City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Nov 9, 2020 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Mickey (7,400 points) | 60 views

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三(sān)年(nián)前(qián) means three years before the speech time, which is normally translated as ‘three years ago’, and is definitely represent the past tense.

前(qián)三(sān)年(nián) means the first three years of a period of time, which can be used in either the past tense or the future tense. For example:

1)她三年前去过北京

Tā   sānnián    qián    qù      guò           Běijīng

She  three years  ago    go     aspect marker    Beijing

She had been to Beijing three years ago.

2)她准备前三年学英语

Tā    zhǔnbèi    qián    sānnián    xué     yīngyǔ

She   prepare    first    three years  learn    English

She prepared to learn English in the first three years.
answered Nov 9, 2020 by Mickey (7,400 points)

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1,454 questions
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