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necroflux

A primer on simple Chinese grammar (work in progress)

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necroflux

This is always something I've always wanted to do. :) It really irks me that every single language book I've encountered teaches grammar with an unecessarily large pool of verbs and nouns, when a large amount of grammar could be taught while introducing a minimum of new words. So I brainstormed and thought of as many simple sentences as I could in English using (for the most part) the idea of "reading books" (verb + verb object). My hope is that the experts will translate these sentences so that those of us still in beginning/intermediate phases can use this as sort of a primer. Some of these sentences are pretty easy but I included them anyway for those just getting started.

If anyone can think of some simple sentences I've forgotten below, or perhaps ambiguities in the ones I've written, please let me know.

I like to read books. (In general.)我喜歡讀書.

I like to drink water. 我喜歡喝水.

I like to sleep. 我喜歡睡覺.

I hate reading books. 我討厭讀書.

I hate drinking water. 我討厭喝水.

I hate sleeping. 我討厭睡覺.

Should I read this book? 我應該讀這本書嗎?

Should I drink this water? 我應該喝這水嗎?

Should I sleep? 我應該睡覺嗎?

Do I have to read this book? 我一定要讀這本書嗎?

Do I have to drink this water? 我一定要喝這水嗎?

Do I have to sleep? 我一定要睡覺嗎?

I am reading the book. 我(正)在讀書.

I am drinking water. 我(正)在喝水.

I am sleeping. 我(正)在睡覺.

Notes: 正is only necessary if you wish to emphasize that the action is taking place “right now at this moment”, correct? i.e. It would be equivalent to saying “I am reading the book at this exact moment.” .

I was reading the book. (But not any more.) 我剛剛在讀書.

I was drinking water. 我剛剛在喝水.

I was sleeping. 我剛剛在睡覺.

Notes: The basic sentence 我在讀書 could refer to the past or present. 剛剛 is just one option of describing past tense in Chinese – it means “recently”. Any number of modifiers could be added to this sentence instead of 剛剛to indicate exactly when the reading took place. (上週, 上個月, 後年, etc.).

I read the book. (past tense) 我讀了書.

I drank the water. 我喝了水.

I slept. 我睡覺了.

I finished reading the book. 我讀完了這本書.

I finished drinking this water. 我喝完了這水.

I finished sleeping. 我睡完覺了.

I wasn’t reading books. (At the time in question) 我沒有在讀書

I wasn’t drinking water. 我沒有在喝水.

I wasn’t sleeping. 我沒有在睡覺.

I read many books. 我讀許多書.

I drink a lot of water. 我喝許多水..

I sleep a lot. 我經常睡覺. (I sleep often.)

Notes: The third sentence in English has a different meaning than the previous two, hence the different wording in Chinese.

I don't have many books. 我沒有很多書.

I don’t drink a lot of water..

I don’t sleep a lot. 我不經常睡覺.

Notes: The third sentence in English has a different meaning than the previous two, hence the different wording in Chinese.

I used to have many books (but not any more.) 我以前有很多書 (許多書/ 不少書)

I used to drink a lot of water. 我以前喝很多水.

I used to sleep a lot. 我以前經常睡覺. (I used to sleep often.)

Notes: The third sentence in English has a different meaning than the previous two, hence the different wording in Chinese.

I've never read a book. 我從來沒有讀過一本書

I’ve never drunk water. 我從來沒有喝過水.

I’ve never slept. 我從來沒有睡覺.

I'm about to read a book. 我快要讀書了.

I’m about to drink (some) water. 我快要喝水了.

I’m about to sleep. 我快要睡覺了.

I will read a book next week. 我下個星期會讀一本書

I will drink water next week. 我下個星期會喝水.

I will sleep next week. 我下個星期會睡覺.

Note: These sentences imply that you are going to WAIT to perform these actions. So unless you want to actually not sleep or drink water for a week they don't make sense. They are grammatically correct, however.

I read books often. 我經常讀書.

I drink water often. 我經常喝水.

I sleep often. 我經常睡覺.

I've read many books. (In the past.) 我已經讀了很多書了 (很多 or 不少)

I've drunk a lot of water. 我已經喝了很多水.

I’ve slept a lot. 我已經睡了很長時間.

