"The plane is taking off soon!"


November 29, 2017



Why is 了 required here? It doesn't seem to me like a past tense sentence

November 29, 2017


了 is not an indication of past tense, it only indicates a change of status; another major use is as a modal particle, as in this sentence ("…oh, finally").

November 29, 2017


Ok, but is the 了 particle necessary? Does the sentence 飞机快要起飞 sound unnatural to a native Chinese speaker?

January 30, 2018

  • 1494

Since no context is given, it is optional. For an exclamation sentence, it may sound rather abrupt without 了.

It could also be spoken by a serious soldier and sound more brief and straightforward: “飞机快要起飞!无关人员请离开。The plane will take off soon! Irrelevant staff please leave this zone.”

February 13, 2018


I debated it for a moment, left 了 off and got it marked as incorrect. I suppose the sentence does sound just a bit incomplete without it, or perhaps even rude, as Learning German says. When to use and not to use "了" is just one of those subtleties of the Chinese language that has to be learned gradually. It's not used simply to denote past tense alone; it's far more complicated than that. "A change in modality" is a very good way to express it.

April 9, 2018


why do we need le there so frustrating

December 28, 2017


The le is necessary in the speech because it is often used when making a declarative statement of some kind. For example, "I am going home" will often be translated as "wo yao hui jia le."

This question is not incorrect by insisting on the addition of the word "le"

July 25, 2018
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