"Have you seen my cell phone?"


November 21, 2017

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Why could we not place 了 right after the verb? What difference does it make in meaning?


I'm wondering the same thing. Maybe placing a 了 would make it sound like the sentence is saying: "did you see my phone" which implies more of a past tense than the implication of: "do you know where my phone is?" Idk if that is correct though, just an idea.


That's pretty close. It's the difference between a completed action in any time frame (verb 了) versus a present state having come into being (sentence 了) with immediate relevance.

For this sentence we can simplify by saying that verb 了 would be like "did you see..." and sentence 了 would be like "have you seen..."

I wanted to put this information higher up on the page for the sake of convenience, but dafadllyn's comment below is on point:


I tried thinking of 你看见了我的手机吗 as "Have you seen my mobile phone?" whereas 你看见我的手机吗 as "Do you see my mobile phone?" and 你看见我的手机了吗 as "Do you see my mobile phone (by) now?" and finally 你看见了我的手机了吗 as "Have you seen my mobile phone (by) now?" Is this wrong?


I would usually think of the first one as "Did you see my mobile phone" but otherwise I think your interpretations are fair.

However, translations can vary a bit, given that the various constructions don't correlate absolutey with English verb forms, and I have a slightly different take on the versions with sentence-了, which you can read in another comment of mine:


From what I have heard, placing 了 at the end implies something still pending or going on while after the verb implies something that has already happened; closer in meaning to 过.


According to this site, 了 after a verb indicates a completed action while 了 at the end of a sentence indicates a new situation or an immediate relevance of a statement, which seems to be the case here.

Edit: Even when asking questions about completed actions, 了 doesn't come directly after the verb as usual, but just before 吗 (see here). Example:



I think it’s because 看见 is a result complement, i.e. 看 on its own means look but does not include actually seeing. 看见 means to look and see. See 见 is the result.

For verbs that include a result, I think past tense is more natural. For example, “I have seen” is more natural than “I’m seeing”. Probably with or without 了 are both fine for conveying past tense.

Read more here: https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/Result_complement


I had 你看见了我的手机吗 too. Sounds fine to me. I'll just report it and see the reaction.


Would like to see clarification on this as well, as I think I've only seen it used after verbs, yet here it is explicitly disallowed.


I wonder the same your question.


Yes, I don't understand either. Can someone explain ?


Wondering this too, I thought it was supposed to indicate completion sort of? So Idk why there would be a difference between completion of (seeing) and completion of (seeing cell phone)


I also think 了 should be accepted after 看见。


I don't understand why an earlier same question that I wrote down where you had to write the answer in English had the 了particle. It was: 你看见我的手机了吗? Yet here there was no particle

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Seems like this is a mistake on Duo's part. The explanation for this lesson explicitly says:

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?


That's my question too...


Lol I'm Chinese but I had to think about the difference between verb 了 and sentence 了. So personally, 你看见了我手机吗?implies something like "I got a new phone, did you see it yet?" asking if you've completed the action of "seeing" it already.

你看见我手机了吗?is what I usually would use if I misplaced my phone and I'm asking someone if they've seen it yet. But to be honest, I find the two sentences interchangeable.


Do you need "KanJian", or can you just say "Ni Jian Wode Shouji Ma"?


见 means "to meet" so it wouldn't make any sense on it's own

看 means "to watch"

看见 means "to see"


When the question was "Have you seen her book?" 你看见了她的书了吗? was accepted. Why not with this question? I only changed who and what...


My sense is of it is as follows (though I defer to native Chinese speakers):

Using only sentence 了 (as in the sentence at hand) makes the question more immediately relevant to the present moment: Have you seen my cell phone, and by implication, can you now tell me where it is?

Using both verb 了 and sentence 了, on the other hand (as in the "book" example), is more an inquiry about life experience: Have you had the opportunity to take a look at her book?  (I'm taking liberties with the translation to exaggerate the different sense.)

In the right context (and with the appropriate time phrase) the latter structure is also used to express ongoing duration: I've been living here for five years, and by implication, I'm still living here.  我在这儿住了五年了。


Yes, it is not clear why in some sentences you add it after the verb and in this sentence in the end


你看见我的手机了吗?I thought this was correct, whereas 你看见我的手机吗?seems to me to mean "Do you see my cell phone?"


What's wrong with putting the object at the beginning of the sentence? I thought that was acceptable in Chinese: 我的手机你看见了吗?


In Chinese, the object should be placed after the verb, so “我的手机” has to come after "看见."


My native girlfriend also says that 了would be corect in this sentence....


the word 了 wasn't in the word bank


Is the 了 necessary in this sentence?


I have this same question... I'm wondering if "le" is absolutely needed.


Should 看到 be an acceptable substitute for 看见 or is there a subtle difference I am missing?


We say 你看见我的手机了吗 not 你看见了我的手机吗 is because that you are not paying attention to the "Have" in the sentence. 你看见我的手机了 means You have seen my phone/cellphone. 吗 makes the question.


Should 了 be after 看见 rather than 手机?


No. That would make it more like "Did you see my cell phone".

(This question has been asked and answered a couple of times already.)


《你看见了不看见了我的手机?》is marked as wrong. Do we not use expressions with 了 in 《 …不… 》form of the question?


The problem is that "不看见了" doesn't make sense in Chinese (at least in this context, and I can't think of one where it would). "没(有)看见" is the proper negative form for a past action that didn't happen, and "了" is never used when the past action referred to by the verb was not  completed, but only when it was .

(The only time that "没(有)" and "了" are used together is when the meaning is "no more".)

You can say "你有没有看见..." or you can say the entire affirmative sentence and then tack "没有" on the end as an alternative to "吗" and to the simpler "verb-not-verb" structure.


Thank you! Very clear explanation! I also now understand why my attempt to construct a phrase with 《 …不… 》, including large verbal constructions, is wrong.


I agree, seems to say 'do you see' instead of 'have you seen'


I was given the exact phrase a few minutes ago to translate from chinese to english and the chinese phrase then was "你看见我的手机了吗?". So what is the correct way to say it?


It should hav the particle 了 le, after 看见 kànjiàn.


Or 了 could be placed after 手机 shǒujī.


Sometimes when typing what I hear in chinese it tells me i used the wrong word but i'm fairly certain I typed exactly what the correction shows. It would be nice if I could see what I typed along with the correction so I could see where there's a difference.


It just did it again. I'm positive this time that I typed the correct translation for "Have you seen my cellphone?". It tells me I typed an incorrect word.


The problem seems to be that the "le" modifier is missing from the list of charactors.


Native chinese here 了is unnecessary


With or without the word了should be marked correct, if you tap in the underlined word HAVE it says 看見and 看見了therefore with or without 了should be marked correct. Doulingo is SHIT


The nuance that matters more here is that of sentence-了 (the "了" before the "吗").

In any event, I wonder if you care that all of us following this discussion are real people just trying to learn, and we all receive any childish outburst posted here in our e-mail inboxes.


了is pretty unecessary


They accept both ways. That is, " kan jian le '' and " le " at the end of the sentence as shown in the answer above.


bruh why do we need to put 了

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