Complete Action 了 – Part 2

In Part One, we learned how to use 了 to indicate the completion of an action. In this lesson, we will see another situation. When the Verb has a Number-Measure phrase preceding it, 了 is added to the Verb, and the Number-Measure phrase comes after 了.

S TW V N-M Phrase
zǒu le sìshí fēnzhōng.
四十分钟。

I walked for forty minutes.

bàba zuótiān máng le yìtiān.
爸爸 昨天 一天。

My father was busy all day yesterday.

zǎoshàng děng le sāngè xiǎoshí.
早上 三个 小时。

I waited for three hours in the morning.

How do we express “have been doing a certain activity up to now” in Chinese? We need to add 了 both to the main Verb and to the end of the sentence. The one suffixed to the main Verb is occasionally omitted.

S TW/Adverb V-了 NU-M Phrase
xué le liǎngzhǒng yǔyán le.
学 了 两种 语言 了。

I have learned two languages.

zhègeyuè mǎi le liùtiáo qúnzi le.
这个月 买 了 六条 裙子 了。

I have bought six skirts this month.

yǐjīng hē le liǎngpíng báijiǔ le.
已经 喝 了 两瓶 白酒 了。

He has drunk two bottles of white wine.

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