Hello everyone, I’m Grace! Welcome back to my channel! A while ago, I made a video talking about the usage of 就.
And in the comments, I saw that you guys also want to know how to use 才.
Yep, I know these two adverbs are quite annoying because they can be used in many different ways.
So today we are going to figure out how to use this word “才”, let’s go! I’m going to tell you 3 usages of this word and show you some examples to help you understand them.
But I want you to know that, it’s going to be a bit overwhelming if you try to memorize all the usages and all the details at once.
This video was made to help you understand how 才 can be used, but the best way to really get used to using it is by listening more, reading more and when you encounter this word, you can think about what I will teach you today and make sense of the examples you encounter in real life.
OK, without further ado, let’s dive into it! The first one is that when we add 才 in a sentence, it shows that a thing is different than expected.
This is a general concept.
There are three different ways to apply this usage, the first one is adding “才” after a time word to express a thing or an action happening later or taking more time than expected.
let’s take a look at this picture: Here is the time you or others expect the thing or action will happen or end, however, the thing or action actually happened or ended at this point, it happened or finished later than expected.
So people use 才 to express the lateness.
For example, Here the person said “你怎麼現在才來？” She added “才” after the time word “現在 now” to express that the time the other person arrived was later than she expected.
Because she expected the other person would come at 8, she said “你怎麼現在才來”, it’s like she was saying “Why are you so late?” Another example: This is an original sentence without adding 才.
If you want to emphasize that you think spending one year finishing a book is unusually long, you can add a “才” after the time word “一年 one year” to indicate that this time is longer than you expected.
If you have watched my previous video about “就”, you would know that this usage of 才 is contrary to the 就.
就 shows that the thing or action happened earlier or sooner than expected.
OK, the next way you can use 才 is to mean “only”.
It also has something to do with the expectation.
才 can be used to express that a number or amount is less than you expected.
For example, Let’s say, each of you can get three apples, but there is one person who only gets one.
So she might say “我才拿到一顆 I only got one”, she added 才 here to mean “only”, to express that the number of apples she got is less than she expected.
Another example: In this sentence, the person said “他才學中文半年 He has only learned Chinese for half a year”, she added a 才 to show that half a year is quite a short amount of time for being able to chat with others in Chinese.
This amount of time is less than she expected.
OK, the last way is related to expectation and is a usage that you might often hear from TV shows.
This one is used when you want to give an opinion that is different from others’.
So, in this case, other people have their own opinions and usually, they might expect you to agree with them, but you actually don’t, so you can add 才 in your sentence to express and emphasize your true opinion.
For example, So here she could just say “她不漂亮 She is not pretty”, but because her friend doesn’t think so, under that situation that there is a different opinion from her so she added 才 to express and emphasize her true opinion.
Another example, like Some people thought I took it, so I used “才” to emphasize that it’s different from what you thought or what other people thought.
I didn’t take it.
OK, let’s move on to the next usage, The first usage is about expectation, and yes I know it divides into many ways to use it, but if you wrap your mind around that, it all shows that things are different than expected.
But the next usage is that you can use “才” to mean that a thing or an action just happened.
For example, So this 才 means that the action of going out just happened, 就下雨了 and then it rained.
Also, this 才 is often combined with 剛剛 or 剛 to express that a thing or action just happened.
Like, Let’s move on to the last usage, 才 can be used as a linking word adding in this structure: The sentence or phrase before 才 is the only reason or condition that makes the next action or result able to happen.
Here 才 is like “only then” or “then” in English.
Let’s take a look at an example: The mother said “只有假日才能去找朋友”, here 才 is used as a linking word to show that “假日 weekend” is the only condition that “去找朋友 go meet your friend” can happen.
Some more examples, 他 he is the only reason.
才 here connects the reason and the next action “我去 I went”.
Remember 才 should be added after the subject.
滿十八歲 being over 18 is the only condition to making the next action “喝酒 to drink alcohol” happen, 才 used in the middle to connect them.
OK, after learning all of these usages of 才, let’s have a recap: Now let’s take a look at how to use 才: There are 3 different usages of this word.
The first one is using 才 to show that things are different than expected.
For example, you can add “才” after a time word to express a thing or an action happening later or taking more time than expected.
Or “才” can mean “only” to express that a number or amount is less than expected.
And also you can add “才” in your sentence when you want to give an opinion that is different from others’.
The second usage is using 才 to mean that a thing or action just happened.
And this 才 often is combined with 剛剛 or 剛.
The final usage of 才 is that it can be used as a linking word which means “only then” or “then” to connect the only reason or condition and the next action or result.
OK, that’s all for today! I know it’s gonna be hard to use it naturally right away.
Just give yourself more time to explore how 才 is used in more material and I believe that you’ll gradually get used to it! If you like this series of mastering confusing words, you can leave a comment to let me know, and if you want, you can also tell me what are the words that always confuse you.
Thank you for watching to the end! I’ll see you next time, bye!.