What's the difference between these sentences:

他又没来上课 他又不来上课()

Here: https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/Expressing_%22again%22_in_the_past_with_%22you%22#Negative_Form

it says both 没 and 不 can be used, and also after asking some native speakers one say the first is better, one say the meaning is different and one say that they're the same but the second sentence should have 了. Can anyone clarify?

4 Answers 4


A. 他又没来上课; B. 他又不来上课

These two sentences are showing different feeling of the speaker. Sentence A is describing a rather objective fact: He had been absent from class often, and he was absent once again today. It may translate to "he doesn't show up the class again."

The sentence B is spoken with a tone of condemnation beside describing the same fact in sentence A. The words "不来上课" indicate an extra meaning that he was absent from class without reasons or on purpose. It may tranlate to "he doesn't want to show up the class again."

Both sentences can be ended with "了" to have an emphasizing tone, simply trying to attract more attention of the audience. Without "了", it is a rather flat tone. The translation is "he doesn't (want to) show up the class, once again."


没 + (v) = did not + (v) - the verb is a completed action

不 + (v) = do not + (v) - the verb can be in any tense.

You can say 明天不来上课 (will not come to class tomorrow) but not 明天没来上课 (did not come to class tomorrow)

You can say 昨天没来上课 (did not come to class yesterday) or 昨天不来上课 (did not come to class yesterday)

You can say 今天没来上课 (did not come to class today) or 今天不来上课 (do not come to class today)

他又没来上课了 = he did not come to class again (没 indicates the absence of)

他又不来上课了 = he does not come to class again (不 indicates refuse to)

他又没来上课,又没通知學校 = He didn’t come to class and didn’t notify the school (没 indicates the absence of)

他又不来上课,又不通知學校 = He doesn't come to class, and he doesn't notify the school (proactively refuse to do either)


他又没来上课 vs 他又不来上课

他又不来上课 sounds like he knew there was a class, but he didn't attend again. It's more subjective

他又没来上课 suggests he didn't attend the class again for whatever reason. It's more objective.


没 is objective, 不 is proactive.


He is absent from the class again.


He refuses (proactively) to be present in class again.

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