This website uses cookies. Find out more or .
zhèng zài
adv. in the process of, in the course of
Discussion of
To include posts you need to register at
The adverbs 正, 在 or 正在 can be used prior to the predicate verb and the particle 呢 at the end of a sentence to indicate that the action is in progress. The action may take place either in the present, the past or the futureEither the adverb or the particle can be omitted, which leads us to these two basic patterns:

Pattern 1. Subject 正/在/正在 Verb (Object) (呢)。
E.g. 1a 昨天你打来电话的时候,我正忙着做饭呢。 [phr] Yesterday when you called, I was busy cooking.
E.g. 1b. 他们正忙活着整理行装。 [phr] They are busy packing up clothes for traveling.
E.g. 1c. 他在睡觉。 [phr] He is sleeping.
E.g. 1d. 孩子们正在街道上踢足球。 [phr] Children are playing football in the street.

Pattern 2. Subject (正/在/正在) Verb (Object) 呢。
E.g. 2a. 昨天你打来电话的时候,我忙着做饭呢。
E.g. 2b. 他们忙活着整理行装呢。
E.g. 2c. 他睡觉呢。
E.g. 2d. 孩子们在街道上踢足球呢。

The negative forms of the two patterns above are formed by adding 没 before the predicate verb.
Negative form: Subject 没 (在) Verb (Object) 。
E.g. 3a. 昨天你打来电话的时候,我没(在)忙着做饭。
E.g. 3b. 他们没(在)忙活着整理行装。
E.g. 3c. 他没(在)睡觉。
E.g. 3d. 孩子们没在街道上踢足球。
What is the difference in usage between正在and现在❓
Show 2 replies
You you can select to receive personal notifications on the app or via email for important contributions to words that you are learning in the account settings .