以后 vs 后来

Are they same? 

 

Let’s first look at some examples:

 

1. 以后不许再提这件事。

    Yǐ hòu bú xǔ zài tí zhè jiàn shì

    Don’t mention that matter again

 

2. 1990以后我就来上海工作了。

    1990 nián yǐhòu wǒ jiù lái Shànghǎi gōngzuò le

     After 1990, I came to Shanghai for work.

 

3. 明天到北京以后要先给我打个电话。

    Míng tiān dào Běijīng yǐhòu yào xiān gěi wǒ dǎ gè diàn huà

    You have to call me first after you arrive in Beijing tomorrow.

 

4. 你一个月以后再来吧。

    Nǐ yī gè yuè yǐ hòu zài lái ba

    Come again one month later.

 

5. 我们去年三月份见过一次面,后来没有再见过。(= 以后)

    Wǒmen qùnián sānyuèfèn jiànguò yī cì miàn, hòulái méiyǒu zài jiànguò(= yǐ hòu

    We met once last March, and we never met again after that.

 

6. 刚开始的时候有点儿害怕,后来就不怕了。

    Gāng kāishǐ de shíhòu yǒu diǎn’r hàipà, hòulái jiù bú pà le

    At the beginning, I was a little scared, later on not any more.

 

In fact, ’以后‘(yǐ hòu) and ’后来‘(hòulái) are not exactly the same. Here is a table to show the differences:

Past

Future

以后

(Example2&5) (example1,3,4)

后来

(Example6) X(example2,5)

 

As we can see from the table above, ‘以后’(yǐ hòu) can be used both in the past and future, however, ‘后来’(hòu lái) can only be used in the past, and it always refers to the later part of a process.

 

 

 

Moreover, ‘后来’ can only be used by itself – normally, it appears at the beginning of a clause – example 5 and 6. There are always a time adverb preceding before ‘以后’, example 2 – ‘1990年'(yì jiǔ jiǔ líng nián)  and example 3 -‘明天”(míngtiān), and also we can add a time period before it, such as example 4, ‘一个月'(yígè yuè).

 

Exercises :

  1. 20年(    )我们都成老人了。
  2. 我小时候喜欢玩这个,(     )工作了,对它就不感兴趣了。
  3. 刚到的时候大家都还很有精神,(     )就不行了,都说要回家。
  4. 从那天(     ),他就再也不理我了。
  5. 到美国(     ),我会跟你联系的。
  6. (     )不能再这样粗心了,再这样下去会误大事的。

Answers: 1. 以后;2. 后来;3. 后来;4. 以后;5. 以后;6. 以后

 

Now, do you understand?  😛

Ling

Ling

Hi, I’m Ling, a Chinese tutor and a language learning amateur. I create this blog with a goal to help Mandarin learners and Chinese culture lovers to study and know about this language by self-learning. Welcome to visit me from time to time and give me your precious advice! Thank you! 😛

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