Answer to the Exercise on “以后(yǐhòu)” VS “然后(ránhòu)”

Correct Answer: C
In the Chinese language, both “以后(yǐhòu)” and “然后(ránhòu)” can be used to express the meaning of “after a certain action” or “afterwards.” However, as is usually the case in Chinese, they are actually used to convey quite different meanings.
“以后(yǐhòu)” means “later” or “after,” which is an adverb used following a verb. It is easiest to think of its usage in this basic way-“以后(yǐhòu)” can indicate that a certain action is completed, and it expresses the meaning of “from now on/since then.”
The grammatical structure for using it is: Subject + Verb + “以后(yǐhòu),”….


Linda: Rose shénme shíhou cízhí de?
Linda: Rose   什么     时候    辞职 的?
Linda: When did Rose resign?

Zhānɡ Léi: Jiéhūn yǐhòu.
张        雷:结婚    以后。
Zhang Lei: After she got married.

Wánɡ Lín bìyè yǐhòu qù le Běijīnɡ.
王       琳  毕业  以后 去  了 北京。
After graduation, Wang Lin went to Beijing.

Huíjiā yǐhòu, Tom   kāishǐ zuòfàn.
回家   以后,Tom  开始    做饭。
After going home, Tom began cooking.

Secondly, “以后(yǐhòu)” can be used in a sentence as an adverb expressing the meaning “in the future.”
The structure is: Subject + “以后(yǐhòu)” + Predicate or “以后(yǐhòu)” + Subject + Predicate.


Wǒ yǐhòu yào dāng yīshēng.
我    以后  要    当     医生。
I want to be a doctor in the future.

Yǐhòu nǐ xiǎoxīn diǎnr!
以后   你 小心    点儿!
Please take care from now on.

On the other hand, “然后(ránhòu)” means “… and then…” or “… after that…” It is actually a conjunction which is used to connect two sentences. It expresses the idea that one thing is completed and another thing has begun.
The structure is: ..., “然后(ránhòu)” ….


Wǒ dǎsuàn xiān qù ɡòuwù, ránhòu qù kàn diànyǐnɡ.
我    打算     先    去  购物,  然后    去  看     电影。
I plan to go shopping first, and then I will go see the movie.

Bruce tōnɡchánɡ měitiān zǎochén chūqù dǎ lánqiú, ránhòu huíjiā chī zǎofàn.
Bruce   通常           每天      早晨      出去   打  篮球, 然后     回家  吃   早饭。
Bruce usually goes out to play basketball every morning. After that, he goes home to have breakfast.

In our test, the sentence means: “After getting off work, I will first go to the supermarket, and then I will go home.” So the correct answer is C.

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