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
  • 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    

The usage of 以后 (yǐhòu) and 后来 (hòulái) in Chinese (Elementary)

May. 8, 2013

The correct answer is A.

Translation:

Nǐ jīntiān xiàbān yǐhòu zuò shénme?
Adam:你 今天  下班     以后   做    什么?

What are you doing after work?

Wǒ qù dǎ lánqiú.
Steven:我  去  打  篮球。

I’m going to play basketball.

Explanation:

The test is about the usage of the two words 以后 (yǐhòu) and 后来 (hòulái), both of which means “later” or “after.” The differences are as follows:

1. 以后 (yǐhòu) is used  after a period of time or a point in time. However, 后来 (hòulái) cannot be used in this way.

Examples:

a. After a period of time:

Zánmen shí fēnzhōng yǐhòu jiàn.
咱们       十     分钟 以后   见。

Let’s meet ten minutes later.

b. After a point in time:

Wǒ liǎngdiǎn yǐhòu yǒukòng.
我       两点 以后     有空。

I will be available after two o’clock.

2. 以后 (yǐhòu) is used after an event or activity. Again, 后来 (hòulái) cannot be used in this way.

Fàngxué yǐhòu, wǒmen qù kàn diànyǐng ba!
放学 以后, 我们    去  看    电影     吧!

After school, let’s go to a movie!

In the above conversation, Adam says “你今天下班以后做什么?(Nǐ jīntiān xiàbān yǐhòu zuò shénme?).” In this sentence, “下班 (xiàbān)” is a particular event, so the correct answer to the question is “以后 (yǐhòu).”

3. 以后 (yǐhòu) can be used to describe not only the future, but the past as well. 后来 (hòulái) is only used to refer to the past.

a. 以后 (yǐhòu):

Nà shì wǒ bìyè yǐhòu de dì yī fèn gōngzuò.
那  是  我  毕业 以后  的 第 一 份    工作。(past)

That was my first job after I graduated.

Wǒ yǐhòu yídìng hǎohao xuéxí.
我   以后   一定    好好     学习。(future)

From now on, I will study hard (in the future).

b. 后来 (hòulái):

Tā xuéxí hěnhǎo, hòulái kǎoshàng le míngpái dàxué.
他  学习     很好, 后来      考上      了   名牌     大学。(past)

He studied very well, and later entered a famous university.

Hòulái, tā qù le měiguó.
后来,    他 去 了  美国。(past)

Later, he went to America.

<<Back to “What Are You Doing Later?”

General Chinese (Beginner Level)

General Chinese (Intermediate Level)

Got questions? Take a free 1-to-1 lesson with one of our professional teachers by signing up below:
Name: 
E-mail: 
Country/Region: 
-select-

search no result

Tel: 
By clicking Submit, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.
Your email address and phone number
will be kept STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.
Submit

Write a comment

Your Name: 
Your Email:  Your email address will not be published.
Comments: 
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.


Get 11 FREE Mandarin E-books
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:
Name:
E-mail:
Country/Region:
-select-

search no result

Tel:
By clicking Submit, you agree to our
Terms of Service
and Privacy Policy.
Your email address and phone number
will be kept STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.