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freefall

了 in chain constructions

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freefall

Can a native speaker tell me which of the numbers in the sentences below can have 了?

Thanks very much!

a. 护士放轻(1)脚步屏住(2)气走进(3)病人床前。

b. 我带着所有的文件去见(1)律师。

c. 两个老师争着付(1)钱。

d. 哭着哭着他晕(1)过去。

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skylee

I would say it is (d).

BTW, the nurse in (a) can't 走进病人窗前 (people can't get into a window's front, whatever it means). I suppose it is 走近病人床前.

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freefall

Haha, no this isn't a homework assignment or anything--I'm interested in each sentence.

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gougou
窗前 (people can't get into a window's front, whatever it means)
Probably supposed to read 床前。

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freefall

Okay so I might as well cut to the chase. According to my native speaker sources, sentences a, b, and c cannot incorporate 了, but sentence d can. I'm trying to figure out the logic.

In these "chain constructions" you have an accompanying verb (or verbs) which may or may not incorporate 着 before the final verb. In some cases the final verb can have 了, for instance

我带着她去看了一部电影。

Sometimes they cannot (sentence b above 我带着所有的文件去见律师。 )

Why?

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chinlearner83

Perhaps because there's a person in the "了" sentence (person as the object of 带着). I personally think it's fine without the "了".

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freefall

Yep, it's fine with or without the 了. But I don't think it's a person as the object that decides whether or not le can occur because take this sentence which is in my grammar book:

他怀着满腔的热情接受了这个任务。

The object here, 满腔的热情, is not a person.

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xiaocai

Sentence a, b and c are all fine to me both with or without 了, but d would sound a bit awkward without it. Can't give and in-depth explaination coz my grammar sucks; however I think it's got to be something to do with the "过去"... Any expert would like to confirm my guess?

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freefall

So ANOTHER native speaker said 我带着所有的文件去见了律师 with the le is okay. This is a definite pattern in my study of Chinese. I pick up random sentences from TV or other people and freak out over supposed "contradictions" only to later find out it's all pretty flexible. :wall

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crashsky

了 means already, a fact

我带着所有的文件去见了律师

but

我带着所有的文件去见律师 means a action .

strongly show a action 见

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semantic nuance

I agree with xiaocai. I think a, b, c are fine with or without 了. But of course they seem to be slightly different.:)

EDIT:

a. 护士放轻(1)脚步屏住(2)气走进(3)病人床前。

I think this sentence can be 护士放轻了脚步屏住了气走近病人床前。 Or, 护士放轻脚步屏住气走近病人床前。 (1), and (2) are ok to have 了 or not. However, (3) cannot use 了 .

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freefall

My latest conclusion is that all numbered positions except for a. (1) and (2) can have 了 by the way.

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chinlearner83

freefall, the example you provided isn't parallel to the one cited. The verb + 着 is used in a much different way with respect to 带/怀. It doesn't necessarily take away from the validity of your point, but it does make it harder to comprehend in that example.

怀 would only seem to take 了 in one circumstance (怀了孩子)whereas 带 could be used in several (I'd consider them in a different class of verbs), just what pops into my head.

Anyhow, thanks so much to everyone for pondering these.

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freefall
I think this sentence can be 护士放轻了脚步屏住了气走近病人床前。 Or, 护士放轻脚步屏住气走近病人床前。 (1), and (2) are ok to have 了 or not. However, (3) cannot use 了 .

According to several native speakers, (3) can use 了。

chinlearner83, I'm not too sure what you're geting at. But it seems to be a moot point anyway because I was wrong about 我带着所有的文件去见了律师 being incorrect (with that final 了).

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coarsec

In my opinion, if a verb followed by ''了",it would be considered this action has been finished, while a verb without "了" often means the action is still on going. As following two sentences:

1. 我带着所有的文件去见律师 (I've not met the attorney yet, most probably I'm still on the way to visit him/her currently)

2. 我带着所有的文件去见律师 (I've met the attorney, maybe I'm back at home now)

Both are correct.

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