Chinese Grammar: 以后 Yi Hou

Describe Sequential Events With the Chinese Word for "After"

The Mandarin Chinese term 以後 (traditional / 以后 (simplified) means after. The characters' pinyin is "yǐ hòu."  This term is needed in order to describe a sequential chain of events. 

Sentence Pattern

In English, "after" is typically used in this sentence pattern: After an action is completed, then another action occurs. 

However in Chinese, the sentence pattern looks like this: Action completed after, another action occurs.

 

This sentence pattern has two clauses, and 以後 / 以后 (yǐ hòu) is always placed after the first clause. This is in contrast to English, where the two clauses can be reversed.

以後 / 以后 (yǐ hòu) can also mean afterwords, in which case it is used in a single-clause sentence, and can be placed either before or after the subject. 

Sentence Examples with "After"

Tā xià kè yǐhòu, yào huí jiā chī fān.
After class, he will return home to eat.
(Literal translation – He class is over after, going to return home eat a meal.)
他下課以後要回家吃飯。
他下课以后要回家吃饭。

Tāmen jiéhūn yǐhòu yào dào Měiguó qù zhù.
After they get married, they will go to live in America.
(Literal translation – They marry after, going to to America go live.)
他們結婚以後要到美國去住。
他们结婚以后要到美国去住。

Half an hour later, she left.
Bàn xiǎoshí yǐhòu, tā jiù zǒule.
半小時以後,她就走了。
半小时以后,她就走了。

I will return home after one week.
Wǒ yīgè xīngqí yǐhòu huì huí jiā.
我一個星期以後會回家。
我一个星期以后会回家。

In five years I will have my own house.
Wǔ nián yǐhòu, wǒ huì yǒu zìjǐ de fángzi.
五年以後,我會有自己的房子。
五年以后,我会有自己的房子。

Sentence Examples with "Afterwards"

Tā yǐhòu huì qù Měiguó.
他以後會去美國。
他以后会去美国。
He will go to America afterwards.

Yǐhòu tā huì qù Měiguó.
以後他會去美國。
以后他会去美国。
Afterwards, he will go to America.