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Lesson 7 – Intermediate – The Analysis of Adverbs -从来,向来,历来

It would be a great opportunity for language learners who are puzzled about how to learn Mandarin in a creative while effective way, the method of exemplifications is a shortcut. In this session, we’d like to help you distinguish the usages of adverbs conglai(从来), lilai( 历来 ), xianglai(向来) through providing you with large sums of colloquial while helpful examples. “从来” is used to show a comparatively long period of time, from the past to the present.

While for language learners to learn to speak Chinese in China, both “历来”and “向来” are adverbs used to show “at all times”, “all along” or “consistency”.

Firstly, the usage of the three adverbs is varied in qualified Mandarin program. “conglai从来”are mostly confined to negative sentences, “历来”is usually adopted in affirmative ones, “向来”is applicable in both negative and positive sentences. For students who are taking free Chinese lessons in China, here are some useful cases:
For example:
a.他从来没有去过美国。 He has never been to the U.S.
b. 他从来没有见过这个人。 He has never met this guy before.
c. 我们从来不去他的家里。 We’ve never been to his house.
d. 他历来喜欢收集邮票。 He always likes collecting stamps.
We can also put the Chinese version in this way:他向来喜欢收集邮票。 
e. 他历来过春节都要回家。/他向来过春节都要回家。
He always goes back to his hometown during the Spring Festivals.
f. 他向来过春节都不回家过年。 He usually does not go back to his hometown to celebrate the Spring Festivals) (Chinese school in China hardly uses “lilai” in negative sentences)

Secondly, For students to learn Mandarin in China, the tone of“从来”“conglai” is comparatively more definite, therefore ,they tend to show things emphatically. it emphasizes the meaning of “never”; “历来”“lilai”、“向来”“xianglai” tend to simply deliver a statement, the tone of speech tends to be softer.“从来”“conglai”、“历来”“lilai” can be used as adjectives, acting as attributes, while “xianglai” cannot.。

It’s great for students to learn Chinese in China to do the work of comparing the tones of the following sentences:
他是个素食主义者,从来不吃肉。He is a vegetarian and he never eats meat
他是个素食主义者,所以他向来不吃肉。 He is a vegetarian, so he doesn’t eat meat.
他的母亲从来没有关心过他。 His mother has never cared about him.
他的母亲向来不关心他。 His mother hasn’t been concerned with him.

Thirdly , To study Chinese well, “历来”“lilai” is often used in written language, and the adverbs从来“conglai”、“向来””xianglai” can be used in both written and oral language. To learn Mandarin well is not difficult as long as you give your students the following practices a try.

For example:
In the work “To Mother” 《书信集•致母亲》written by the great litterateur Luxun, there is a sentence goes like this::“其实以现在生活之艰难,家中历来之生活法,也还要算是上等。”

Workout :
Please fill the blanks with the adverbs given today, then check the answer by yourself.
a. 他是个穆斯林,所以他 不吃猪肉。
b. 他不太喜欢吃猪肉,所以我们请他吃饭的时候,他 只吃一点点。
c. 他 不喜欢回家看望父母。
a. 从来
b .历来、向来
c. 向来

I think you must’ve done a wonderful job on the study of these three adverbs. To study in China will be a memorable and excellent choice for you. Keep on trying, since practice makes perfect!

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