How to say a word in Cantonese
10 Facts About Chinese Everyone Should Know (Part 1)
Chinese has no tenses
Most people are surprised. I often just say in general that Chinese has no grammar. Because the "grammar" only works if you have letters. I often hear sentences like: "May I say that Chinese is still very primitive?"
That sounds terrifying, but it is often because people who are familiar with a language system that exists in letters simply cannot imagine how a language could develop into any other greater complexity. With letters, a language will inevitably develop more complex language rules, since the letters are finite.
Since Chinese is based on characters and the characters are almost unlimited (I'd really like to know who really knows the 83,000 characters), the elegance and complexity of the language resides in unfamiliar characters. The word “red” alone in Chinese has more than 5 different expressions: 红 ， 赤 ， 朱 ， 绯 ， 丹… I think of 5 at once. Nor is it the case that a symbol is used only for a specific situation. Instead, a discerning person would use a more complex word for "red".
As a result, things like tenses in Chinese are completely unnecessary. If you put “yesterday” in a sentence, then it's the past. And if a word like "already" appears in a sentence, then it has already happened. The function of times is replaced by words in Chinese. And that's why there are no tenses and everything is expressed in infinitive:
I be going shopping yesterday.
Finished writing your homework Question mark?
We go tomorrow watch movies good not good?
These are all correct sentences! No wonder some people think Chinese is primitive!
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