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  5. "I have been waiting for you …

"I have been waiting for you for a long time."


November 23, 2017



我等你等了很久。is ok =_=

  1. Where can I learn more about the grammar pattern as here in 等你等了?
  2. What's the function of the second 了? Can it be omitted?

  1. "Topic-comment" is description that can be applied to a lot of Chinese sentences, including this one. The effect is to say "I, waiting for you, [have] waited...", or "(Regarding the topic of) I-wait-for-you, (the point to be made is that I) [have] waited..."

  2. Where there's a verb-object compound followed by a complement of duration etc., the common sentence pattern is v-o + v + 了 + complement.

  3. Without the second "了", I would read it as "I waited for you for a long time". With the second "了", I read it as "I've (already) been waiting for you for a long time (and am still waiting)".



This two 了 structure means that the action has been continuing for an amount of time, and is still continuing.


Wait... so then in the 我认识他很久了 exercise, why isn't it 我认识他了很久了?


There are a number of things going on.

One is that the double 了 structure requires the first 了 to immediately follow the verb. That's why the verb is repeated here, to get the object out of the way. You have the first 了 in the wrong place.

Another is that "认识" is a two syllable verb, and doesn't sound as good with the structure Duo is presenting here.

"认识" is also a stative verb, not a dynamic one like "等" (at least as these terms are applied to their English counterparts, "know" and "wait"), so it doesn't necessarily make as much sense to use verb 了, which is also known as "completed-action 了", as a stative verb can't be "completed" in the same way (but I defer to native Chinese speakers especially on this point).

In any event, I don't think the first 了 (i.e. the "等了") is strictly necessary here. (As a topic-comment sentence it becomes simpler without it — see my comment above.)


Its in the "Tips" section on the Duolingo app/website (03/01/2020)


Why is the second 了 there?

[deactivated user]

    Shows a continuous action. Without it, it would just mean "I waited for you for a long time" vs this sentence means "I have been waiting for you for a long time"


    i can almost get the logic of the 2 了-s, but not of the 2 等-s... is there a guide (a list of examples) to that somewhere, please?


    我等你很久了should be accepted


    Your sentence does not necessarily mean that the action is still continuing. The two 了 structure specifically indicates that the action is still continuing.


    Then why did it accept my 我等了你很久了?


    But why does i have known him for a long time follow a different pattern?


    Are both of the le characters optional?


    I feel the last one is not really optional. Without it maybe the sentence will seem like a general statement that I often seem to wait for you a long time, or that I am willing to wait for you a long time, or that you can take your time because I will wait for you a long time. If we want to indicate that I have just been waiting for you a long time, we need the 了 on the end.


    How is asking a question, downvotable ? Surely only statements that are wrong or disagreed with are downvotable.


    I generally agree. A question should be answered, or left for someone else to answer, and a downvote is a poor substitute for an answer — except where a question is clearly nonsensical and unanswerable, and getting in the way of legitimate language questions, or is relevant but has already been asked and answered several times, in which case downvoting helps to move new clutter down or off the page.

    But for some repetitive questions it could indicate that an explanation needs to be inserted higher up on the page, where it can be easily seen by new visitors, which can be difficult, e.g. when the the top comment chain is an irrelevant pile-on of "me too" comments with hundreds of upvotes.

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    You can't put time duration (ie, "a long time") after the subject in Chinese, only time points (ie, "on Sunday").



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