Time Spent

In Chinese, Time Spent sentences answer “How long?” questions. The answer is a period of time, e.g. 3minutes, 4monthes, 5years. Time-When words and Auxiliary Verbs all precede the main Verb.

S TW/Adverb AV V Time Spent
wǒmen yào zǒu èrshí fēnzhōng.
我们 二十分钟。

We have to walk for twenty minutes.

jīntiān dǎsuàn gōngzuò shíyígè xiǎoshí.
今天 打算 工作 十一个 小时。

He is going to work for eleven hours today.

wǒmen kěyǐ wán wǔtiān.
我们 可以 五天。

We can play for five days.

dàxióngmāo zhǐ néng huó sānshínián.
大熊猫 只 能 三十年。

Pandas can only live for thirty years.

When the main Verb has an Object, 的 is added in between the Time Spent and the Object.

Sentence Build Up:

S TW AV V Time Spent O
liǎngxiǎoshí de zhōngwénkè
两小时 中文课

two hours of Chinese classes

shàng liǎngxiǎoshí de zhōngwénkè
两小时 中文课

to have two hours of Chinese classes

yào shàng liǎngxiǎoshí de zhōngwénkè
两小时 中文课

need to have two hours of Chinese classes

jīntiān yào shàng liǎngxiǎoshí de zhōngwénkè
今天 两小时 中文课

need to have two hours of Chinese classes today

jīntiān yào shàng liǎngxiǎoshí de zhōngwénkè.
今天 两小时 中文课。

I need to have two hours of Chinese classes today.

Have a question? Join us in the discussion below!