昨天我在街上遇见(了)一个很久没看见的老朋友

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xiaolijie

Senior Member
UK
English (UK)
I know that "了" is a tricky topic and that we've got many threads on it, so I'd just like some confirmation that the sentence cited below definitely requires a 了. Do you think it sounds odd as it is (without 了)?

昨天我在街上遇见一个很久没看见的老朋友。

Many thanks,

PS: I've just found another similar sentence without 了 (also by the same speaker):
昨天我收到一封小王寄来的信。
 
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  • softserve

    Member
    Mandarin (Traditional Chinese)
    I read these sentences out in my head for several times. Yeah, you can ditch "了" in these sentences and they sound fine.

    But if its an inquisitive sentence such as 你吃飽了嗎? or 你看過那部電影了嗎?, asking if the person whom you are talking to have done the thing you asked, then it would sound a bit odd if you take away 了 in these two sentences.
     
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    xiaolijie

    Senior Member
    UK
    English (UK)
    Thank you softserve! That is a great help, and I also agree with you about the interrogative sentences.
    I'm now trying to work out some rule for the omission of "了" here. So, please see what you think of the following sentences.

    In contrast to the earlier sentences, (without 了) these 2 sentences look decidedly odd to me:
    昨天我看一部很好的中国电影。
    昨天我给小王写一封很长,
    很长的信。


    PS:
    From your reply above, I think these are also ok. Would you agree?
    昨天我看到一部很好的中国电影。
    昨天我给小王写好一封很长的信。
     
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    softserve

    Member
    Mandarin (Traditional Chinese)

    昨天我看(了)一部很好的中国电影。
    The above sentence does sound odd to me. So I agree with you on this one. Better to have 了.

    This is what i would say: 昨天我去看了一部很好看的中國電影

    昨天我给小王写一封很长,很长的信。
    As to this one, I think its ok not having 了 in the sentence. The presence of 了 is optional I think. I believe, its the verb 給 in this sentence, meaning to give, that affects my decision on whether or not the presence of 了 is called for. I am still on the fence on this one.

    I would say this: 昨天我寫了一封很長的信給小王
     
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    SuperXW

    Senior Member
    昨天我在街上遇见一个很久没看见的老朋友。昨天我收到一封小王寄来的信。 -Good.
    昨天我看一部很好的中国电影。昨天我给小王写一封很长,很长的信。-Bad.

    是不是这样的呢?
    如果主要动词后有"补充式动词/介词",如"见/到"等,就可以省略"了"。
    如果主要动词后有没有"补充式动词/介词",就要加"了"。
    "补充式动词/介词"是我发明的说法……
     

    南島君

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    昨天我在街上遇见一个很久没看见的老朋友。昨天我收到一封小王寄来的信。 -Good.
    昨天我看一部很好的中国电影。昨天我给小王写一封很长,很长的信。-Bad.

    是不是这样的呢?
    如果主要动词后有"补充式动词/介词",如"见/到"等,就可以省略"了"。
    如果主要动词后有没有"补充式动词/介词",就要加"了"。
    "补充式动词/介词"是我发明的说法……
    I think SuperXW got the point, that the 了 in the Resultative Verb Compound(RVC) 述補結構 predicates can be omitted,
    since its function of expressing achieved or accomplished activity seems to be overlapping with Grammatical Aspect mechanism.

    lc
     

    xiaolijie

    Senior Member
    UK
    English (UK)
    SuperXW and 南島君, 你们太聪明了!

    Yes, what you said was the rule I was trying to ascertain: with just the main verb, 了 is required but if the main verb is accompanied by a complement of result, 了 becomes optional.

    Thanks to all for helping!
     

    Lyfia

    Member
    Chinese - Mandarin

    昨天我给小王写一封很长,很长的信。
    As to this one, I think its ok not having 了 in the sentence. The presence of 了 is optional I think. I believe, its the verb 給 in this sentence, meaning to give, that affects my decision on whether or not the presence of 了 is called for. I am still on the fence on this one.

    I would say this: 昨天我寫了一封很長的信給小王
    Yeah, without the 了 the sentence works too but the meaning is altered. It no longer means I have finished the letter but means I was writing a letter to 小王. It's like reporting what I did yesterday and implies something happened after that.
     
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