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Forum Rocket Chinese Chinese Grammar past, present, and future tenses

past, present, and future tenses


Rosetta Stone attempts to represent past, present, and future tenses like this. tā yóu yǒng le 他游泳了 he swam tā zài yóu yǒng 他在游泳 he is swimming tā yào yóu yǒng 他要游泳 he will swim The first two (past, present) make perfect sense to me. The last example (future) looks like it could be interpreted as "he wants to swim". Is 要 (yào) the closest we can get to asking about something in the future?


I think to indicate that he is about to swim you would need to add le 了 to the end  the sentence. 他要游泳了 Ta yao youyong le。 To express "will do" I usually use 会 hui. 她明天会去到北京。Ta mingtian qu dao Beijing. Tomorrow she will go to Beijing.

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