"I saw my students last year."
Why do you need to use "了" if the "去年" already shows it's past tense and completed?
Because the use of '去年' does not necessarily mean the action is completed. Only that it is past. Without '了' it would be imperfect. For a full understanding, I would recommend researching the difference between 'Perfect' and 'Imperfect' aspect.
For English speakers it's understood that the action is completed because it is in the past, but in Chinese the action could still be ongoing or part of a series if 了 is not used to indicate the action has been completed in this type of context.
From the context there is no way to tell if this sentence is perfect or imperfect. "I was seeing my students last year" would indicate that the action is still ongoing. "I did see my students last year" would indicate that the action is completed. Also there is no indication if there is one or more student.
It is true that 学生 is basically 'student'. One thing I have figured out from this course is: Words like this can be used as plurals. Just like 医生 in the course, sometimes it is 'doctor' and sometimes 'doctors'. I guess we can only learn by enough exposure to the written language.
It's like you don't change "did" to "do" after you added "last year" in English.
了 is also used when you modify the object of the sentence. So since it's "my students" instead of just "students," the 了 is necessary.
i put "我去年看了我的学生", assume this is also okay? what is the difference between 看 and 见？
"Kan" (看) is to literally "see/look at something". "Jian" (见) is to see in the sense of "meet with."
If you say "did you go see your doctor?" you're not asking if the person went and simply looked at the doctor (看); you're asking if they met and spoke (见)
That's true, but the english sentence is ambiguous then: "I saw my students last year" could mean either.
It's tough too because "I met my students last year" is ambiguous between "I met (with) my students" and "I met (for the first time) my students", which other sentences want to see as 见 and 认识
This actually isn't a good example for this, since one way to say "I went to the doctor" is "我看病了", which obviously utilizes 看, but I see the point you're trying to make
I am not sure but i believe "kan" is more like "look" or "watch". For instance watch tv is "kan dian shi". Hope pinyin are not to confusing.
看 means to look or sometimes read, 见 is see in the sense that you are meeting.
I had the same question. I asked a friend from Taiwan. She said it is required. Her English is OK, but we still have to talk things out to get a good explanation. Basically a relationship between a teacher and students is not consider a close personal relationship.
The answer is wrong. It should also accept 我去年看见了我的学生。 FYI. Duolingo often rejects similar answers, and this is frustrating.
Duolingo Chinese is still in beta, so of course it's not going to be perfect. You can help by reporting.
can anyone help me understand why, in Chinese, it is (literal translation) 'last year saw my students' versus 'saw my students last year' . I get a lot of answers wrong, because I have not understood the concept.
Firstly the rule of the game in Duo is to be literal and do not change the word order, although Duo would surprise you occasionally.
The time element in a Chinese is usually either at the beginning of a sentence, or in the middle before the verb; It is never placed at the end, so avoid it.
What I find with Duo is that sometimes it is literal and sometimes not. With the Chinese some of the answers they recommend are just not literal or direct translation. I find guessing is a horrible way to learn because getting answers wrong out of not knowing why undermines confidence. I've done 15 lessons so far but this one is a bit crazy and overly complicated compared to the others. Duo is great to practice with, but it would be much better if it gave you an explanatory lesson in the first place before it throws you in the deep end where the only way to survive is to learn answers off by memory, and not understand the grammar or the 'why'.
Pity because it's about 90 % there otherwise and could be the best on the market.
昨天 = yesterday (昨 = yesterday 天 = day, sky, heaven)
去天 = go to the sky
去年 = last year （上年 = last year) Sometimes when used with a time component, 去 can mean 'last' (not always). You have to remember the vocabulary. Hope that helps.
qutian was not in the quiz, it was part of the original question (from Bob) .
Why do the hints give me the wrong translation for saw i can't remember the correct translation
I'm starting to think this lesson is a waste of time given there is so much dabbling in the dark over concepts like 了 For a learner it seems impossible to predict when it is used. I've not found a lesson previously that is so full of easy to make pitfalls.
明年 = next year 明 = bright, clear (of meaning), to understand, next, wise, and public