"你看见她的书了吗?"

Translation:Have you seen her book?

December 4, 2017

27 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/shiningaardvark

How do you know where to put 了? Would 你看見了她的書嗎 be incorrect?

December 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Star_185

Dude, thats not the right pinyin

February 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/yarrite

OP is using traditional characters..

March 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/cagprado

The entire course is using Simplified Chinese, I keep wondering why people insist on commenting using Traditional Chinese without explicitly saying so! I've seen people replying questions (asked in Simplified Chinese) using Traditional Chinese, that's kinda arrogant!

April 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BZH1423

I don't see it as them being arrogant, just more inclined toward Taiwanese culture rather than the mainland. It does throw me off a bit sometimes as well, but in the real world you will also occasionally encounter some traditional characters, so it is good to start learning to recognize a few.

January 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Soy_Jaguar

I don't think it's being arrogant. Personally, I often tend to do so for 2 reasons. The first is they characters are a lot easier to distinguish, not only because they look a lot more like the oracle bone scipt and what they're based off of, but because they have much more unique strokes. The second being that they're much easier to learn for people who learned Hanja or Kanji beforehand. An opinion reason I want to add on this note is i think it looks a bit prettier, and adds to the uniqueness of the language, vs forcing it to become more digitalized and uniform.

January 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AyamPokPok

I completely agree! It's very annoying. We come to the discussion part to learn, and since I (and all of us) learn in simplified characters for Mandarin, those using the traditional characters completely throw me off.

July 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SiennaMorris

Why is 了used after the subject instead of the verb here? I would expect it to be 你看见了她的书吗? Does this also work?

May 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr.rM
  • 1495

@Jerry41034 is right. The nuance is very subtle. The English translation also depends. Please assume that not any part of the sentence is stressed for each sentence below:

Scenario 1:

  • A: 你们看见她的书了吗?记着,千万不要看她的书。 Did you (guys) see her book? Remember, don't look at her book.
  • B: 噢,我看见她的书了…… Oh, I've seen her book… / Oh, I saw her book.
  • C: 我也看见她的书了…… I have also seen her book… / I also saw her book.
  • D: 我也看见了她的书。 I also saw her book. / I have also seen her book.
  • E-1: 没,我看见你的书了…… (囧 /facepalm) No, I saw your book… (maybe only I know that your book also looks terrible) / No, I have seen your book… (maybe everyone knows that your book also looks terrible)
  • E-2: 没,我看见了你的书。(given that your book looks normal) No, I saw your book (not others').
  • F: 幸好我看见了别的书。 Luckily, I saw other books.
  • G: 啊,我也看见别的书了。 Ah, I have also seen other books. (otherwise I would have been unlucky)
  • H: 对,对,我也看见了别的书。Yay, right, I also saw other books.
  • blah blah blah

Scenario 2:

  • A: 你看见她的书了吗?别说你忘了去看她的书。 Have you seen her book? Don't tell me you forgot to see her book. (just to know the look/situation of the book, not to read the content)
  • B: 我看见她的书了,那是一本小说。 I've seen her book. It is a novel. (Note: 我看见了她的书 does not fit quite well, because it would sound like “I've done the job” was skipped.)
  • A: 真的?你看见了她的书 ,不是别人的? Really? Did you see her book, not other people's books?
  • B: 真的,我看见了她的书。 Yes, I saw her book. (Note: 我看见她的书了 doesn't fit.)
  • A: 真的看见了? You did see it?
  • B: 我真的看见她的书了。 I have really seen her book. / I really saw her book. (Note: 我真的看见了她的书 and 我真的看见了 also fit.)

Try to feel the nuance. But I don't think my few examples are enough for this. By placing 了 at the end of the sentence, it tells us 了 (meaning “already” or for exclamation) is applied to the whole sentence or some nearest phrase before it, e.g. 看见她的书了吗 is understandable without the subject 你 so 你 could be incidental and then 了 is tight less closely to 你. We can also shift the focus by stressing some part of the sentence like 她的书.

May 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Celticfiddleguy

Thanks, this helps a lot!! (°>°)

September 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/PoppyDGrate

You totally could put 了 right after the verb, which is how Duo usually does it. When I began studying Chinese, where to put 了 was one of the hardest things because there was a disconnect between what our textbook was telling us and what I'd hear speakers actually doing. I asked several different teachers and nearly all of them wound up saying, "It really depends on how it sounds best..."

