Juliet Capulet (euphoric1dr) wrote in linguaphiles,
Juliet Capulet

chinese verb tenses please =)

The concept of past imperfect and perfect seemed very difficult for Taiwanese students to grasp today; I'd like to know:

1. how would I express past tenses in Mandarin? Is there a difference in saying 'i was doing, singing, (VERB) + ing' and saying that 'i (VERB) + ed,' like I worked, I sang, I ate?

2. Does Mandarin also have progressive tenses, distinguishing between 'I eat' and 'I am eating'?
Similarly in the past, for 'I was sleeping'?

3. I've heard so many times that 'Chinese doesn't have verb tenses' But how can this be; surely in any language one should be able to express a difference among past, present and future at the very least, right?

4. Finally, is there a way to express the future in Chinese or is it all contextual?

Thanks so much everyone!

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