The Perfective –Le Versus The Modal Particle Le

 

I. Aspect versus tense

II. Perfective aspect particle le (or verb-suffix le)

A. Verb taking a quantified object or complement of duration

B. Verb taking a modified object

C. Verb with a built-in terminal point

D. First event in a series

E. Verb taking a series of unquantified objects

F. Verb modified by a long adverbial

III. Modal particle le (or sentence-end le)

A. Le is used to affirm the completion of the action and to make a point about the present situation

B. Le is used to ask or answer questions about whether someone has done something. (Did you ...? or Have you ...?)

C. Le is used to ask about what someone did

D. Le is used to ask or answer questions about where someone went/has gone

E. Le is used to ask or answer general questions about who did something without requesting specific information  

    about quantity, duration and so on

F. Asking and answering questions about how long someone has not done something

G. Special verbs taking a phrase of duration.

H. Modal particle le used to sum up after a series of actions

IV. Aspect particle le and modal particle le used together with a quantified object or duration (so far, up to now)

V. Aspect particle le and modal particle le used together without a quantified object or duration between them

VI. Where verb suffix –le is not used

A. Habitual activities or repeated events

B. The first verb in a pivotal construction

C. The first in a series of verbal expressions

D. Verbs that take direct quotations

E. Verbs that take indirect quotations

F. Dispositional verbs and verbs that show a state of being

G. Verbs that show ability or possibility

H. Verbs that take verbal constructions as objects

I. The verb zài

J. The verb yǒu

K. A verb that follows the adverb cái indicating lateness

L. A verb that is in the ‘shì... ...de’ construction