"They saw their child last weekend."


November 17, 2017

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Hi. I don't understand why le is sometimes used and sometimes not. I thought that it wasn't used where a time was given, but the examples do not demonstrate this.


So in the examples where you don't NEED to use the 了, they're all prepositional phrases (but you can). "Yesterday he was in New York" 他昨天在纽约。In English, we may think automatically that this guy is no longer in New York. But if we use that sentence in Chinese, we don't know where he is. He may still be in New York, he may have moved to Beijing, we don't know; we only know that he was there yesterday.

That's important because: if you say 他昨天在纽约了 , we now know that he is done with New York. 了 is used as a "completion of action," so using it here isn't just like adding an "-ed" to the verb (as we usually can).

TL;DR 他昨天在纽约 = Yesterday he was in New York.

他昨天在纽约了 = Yesterday he was in New York (and now he's done with New York).


请问,what about the example sentence? They weren't in a location, they saw their kids yesterday. Do we need "了", or does the context (i.e. a verb done yesterday) already prove they were done with the action?


is to mark the past tense for some verbs Click Here


So it's a little like the imperfect tense vs the preterite tense in Spanish?


I think this is incorrect. It might be OK, but 孩子 generally is not assumed to be the 他们's if not specified. I think there should be a way to report the answer being wrong when you get it correct, since I wanted to but there was no way since there were only those few cards.

It should be 他们上个周末见了他们的孩子。

The sentence is still correct with the placing, but it should look out for incorrect syntax and add a few things to make it more clear.

Still, a pretty good translation.


I was confused by that too. I know a lot of things are implied in Mandarin compared to English, and a lot of words can be omitted in Mandarin compared to English, but I still expected ownership words (他们的) to show it's their child.


This is a bad translation. "They saw their children last weekend" should really be "他们上个周末见他们的孩子。" The current sentence translates as "They saw saw children last weekend."


This seems to just refer to them seeing any random child...


Any reason why "他们上个周末看见了他们的孩子" is not accepted?

First, "to see" is 看见, right? Not just 见.

Second, if it's "their child" then don't you need to say that? The "right" translation seems to be incorrect: they just saw a child, not their child.



You can most definitely put 了 at the end of the sentence just as well as after the verb, and this sentence means the same thing.


I was taught that it had to be at the end of the sentence, unless numbers were involved. Now it comes before 'children' for no apparent reason. Can anybody explain this?


Don't think of it as going "before 'children'". Think of it as coming right after the verb, 见. I think of it like adding "-ed" to the end of a verb in English and it always gets accepted by Duo. 见 = see, 见了 = saw.


This lesson is almost impossible to complete. The 2 forms of word for weekend are interchangeable used in answers, but without any clue, student must put the correct one in to get a correct answer, as it will only accept one. I copied your "correct answer" and pasted it the next time the sentence came up - still gave me an error: 他们上个周末见了孩子。Copied and pasted

他们上个周末见了孩子。wrong, here's correct answer.

I'm frustrated . . . this is a long way from the quality of the Spanish version!


I don't remember seeing two espressions for weekend. The only one I've encountered is 周末 as in both of your examples. What's the other one you've seen?


Why can't the 了 go at the end of the statement? 他们上个周末见孩子了?


It's incredibly unclear when 了is needed... When its abundantly clear we're talking about the past, Duo cant decide whether its needed or not...


why not :




I dont understand how is stated that it is their child they saw


Does the sentence really imply that they saw THEIR child? I miss 他们的 before 孩子. If the sentence is correct, how would one say "They saw a child last weekend." (it was interesting as there are no children on their small island)?


I think that 了 pronouncation is wrong, it should be "le".


Get rid of the cartoons. Can't check my incorrect answer with the correct one


Couldn't this mean that they saw children last weekend (not necessarily their own)?


This kind of question seems more designed to frustrate people into paying for Duolingo to make the hearts go away than it seems designed to teach a language.

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