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.)

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.)

Half an hour later, she left.
Bàn xiǎoshí yǐhòu, tā jiù zǒule.

I will return home after one week.
Wǒ yīgè xīngqí yǐhòu huì huí jiā.

In five years I will have my own house.
Wǔ nián yǐhòu, wǒ huì yǒu zìjǐ de fángzi.

Sentence Examples with "Afterwards"

Tā yǐhòu huì qù Měiguó.
He will go to America afterwards.

Yǐhòu tā huì qù Měiguó.
Afterwards, he will go to America.
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Su, Qiu Gui. "Chinese Grammar: 以后 Yi Hou." ThoughtCo, Mar. 30, 2017, Su, Qiu Gui. (2017, March 30). Chinese Grammar: 以后 Yi Hou. Retrieved from Su, Qiu Gui. "Chinese Grammar: 以后 Yi Hou." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 18, 2018).