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Last time we took a look at how to say,
“What did you do yesterday?” in Chinese. If you missed that discussion, take some time to
go back and answer the question in the reply.
(see all "20 Questions to Basic Fluency.")
Today we are looking at the future tense in Chinese and asking, “What are you doing tomorrow?”
Unlike some other aspects of Chinese, using verb tenses is pretty simple. Here is today’s question and answer:
Nǐ míngtiān yào zuò shénme?
What do you want to do tomorrow?
Wǒ míngtiān yào qù bówùguǎn.
I want to go to the museum tomorrow.
Just as in the past tense and present tense, the verb in the question,
做 (zuò), and the verb in the answer,
去 (qù), don't need to be changed, or conjugated. To form the future tense simply put
要 (yào) in front of the verb.
The verb 要 (yào) by itself means “want” but in this context it functions as “will” or “want to” or “going to.” If you’ve been studying Chinese for a bit you may have also noticed that 会 (huì) can be used to form the future in the same way. Either one is fine to use to form the future tense, but for now let’s just use 要 (yào) to keep things simple.
So you may be asking yourself, “what if I don’t want to go to the museum? What if I want to talk about what I’m going to DO (or what I want to DO) tomorrow?” If you want to talk about actions that you will do in the future, you can just replace 去博物馆 (yào qù bówùguǎn)in the answer above with any action.
So... say you want to see a movie tomorrow, you would say:
Wǒ míngtiān yào kàn diànyǐng.
If you want to
GO see a movie tomorrow, you can say:
Wǒ míngtiān yào qù kàn diànyǐng.
Here is a list of places that you might be going to tomorrow:
城市 － Chéngshì – the city
市中心 － Shì zhōngxīn - downtown
市场 － Shìchǎng – the market
商场 － Shāngchǎng – the mall
商店 － Shāngdiàn – the store (a shop)
超级市场 － Chāojí shìchǎng – grocery market
药店 － Yàodiàn － the pharmacy
饭店 － Fàndiàn - restaurant
面馆 － Miànguǎn – noodle shop
路边摊 － Lù biān tān – street vendor
咖啡馆 － Kāfēi guǎn – the cafe
茶馆 － Cháguǎn – tea house
酒吧 － Jiǔbā – the bar
图书馆 － Túshū guǎn – the library
书店 － Shūdiàn – the bookstore
公园 － Gōngyuán – the park
博物馆 － Bówùguǎn – the museum
学校 － Xuéxiào - school
办公室 － Bàngōngshì – the office
工作 － Gōngzuò - work
教堂 － Jiàotáng - church
银行 － Yínháng – the bank
邮局 － Yóujú – the post office
海边 － Hǎibiān – the ocean
湖边 － Hú biān – the lake
河边 － Hé biān – the river
山 － Shān – the mountains
沙漠 － Shāmò – the desert
农场 － Nóngchǎng – the farm
工厂 － Gōngchǎng – the facotry
体育馆 － Tǐyùguǎn – the gym
游泳池 － Yóuyǒngchí – the pool
球场 － Qiúchǎng – the (ball) field/court
高尔夫场 － Gāo'ěrfū chǎng – the golf course
自动取款机 － Zìdòng qǔkuǎn jī – the ATM
机场 － Jīchǎng – the airport
So now it’s your turn. Take some time to practice and tell us what you are doing tomorrow in the reply using this pattern.
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