Complete Action 了 – Part 1

In Chinese, in order to indicate that a particular action has been completed or an event has occurred, 了 is added to the verb. The pattern is : V + 了.

S Adverb V
huā kāi le.
了。

The flowers are blooming.

guānzhòng yǐjīng zǒu le.
观众 已经 了。

The audience has left.

liúxīng yǐjīng xiāoshī le.
流星 已经 消失 了。

The meteor has disappeared.

When the Verb has an Object, 了 is attached after the Object. Questions can be formed by using a Question Word (e.g. 谁shéi) or by adding 吗 or 没有 to the end of the sentence.

S V O 吗/没有
huí jiā le.
了。

I went home.

chī fàn le ma?
吗?

Did you eat?

guān dēng le méiyǒu?
没有?

Did you turn off the lights?

shéi jìn cáiwùshì le?
财务室 了?

Who entered the accounting room?

You may already know that in Chinese, in order to emphasize the topic, the Object is often brought up to the front of the sentence. When used this way, 了 is only attached to the main verb.

Object S V 吗/没有
zhèjiànyīfu le.
这件衣服 了。

I have washed this dress.

zhèfēngxìn tā (yǐjīng) kàn le ma?
这封信 他 (已经) 吗?

Has he read this letter?

diànnǎo nǐ (zuótiān) yòng le ma?
电脑 你 (昨天) 吗?

Did you use the computer yesterday?

Have a question? Join us in the discussion below!