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  5. "I spent too much time doing …

"I spent too much time doing this task."


December 3, 2017



Why not "這件事情"?


It is acceptable as well.


I wrote 我做这个事情花了太多时间... All I did was flip the sentence around a little bit, IT STILL MAKES SENSE, but duo wouldn't accept it.


Yes, it's correct. But there's no need to shout.

Did you report it?


Is it wrong to say 太多了時間? I thought there should always be a 了 in the 太。。。了 structure. But it is marked as wrong. Do you know why we can omit the 了 here after 太多?


That wouldn't be the right place for it. You'd be interrupting the meaning. However, you could put it at the end of the sentence, as a sentence-final "了", which is a colloquial usage that would suggest a presently observed change of state or similar point of emphasis applying to the sentence as a whole.

In the "太 ... 了" structure, "了" can be thought of as a special case of the sentence-final "了", and the idea expressed is that you've observed the situation and this is the emphatic conclusion that you've come too. In such a case you put "太 ... 了" at the end of your sentence or clause (or it acts as your entire sentence) and nothing comes after it.

In the given Duolingo sentence, the "了" after "花" indicates a change of state attached to the verb, and it's often reasonable to interpret this "了" as a sort of past tense.

A second "了", at the end, would attach a presently observed change of state or similar point of emphasis to the entire sentence, and the nuance would change from, basically, "I spent too much time..." to something like "(I conclude that) I have (now) spent too much time...".

I welcome corrections.


I think you're right. I've noticed that the 了 tends to get dropped in more complex sentences, but I haven't been taught or realized a rule for it. It's my assumption that the 了 gets dropped when it would be too clunky or confusing.


I've edited my comment now, after refreshing my understanding of the grammar. Still interested in hearing from a native Chinese speaker, though.


I put the only 了after 時間 for the same reason and came to see if that'd be correct too.


Yes, it took me half an hour : D




I cannot see what I did wrong because the answer panel is immoveable


After the lesson, on the web version you're given the option to review your answers. If you're using the mobile app and that option doesn't exist, you might want to submit a bug report:

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