Notes: The reason the first statement needs a "了" at the end is that the statement "I've read many books" implies a longer term context, whereas the latter two statements would tend to imply a shorter term. Of course if you wanted to say that you've slept a lot in your entire lifetime, you would add a second "了" in that sentence as well.

I read too many books. (Ongoing problem.) 我讀太多書了

I drink too much water. 我喝太多水.

I sleep too much. 我睡太多了.

I don't read books any more. (But I have before.) 我(現在)不讀書了.

I don’t drink water any more. 我不喝水了.

I don’t sleep any more. 我不睡覺了.

I read books sometimes.我有時候會讀書 or 我偶爾會閱讀.

I drink water sometimes. 我有時候會喝水 or 我偶爾會喝水

I sleep sometimes. 我有時候會睡覺 or 我偶爾會睡覺

I almost never read books. 我幾乎從來都不讀書.

I almost never drink water. 我幾乎從來都不喝水.

I almost never sleep. 我幾乎從來都不睡覺.

I need to read more books. 我需要多讀一點書.

I need to drink more water. 我需要多喝一點水.

I need to sleep more. 我需要多睡一點覺.

I wouldn't read this book if I were you. 我要是你, 我就不會讀這本書.

I wouldn’t drink this water if I were you. 我要是你, 我就不會喝這水.

I wouldn’t sleep if I were you. 我要是你, 我就不會睡覺.

I've already read this book. (Statement of fact.) 我已經讀過這本書.

I’ve already drunk this water. 我已經喝過這水.

I’ve already slept. 我已經睡完覺

I made him read this book. 我逼了他讀這本書.

I made him drink this cup of water. 我逼了他喝這杯水.

I made him sleep. 我逼了他睡覺.

A few basic prepositional phrase translations (by no means comprehensive):

I read the book to him. 我讀了這本書給他聽.

I read a book about China. 我讀了一本關於中國的書.

I read this book for homework. 我讀這本書是為了寫作業.

I read books in order to learn. 我讀書是為了學習./ 我閱讀是為了學習.

The following sentences seemed to be too much for this basic primer, so I took them out:

I am almost always reading a book. (removed, too complex)

I never read books. (removed for contextual ambiguity)

I would never read a book. (removed for contextual ambiguity)

I will always read books. (removed for contextual ambiguity)

I can't read this book. (removed for contextual ambiguity)

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Gestalt

Necroflux,

This is a really good idea. (I'd love to help with translations, but I'm a beginner myself..)

I agree about all the new vocab which usually gets introduced along with grammar - A list like this will be very handy for building up a solid base of "template" sentences which can be reused and expanded as learners pick up more vocab and incorporate new nouns and verbs. .

Look forward to seeing the results!

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semantic nuance

Though it may be irksome to learn each language with grammar, I have to say sometimes grammar does help non native speakers to memorize some language rules so as to easily make sentences. Of course there's always exception to the rule, for languages are living not dead. For chinese language, a verb has no conjugations as western languages. You'll have to add words to indicate the tenses, frequency, etc. From the sentences you listed, we can easily know the tenses of the incidents, but when translating to Chinese, sometimes you won't be able to tell the tenses of the incidents.

I like reading books. (In general.) 我喜歡閱讀.

I hate reading books. 我討厭閱讀.

I am reading the book. 我(正)在閱讀. Or, 我(正)在讀書.

I was reading the book. (But not any more.) 我剛剛在讀書.

(NB: Here according to your sentence, if I directly translate into 我在讀書, then the time of when I was reading is not clear in Chinese, so I translate it as '我剛剛在讀書' meaning a minute ago or just now at the moment in the past, I was reading the book, to indicate that it was happening in the past. )

I read the book. (To completion.) 我讀了書.

(Do you mean, read the book in the present tense or past tense?)

I finished reading the book. (Same as above?) 我剛讀完一本書.

(Corret me if i am wrong: My understanding of English of these two sentences is that the emphasis is on 'read' in the former sentence, and 'finished' in the latter.So, I don't think these two are the same.)

I was never reading books. (At the time in question, e.g. imagine an interrogation)

我從來不閱讀的

I have many books. 我有許多書. /我有很多書./ 我有不少書.

I don't have many books. 我沒有很多書.

I used to have many books (but not any more.) 我以前有很多書(許多書/ 不少書)

I can't read this book. (Lack of knowledge/skill.)

我讀不懂這本書./ 我沒辦法讀這本書 (因為太難了 because it's too hard.)

