I'm having a hard time understanding when to use 了 as a modal particle (instead of as an aspect particle). For example, what is the difference between the following two sentences. 现在几点？ 现在几点了？ ...
Received this in a text from a Chinese friend. I want to say that "了" here is not part of the verb phrase but instead just an emphatic particle, same as if you said something like "我最怕蜘蛛了"。Then again, ...