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How to express “for the nth time” in Chinese

第几次.png


One use of for in English is to express the number of times something happens. In Chinese this is handled with 第.

在英语中,表达某件事情发生了多少次,用的是“for”,在汉语中,则是用“第”。

For the nth time

第几次

Chinese tends to express this as "this is the nth time" or "that was the nth time". There's not a direct equivalent of "for the nth time". So when you form this kind of sentences, you need to begin it with "this is" or "that is" etc.

中国人倾向于用“这是第几次”来表达某件事情发生了多少次,和英文中的“for the nth time”并不完全对等。因此,在造这类句子时,应当在句首加上“这是”或“那是”。

Time is covered by adverbials. In Chinese word order, adverbials go before the verb. You just insert the number of times something happened after the subject.

时间即状语。在汉语句子中,状语应在动词之前。你只要在主语后面加上某件事发生的次数即可。

To express the number of times something happened, you use an ordinal number. This is formed with the structure:

你可以采用序数词来表达某件事情发生了多少次。该结构为:

第 + [_number_] + 次

第+(数字)+次

Some examples:

例句:

这是他第一次喝啤酒。 

Zhè shì tā dì yīcì hē píjiǔ. 

He drank beer for the first time.

昨天是我们第二次面对面交谈。

Zuótiān shì wǒmen dì èr cì miànduìmiàn jiāotán. 

We spoke face to face for the second time yesterday.

As you can see, all you have to do is add 第 + number + 次 after the subject, and you're done.

如你所见,你只要在主语后面加上“第+数字+次”,那么整个句子就完成了。

For the nth time in …

在……中/内第几次


You can also express that something happens for the nth time in a period of time. This could be something like "for the first time in two years" or "for the third time this week".

你也可以说某件事情在某个时间段内发生了第几次,例如“这两年内第一次”或“这个星期内第三次”。

To do this, you just have to insert the length of time before the ordinal. So now the phrase you're going to insert has this structure:

采用这种表达的时候,时间段应置于序数词之前,其结构如下:

[_length of time_] + 中/内 + 第 + [_number_] + 次

(时间段)+中/内+第+(数字)+次

Some examples:

例句:

我十年中第一次见了她。 

Wǒ shí nián zhōng dì yīcì jiànle tā.

I saw her for the first time in ten years.

我人生中第二次杀了人。 

Wǒ rénshēng zhōng dì èr cì shāle rén. 

I killed someone for the second time in my life.

Words other than 中 can be used to express "in". Some examples:

“in” 除了可以用“中/内”表示外,还可以用其他的词,例如:

这是我这个月第四次把我的手机弄丢了。 

Zhè shì wǒ zhège yuè dì sì cì bǎ wǒ de shǒujī nòng diūle. 

I've lost my phone for the fourth time this month.

美国历史上第一次用了核武器。 

Měiguó lìshǐ shàng dì yīcì yòngle héwǔqì. 

America used nuclear weapons for the first time in history.

For the last time

最后一次

You might also want to express that something happened for the last time, rather than a particular number. The structure for this is very similar. Rather than a ordinal number, just use 最后.

你可能想表达某件事情最后一次发生,而不是具体的第几次发生。这时,你使用的结构与上述结构相似。唯一的区别就是用“最后”取代序数词。

Some examples:

例句:

那是我最后一次犯那种错误。 

Nà shì wǒ zuìhòu yīcì fàn nàzhǒng cuòwù.

I've made that mistake for the last time.

我们已经见了她最后一次。 

Wǒmen yǐjīng jiàn le tā zuìhòu yīcì. 

We've seen her for the last time now.

Adding in more details

增加细节信息

You can also add in other adverbials such as time, manner and place. These go in between the subject and verb, just like other adverbials.

你也可以添加时间、方式和地点等信息。像其他状语一样,这些状语也应置于主语和动词之间。

Some examples:

例句:

我昨晚第一次看了恐怖电影。 

Wǒ zuó wǎn dì yīcì kànle kǒngbù diànyǐng.

I saw a horror film for the first time last night.

我第一次用汉语点了菜。 

Wǒ dì yīcì yòng hànyǔ diǎn le cài. 

I've ordered a meal in Chinese for the first time.

我第一次看到她是在罗伦路。 

Wǒ dì yīcì kàn dào tā shì zài gé lán lù. 

I saw her for the first time on Raglan Road.

Translated from: eastaisastudent.net

2016-06-21

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