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I ask after encountering the following sentence in Tatoeba:

再过两、三个月,你就能说得一口流利的英语了。

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Hello,Benjameno! welcome to this site. Hope to see more questions and answers from you. –  Huang Feb 5 '12 at 14:51
1  
"再过" ~= "等" or "再等" –  Flake Feb 5 '12 at 23:12
    
Hey, Benjameno, nice to see someone else find their way here from Tatoeba. –  Don Kirkby Feb 7 '12 at 6:12

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Yes, your guess is right. However, I think you should focus on the character "再" here. There are several such patterns with "再".

The pattern "再 + verb + [], [] + 就 + []" is used to express a condition, a premise; remember that "过" here means "[time, etc] to pass, to elapse" and "再" means "to continue to do something" or "to do something again" here. This pattern is somewhat like the pattern "if sb/sth continues to do sth,sb/sth will..." in English.

再向前走500米,你就会看见那栋建筑。 [if you ]continue to go forward for 500 meters, you will see that building.

"再" here implies "you" have covered a distance already, so now you continue to walk.

再写一个小时我就去睡觉。 [I want to ]continue to write for 1 hour, then I will go to bed.

"再" here implies "I" have written for a while, so I want to continue to write.

再骚扰我,我就报警。 Warning: I will call the police if [you] continue to harass me.

"再" here implies "you" have harassed me for some time, so now you continue to harass me or harass me again.

When a police officer is chasing a criminal, he would warn the criminal,

再跑我就开枪了! I will shoot [if you continue to] run/escape.

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In informal conversation, you may often hear people omit the pronoun 你/我 in these sentences, like: 再向前走500米,就会看见那栋建筑。 再跑就开枪了! –  weiy Feb 6 '12 at 23:21
    
Great examples as always. Thanks, @Huang. –  Don Kirkby Feb 7 '12 at 6:10
    
@DonKirkby It's my pleasure. I just visited the tatoeba page from the link in the question(by the way, its name sounds like a Japanese word...), and I found PinYin for this sentence is not quite right. 得 should be "de"(neutral) here and 一 should be "yì" (sandhi here). –  Huang Feb 7 '12 at 6:28
    
Yes, @Huang, the pinyin on Tatoeba is machine generated, so it's not perfect. The conversion between simplified and traditional characters is also sometimes flawed. It's still helpful for learners, though, even with some errors. I think tatoeba means "for example" in Japanese. The site is intended to collect example sentences and their translations in many different languages. –  Don Kirkby Feb 7 '12 at 17:30

Even without 再, it still means "in [amount of time]." For example, "过几天" means "after a few days".

I don't have any statistics, but yes, I think that using 过 is the most natural and common way to express this concept.

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