I can't read this book. (Lack of permission.)

我不能讀這本書./ 我沒辦法讀這本書(因為我借不到 because I am not able to borrow it.)

I've never read a book. 我從來沒有讀過一本書

I'm about to read a book. 我要(去)讀書了.

I liked reading this book. (In the past)

我(以前)喜歡讀這本書, (可是現在不喜歡了) I add 以前here to indicate the past tense, otherwise, if I translate it as 我喜歡這本書, you cannot tell the time. Again, you'll have to know that it really depends on your context to decide the translation of the sentence. It's not necessarily the word for word translation as the above.)

I will read a book next week. (我下個禮拜會讀這本書./ 下個禮拜我會讀這本書...you can replace 禮拜 with 星期)

I read books often. (我經常讀書/ 我經常閱讀)

I've read many books. (In the past.) 我已經讀了很多書了./ 我已經讀了不少書了.

I read too many books. (Ongoing problem.) 我讀太多書了.

I never read books.

(Could you tell me in what context you will use this sentence? What's the difference from 'I've never read books."?)

I would never read a book. 我從來就不想讀書. ( Again, what's the context? If you say: I would do anything but I would never read a book. 要我做什麼都行, 我就是不要讀書. So, context, context, context! :mrgreen: )

I will always read books. (same reason as the above)

I don't read books any more. (But I have before.) 我不再閱讀了.

I read books sometimes. 我偶爾會看書. 我有時候會讀書. 我偶爾會閱讀. 閱讀/看書/讀書 interchangeable here.)

I almost never read books. 我幾乎是不看書的. 我幾乎是不閱讀的.

I need to read more books. 我須要讀多(一)點書.

I am almost always reading a book.

只要有時間的話, 我幾乎都是在看書. (I don't know if I misinterpret this sentence. The chinese rendition is in the context that if I have time, I almost spend on reading books.)

Should I read this book? 我應該讀這本書嗎?

Do I have to read this book? 我ㄧ定要讀這本書嗎?

I wouldn't read this book if I were you. (This one may not be possible.)

我要是你, 我就不會讀這本書.

I've already read this book. (Statement of fact.)

我已經讀過這本書.--meaning that you've already finished reading this book.

我以經開始讀這本書.--meaning I have started reading this book in the past, but haven't finished it yet now.

I made him read this book. 我要他看/讀這本書.

I read the book to him. 我讀這本書給他聽.

I read a book about China. 我讀了一本關於中國的書.

I read this book for homework. 我讀這本書是為了寫作業.

I read books in order to learn. 我讀書是為了學習./ 我閱讀是為了學習.

MIND YOU! SOME TRANSLATIONS WILL BE DIFFERENT IF THE CONTEXTS OF SOME SENTENCES GIVEN ABOVE ARE DIFFERENT.

Hope it helps!:)

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necroflux

I'll look at these in further detail tomorrow morning Semantic Nuance, and answer your questions regarding context. But I can already tell that this is going to be GREAT material - I've learned more in the last three minutes reading this that I've ever learned in an entire day! Moreover this solidifies quite a few points I "kind of knew" but were still kind of floating around in my mind. Certainly this won't be perfect, but that's a good thing - in looking at those sentences which can't be easily translated, it can offer valuable clues about the differences between the languages. Thanks!

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semantic nuance

No problem, necroflux. I also want to find the most systematic way of learning English. I've been learning English for ages but still cannot figure out completely about some tense questions, let alone my spoken English! So, to be honest, for a learner of Chinese less than 3 years, you're already good enough to me!:)

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adrianlondon

That's been useful (I'm a beginner).

Shame you picked an English verb which is written the same in the present and past tense :-)

Semantic, you ask the difference between "I never read books" and "I've never read books" (the first "read" is pronounced "reed" whereas the second is "red").

"I never read books" is someone saying that they're not the type of person who likes to read books - they've never read a book and are not likely to do so in the future. "I've never read books" is leaving the possibility open that the person might start reading them now.

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gougou
Semantic, you ask the difference between "I never read books" and "I've never read books" (the first "read" is pronounced "reed" whereas the second is "red").
Hah, English tenses, one of my favorite activities to lose face.

