昨天(adverbial of time)+了

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anialuo

Senior Member
Polish
Hello!
Once I was told that when there is an adverbial of time indicating past tense ,like 昨天 in a sentence, 了 might be ommitted in some cases. Could you help me to find any example of such sentence? Every time I try to think of any, 了 always occurs...:) Thank you!
 
  • thch

    New Member
    Mandarin & Cantonese
    If what you talks about didn't happen, 了 should be omitted. For instance,
    我昨天没有去电影院。(rather than 没有去了)
    我刚才没有吃饭。(rather than 没有吃饭了)
     

    brofeelgood

    Senior Member
    English, 中文
    昨天场暴风雪 - There was a blizzard yesterday.
    我昨晚睡很好 - I slept very well yesterday.
    他昨天去上班 - He didn't go to work yesterday.
     

    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語
    了 might be ommitted in some cases.
    What do you mean by "omitted"? Do you mean linguistic omission where an element (了 in this case) can be optionally dropped? Or do you mean exclusion where 了 is not permitted or it will make the sentence ungrammatical (e.g., *我昨晚睡了很好) or change the nuance of the sentence (e.g., 我昨晚睡很好 is not identical to 我昨晚睡很好了 in meaning)?
     
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    anialuo

    Senior Member
    Polish
    What do you mean by "omitted"? Do you mean linguistic omission where an element (了 in this case) can be optionally dropped? Or do you mean exclusion where 了 is not permitted or it will make the sentence ungrammatical (e.g., *我昨晚睡了很好) or change the nuance of the sentence (e.g., 我昨晚睡很好 is not identical to 我昨晚睡很好了 in meaning)?
    I meant sentences where 了 can be dropped :)
     

    fyl

    Senior Member
    Mandarin Chinese
    Once I was told that when there is an adverbial of time indicating past tense ,like 昨天 in a sentence, 了 might be ommitted in some cases.
    I doubt this. In all cases I can think of, things like 昨天 can always be removed without making the sentence ungrammatical.
    For most of the examples provided above, 了 is not "optional", you can't add it no matter what the tense is.
    昨天我钓到(了)一条大鱼 is a good example. But probably 到 instead of 昨天 is the critical thing here. You can't omit 了 in 昨天我钓了一条大鱼, where there isn't a 到.
     

    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語
    昨天我掐死(了)個人, 個不該死的人.
    昨天我救活(了)個人, 個不該活的人.
    昨天我寫完(了)程式, 就趴在桌上睡著了.
    昨天我談妥(了)那筆生意, 就吩咐弟兄們四處籌貨.
     
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    Messquito

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Taiwan 中文 Taiwanese Hokkien 臺語
    他昨天用電腦寄(了)信給姑姑
    他昨天在手機上看(了)她的演唱會
    他昨天被抓去關(了)
    他昨天突然暈倒(了)
    In my opinion, if you keep the 了 in the examples above, you are kind of emphasizing that the action affects (or not) the future, even if it was completed - perhaps you think the action cannot be undone or it has changed things and the condition it has made still stands after it was finished. It's kind of like the perfect tense in English, except they don't put past time with perfect tense.
    他昨天用電腦寄了信給姑姑=He has sent a mail to his aunt from a computer, which he did yesterday.
    (It kind of suggest that "after the mail is sent, his aunt should be able to see the mail". The thing had changed after the act of "sending the mail", because his aunt could see it after that.)
    If there are some contexts, it would be like:
    他昨天用電腦寄了信給姑姑,不知道她什麼時候會看到 He sent a mail to Aunt from a computer yesterday. Don't know when she would see it.
    他昨天已經用電腦寄了信給姑姑告訴她你的惡行,所以不管怎麼樣她遲早會知道 He already sent a mail to Aunt from a computer yesterday to tell her about your misbehavior, so no matter what, she is going to know it sooner or later

    他昨天用電腦寄信給姑姑=He sent a mail to his aunt from a computer yesterday.
    (The fact that the mail and that his aunt could see it after that is not important. It is just showing a truth. Whether the action is finished or not does not matter.)
    If there are some contexts, it would be like:
    他昨天用電腦寄(了)信給姑姑,那是他第一次用電腦寄信。He sent a mail to his aunt from a computer. It was his first time to send a mail from a computer.

    他昨天在手機上看了她的演唱會,到現在還是忘不了她那銷魂的歌聲 He watched her concert on cellphone yesterday. He still remembers that mind-bowing singing voice of hers.
    他昨天在手機上看(了)她的演唱會,他一直以來都是用手機看演唱會的 He watched her concert on cellphone yesterday. He has always been watching concerts on cellphone. (It does not tell us "whether or not it happened makes a difference", and furthermore, the emphasis is on "ON CELLPHONE", not the fact that he watched it)
     

    stephenlearner

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    他昨天用電腦寄了信給姑姑=He has sent a mail to his aunt from a computer, which he did yesterday.
    (It kind of suggest that "after the mail is sent, his aunt should be able to see the mail".
    Sorry, but I diagree. You can't see that the sentence implies his aunt should be able to see the email.

    他昨天用電腦寄信給姑姑=He sent a mail to his aunt from a computer yesterday.
    (The fact that the mail and that his aunt could see it after that is not important.
    This also applies to the the first sentece 他昨天用電腦寄了信給姑姑.

    了 expresses a completion of an aciton or event without indicating a specific time, like 3 p.m., 5:20 p.m.
    For me, 昨天,昨天上午, is not specific, but general.
    昨天下午3点(a specific time),他(正)在看电影;到下午3点半(a specific time),电影结束。
    昨天下午3点半,他看完电影。Fine.
    昨天下午3点半,他看完了电影。Fine.
    But You can't say :
    昨天下午3点半,他看了电影。
    3点半 is a speicfic time, so you can't say 他看电影。
    But why can we say 三点半,他看完电影? I think it is because 完 is in this sentence. I think you can put 了 after 完,roughly speaking. I don't know if this is a rule.

    You can say
    昨天下午(not specific time),他看了电影。(了 can't be dropped)
    昨天(not specific time),他看了电影。(了 can't be dropped)
     
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