"She smiles happily!"


April 4, 2018

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why do we need 了 here?


The english tense is misleading in this case. The "了" indicates the past tense so the the english equivilent should be "smiled happily" not "smiles happily." If you got it wrong because of shoddy translation don't feel bad.


There is no tense in Chinese. The 了 does not make the sentence past tense. It actually has a lot of functions, and doesn't necessarily mean that she smiled happily in the past. It could also imply that there was a change of state because she was not smiling before. Sometimes it is even added just because a one-word verb in Chinese by itself just sounds wrong but not for any inherent reason.


The english is misleading. Using 了makes it sound like past tense.


Depending on context the 了 may or may not be necessary. 了 indicates a change, so she is smiling happily whereas she wasn't before. We don't know the context here


"She smiles happily", the chinese should not be 了。 她高兴地笑了,the chinese should be She smiled happily.

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