It's been a long time since we last talked.

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by yuechu, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. yuechu Senior Member

    Canada, English

    I was recently messaging a friend on QQ who I haven't talked to for a long time. I was wondering, how could I say "It's been a long time since we last talked." in Chinese? Would this be "我们好久没聊天了“ or perhaps "好久没跟你聊天(了?)!"?
  2. SimonTsai Senior Member

    Taiwanese Mandarin
    Both work.
  3. yuechu Senior Member

    Canada, English
    Thanks, SimonTsai! The 了 has to be there in both cases, right? (or is it possible to omit it?)
  4. SimonTsai Senior Member

    Taiwanese Mandarin
    It is compulsory in the first yet possibly omissible in the second.

    Whether or not it is optional in the latter depends upon context.
  5. philchinamusical

    philchinamusical Senior Member

    Chinese-Mandarin and Shanghai dialect
    I'd suggest you put a "了" at the end of this kind of sentence.

    Without "了" it sounds like more like a confession or accusation with "!" at the end. With "了" it sounds more like an invitation or greeting, which is more friendly.
  6. retert Member

    Chinese - Mandarin & Cantonese
    Maybe you can use the popular sentence:许久不见,甚是想念。
  7. SimonTsai Senior Member

    Taiwanese Mandarin
    That sounds stilted, for me, in a chat, and outmoded in spoken language, but might be justified if it were for humorous effect.
  8. brofeelgood

    brofeelgood Senior Member

    English, 中文
    ... 至今已(经)(有)好一段时间了。

    This would be somewhat closer, in terms of sentence structure, to the original expression.

    E.g. 咱上回聊天至今已好一段时间了。
  9. Percychen New Member

    “好久没跟你聊天(了)。” is correct but a little bit too serious in IRC chatting,it's more commonly used in face to face situation.

    “好久不见”,“好久没跟你说话了”,“有阵子没联系了” are more oral during net chatting.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  10. yuechu,你说的那些就已经很正确,自然了。
  11. TheKingOfSpain Senior Member

    English - Canada
    Can someone explain to me why the 了 is required here? What function does it serve?
  12. Do you know “have done”? Whenever a sentence is equivalent to the “have done” pattern, you have to add 了 at the end of the sentence.
    For example:
    我们好久没聊天了 means it’s been a long time since we last talked.
    The usage of 了 is a bit more complicated than my explanation. My advice is to read more sentences and imitate them.
  13. SimonTsai Senior Member

    Taiwanese Mandarin
    了 often implies the perfect. (I am sorry, but I am not a grammarian; I may have trouble making it crystal clear.)
  14. TheKingOfSpain Senior Member

    English - Canada
    How does this contrast to forms with 过? In general, I have been taught not to use 没 and 了 in the same sentence. So if I were constructing the sentences in the OP, I would write them as "我们好久没(有)聊过天“ and ”好久没跟你聊过天“. Are these sentences correct?

    I'm just missing the intuition for why "我们好久没(有)聊天” is wrong, what it's missing, and why adding 了 fixes it. What about if I were talking to someone else, and this person comes up in conversation, could I say ”我和他好久没聊天“ or "我们好久没聊天”? Or are those cases the same?
  15. All your sentences are perfectly natural, except 我们好久没有聊天 and 我和他好久没聊天。 You should add 了 at the end of these two sentences.
  16. SimonTsai Senior Member

    Taiwanese Mandarin
    Really? Then exceptions would be in abundance:

    £ 人家就快,你打算見死不救?
    £ 那 ...... 我們已經好久有那個,今晚可以嗎?
    £ 很抱歉:這位患者因為傷勢過重,出血過多,到醫院時已生命跡象。
    £ 那次約會,他不再穿我送他的毛衣。我們坐下,對視,靜默半晌。他提了分手,我笑著說好;我們一起看我們第一次看的電影,然後吃飯,然後道別,然後就然後。​
    I am unsure of your confusion, and whether it amounts to being off-topic. To express the idea concerned, how would you include 過?

    EDIT (after post 18):

    I am sorry that I didn't notice the sentences that you gave:
    Neither of these two works.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  17. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Mandarin 國語
  18. TheKingOfSpain Senior Member

    English - Canada
    To explain my confusion: Those sentences are slightly different, because those are all 没 negating 有, either implicitly or explicitly, so it's clearly the change of state 了. I.e. 人家没命了 => 以前有命,现在没了。没命 is a state, and 了 indicates its arrival. 到医院时已没了生命迹象 is the same ”没有生命迹象“了 (or at least that's how I'd think of it). It seems difficult to me to imagine "没有聊天” as a state, so I was confused.

    However, after looking at more examples, it's clear to me that this is, like you said, a common pattern that parallels the present perfect in English. For example, “我很久没去了“. My question about 过 is in circumstances like that, what is the difference between 过 and 了. Or even both of them. “我很久没去过” vs. “我很久没去了” vs. "我很久没去过了“. What are the differences, if any, between the meanings of these sentences? The examples I give earlier in the thread indicate that I was already familiar with the usage of 过 in this circumstance. The reason I was asking is that I was trying to figure out what is different from this construction with 了.

    Hope that clarifies a little bit.
  19. SimonTsai Senior Member

    Taiwanese Mandarin
    I have had post 16 edited.

    很久沒那裏,==> I went there... [1]
    很久沒那裏。==> I went there before.
    很久沒去那裏。==> I have never been there.
    我很久沒去那裏。==> I have not visited there for a long time.

    沒有和他聊天,==> I chatted with him... [2]
    和他聊。==> I chatted with him before.
    我沒有和他聊天。==> I have never chatted with him.
    我們很久沒聊天。==> We have not chatted for a long time.

    [1] [e.g.] and discovered by chance a huge cave where we can stay tonight.
    [2] [e.g.] and found him really a nice guy.
    Here 那個 refers to having sex, in particular making love; that is, 做愛 in Mandarin.

    If you can imagine 有做愛 as a state, then so can you imagine 有聊天.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  20. TheKingOfSpain Senior Member

    English - Canada
    Yes, I think this makes sense now. Thank you!

    However, I'm confused about my original sentences now, since you said they don't work, and Broccolee said they did! :confused: Oh well!
  21. SimonTsai Senior Member

    Taiwanese Mandarin
    Actually, very few Mandarin natives would be attentive to every word and phrase that you say in informal occasions. From time to time, or often, I say something ungrammatical, unnatural, or even virtually incomprehensible in Mandarin, especially when feeling nervous or exhilarated or drained or disturbed or intoxicated. I am not someone very good at speech, and am a little shy in the real world, as opposed to the cyberspace.

    But I am very sure that I have never said, and would never say, '我好久沒跟你聊天', or '我們好久沒聊天了'.

    Perhaps this is because of personal or regional difference: I find there superfluous to some extent, whereas others may disagree. In certain contexts, it is agreed that 沒 ... 過 simply implies 'have not' rather than 'have never':

    He has not eaten anything since this morning; he must feel starving.
    In the sample sentence above, is used for emphatic effect.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019

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