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A brief introduction to Chinese auxiliary word “了”

了, chinese characters, learning chinese

The auxiliary word "了(le)" means that something has changed, and it is used to remind the listener of the new situation or new information. Here are several structures for this usage:

助词"了"表示已经发生了变化,提醒听话人注意某个新情况的出现或出现了一个新的信息,有下面几种形式:

 

a sentence+了

 

Used at the end of a sentence, "了(le)" means that something has happened. For example:

"了"在句尾,表示事情已经发生。例如:

 

我跟她断绝关系了。(我和她不再是朋友了)

wǒ gēn tā duàn jué guān xì le.

I have broken up with her. (She and I are not friends any more)

 

他去大使馆领签证了。(他已经去了)

tā qù dà shǐ guǎn lǐng qiān zhèng le.

He went to the embassy to get his visa. (He has gone)

 

他搬走了。(他不在这里了)

tā bān zǒu le.

He has moved. (He has left this place)

 

noun or adjective+了

 

"了(le)" is also used at the end of a sentence to indicate that something has changed. Examples:

 "了"在句尾,表示事情发生了变化。例如:

 

自从她骗我以后,我就不信任她了。

zì cóng tā piàn wǒ yǐ hòu, wǒ jiù bú xìn rèn tā le.

I have distrusted her ever since she cheated me. (I don't trust her now)

 

他提出了批评,我反而更喜欢他了。

tā tí chū le pī píng, wǒ fǎn ér gèng xǐ huān tā le.

I like him all the better for his criticism. (I like him now)

 

都大学生了,你可以独立生活了。(不再是中小学生了)

dōu dà xué shēng le, nǐ kě yǐ dú lì shēng huó le.

You are an undergraduate now and you can live on your own. (You are no longer a primary or secondary school student)

 

verb+了+ measure word+了

 

 "了(le)" emphasizes that an action has sustained for a long time. The action might continue or not, depending on the following sentence. Examples:

这个用法强调到说话时某个动作已经持续了很长时间,可能继续或不再继续,需要有后续的句子。例如:

 

我学汉语学了一年了,我还要学一年。(还要继续学下去)

wǒ xué hàn yǔ xué le yī nián le, wǒ hái yào xué yī nián.

I have been learning Chinese for a year and I will take one more year. (I will continue learning)

 

一晚上他都写了五篇文章了,该休息了。(不再继续)

yī wǎn shàng tā dōu xiě le wǔ piān wén zhāng le, gāi xiū xī le.

He has written five articles within one night and he should take a break. (He won't continue writing)

 

adjective+多/少+了

 

This structure can be used to indicate comparison and changes. Examples:

用于比较,表示变化。例如:

 

他现在中文说得流利多了。

tā xiàn zài zhōng wén shuō dé liú lì duō le.

He speaks Chinese much more fluently now.

 

现在全球的气候暖和多了。

xiàn zài quán qiú de qì hòu nuǎn huo duō le.

The global climate becomes warmer now.

 

要/快/快要/就要 … 了

 

It means that something is about to happen. Examples:

表示即将发生的变化。例如:

 

要下雨了,快回家吧。

yào xià yǔ le, kuài huí jiā ba.

It's going to rain. Go home now.

 

飞机马上就要起飞了,请大家系好安全带。

fēi jī mǎ shàng jiù yào qǐ fēi le, qǐng dà jiā jì hǎo ān quán dài.

The plane is about to take off. Please buckle up.

 

别/不要 … 了

 

It means to stop doing something. Examples:

表示终止某个动作。例如:

 

不要生气了,他又不是故意的。

bú yào shēng qì le, tā yòu bú shì gù yì de.

Don't be angry. He didn't do it on purpose.

 

太/最+adjective+了

 

 "了(le)" also indicates that you feel happy when something happens unexpectedly. Examples:

可表示你对某事的发生感到高兴或出乎预料。例如:

 

您能来参加晚会,真是太好了!

nín néng lái cān jiā wǎn huì, zhēn shì tài hǎo le!

It's so great to have you in this party!

 

如果可能,借来一点那就最好了。

rú guǒ kě néng, jiè lái yī diǎn nà jiù zuì hǎo le.

If possible, it would be fine to borrow a little.

2016-06-21

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