Venturing a guess here: if the first read was pronounced red as well, it would mean I used to read no books in the past, but that changed already (which would normally be specified in the following sentence, as in "I never read books until my TV broke down")

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HashiriKata

I have not had a good look at all the details but it seems to be a useful list, so here are my 3 suggestions, hopefully, to make it even better:

1. Apart from the verb "to read", you may like to add another verb, such as "to eat", alongside. In doing this, you can help clarifying many ambiguous sentences due simply to the spelling or context (without having to specifically clarifying the context in too many places). This extra, very similar sentence also helps reinforcing the learning of the sentence pattern in question.

2. Add the pattern for a verb such as "to go" or "to sleep", as this kind of verbs (intransitive) will behave very differently from the earlier type (transitve). That is to say, try to write each sentence in your list for all 3 verbs (read, eat, go) when possible, so as to show the differences if they exist.

3. Your very first sentences ("I like/hate reading books") are not the simplest structure to put on top of a beginners list (as they'd raise questions regarding (non-)possibilities such as: I like read books/ I like to read books/ I like to read/ I like reading / I like read). It seems better to arrange the list so that the simpler structures come first and the more complex come next.

Good luck,

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necroflux
1. Apart from the verb "to read", you may like to add another verb, such as "to eat", alongside. In doing this, you can help clarifying many ambiguous sentences due simply to the spelling or context (without having to specifically clarifying the context in too many places). This extra, very similar sentence also helps reinforcing the learning of the sentence pattern in question.

Absolutely - as noted above by Adrian it was stupid of me to use the word read - I realized this after posting.. doh! But I had planned on extrapolating this to one or two other verb/verb-object combinations anyway, so in effect I just made things more difficult on Semantic Nuance.. sorry! :mrgreen: Hopefully this is helpful to you too once we get everything sorted out.

2. Add the pattern for a verb such as "to go" or "to sleep", as this kind of verbs (intransitive) will behave very differently from the earlier type (transitve). That is to say, try to write each sentence in your list for all 3 verbs (read, eat, go) when possible, so as to show the differences if they exist.

Great idea. It shall be done.

3. Your very first sentences ("I like/hate reading books") are not the simplest structure to put on top of a beginners list (as they'd raise questions regarding (non-)possibilities such as: I like read books/ I like to read books/ I like to read/ I like reading / I like read). It seems better to arrange the list so that the simpler structures come first and the more complex come next.

Yeah I didn't concentrate too hard on ordering in order of simplicity, I will do so in the near future.

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semantic nuance

Hi

1. 閱讀, 讀書, and 看書 are interchangeable when they're referred to reading a book. 閱讀 is more literary while the other two are a bit more colloquial. 讀書 and 看書 can mean 'study' (as in I study Chinese. 我在讀中文.) At least, in Taiwan, we'll say 我在讀書(看書) to mean either you're reading a book or you're studying. But, 閱讀 is used only in reading books.

2. When you use 水 water as an abstrac notion, you don't have to add ㄧ杯. ㄧ杯 is in fact a mesurement for water (a cup/a glass of water) In your sentence 'Should I drink this water? ', this water is limited to 'this' water and not that water, so you'd better translate it as '這水' or 這杯水, 這瓶水(this bottle of water), according to its container.

3.

Notes: 正is only necessary if you wish to emphasize that the action is taking place “right now at this moment”, correct?

Yes, you're right.

4. My question: I was reading a book. In English, this means I was reading a book at a specific point of time in the past. Am I right? Can you say 'I was reading a book last week." Does it make sense?

5. My mistake. I translated 'I finished reading the book' in haste. It should be 我讀完了這本書. 剛剛 means a moment ago. But in the sentence above, it does not have to mean I finished reading a book just now. Therefore, 'I finished drinking the water.' should be 我喝完了這水./ 這水我喝完了.(once again, you can be specific about the measurement of water as I explained the above. 'I finished sleeping.' 我 should be 我睡完覺了. or 我睡起來了.(literally i slept and got up.)

I wasn’t reading books. (At the time in question) 我從來不閱讀的

I wasn’t drinking water. 我從來不喝水的.

I wasn’t sleeping. 我從來不睡覺..

On the second thought, did you want to use it when you meant ' I wasn't reading books. I was reading magazine at 3 o'clock, for example.)? If so, the sentence should be ' 我沒有在讀書. Sorry, my hasty mistake again. Hence, I wasn't drinking water. 我沒有在喝水. I wasn't sleeping. 我沒有在睡覺.

