Chinese Aspect Particles Uncovered: 了 (le), 过 (guò), and 着 (zhe) in Focus


Learning a new language, especially one as complicated and varied as Chinese, can be difficult. Understanding how to use aspect particles is one of the more challenging components of learning Chinese. We shall delve into the world of Chinese aspect particles in this post, concentrating on 了 (le), 过 (guò), and 着 (zhe).

Chinese Aspect Particles

What are aspect particles?

Chinese language grammatical markers called aspect particles explain the temporal qualities of an action or condition. They assist in expressing the end, duration, or repetition of an action or event.

The importance of aspect particles

Understanding aspect particles is essential for learning Chinese since they assist in putting the activities and events described in perspective and making them more transparent. They facilitate understanding and communication of challenging concepts and situations.

了 (le)

The meaning and usage of 了 (le)

One of the most prevalent and valuable particles in Chinese is the particle (le). It is typically used to represent the past tense or to signify a change in state or the conclusion of an action.

Examples of 了 (le)

  1. 我吃了午饭。Wǒ chī le wǔfàn. (I ate lunch.)
  2. 天气变冷了。Tiānqì biàn lěngle. (The weather got colder.)

过 (guò)

The meaning and usage of 过 (guò)

The aspect particle (gu) denotes that activity has occurred or been finished in the past, frequently with a sense of reflection.

Examples of 过 (guò)

  1. 我去过北京。Wǒ qùguò Běijīng. (I have been to Beijing.)
  2. 他学过法语。*Tā xuéguò fǎyǔ (He has studied French before.)

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着 (zhe)

The meaning and usage of 着 (zhe)

A continuing action or situation is indicated by the aspect particle 着 (zhe). It frequently refers to an ongoing process, an ongoing condition, or the impact of a past event on the present.

Examples of 着 (zhe)

  1. 他穿着红色的衬衫。Tā chuānzhe hóngsè de chènshān. (He is wearing a red shirt.)
  2. 窗户开着。Chuānghù kāizhe. (The window is open.)

Using Aspect Particles Together

In some instances, aspect particles can be used together to convey more complex meanings. When combining aspect particles, it’s essential to consider the context and the sentence’s intended purpose. Here are a few examples of how 了 (le), 过 (guò), and 着 (zhe) can be used together:

Aspect particles can occasionally be combined to offer deeper meanings. It’s critical to consider the context and intended purpose of the sentence when mixing aspect particles. Here are some examples of how to combine the characters for 了 (le), 过 (guò), and 着 (zhe):

  1. 他吃着饭看了电视。Tā chīzhe fàn kàn le diànshì. (He watched TV while eating.)
  2. 我学过汉语,现在正在学习日语。Wǒ xuéguò Hànyǔ, xiànzài zhèngzài xuéxí Rìyǔ. (I have studied Chinese before and am now learning Japanese.)


As a result, anyone learning Chinese must become proficient in using the aspect particles 了 (le), 过 (guò), and 着 (zhe). It is simpler to comprehend and explain complicated ideas because these particles provide actions and events describing the necessary context and clarity. 


What are aspect particles in Chinese? 

Chinese grammar uses aspect particles, which are grammatical indicators that describe the temporal qualities of an action or state, such as completion, duration, or repetition.

Can I use multiple aspect particles in the same sentence? 

As long as the context and intended meaning are apparent, utilising multiple aspect particles in a single statement is OK.

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