Chinese HSK 4 Grammar Points
When you talk about actions in the past, you will generally use “Yòu” (又) but to express actions that will happen in the future, you will generally want to use Zài (再). This is different than English, where the word again can be used for repeated actions regardless of the time of that action.
For example, to translate the sentence “we went to Spain again” into Chinese you will need to use yòu(Wǒmen yòu qù xībānyále — 我们又去西班牙了). But to express “we we are going to Spain again”, you would need to use zài (Wǒmen zài yào qù xībānyá 我们再要去西班牙).
Tāmen yào zài qù nà jiā cāntīng
They are going to that restaurant again.
Jīntiān wǒmen yào zài shuōhuà
Today we have to talk again.
Yào bù yào zài shì yīxià?
Would you like to try it again?
Expressing “Do that again” with zài…yībiàn (再…一遍)
To express this in english you can simply use the single word, but in Chinese you need to sandwich your action between zài and yībiàn, basically saying “again do that, one time”. The classic example is “can you say that again” 你可以再说一遍吗？
Can you look over there again?
Tā bùyào zài dàn yì biàn jítā.
He will not play guitar again。
Expressing “Another” using “Zài”
“Zài can also be used to express “another” To order a glass of water, in English you would say “Can I have another glass of water” but in Chinese you will say Nǐ kěyǐ gěi wǒ zài yībēi shuǐ ma? 你可以给我再一杯水吗?
Wǒ yào chī zài yīgè píngguǒ.
I want to eat another apple.
Nǐ zài yīcì shì shì ba.
You should try another time.
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