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我吃了晚饭 / 我吃晚饭了

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by quitecool, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. quitecool New Member

    English
    Wow I like the community here!

    Read in a book that there is a slight difference in meaning between the 2:

    我吃了晚饭

    我吃晚饭了

    Can someone help explain?

    Also, when we end a sentence with 了 is it ok to pronounce it as liao3 instead of the regular le4?
     
  2. tarlou Senior Member

    Chinese
    Roughly speaking,
    我吃了晚饭 is more like stating a fact, "I had dinner". It can be followed by another action, 我吃了晚饭,就去睡觉了.
    我吃晚饭了 emphasizes that I does have finished dinner, like "I have had dinner". It can be used as an answer to questions like "Did you have dinner"/"Have you had dinner".

    We say liao3 in neither sentence. But in very special context, if someone wants to mimic an opera or intends to act in a "lovely" way to attract attention, you may probably hear 我吃liao3晚饭 or 我吃晚饭liao3. Those are really weird in real life.

    There are long debates regarding the general usage 了 in this forum
    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2580611
    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2597718
    We can tell you whether a specific sentence is correct, but summarizing a general grammar rule might be a bit difficult.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013

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