Why does this sentence end in 的? - Chinese Grammar Question

I have been plagued in the past for not understanding when this particle goes at the end of the sentence. It is a very common grammatical construction, but I don’t know when to use it or when not to use it. If someone could help please explain it to me I would be so grateful.

我 记得 我 小时候 很 喜欢 上 幼儿园 的. I believe the translation is: I remember during my childhood I really liked going to Kindergarten.

It is just added some times for no real reason. Almost like “you know” in English. It is used more in some areas, than others. It seems more common in the south than in Beijing for example or so it seems to me.

It has many functions but just those relating to your sentence, from ABC and oxford dictionaries:

(shì) A ∼ action emphasizing A

Wǒ shì zuótiān mǎi de.
It was yesterday that I bought it.

Wọ̌ xiǎng (shì) bụ̀ huì xiàyǔ de.
I think it’s unlikely to rain.


  1. 表强调 [used after the predicative verb to emphasize the doer, the time, the place, etc.]

Who said that?

It was yesterday that he had a fever.

When I first started with Chinese, one of the grammar explanations of the very common 是…的 structure was that it’s one of the ways to express past tense. (The 是part is often omitted, so in your sentence that would be: 我记得我小时候(是)很喜欢上幼儿园的) but in my experience the main function is emphasis.