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  5. "Have you seen her book?"

"Have you seen her book?"


November 16, 2017



I think that it is better to say “你看见她的书(了)吗?” to be more natural.


Yeah, I'm confused as to why all the other examples of this kind of sentence in the exercise have a 了 in them except for this one.


I wrote this 你看见她的书吗 and was marked wrong. I wonder why


Your answer is asking "Do you see her book?". With past tense, you need to add the word 了。


It is even explained explicitly like that in the grammar section of this lesson. Quote: "To ask Have you seen... (when looking for something or someone) use the pattern 你看见 + the thing or person you’re looking for + 了吗?"


Where is this grammar section?


On my android phone: if you tap a lesson (like Greeting 1) you get a popup menu. Don't tap 'start' which will take you into the exercises. Above the start button you see a 'key button' on the far right and a 'lightbulb button' to the left of the 'key button'. Tap the 'lightbulb button' to go to the grammar section.


了 is in some of the answers but in others not. I think in this case it means an action that has been completed. 了has several meanings, but commonly it is used for completed actions (but not always in the past).

In English I suggest it could be interpreted as "have you seen her book" - up until that moment in time. So it's a completed action. 了can also be used to bring greater attention to something as well.

Unfortunately it is a bit confusing at first.


I would've thought "Have you ever seen her book" would use the experience particle 過 rather than the completed particle 了?



As the Chinese is currently written ("你看见她的书了吗?"), we're dealing with sentence-"了", and the difference between this and "过", I think, would be that "过" would connote "ever/yet in general", and sentence "了" would connote being in an immediately relevant state of having recently seen the thing in question and being able to contribute to the search for it.


This sentence brings up at least two issues: whether and how to indicate the past, and what's the difference between看, 见, 看见, etc. Chinese doesn't have tense, it has aspect, which is not the same thing, tricky though it is for us non-natives to understand. The past is not always overtly marked in the verb. It may be clear only in context, or from a time adverb (昨天, 已经, ...), etc., and not just from putting the perfective verbal 了 or the experiential 过 right after the verb. Sentential了 (suggested by a couple of people here), that comes at or near the end of a sentence or clause, is not the same as perfective verbal 了, even though one of its several meanings of uses is to indicate change of state to something different from the past. Here's a link listing a number of different ways to refer to the past in Chinese: https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/Referring_to_the_past

Various uses of 了: https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/了

The second point, regarding differences between看, 见, 看见, etc., also connects to the question of indicating the past, because 看见 is a result complement (/complement of result), not simply a semantic melding of 看 look/read and 见 see/meet with. Because there's an indication of the result of an action, there's the implication that the action took place in the past, and lead to the result. Certain adjectives or single syllable verbs (including见 and到) are added a behind a (conventionally matching) main verb to form a result complement. Note that 听见, is a similar result complement in which we can see that 见 in such a construction need not literally mean see. In English, certain adverbs are used to similarly indicate a result: eat up, drink down, polish off, write up. Here are a couple of links about Chinese complements of result: https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/Result_complements

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_grammar#Complement_of_result 看, 见, 看见, 看过


THANK YOU for the first coherent explanation of any aspect of Chinese I have seen in this entire course to date!


Art - then how do you explain the previous question in this chapter - "have you seen my cell phone? with the correct answer given as "你看见我的手机了吗?"? Same sentence construction different answer。


I really think that explanation belongs to the DL tutors. I don't think anyone else can second-guess what their aim is/was. Just because Art has shown some knowledge and research doesn't mean he can read minds.


Are there really tutors? I have seen no evidence of such a role. I see very occasional acceptance of a new solution and never any explanation of any issue raised by users.


I'm not sure that's true though. I could say 我看见你的手机 and mean I see it now. It seems to me that the difference between 看 and 看见 is more like looking at and seeing than whether it has been completed.


I think it's the more general "look and see" rather than the specific "look at and see".

I think it covers things like seeing out of the corner of your eye where "look at" does not.


Very useful informations, 谢谢


Why this is "have seen" though it has no "le"? Why not "Do you see her book?"


Can "你看见她的书吗?" mean either "Do you see her book" or "Have you seen her book"?


"你看见她的书吗?" should also be correct. It sounds more natural and is a better way of saying it.


I thought 了 follows a verb to indicate verb tense? I put it as 你看见了她的书吗?and it was translated to perfect tense "did you see her book?" whereas this order 你看见她的书了吗?becomes present perfect tense. Can someone enlighten me on the role of 了and what part of speech is it?

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