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Use “过” correctly to avoid embarrassment

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The particle 过 (guò) is used to talk about past experiences or past actions in Chinese grammar. It is placed immediately after the verb to indicate that that verb was done or experienced in the past. In English, the equivalent would simply be "have", e.g. in "I have done that", "I have eaten", "He has seen it" and so on.

在汉语语法中,“过”通常指过去的经历或动作,紧跟动词之后,表明做过或经历过某个动作,相当于英语中的助动词“have”,例如“I have done that”、“I have eaten”、“He has seen it”。

Basic use of 过 for past experiences

基本用法:表示过去的经历

The most basic structure for 过 is to just place it immediately after the verb without an object:

基本用法:“过”字紧跟动词之后,无需宾语。

[subject] [verb] 过

主语+动词+过

Have a look at some example sentences:

请看例句:

我已经看过。

Wǒ yǐjīng kànguò.

I've already seen it.

我听说过。

Wǒ tīng shuōguò.

I've heard about that.

我试过。

Wǒ shìguò.

I've tried that.

In each case, the speaker is expressing that they've already done an action at least once before in the past. Using 过 doesn't give an exact time to the action – it could have been a long time ago or just a few moments ago.

在每个例句中,说话者都是在表达某个动作在过去至少发生过一次。“过”并没有指明具体的时间——可以是很久以前,也可以是不久之前。

Note that whilst the Chinese sentences above don't have objects as such, their English translations do. This is because Chinese can often omit the object if it's clear in the context, whereas English usually cannot.

注意,虽然以上的汉语句子没有宾语,但是翻译成英语的时候需要加上宾语,这是因为,汉语中,如果语境中宾语非常明确,宾语可以省略,而英语则不能。

Using 过 with an object

“过”+宾语

You can also use 过 in sentences with an object. The structure only gets slightly more complicated – you just put the object right after 过.

“过”可以接宾语,这种结构相对来说比较复杂——只需在“过”字后面加上宾语即可。

[subject] [verb] 过 [object]

主语+动词+过+宾语

Have a look at some example sentences for 过 with an object:

请看“过”后面接宾语的例句:

我去过加拿大。

Wǒ qùguò Jiā'nádà.

I've been to Canada.

我已经看过那部电影。

Wǒ yǐjīng kànguò nà bù diànyǐng.

I've already seen that film.

你见过他吗?

Nǐ jiànguò tā ma?

Have you seen him before?

他之前吃过这道菜。

Tā zhī qián chīguò zhè dào cài.

He's had this kind of dish before.

You could think of the verb and 过 as combining into one unit: the action plus the aspect (aspect refers to whether or not the action was completed). Then the object just comes after this unit.

你可以把动词和“过”看成一个整体:动词体(体是指某个动作是否完成),宾语则紧随这个整体之后。

Using 过 in a topic-prominent sentence

述题句中的“过”

过 often appears in topic-prominent sentences. Don't worry if you don't know what that means. It just means a sentence where the topic, the main point of the sentence, comes first. These are very common in Chinese. The structure for a topic-prominent sentence with 过 is:

[topic] [subject] [verb] 过

“过”通常用于述题句中。如果你不知道“述题句”是什么,请别担心。述题句是指将所谈论的主题置于句首的句子。汉语中,这种句子很常见。述题句加“过”的结构为:

主题+主语+过

This might seem a bit weird but when you see it in action it should seem a lot more straightforward:

这个结构看起来可能有点奇怪,但是看了以下例句之后你就能明白了:

这部电影你看过吗?

Zhè bù diànyǐng nǐ kànguò ma?

Have you seen this film before?

这个我没听说过。

Zhège wǒ méi tīng shuōguò.

I haven't heard about that.

湘菜我吃过。

Xiāngcài wǒ chīguò.

I've eaten Hunan food before.

Negating 过

否定句+过

Because 过 is about past actions, you have to use 没 (méi) to negate it. The structure for this is: [subject] 没 [verb] 过 [object]

因为“过”是指过去的动作,因此其否定句应加“没”。结构:主语+没+动词+过+宾语。

As is often the case in Chinese grammar, the object is optional and the subject is even more optional. 没 can also be swapped for 没有 for emphasis. Have a look at some example sentences:

通常情况下,在汉语语法中,宾语可有可无,主语更是如此。“没有”可以替换“没”,表示强调。请看例句:

没看过。

Méi kànguò.

I haven't seen it.

我没有喝过你的酒!

Wǒ méiyǒu hēguò nǐ de jiǔ!

I haven't drunk your wine!

他没去过美国。

Tā méi qùguò Měiguó.

He hasn't been to America.

过 with 从来没有

从来没有+过

Because 过 is used to talk about things that have been experienced or done in the past, you can combine it with 从来没有 to say that something has never happened. The structure for this is:

[subject] 从来没有 [verb] 过 [object]

因为“过”是指在过去经历过或做过某件事情,因此你可以用“从来没有+过”表示某件事情从来没有发生过。结构:主语+从来没有+动词+过+宾语

Have a look at some examples:

请看例句:

我从来没有吃过这么多饭!

Wǒ cónglái méiyǒu chīguò zhème duō fàn!

I've never eaten so much before!

我从来没有这么生气过。

Wǒ cónglái méiyǒu zhème shēngqìguò.

I've never been angry like this before.


他从来没有见过如此大的狗。

Tā cónglái méiyǒu jiànguò rúcǐ dà de gǒu.

