liao3 vs le for 了

August 07, 2011, 05:53 AM posted in General Discussion

Just not sure 100% sure why there are two pronounication for this word "了“.  

It probably obvious to putonghua speaker. But for Cantonese speaker which got only 1 sound 1 character for this "了“.  The seperation into liǎo and le is a bit not sure for me.

I note that the two famous mandarin song "忘不了” and “忘不了的你” both use liǎo.  Using Google translate even "不了了之" also use liǎo but not "給了你" (gěi le nǐ).

Any easy hint when to use what?





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August 07, 2011, 06:17 AM

Hi chaijin

Rather than think of this as two different pronunciations of one word, think of these as two different words with two different meanings - they just happen to use the same character. 

You know which is which from the context of the sentence. 

We have quite a few of these in English too -

eg. desert (v. leave) and desert (n. an arid place)

they look the same on paper, but they are pronounced differently and mean different things.