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rán hòu
conj. then, after that, afterward
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1. 然后(conjunction) can be used in a context of the past events, present events, or future events.
Example 1a. 他踌躇了一下,然后说出了实话。 [phr] He hesitated and then told the truth.
Example 1b. 接下来我准备先出国读书,然后再考虑结婚的事。Next I prepare to study abroad first, then I will think about getting married.
Example 1c. 先听磁带,然后回答下面的问题。 [phr] First listen to the tape and then answer the question below.

2. 然后 emphasizes the sequence of different actions or events. It indicates that one action or event happens, followed by another action or event
Example 2a.她放下行李,然后坐下。 [phr] He put down the luggage, and then sat down.

For more information, please take a look at the notes of 后来 in trainchinese dictionary.
以后 vs 然后

1. 以后 is a noun indicating time. You can add a period of time or a point of time before 以后, e.g.

You can use 以后 as the subject or the object of a sentence, e.g.

2. 然后 cannot be used in these ways. 然后 is a conjunction that connects two phrases or clauses, e.g.
然后 vs 之后

然后 is a conjunction that connects two clauses within a complex sentence. The two clauses connected by 然后 can have the same subject or different subjects. For example:
- 我打算先去超市,然后和你一起回家。 [phr] I plan to go to the supermarket first and then go home with you
- 你先在宾馆等我,我等下过去之后再找你,然后我们再去汽车站! [phr] Please wait for me at the hotel. I'll come to meet you in a while. Then let's go to the bus station together.

之后 is a noun. We can add a point of time or a period of time before 之后. For example:
- 毕业之后 after graduation
- 回国之后 after going back to one's home country
- 秋天之后 after autumn
- 上了张老师的课之后 after taking Mr./ Ms. Zhang's class
- 一周之后 a week later
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