We saw that they had come down from upstairs

alexonline

Senior Member
Russian
各位好,

In the following sentence,a couple is sitting in a cafe on the first floor,and they relate:
我们看见几个人从楼上走下来,就问服务员:师傅,楼上也有小吃吗? 'we saw them coming down'.But if it was 'we saw that they had come down from upstairs',would it be correct to say 我们看见几个人从楼上已经走下来,就问服务员:师傅,楼上也有小吃吗?


谢谢!
 
  • wxkevingu

    New Member
    Chinese (Mandarin) - China
    你好!

    sure, different tenses in English indicate different ones in Chinese, too.

    不客气!
     

    fyl

    Senior Member
    Mandarin Chinese
    走下来 and 走下来了 are both correct in this context. But don't add 已经 (I would wonder why you emphasize they already come down and it sounds very strange in this context).
    Edit: I think 走下来 (without 了) fits the context better after reading it again.
     
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    Mamanunique

    Senior Member
    Cantonese-China
    我们看见几个人从楼上走下来,就问服务员:师傅,楼上也有小吃吗? Obviously, those people had come down when he said this.
    If they saw several people coming down , it would be "看,上面有人走下来。师傅,上面也有小吃吗?" or "我们看见几个人从上面走下来,就问服务员:师傅,楼上也有小吃吗?"
    It's not clear that they were coming down or they had come down with the sentence of 我们看见几个人从楼上走下来. Adding "正” makes the sentence more clear that they were coming down.
    But in this sentence, the point is where they came from. So, he didn't need to make it clear when it happened.
     
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    alexonline

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks a lot,everyone!

    So,我们看见几个人从楼上走下来,... can mean both 'saw them coming down' and 'saw that they had come down' depending on the context.But when I want to make clear that it`s the former I could say 我们看见几个人从楼上下来 or 我刚看见有人从楼上下来.On the other hand,to convey a completed action (the latter) I can leave it as is,and it`ll be interpreted as a past tense (the latter). Is that right?
     

    Mamanunique

    Senior Member
    Cantonese-China
    With the latter one, if you're talking to others or you want to repeat someone's words in writing, that's true. If you write it down in your own words ,you'd better add "了” to it in order to make clear that It's a completed action. 我们看见几个人从楼上走下来。
     
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    SuperXW

    Senior Member
    I agree with others. Just to summerize:
    1. We only emphasize the "tense" when the time point is important. In your sentence, it doesn't matter.
    2. 已经 emphasizes a "perfect tense", but we don't need them to finish "coming down" to know 楼上有小吃. That's why it's weird to add 已经.
    3. We can add 刚 or 刚刚 to mean "just". 刚看见... or 刚从楼上... or 刚走下来 signifies they "had just come down".
    4. We can add 正 to signify a continuous tense. 正从楼上走下来 emphasizes they "are coming down".
    5. As long as you use the above words correctly, it's not important whether you use 了 or not.
     

    retrogradedwithwind

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    So,我们看见几个人从楼上走下来,... can mean both 'saw them coming down' and 'saw that they had come down' depending on the context.But when I want to make clear that it`s the former I could say 我们看见几个人正从楼上下来 or 我刚看见有人正从楼上下来.On the other hand,to convey a completed action (the latter) I can leave it as is,and it`ll be interpreted as a past tense (the latter). Is that right?
    Make them more natural you can say like these:
    我刚看见有人正往楼下走呢
    我刚看见有人从楼上走下来

    I think the latter Chinese sentence puts more emphasis on a completed action, i.e. 已经下来了。but logically one may say 看见人下来 just when he saw 看见人正下来 because he certainly inferred that that guy eventually came down to the downstairs.
     
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    alexonline

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Thanks a lot,guys! Your comments are definitely helping to get the picture,although it`s still quite fuzzy... I hope it`ll come with experience:).
     
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