Need help urgently!!
Question #1: What are the differences between these three sentences: 1) 他坐在椅子上 2) 他在椅子上坐着 3) 他在椅子上坐 (wrong)
Question #2: Why is "他在椅子上坐" wrong?
Thank you in advance!
1) 他坐在椅子上 = 2) 他在椅子上坐着
He is sitting on/in a chair.
He sits on /in a chair.
You choose which translation to use depending on which part you want to stress.(movement or status)
3) 他在椅子上坐 (questionable)
He sits on /in a chair.
If He sits on /in a chair in English sounds right to you, then 他在椅子上坐 is grammatically correct as well.
Here I can give you a rare context where it CAN be correct.
You'd better put your context here so we can discuss. Safely speaking, avoid the third usage unless you are confident that you are correct.
First, you need to notice the difference between 坐 and 坐着, as mentioned before:
As a summary, 坐＝sit，坐着＝sitting
Second, let take a look at the whole sentences,notice the Bold character which express its most meaning. 在椅子上 here function as adverb, yet do note that 在椅子上 can work as a verb.
1) 他 坐 在椅子上
2) 他 在椅子上 坐着
Third, 他在椅子上坐 is a sentence Chinese native can understand, yet their seldom use it either in writing or speaking.
More that just a Chinese language
There seems to be no particular reason why generally a verb cannot be placed after an adverbial phrase, it's just a matter of "sense".
He sleeps on the bed.
If a Chinese hear this, he may guess that your emphasis lies on "on the bed", to show that this person sleeps on the bed instead of floor or sofa.
On the bed, he sleeps. (A bit weird in English?)
This is different. For a Chinese, this sounds like a plain descriptive sentence.
Of course, I gave an example when both sentences are grammatically right, but slightly different on meanings. But for a foreigner, how can he tell the difference based solely on the characters?
For the sentence in your question, 他在椅子上坐 (without a context) just sounds weird, period. It may be semantically right, but not grammatically. I believe this may happen in English or any other languages.
Interesting question! The first two have nearly the same meaning, but I think the second emphasizes the "current" quality of the action more. That is to say, I would translate
as "He sits on a chair," while I would translate
as "He is currently sitting on the chair." Given the context you provided in your comment, this seems like the most likely wording.
I'm not sure why I should feel that this formulation changes the chair to a specific one, but perhaps it's that in English, the sentence "He is currently sitting on a chair" has an odd feeling of unnecessary vagueness about it (perhaps because a chair is the default thing to sit on).
The third sentence
has an odd feel to it, as though it were missing something (possibly a second syllable, as mentioned in the comments). Also, without the progressive 著 at the end, it seems to say that he habitually sits on a chair, which seems like an odd thing to say of someone.
LOL,seeing this question I want to say,have you ever heard about Chinglish?while,what you ask is just the Chinese of English style. "他坐在椅子上"，"坐"is a verb,focus on the motion of sitting. "他在椅子上坐着"focus on the condition of sitting. In grammar aspect,most of Chinese can't explain the 3rd one,but we know we just don't use it.