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What is the meaning of 后?

For example, 我二十分钟后应该就到了。

I believe 后 means behind? I still don't get how 后 should be placed in the sentence. I thought it made more sense when it was, 我二十分钟应该就到。

How does 后 make the difference?

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    Remark: 后 means behind or after in simplified Chinese. In Traditional Chinese, 后 means "queen", and the correct character should be "後". – Conifers Sep 9 at 6:40
  • The full form of ~分钟 / / is ~分钟之 / / , the character 之 is omitted in modern Chinese. The character 之 likes the word of in English, but the order of the two parts on both side is opposite, also it likes 's in English, the same order as that in Chinese, for example: 中国之地图 (or 中国地图) means a map of China or China's map. – 賈可 Jacky Sep 10 at 11:26
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I think that the use of the character 后 helps to modify the certainty of the statement.

By expressing the exact figures, the person would be trying to convey that the arrival should occur within the exact time (e.g. train arriving at the schedule time at the station).

To create more subtlety in the expression, 后 suggest that the arrival will take place after 20min, so most likely not before or exactly, but most likely after.

However, adding 应该 also suggests uncertainty so they both contribute to modifying the accuracy of the time given.

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二十分钟 = "20 minutes later" or "after 20 minutes"

Example:

二十分钟后就到了 (will arrive 20 minutes later/ will arrive after 20 minutes)

二十分钟 = "20 minutes earlier" or " 20 minutes before"

二十分钟 = "in 20 minutes"

  • I normally hear 之內 rather than just 內 – droooze Sep 10 at 0:10
  • 內 is the shorter form of 之內; 前 is the shorter form of 之前; 后 is the shorter form of 之后 -- All valid – Tang Ho Sep 10 at 0:14
  • I meant "二十分钟內/ 二十分钟之內"; "二十分钟前/ 二十分钟之前"; "二十分钟后/ 二十分钟之后" are all valid – Tang Ho Sep 10 at 0:16
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我二十分钟后应该就到了。
I should arrive in 20 minutes.

Literally: I 20 minutes after should then arrive.

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    "in 20 minutes" means "二十分钟內 " not "二十分钟后" – Tang Ho Sep 10 at 0:04

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