去过 / 去了

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ramonunodos

Senior Member
American English
大家好!

I am fairly new to learning Chinese, and so I would like your help in understanding the difference between '过' and '了' to denote actions in the past tense. I understand that guo indicates more of a 'I have done...' where as le indicates 'I did'. Is this nearly correct?

Also, for an example, if I call my friend and he asks what I did last night (Assume he had no idea what I was planning on doing), which would be the correct response?

我看过一个电影。

- or -

我看了一个电影。 (would '我看一个电影了' also be right)


谢谢!!
 
  • xiaolijie

    Senior Member
    UK
    English (UK)
    I understand that guo indicates more of a 'I have done...' where as le indicates 'I did'. Is this nearly correct?
    Yes, nearly correct. You tend to use '过' without some definite past time indication (eg. I've been to New York) and '了' with some indication of definite past time (eg. I went to New York last year)

    我看了一个电影。 (would '我看一个电影了' also be right)
    Yes, both are ok but you're more likely to hear the first than the second.

    我看过一个电影。
    No, but you can say "我看过一个中国电影" when telling about your experience.

    * By the way, when you get more advanced in your learning, you'll see 部 is more often used as a measure-word for 电影: 一部电影 sounds better than 一个电影.
     

    sesame_fr

    Senior Member
    chinese
    If you say “我看过一部电影,……” , it seems that you have something else to say or to explain.
    But if you say "我看了一部电影", it can only be an action you have done.

    "-昨天你做什么了?
    -我看了一部电影。" you cannot use 看过。

    “-我看过一部电影,是讲中国历史的……” ,here you can use “看了”。
     
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