6.

I’ve never slept. 我從來沒有?? .
Can you make a sentence for that?

7.

Notes: Is 去 not normally used in speech? Also, in English “about” means it will happen very soon. Is there a way to express this? .

Well, 去 in 我要去+v in this case means I am going to do something. It points out something that hasn't happened yet. I think there's difference between I'm going to read a book and I'm about to read a book. If you say: What are you going to do? I'm about to read a book, then it is 你要做什麼? 我要去讀書了or.我待會(兒)要讀書. (here you can use 待會兒 or 等ㄧ下 to mean 'about'.) You can also use 快要 to mean about. In your sentence, I'm about to sleep, you can say ' 我快要睡覺了'

8.

Notes: What would “我喜歡讀了這本書” mean, if it’s even possible?/QUOTE] No, it's not possible. If you want to express the idea that you were happy that you read the book, then it should be 我很高興我讀了這本書.

9.

I will drink water next week. 我下個星期會喝水.

I will sleep next week. 我下個星期會睡覺.

Grammatically ok but semantically odd. If you'll drink water next week instead of everyday, you'll be dry. As for sleep, maybe you should give a context why you say I'll sleep next week. Because this week is too valuable to spend on sleeping?

10.

I don't read books any more. (But I have before.) 我不再閱讀了.

I don’t drink water any more. 我不再喝水了.

I don’t sleep any more. ??

Notes: I was expecting the form “我不閱讀了” here. What is the difference between this and 我不再閱讀了?

Ok, I'll make sentences to see if this is what you want.

I read a lot before you came here. But, i don't read books anymore. 你來以前我讀了很多了, 可是我(現在)不讀了

I drank a lot of water. I don't drink water any more. 我喝了很多水.(in the past) 我不喝水了.

I slept a lot. I don't sleep any more. 我睡很久了.(in the past) 我不再睡了.

不再 means not anymore...

11.

I've already read this book. (Statement of fact.)

我已經讀過這本書. I’ve already finished reading this book.

我以經開始讀這本書I started reading this book in the past, but haven’t finished it.

I’ve already drunk this water.

我已經喝過這杯水. I’ve already finished drinking this water.

我已經開始喝這杯水. I’ve already started drinking this water, but haven’t finished.

I’ve already slept.

我已經睡覺? Something seems to be missing here.

Notes: The second option doesn’t make sense with sleep.

First of all, I have to make sure if the sentence 'I've already read this book' has only one meaning in English. Does it mean I have read this book, as an experience so far? It's not necessary to mean you've started reading it?

The second option 我已經開始讀這本書is actually 'I've already started reading this book.'

'I've already read this book.' can mean you've read this book but you didn't finish it. And, it can also mean you've read this book and you've finished it. Therefore, there're 2 translations: one is 我已經讀過這本書. The other is 我已經讀完這本書 (I've already finished reading this book) . In Chiense, 過, one of the meanings is used to describe some experience you have had, while 完 is used to mean something is done.

我讀過了. I've read. 我讀完了. Iv'e finished reading.

12.

I read too many books. (Ongoing problem.) 我已經讀了很多書了

已經 should be crossed out. I didn't put 已經 in the original rendition.

I drink too much water. 我喝太多水.

I sleet too much. 我睡太多了.

Notes: What is the difference between 須要 and 需要?

Oop! 須要 is my typos. Sorry. It should be 需要. Concerning this, 必須 is used as verb, and 必需(品) is used as noun.

13.

Notes: 有時候 is short for 有的時候, correct?

Yes.

14.

Notes: Is this a commonly used form in Chinese (“if I were you”)?

Yes, I think so.

Hope it helps! :) I kind of lost in the thread. If there're any mistakes, please correct me. :mrgreen:

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roddy

Give me a yell when you reckon this is fairly complete and I'll link it from the grammar sticky.

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necroflux

Semantic Nuance, thanks sooo much, this is great!

4. My question: I was reading a book. In English, this means I was reading a book at a specific point of time in the past. Am I right? Can you say 'I was reading a book last week." Does it make sense?

"I was reading a book" tells you that at some undefined point of time in the past the speaker read a book. So yes just as in Chinese you can add "last week", or "5 minutes ago", or "in a previous life" to describe exactly when this happened. More likely this sentence would be in response to a question such as "what were you doing last night? I was reading a book."

