I saw 他随后明白过来 as a clause. Does the 过来 imply that it took like some effort or some extra time so that they could return to this normal state of understanding? Like it was a discovrery?

4 Answers 4


Quote:- Indicates a return to normal state?

It actually means a transformation to a new state. In this case, a "new state of understanding"

Let me elaborate.

When you tell someone to 过来, it means to tell that person to "come here or come over here" to where you are.

Why 过来? It means to tell that person to "traverse", 过, (to pass through) the physical space between where he was originally to "come", 来, to the space where you are. So, "come", (traverse from where he was), to "here", (where you are)

So, how does all these metaphysical reasoning has to do with the 过来 in 他随后明白过来?

The sentence, in English, means "He then, (afterwards), understood" But there is no past tense in Chinese, so how to say he now understands what he had not understood before?

Following from our metaphysical reasoning above, he now understands because he had traversed the "old space / state", from ignorance, (where he originally was), to the "new space / state" of understanding, (where he is now), that is, he now 明白过来.

Actually, the more usual way in Chinese to indicate a "past tense marker" is to use 了, as in 明白了, and 明白过来 is just a more formal expression.


过来, when used after the verb, means "can" or "manage".

  • 他随后明白过来 - He (soon) later managed to realize.

  • 他终于过来了 - He managed to wake up in the end.

  • 活儿不多, 我一个人干得过来 - There is not much of a workload, I myself can manage it.


The words 来 and 去 are like the English words this and that, or here and there. They have extended meanings in Chinese. Basically, 来 indicates something as wished and welcomed, and 去 means not very good. For example,

(1) 这些年生活好起了。= The livelihood became better in those years.

(2) 钱都被他花出了。= He spent all of the money.

(3) 在家休息了几天,他的体力恢复过来了。= After a couple of days relaxing at home, he feels that he is revived.

(4) 他的病,好转了几天,怎么又变回去了?= He feels better for some days but now it goes back.


Since 来 means "to come", using 过来 feels like that person comes to the same state as the speaker.

Think about the following examples:

  • 他醒过来了。
  • 他睡过去了。
  • 他晕过去了。
  • 他死去了。

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.