. – I have been to Shanghai.
  • Tā chī guò huǒguò. – He has eaten hot pot.
  • nǐ mǎi guò yīfù ma? – Have you bought clothes?

Talking about things that didn’t happen, using 没(méi)

Using “méi” you can talk about what has not happened. Please note that “le” is never combined with “méi” .

  • Wǒ méi qù Shànghǎi. – I did not go to Shanghai.
  • Tā méi chī huǒguò. – He did not eat hot pot.
  • Nǐ méi mǎi yīfù ma? – You didn’t buy clothes? (rhetorical

You can also use “méi” when describing experiences that have not happened.

  • Wǒ méi qù guò Shànghǎi. – I have not been to Shanghai.
  • Tā méi chī guò huǒguò. – He has not eaten hot pot.
  • Nǐ méi mǎi guò yīfù. – You have not bought clothes.


Check this link for Sentence Practice 

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