Toll Free - U.S.& Canada:  1-800-791-9386   Hong Kong:  800-930-623   Australia:  1-800-779-835
Free online Chinese learning support
  • Follow us on Facebook!
  • Watch Our YouTube Videos!
  • Follow us on Twitter!
  • Follow us on WeChat!
    Follow Us in WeChat by Scanning!
    Follow Us in "WeChat"
    by Scanning
  • Follow us on LinkedIn
  • Follow us on Google+!
  • Explore Our Instagram Videos & Photos!
United Kingdom:  0-800-086-8969   Germany:  0-800-180-0341   Singapore:  800-130-1652
France:  0-805-080-689   Spain:  900-838-906    

Answers to Been There, Done That: Using “曾经(céngjīng )” and “已经(yǐjīng)

Feb. 2, 2015

Answer: A

In the Chinese language, both “曾经(céngjīng)” and “已经(yǐjīng)” can be used to describe a habit, behavior, or action that happened in the past and has already stopped. Both of them can also be used before verbs. However, their meanings are not quite the same.

Firstly, “曾经(céngjīng)” is often be used in conjunction with “过(guò),” which means “ever” or “once.” Together, they indicate that a person has had a given experience at least once.

The structure is: Subject + “曾经(céngjīng)” + Verb + “过(guò)” + …


Wǒ céngjīng dāng guò hànyǔ lǎoshī.
我    曾经       当     过    汉语   老师。
I have worked as a Chinese teacher.

Wáng Lì: Tīngshuō nǐ yǒu hěnduō Zhōng’guó péngyou.
王 丽:     听说      你 有    很多        中国         朋友。
Wang Li: I heard that you have many Chinese friends.

Mike: Shìde, wǒ céngjīng qù guò Zhōng’guó, Zài nàlǐ jiāo le hěnduō péngyou.
Mike:是的, 我 曾经       去 过    中国,        在 那里 交 了   很多      朋友。
Mike: Yes, I have been to China and I made a lot of friends there.

Now, let’s take a look at “已经(yǐjīng).” It is often used along with “了(le),” meaning “already.” It refers to something that has happened in the past and is completed, but the main emphasis is on the result.

The structure is: Subject + “已经(yǐjīng)” + Verb + … + 了(le)


Zhāng Wěi: Qǐngwèn nǐ shì Jack de nǚ péngyou ma?
张       伟:  请问       你 是 Jack  的 女   朋友       吗?
Zhang Wei: Excuse me, are you Jack’s girl friend?

Judy: Wǒ shì tāde qī zi. Wǒmen yǐjīng jiéhūn le.
Judy:我 是 他的 妻 子。我们    已经  结婚   了。
Judy: I’m his wife. We have already gotten married.

Lucy: Qǐngwèn Lǐ Hóng zài jiā ma?
Lucy:请问      李 红     在  家 吗?
Lucy: Excuse me, is Li Hong in?

Lǐ Míng: Bú zài. Tā yǐjīng qù shàngbān le.
李 明:  不 在。她 已经  去   上班        了。
Li Ming: No, she isn’t. She has already gone to work.

<<Back to “Been There, Done That: Using ‘曾经(céngjīng)’ and ‘已经(yǐjīng)’”

Got questions? Take a free 1-to-1 lesson with one of our professional teachers by signing up below:
Name:  E-mail: 
Country:  Tel: 
By clicking Submit, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.



Thank you for helping us.

Write a comment

Your Name: 
Your Email:  Your email address will not be published.
Verification Code:  Verification Code Unclear? Try another one
By clicking Submit, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
Email This Article
Recipients' email addresses:
(separate recipients with comma)
Your name:
Your e-mail address (optional):
Your message (optional):
Verification Code:
By clicking Send, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Sign up for a free trial now!
Get more information about our Chinese lessons through live chat
Get a FREE live 1-to-1 lesson and FREE e-books. Complete the form below:

By clicking Submit, you agree to our

Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Get 11 FREE Mandarin E-books