City University of Hong Kong CLASS CLASS
Making Sense of Grammar
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asked Apr 18 in Questions about Chinese Grammar by Ariel (34,470 points) | 44 views

1 Answer

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(a) Indicating a change of situation

Used to urge or order the listener(s) to stop doing something, 了 indicates a change of situation.

他已经向你道歉了;别哭了。

Tā yǐ jīng xiàng nǐ dào qiàn le ;bié kū le 。

He already apologized to you; don’t cry anymore.

(The listener is crying.)

我要告诉你一个坏消息;你听了以后,别哭。

Wǒ yào gào sù nǐ yī gè huài xiāo xī ;nǐ tīng le yǐ hòu ,bié kū 。

I am going to tell you some bad news. Don’t cry after you hear it.

 (The listener is not crying.)

(b) Indicating the result of an action

了 can also indicate the result of an action. In this case, the imperative sentence can be a positive one as well.

别忘了把这封信交给他。

Don’t forget to hand this letter to him.

(了 does not indicate a change of situation; it is the result of 忘.)

Compare:

忘了他吧!像他这种人,不值得你爱。

Wàng le tā ba !xiàng tā zhè zhǒng rén ,bú zhí dé nǐ ài 。

Forget him! Someone like him does not deserve your love.

儿子:这么多空瓶子,怎么办?

ér zǐ :zhè me duō kōng píng zǐ ,zěn me bàn ?

Son: So many empty bottles. What are we going to do with them?

妈妈:丢了,别留那种没有用的东西。

Mā mā :diū le ,bié liú nà zhǒng méi yǒu yòng de dōng xī 。

Mother: Throw them away. Don’t keep those kinds of useless things.

Compare:

这样东西很重要,拿好,别丢了。

Zhè yàng dōng xī hěn zhòng yào ,ná hǎo ,bié diū le 。

This is something very important; hold on to it; don’t lose it.

[1] Yip, P. C., Rimmington, D., Xiaoming, Z., & Henson, R. (2009). Basic Chinese: a grammar and workbook. Taylor & Francis.
answered Apr 18 by Ariel (34,470 points)

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1,435 questions
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