Wednesday, 14 November 2012

就 and 才

I gave up Chinese for a few weeks but now I am back. First I have to revise all the 49 chapters that make up the Passive Wave in Assimil Chinese with Ease (Assimil Le Chinois sans peine). 

I have started with chapter fifteen. The first fourteen are relatively easier. Today I did chapter 26, 他們決定了 (They've decided). 

The 就 construction is a little confusing. Assimil says it has the opposite effect of 才; as if I really knew how to use 才! Anyway they are not to blame. I didn't study well. 

Okay! I did a little search on the internet and now I understand their most common use. While 就 emphasises something that happened before you were expecting it to occur, 才 shows a belated action.

小王六點上學,今天他五點去了。

Xiao Wang goes to school at six o'clock, today he left at five.

小王六點上學,今天他五點去了。

Xiao Wang goes to school at six o'clock, today he left at six.

小王六點上學,今天他五點去。

Xiao Wang goes to school at six o'clock, today he left at seven.

小王 = Xiao Wang (Chinese name)
六點 = six o'clock
上學 = go to school
今天 = today
他 = he
五點 = five o'clock
去 = to go