On the second thought, did you want to use it when you meant ' I wasn't reading books. I was reading magazine at 3 o'clock, for example.)? If so, the sentence should be ' 我沒有在讀書. Sorry, my hasty mistake again. Hence, I wasn't drinking water. 我沒有在喝水. I wasn't sleeping. 我沒有在睡覺.

Yes exactly. "I wasn't reading books. I was watching television!" I'll update this.

I’ve never slept. 我從來沒有?? .Can you make a sentence for that?

Haha it would have to be a weird situation, maybe some fictional character that has never slept in his life due to some disease. A bit of a stretch but still valid for grammatical studies I think.

First of all, I have to make sure if the sentence 'I've already read this book' has only one meaning in English. Does it mean I have read this book, as an experience so far? It's not necessary to mean you've started reading it?

This is kind of a cool thing I've never realized about English. "I've already read this book" implies that you have actually finished the book in the past, even though it sounds like you're only saying that you've read "some of it". So I think it's actually the same exact thing as saying "I've already finished reading this book." I'm might have to remove this one.

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necroflux

Okay, I've finalized everything Roddy, sticky away.

If you guys could take one last look at everything for accuracy, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks again Semantic Nuance, this guide will help a lot of beginners in the future I think and it's all due to you.

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semantic nuance

necroflux,

您太客氣了! 只要對初學者有幫助的話, 那就太好了.:)

If you guys could take one last look at everything for accuracy, I'd appreciate it.
Yes, it will be better to do that.

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semantic nuance

necroflux,

1. 'I like reading.' is different from 'I like to read.' The latter emphasizes on 'I want' part, while the former stresses on the reading habit you enjoy.

2.

I'm about to read a book. 我快要讀書了.

'be about to ' can mean 快要...or 待會兒(in a minute to imply 'be about to'), for example: what are you going to do? I'm about to read a book. It's better to translate as 你待會兒要做什麼? 我待會兒要讀書. Another example:if your wife is about to deliver a baby in an hour, then you can say 'I'm about to be a father.' (Does it make sense?) Then, you should translate it as 我快要做爸爸了. So, sometimes, you cannot just put the translation for one phrase verbatim into every situation.

3.

I've already read this book. (Statement of fact.)

我已經讀過這本書. I’ve already finished reading this book.

我以經開始讀這本書I started reading this book in the past, but haven’t finished it.

Since you've explained to me that I've already read this book meant I've already finished the book, I think you should cross out the second option because it means the other.

Hope it helps!:)

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geek_frappa

thank you for the grammar sticky. it is a great reference. i have question about one of the grammar rules.

I read the book. (past tense) 我讀了書.

I drank the water. 我喝了水.

I slept. 我睡覺了.

should this be 我喝了水了 ..? (to indicate finale)

when i say this 我喝了水 ... i feel like i am hearing "after i (habitually) drink water, ..." (a sentence fragment, where i am expecting the second half at any time)

another example ... 我回了家 ... after i return home (regularly) , ... (another sentence fragment)...

what do you think?

let me know if i'm way off. thanks,

happy new year,

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blaketx

Despite being pretty late to this party, I've gotta say that this thread has been a great help to me. :clap

But I do have one quick question:

For the translation of "I don't read books anymore.", how did you decide on "我不读书了。” instead of "我不再读书了。“?

Maybe those two sentences have exactly the same meaning. Does the 再 not add any meaning to the sentence?

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HashiriKata

blaketx, your 2 sentences mean basically the same, but each is used in a slightly different context. And yes, the sentence with 再 add a bit more to the one without. Give me a context of use, and I may be able to elaborate.

geek_frappa, here's the answer you have been waiting one & half years for: no, you're not way off. You've indeed got the feel for 了 :mrgreen:

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blaketx

Here are a couple:

1. I used to read a lot of books, but now I don't read books anymore.

我以前读很多书, 但是现在不(再)读书了。

2. This book isn't good. I don't want to read it anymore.

这本书不好看。我不(再)读这本书了。

Only going by my Chinese intuition (which isn't at all reliable), I would guess that the first sentence doesn't need the 再, but the second one does need it.

Does the difference have something to do with time? That is, does 不读书了 refer to a habit, whereas 不再读书了 refer to future plans?

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blaketx

Actually, that second example should read "This book isn't good. I'm not going to read it anymore."

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