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Michael King
我 才工作 了 一 个 月 vs. 我 才工作 了 一 个 月了 Hello all, In my grammar book, the sentence " 我 才工作 了 一 个 月 " is translated as "I've only been working for a month". However, before this, I was under the impression that to say "have been working for (x) time", you had to put 了 after both the verb and the time, because if you don't, then it means "I WORKED for (x) time". In sum: has my grammar book translated this incorrectly? How do you express "I have only BEEN WORKING for a month" versus "I only WORKED for a month"? Thank you so much! Michael King
Jun 14, 2015 10:51 PM
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Answers · 18
First,your traslation is okay.actually Chinese is not that strict as u imagine.Plus there is nothing about the"了“, if u want to say"I have only BEEN WORKING for a month" in Chinese "我才工作了一个月”is correct,and it is also okay for translating"I only WORKED for a month". In chinese,we understand the meaning of a sentence in a context. ps:message me if u got any problem in Chinese.
June 15, 2015
Hola, "I have only BEEN WORKING for a month" ------> 我才刚刚工作一个月 From the day I started my job, up to now I have been working for a month and I will continue working here. In Chinese, it's hard to translate the structure "have been doing". So from the sentence ”我才(刚刚)工作一个月“,you can't get it whether he will continue working or not. And this exactly could be understood as "I only worded for a month, (and then I was fired)." "I only WORKED for a month"--------》我只上了一个月的班 PLUS: http://www.chinanews.com/hwjy/news/2010/02-24/2136783.shtml The structure with "了" N ”过“ The main differences can be roughly divided into two parts, the structure and the meaning. About the structure:  1.in a negative sentence with "没XX",: 【没X了】,we ignore the "了",we say 【没x】 while 【没X过】,we still say 【没X过】 eg. 去过北京[He has been to Beijing]。 (否定形式:没去过北京。He hasn't been to Beijing) 去了北京[He went to Beijing.]。 (否定形式:没去北京。He didn't go to Beijing, maybe go to Shanghai, Hong Kong....) 2. we have 【verb+了+verb】 but we don't have 【verb+过+verb】    eg. 看了看 = have a look (at sth) / 尝了尝= taste sth. 他看了看他的手表,告诉她现在是12点=He took a look at his watch and told her it was 12. wrong to say X [看过看] X ABOUT THE MEANING: 1.【verb+ 过】usually refers to a happened event, eg.去年我到北京时,游览过故宫。 Last year when I went to Beijing, I paid a visit to the Forbidden City. 我在北京学习的时候,曾跟几个朋友一起吃过烤鸭。 When I was studying in Beijing, I ate the roast duck with some friends.
June 15, 2015
Your grammer book did a great job, your memory, on the other hand, hmmm... 我工作了一个月了: “I have been working for a month, not a green hand any more!" 你 才工作 了 一 个 月: The whole point is about "才". " you have only been working for a month. that makes you totally a green hand". Is this clear?
June 15, 2015
"I have only BEEN WORKING for a month" means 这个工作我才做了一个月, the sentence is going to stress the short time, but i am still working now. "I only WORKED for a month"我只工作了一个月。the work i just worked 1 month, but now not sure if still work
June 15, 2015
For your questions: 【could we replace 只 with 才?】I think you can't. Unless "only"='just' :) 【只 is used more for past sentences while 才 is used more for the "have been (x)ing" types of sentences】 To a degree, 才 does let people have a sense of "have been (x)ing", for example: [Mom]---还不给我把电视关上,你都看多久了!/Shut down the TV! You've been watching TV for too long! [A boy]-我才刚打开一小会儿!/ But I've just opened it for few minites! 【(in his heart)SEE, mom?! I'M COMPLAINING, I've JUST opened it, why you must ask me to shut it down! No fair!】 我才吃过饭 I had a meal and it was JUST few minites ago = 我刚刚吃 过/完 饭 【FACT,statement】 我才刚吃完饭,你就叫我去学习?!I have just finished eating while you ask me to study?! NO fair. 【with extra meaning, complainment】 只/才 aren't the typical words that distinguish the tenses in Chinese. 只= only, merely 才=just When you use ONLY, you choose 只/只有 when you use JUST, you choose to use 才/才刚刚(才刚) About “的班” we say “上了(+period)的班”(=“上班上了(+period)了。”). It means "I have worked for ... years/months." eg. 我上了三个月的班(儿)了(=我上班上了三个月了)///I have worked for 3 months。
June 17, 2015
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Michael King
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, Portuguese, Spanish
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin), Portuguese