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My book, among other expressions we should read out, lists 一個上年 without explanation. Now, I have heard 上年 as a variant of 去年,but I can't guess the meaning of 一個上年! I can't imagine when you would want to use this, since "last year" is unambiguous. There are no choices.

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Most likely, here was a typo of in your book.

一個上午 (a morning) make sense; 一個上年(a last year ) doesn't make sense.

  • 'A year' can be any unspecific year

  • 'Last year' is a specific year in the context of the speech.

  • The phrase '一個上年' (a last year) contradicts itself.

Another explanation for '一個上年' to exist could be: '年' here doesn't mean 'last year', but 'good year'( 上 as in 上等 - high quality). That is also unlikely, because '一個年'is much more common way to describe a 'good year'

If 一個上年 was not a typo, then it can only mean '上年'(last year) was a special year that was marked as a particular reference.

For example: "再来一個上年, 公司就要破產 "-- "one more (year like) last year, the company will bankrupt"

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Somethings when I play the computer games for a whole morning, my friends would say: 你居然打了一个上午的游戏 !(you should play the game for for a whole morning), here 一个 was used to emphasis.

  • Don't your friends say 一個上天? But I think you explained the basic point. It seems to mean 一個多年 (2 years or more, according to my feeble knowledge) – Ludi Mar 10 '17 at 18:07
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    In fact, we don't often use 一个上天,since 上天 means go to the sky rather than yesterday. ps: “一个” means may refers to one or a, depends on different situation. like 一个下午,我遇到了一个以前的朋友( one day afternoon, I came across one of my friend),the first 一个means one , but not used to emphasis, we always emphasis when we want to express a whole period of time. – Ciel Mar 10 '17 at 19:24
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这是个错误的语法!你可以说上一个年头,或者去年,但绝对不可以说上一个年!

This is wrong. You can say "上一个年头" or "去年", but never "上一个年".

  • I thingk you meant 绝对. – songyuanyao Mar 13 '17 at 1:38
  • @songyuanyao 手误,sorry – Chinese boy Mar 13 '17 at 15:09

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