speak chinese like a native

Possible 'Qing Wen' topic -- 才?

Posted by hryj March 15, 2009 in the Group General Discussion.



Recently, working through a popular Chinese textbook, the usage of contrasted with came up in the context of the dialog:


A:  我一个月就回来了 (I'll return in a month -- i.e the time will go by quickly)

B.  什么回来,你一个月回来。  (i.e. no, it will be a *whole* month until you return)


Looking for other examples of usage of did not really help it all click for me too much. 

It seems to sometimes be used to indicate something is later than expected:


他九点钟才来 (He didn't come until 9 o'clock.).

一直到中午才散会 (The meeting didn't end until noon)


In other cases, it seems to be used to say something happened earlier than expected:


这孩子才五岁,已经认得不少字了 (The boy is only five, but he has already learned quite a few characters)


他们结婚才一年就分开了 (They separated after only one year's marriage)


I'm hoping it's actually not as complicated as I'm making it :-).  If this has been covered in a podcast already, I haven't found it yet.  Thanks for any help on this topic.




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