Translation:What did she do last Tuesday?
In a previous exercise, 上 (sháng) was used, but 了 (le) was not used with the verb. I of course no longer remember what the exercise was but assumed that 了 was unnecessary due to the usage of 上. Now I'm confused. Is there a rule I don't know about? And, if so, is anyone able to explain? Or, is this due to a Duolingo error?
Why is 了 not used with 在?
I think of it this way: I don't say, "I was atted New York yesterday." In Chinese "to be" verbs remain the same regardless of the time frame. 在 is a verb that includes "to be"in its meaning along with "at." So I literally say with 在, "Today I am at; tomorrow I am at; and yesterday I am at."
If it is Thursday and you just say "on Tuesday" then the context and the tense of the verb will indicate if it is referring to the Tuesday two days ago or the Tuesday of next week. "Last Tuesday" usually refers to the Tuesday of the previous week, but could also be used by some people to refer to the Tuesday two days ago in the same week, so if you think there might be some ambiguity then you would say "Tuesday of last week" or "Tuesday of this week".
Hi James, native speakers don't say "on Tuesday last week." Always say "last Tuesday" or "on Tuesday." You're right they might be different if it's Thursday... If it were Thursday, and you said "I went to the store on Tuesday" or "I went to the store last Tuesday" it means 2 days ago. If it were Monday, you could say "I went to the store last Tuesday" and it means the previous week.
Good question, but, unfortunately, context is the only clue. He/she/it all share the same audible word. Hopefully, the conversation reveals the gender or, in the case of "it," hopefully the context reveals the animal. I don't know what people who are gender fluid do because even context leaves the listener unsure there.