Change of state

ENGchangeofStateLEx

In the section finished action we learned that 了 <le> right behind the verb serves as an indicator of a finished action.

下雨了fincernaFsm

 <le> placed in the end of a sentense however works as a marker that a situation has changed.

我不抽烟了。

<Wǒ bù chōuyān le.>   

I not to smoke le.  

I DON’T SMOKE ANYMORE.

他来 

<Tā lái le.> 

He to come le.  

HE CAME. 

我今年29岁 

<Wǒ jīnnián 29 suì le.>

I this year 29 years le.

I AM 29 YEARS OLD.

Play CG-ChangeOfState-1
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Previous sentence might seem a bit strange – why do we use change of events when talking about the age (which lasts for a year and hasn´t just changed)? It is because 了 <le> indicates that situation has changed (or will change) to the state that it afterwards is (or will be) in. That´s how it helps us to express that the state still persists (or will persist).

你在欧洲多长时间 

<Nǐ zài Ōuzhōu duōcháng shíjiān le?>

You in Europe how long time le.  

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN EUROPE (SO FAR)?

我在欧洲十个月 

<Wǒ zài Ōuzhōu shí ge yuè le.>   

I in Europe ten months le.

I HAVE STAYED IN EUROPE FOR TEN MOTHS SO FAR.

Anyway, situation can change in the future as well, in that case we also use  <le>.

快要下雨  

<Kuài yào xiàyǔ le.> 

Fast (soon) yao to rain le. 

IT IS GOING TO RAIN SOON.

我马上要走  

<Wǒ mǎshàng yào zǒu le.>

I immediately yao to leave le.

I’M LEAVING IN A MOMENT.

Play CG-ChangeOfState-2
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This theme is linked to finished action.