已经⋯⋯了 (yǐ jīng … le) is the basic pattern used to express “already” in Chinese. It’s easy to forget the 了 (le) on the end, but using it will make your Chinese more natural.
已经 (yǐjīng) with Verb Phrases:
Structure: 已经 + [Verb Phrase] + 了
The most common structure is to use 已经⋯⋯了 (yǐ jīng… le) with a verb phrase.
他们已经走了。(tāmen yǐjīng zǒu le) = They’ve already left.
我已经有男朋友了。 (wǒ yǐjīng yǒu nánpéngyou le) = I already have a boyfriend.
宝宝已经会说话了。(bǎobao yǐjīng huì shuōhuà le) = The baby can already speak.
妈妈已经回来了。(māma yǐjīng huílái le) = Mom has already come back.
他已经上飞机了。(tā yǐjīng shàng fēijī le) = He’s already gotten on the plane.
已经 (yǐjīng) with Adjectives:
Structur: 已经 + (很 +) Adj. + 了
Sometimes an adjective or a time noun is used instead of a typical verb phrase:
爸爸妈妈已经老了。(bàba māma yǐjīng lǎo le) = Mom and dad are already old.
已经很便宜了。(yǐjīng hěn piányi le) = It is already very cheap.
你女朋友已经很漂亮了！(nǐ nǚpéngyou yǐjīng hěn piàoliang le) = Your girlfriend is already very beautiful!
你的感冒已经好了吗？(nǐ de gǎnmào yǐjīng hǎo le ma) = Is your cold already better?
已经很晚了，我们走吧。(yǐjīng hěn wǎn le, wǒmen zǒu ba) = It’s already really late. Let’s go.
已经 (yǐjīng) with Time Nouns:
A “time noun” simply refers to almost any word in Chinese indicating a time something happened.
Structure: 已经 + Time + 了
已经 11点了，女儿还没回来。(yǐjīng shíyī diǎn le, nǚ’ér hái méi huílái) = It is already 11 o’clock, and my daughter has not returned.
爷爷已经八十五岁了。(yéye yǐjīng bāshí-wǔ suì le) = Grandpa is already eighty-five years old.
我学习中文已经一 年了。(wǒ xuéxí Zhōngwén yǐjīng yī nián le) = I have already been studying Chinese for a year.
他在洗手间里已经半个小时了。(tā zài xǐshǒujiān lǐ yǐjīng bàn gè xiǎoshí le) = He has already been in the bathroom for half an hour.
爸爸去北京出差已经两天了。(bàba qù Běijīng chūchāi yǐjīng liǎng tiān le) = It has already been two days since dad went to Beijing on business trip.
Structure: 已经 + 不 + Verb + 了
The negative structure simply adds a 不 (bù) after 已经 (yǐjīng), and before the verb (or possibly adjective).
Generally this negative 已经 (yǐjīng) structure is translated into English as “not… anymore” rather than using the word “already.”
我已经不喜欢你了。(wǒ yǐjīng bù xǐhuan nǐ le) = I don’t like you anymore.
他已经不爱他的猫了。(tā yǐjīng bù ài tā de māo le) = He doesn’t love his cat anymore.
他们已经不住在中国了。(tāmen yǐjīng bù zhù zài Zhōngguó le) = They don’t live in China anymore.
我已经不需要父母的钱了。(wǒ yǐjīng bù xūyào fùmǔ de qián le) = I don’t need my parents’ money anymore.
你已经不在Google工作了吗？(nǐ yǐjīng bù zài Google gōngzuò le ma) = You don’t work at Google anymore?
Post time: Jul-23-2020