‘了’‘到’‘过’-what are the differences？
Hey, I was wondering if anyone could tell me what the difference is between verb+了/到/过/到过/到了。。etc
Even though I have been studying chinese for a few years now, I am still abit fuzzy on this. I understand the basic verb+le (verb completed pattern). Is dao/guo just a different way of saying a completed verb?
xiaophilAugust 07, 2010, 09:32 AM
I am not an authority on this at all, but just because I hate to see an unanswered question go on being unanswered, I will write something here.
Consider these examples:
- 我学了中文. A) I studied Chinese. Or alternatively B) I'm going to study Chinese now (as in I was just moments ago not studying Chinese, but now I am going to begin studying, i.e. a change in state).
- 我学到了中文. I studied Chinese (with the implication that everything needed to be studied was mastered well enough, i.e. a completed task).
- 我会学到中文. I will learn everything I need to know about Chinese. (The task will be completed, not just merely started.)
- 我学过中文. I have studied Chinese before.
- 我学到过中文. I have studied Chinese before (with the implication that everything needed to be studied was mastered well enough... but with the implication that I have since forgotten most of it).
I don't have time to explain these... heck, I don't even know if my translations are right, but assuming they are right, I hope that you can see the distinctions between the different forms. If I'm wrong, please, pretty please somebody correct me :-).
JohnAugust 09, 2010, 02:53 AM
This question is a bit difficult to answer because of the way it's asked. Adding 了/到/过/ after a verb does different things. You really have to learn each separately.
Typical examples highlighting the difference:
看 (to look) vs. 看到 (to see)
This is similar to XiaoPhil's example above of 学 (to study) vs. 学到 (to learn). (I should note, though, that the distinction between these two isn't always 100% clear.)
看 (to watch or read) vs. 看过 (have watched or read)
看到过 (have seen before)
了 is too complex to go into in any detail here, but it normally follows a verb directly when indicating completion, and comes at the end of a sentence when indicating a change of state.
The best thing you can do now to help your own learning is to come up with some very specific examples which confuse you, post those along with your questions, and let us help you more.
Thanks for posting John. I always thought that the distinctions between some of the constructions above may not always be distinct, but really never knew for sure. At any rate, it helps to have a general guideline, and then work from there.
I think I did make one outright mistake. 我学了中文 does not mean 'I am going to study Chinese now.' I think I should put the 了 at the end, as in 我学中文了. I think this also could mean 'I'm studying Chinese now.' The implication is that the person I am talking to didn't know that. (Anybody) am I right?
Thanks very much John and xiaophil. Don't worry, I understand the many complications of 'le'. It deserves a thread of its own. My main question was just because I often hear stuff like 看到过 or 听到过. Now I am much clearer on it. Thanks again so much guys. :)