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Learn Chinese in China

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Week 2/3 - 了



I have decided to update my blog every 2 weeks instead of weekly, as otherwise I don't really have a ton to put in here from week to week.  These last 2 weeks have been fun, and I feel like I am back into the swing of things now.  It was a shock starting back up and not being able to remember how to write out simple characters I have written many, many times before!  We are doing more 'activities' in class now.  By this I mean that for our dictation our teachers will have us up to the front in groups so that one group is writing on the board, and one group on paper as before.  In our comprehensive class we have also started doing 复述,where we have to retell one of the two texts from class from the front of the room.  These just spice things up a little bit and keep it from getting boring.  It's also a nice added challenge to have to try and put my Chinese to work while standing in front of the class.  I've always hated public speaking so this is a great push for me.


The main grammar point we hit this week was 了.  It was good to get some more clarification here, as we had already covered the idea of 了 showing a completed action or a change of state.  I had been wondering why sometimes 了 would appear directly after the verb, whereas other times it would be right at the end of the sentence, and now I know why!  If the object after the verb contains any extra information, a continuing sentence, or measure words, then 了 is generally going to go straight after the verb, but if the object appears alone, 了 will generally go at the end of the sentence:


1. 我买了两个苹果。

2. 我买苹果了。


We also looked at the placement of 了 in sentences with more than one verb.  All in all this doesn't seem to difficult, but it's nice to understand WHY something is the way it is!


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