He'd never seen such a big dog before.

Saying the full 从来没有 is quite emphatic. You can often reduce it to 从来没 if you don't want such a long sentence.

“从来没有”起强调作用,若你不想说这么长的句子,该句可以省略为“从来没”。

The difference between 过 and 了

“过”与“了”的区别

The two particles 过 and 了 (le) might seem quite similar: both can be used to talk about completed actions. The difference is:

小品词“过”与“了”的用法看起来很相似:两者都可以用于表示动作已经完成,其区别在于:

了 can be used to talk about completed actions in the past, present or future.

“了”可以表示过去、现在或将来完成的动作。

了 can also be used to talk about changes of state ("it is now the case that").

也可以用于表示“出现新的状态”。

The particle 过 is always about completed past events.

“过”则只能表示过去已经完成的动作。

Compare the following sentences:

请比较以下例句:

她去过日本。

Tā qùguò Rìběn.

She's been to Japan (and she's no longer there).

她去日本了。

Tā qù Rìběn le.

She's gone to Japan (and she's still there – completed action 了). She's gone to Japan (she's on her way there – change of state 了).

他来过我们家。

Tā láiguò wǒmen jiā.

He's been to our house (in the past – he's left now).

他来我们家了。

Tā lái wǒmen jiā le.

He's come to our house (and he's still here – completed action 了). He's coming to our house (change of state 了).

Using 过 and 了 together

“过”与“了”连用

You can use 过 and 了 in the same sentence. When this happens, you're always dealing with a 'change of state 了', also known as 'sentence 了'. Change of state 了 is like saying "it is now the case that". Things have changed, or there is new information.

你可以在一个句子中同时使用“过”和“了”。在这种情况下,“了”表示“状态发生改变”,在句中作助词。“了”的这种用法相当于英文中的it is now the case that,表示情况发生了变化或出现了新的信息。

When this combines with 过, you get something like "it is now the case that something has been done". This is nearly always used to talk about frequent, every day actions. Sentences that combine 过 and 了 are also about specific objects, i.e. ones that the speaker and listener know about already.

“了”与“过”连用表示“现在的情况是某事已经完成(it is now the case that something has been done)”,通常用于描述日常动作。含有“过”和“了”的句子有特定的宾语,也就是说,说话者与听者都已经知道宾语是什么。

Have a look at some examples:

请看例句:

我吃过了。

Wǒ chīguòle.

I've eaten.

我已经做过了。

Wǒ yǐjīng zuòguòle.

I've already done it.

你洗过澡了吗?

Nǐ xǐguò zǎole ma?

Have you had a shower?

你吃过药了吗?

Nǐ chīguò yàole ma?

Have you taken your medicine?

Asking questions with 过

问句中的“过”

A few of the example sentences above were questions, but you might like to see a few more ways you can ask questions with 过. Have a look at these example sentences and pay attention to the way various questions can be formed:

以上有一些例句是问句,但是还可以在更多的问句中用“过”。请看以下例句并注意哪些问句可以用“过”:

你有没有去过中国?

Nǐ yǒu méiyǒu qùguò Zhōngguó?

Have you ever been to China?

你吃过饭了吗?

Nǐ chīguò fànle ma?

Have you eaten?

你喝过白酒没有?

Nǐ hēguò báijiǔ méiyǒu?

Have you had baijiu before?

你是不是已经看过这部电影?

Nǐ shì bùshì yǐjīng kànguò zhè bù diànyǐng?

Have you seen this film before?

你听说过吧?

Nǐ tīng shuōguò ba?

You've heard about it, right?

你怎么没说过呢?

Nǐ zěnme méi shuōguò ne?

How come you didn't say?

As you can see, 过 can combine with all the usual ways of forming questions in Chinese grammar.

如你所见,在汉语语法中,所有的常见的问句都可以包含“过”。

过 is for repeatable events

“过”表示重复

One final thing to note about 过 is that it's only supposed to be used for repeatable events. It's for actions that are completed and in the past, but have been done at least once or could in theory be done again in the future. This is why 过 is described as being about experiences – the action or event has been experienced.

最后,“过”只用于描述可以多次发生的事情,这些动作在过去已经完成过至少一次,而且理论上,在将来还会发生。这就是“过”用于描述经历的原因——已经实践过某个动作或经历过某个事件。

The sort of actions that you can't really use 过 with are one-off or once-in-a-lifetime events that by their nature can't be done twice, such as dying or being born. You might also include graduating from university and getting married as one off events that can't be used with 过, unless you plan on doing them again in future (e.g. getting a PhD, or after getting divorced).

“过”不能用于描述一生只发生一次的事情,例如死亡或出生。你也可以将“大学毕业”、“结婚”归为一次性事件,不能用“过”描述,除非你打算在将来再毕业一次或再结婚一次(例如:获得博士学位后毕业或离婚后再结婚)。

Because of that, if you do use 过 with one of these actions, the implication is that the action is done with now, and possibly that you might do it again in future. For example:

因此,如果你用“过”描述以上提到的动作,则暗含着那个动作现在已经完成,而且你有可能在将来还会执行那个动作。

我结过婚。

Wǒ jiéguò hūn.

I got married once. I've been married before.

So be careful not to say embarrassing things with 过! The general rule is that 过 is for repeatable events only.

因此,在用“过”的时候要极其小心,避免尴尬。“过”只用于描述可以重复做的事情。


Translated from: chineseboost

2016-06-21

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