A. By being a quantified event. (The event is bounded in terms of quantity or duration. The verb takes either a numeral and a measure word or a complement of duration.)


1.1     Shàng yuè kàn-le sān běn shū.  


          Last month I read three books.

Note that when the event is quantified in terms of duration, depending on whether the verb takes an object, the sentence may take one of the following three patterns.



1.2     xiěcuò-le .  


I wrote a character incorrectly.

Note that when the verb takes a resultative complement and a quantified object, the perfective aspect particle must be placed after the complement, not the verb.


verb + resultative complement + le + quantified object



Verb without an object taking a complement of duration:   


verb-le + duration



1.3.1  Zuótiān shuì-le zhōngtóu.  


          Yesterday I slept for eight hours.


Verb taking an object and a complement of duration:


A. verb + object + reduplicated verb-le + duration.



1.3.2  Zuótiān shuìjiào shuì-le zhōngtóu.  


          Yesterday I slept for eight hours.

Note that shuìjiào睡觉 is a VO compound (Verb shuì+Object jiào). In this sentence, the first verb shuì in the verbal phrase shuìjiào睡觉 does not function as the predicate verb. Instead, it takes the object jiào to simply name the activity meaning something like ‘as to sleeping’. The second shuì is the main verb. This is why the aspect particle leis placed after the second shuì.


Verb taking an object and a complement of duration:


B.      verb-le + duration + de + object



1.3.3  Zuótiān shuì-le zhōngtóu de jiào.  


          Yesterday I slept for eight hours.

Shuìjiào is a VO compound (Verb shuì + Object jiào). Not all compounds are VO. Xuéxí学习 ‘to study’ and gōngzuò工作 ‘to work’ are VV compounds (Verb xué + Verb , Verb gōng + Verb zuò). VV compounds are treated as verbs and thus follow the pattern of 1.2 above.