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rezaf

(I know that 了 has been discussed a million times here. )

My English is not so good so I hope my questions are clear.

1- 今天早饭你吃什么了?does it mean "What are you going to eat for breakfast?" or does it mean "What did you eat for breakfast?"

What does 了 indicate in this sentence ?

2-If I want to say "Today I ate bread for breakfast." is it correct to say "今天早饭我吃了面包。"?

What does 了 indicate in this sentence and what does this sentence mean without 了?

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againstwind
1- 今天早饭你吃什么了?does it mean "What are you going to eat for breakfast?" or does it mean "What did you eat for breakfast?"

What does 了 indicate in this sentence ?

----What did you eat today for breakfast?

In this sentence, 了 is used after the verb to indicate completion.

2-If I want to say "Today I ate bread for breakfast." is it correct to say "今天早饭我吃了面包。"?

What does 了 indicate in this sentence and what does this sentence mean without 了?

Yes.

The same to the 1st, 了 indicates completion.

Without 了, this sentence '今天早饭我吃面包' may have different meanings in practice:

1. Today I am going to have bread for breakfast. (You say this sentence before breakfast, indicating your will.)

2. Today I ate bread for breakfast. (You state the truth after breakfast.)

So what meaning this sentence exactly conveys totally depends on what context you are in and how the listener understand.:wink:

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Lugubert
Without 了, this sentence '今天早饭我吃面包' may have different meanings in practice:

1. Today I am going to have bread for breakfast. (You say this sentence before breakfast, indicating your will.)

2. Today I ate bread for breakfast. (You state the truth after breakfast.)

Or, it will sound like you will continue speaking, like for instance.

1. Today, when I will have had bread for breakfast, ... I will have a boiled egg too.

2. Today, when I had had my breakfast, ... I went on with having an egg.

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rezaf

thanks. I am a beginner and so far this is the first difficult thing I have seen in chinese grammar. not so bad...

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anonymoose
Without 了, this sentence '今天早饭我吃面包' may have different meanings in practice:

.

.

.

2. Today I ate bread for breakfast. (You state the truth after breakfast.)

So under what circumstances would one choose to say the above sentence (without 了) as opposed to 今天早饭我吃了面包 when refering to the past situation (after breakfast)?

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againstwind
So under what circumstances would one choose to say the above sentence (without 了) as opposed to 今天早饭我吃了面包 when refering to the past situation (after breakfast)?

If someone (native) speaks casually or optionally, it possibly happens.

In other words, it's not strict to use '今天早饭我吃面包' when refering to the past situation (after breakfast). But this is just what people say.

And I think that usually people would prefer another expression, like '今天早饭我吃的(是)面包'.

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