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Making Sense of Grammar
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Is LE (了) a past tense marker?

asked Dec 6, 2017 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by admin (25,170 points)
edited Dec 22, 2017 by admin | 144 views

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No. Le can be used in future time frame.

        e.g.       明天    你        下了         課   來找我!

                     míngtiān nǐ           xià-le       kè     lái zhǎo wǒ!      

                     tomorrow 2p.sg leave-LE class come see 1p.sg

                    ‘Come to see me after class tomorrow.’

answered Jan 2, 2018 by admin (25,170 points)
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Yes,usually,it is.
answered Mar 11, 2019 by lxl118017100121 (390 points)
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Le represents relative past tense in this sentence:

明天    你        下了         課   來找我!

                     míngtiān nǐ           xià-le       kè     lái zhǎo wǒ!      

                     tomorrow 2p.sg leave-LE class come see 1p.sg

                    ‘Come to see me after class tomorrow.’

First, if we omit lái zhǎo wǒ(Come to see me), the sentence would have grammatic mistake.

Second, Le in this sentence indicates that 下(xià)课(kè)(leave class) happened before 来(lái)找(zhǎo)我(wǒ)(Come to see me). 

Therefore, although the whole sentence happens in the future tense, 下(xià)课(kè)(leave class) belongs to the past tense comparing with 来(lái)找(zhǎo)我(wǒ)(Come to see me).

answered May 8 by Mickey (240 points)

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