May 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Martinologue

Im curious about the use of 看见 as opposed to 见 alone. Would "你见了她的书吗" work?

April 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/PoppyDGrate

见 is one of those curious words without an exact English counterpart. In some ways it works to show the completed action of seeing (看见) or hearing (听见), but it also is used to express meeting someone 我们在门口见面吧 ("let's meet at the gate"). I've never seen it used alone in the context of seeing something, as you suggest.

April 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/CharlesE780046

I was just marked wrong for the reverse translation using the "le". This is ridiculous.

June 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SPX656767

你看见他的书了吗 should be accepted for the audio portion. We can't tell which 她/他 to use without the word bank.

January 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MisterTwister

This seriously means the same thing as 你有没有看见他的书?

April 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr.rM
  • 1495

They mean the same. And as @Jerry42034 said, some people, especially the grammarians of the old school, consider “有/有没有 + verb phrase” ungrammatical, meanwhile, consider “没(有) + verb phrase” grammatical.

Depending on your tone and the context, 你有没有看见他的书 may sound rather pressing.

May 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/PoppyDGrate

Honestly, I've never heard that particular construction. In some parts of the country you might hear someone using 没 this way: 你看见了她的书没有?Which is different from the meaning of the original sentence, in that this structure is more of a "Did you see her book or not?"

April 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ryf-Reto

Why is 他 instead of 她 not accepted? It is not clearly defined in the audio that it is male or female.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/1ostwolf

I also did the same and wrote "你看见他的书了吗 ?" On audio only both the male and female sounded like "ta" to me so i ended up to type he. :( I am confused how we were supposed to know which one it was. :'( I relate to the frustration. :(

April 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AmitChopra9

Would " Ni kan ta de shu le ma?" be incorrect?I mean if "jian " is not used.Or would this mean " Did you read her book?".

July 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AtomZ2

So, the 了 after the subject is the kind that indicates a recent change of state, rather than the completion of an action. If so, is this question implicitly saying "Have you seen her book (recently)?"

Would “你最近看见了她的书吗?” also be correct in spirit? Or perhaps completion is implied, then "你最近看见她的书吗"?

January 4, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Cat756229

maybe the difference in position of 了 depends on whether it's 看见 versus 见 ,the first implying "have seen" means "have looked at" versus the second interpretation of "have seen" as in "have located it" or "have seen it laying around" as in the speaker is looking for it.

February 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/elmanisero777

why not "do you see her book?"

December 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr.rM
  • 1495

I think it is acceptable too. “see” already indicates the action is done (not syntactically, just semantically). I'm a native Chinese speaker. The 了 is not mandatory for denoting the completion for this Chinese sentence. “你看见她的书吗?” can also mean “Did you see her book?”. But, please note that this is a Chinese-to-English exercise, not the reverse. If Duo really wants us to translate with “have … seen” or “already”, then including 了 is only for literal translation, but then we may also argue about why flexible translation is accepted for other questions except this one.

(Not sure why people downvoted your question as well. Weird. Recommenting for stubborn downvoters. Your arguments, please?)

May 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/IndahMaria5

So you're saying that 了 is not neccessary here? Is if okay if i do not put 了?

February 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr.rM
  • 1495

Hmm, hard to explain, since the function of “see” is quite special here. Better go from English to Chinese first.

Appropriate translations for “Do you see her book?”

  1. catch sight of something: a) 你看见她的书(了)吗?

  2. be able to perceive with the eyes: (a). b) 你.能.看见她的书吗? c) 你看.得.见她的书吗?

(“did you”, “have you”, “had you” omitted for simplicity & laziness …)

Then for “你看见她的书.了.吗?/你.能.看见她的书.了.吗?/你看.得.见她的书.了.吗?”: d) Can/Do you see her book now? e) Could/Did you see her book then? f) Have/Had you seen her book now/then? … been able to see …?

Chinese does not have tenses, and 了 (le) is mostly used to indicate a change of state or used to utter exclamation. Coincidentally “see” and 看见 work similarly and a bit of redundancy is allowed in Chinese, so all these fused together is confusing and requires a lot of experience for people to understand the proper use. ;)

February 9, 2019
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