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  1. I'm confused about this sentence: '难得的一颗歪脖子灯杆站在了窗前' Does it mean: a. A rare lamp pole that could break (someone's) neck stands in front of the window b. A rare crooked lamp pole stands in front of the window. Or neither of them is right (Could you please tell me the correct answer)?

  2. Is '站在了窗前' the same as '站在窗前'

  • except indicating 'things done', 了 used to adjust rhythm of pronunciations, e.g. 了 has no tune, that is to say it is pronounced slightly and save your efforts and decrease pronunciation speed, so that you can speak easily in a long speech/lecture. – Daniel Yeung Aug 11 '17 at 3:19
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  1. B is correct.
  2. Right, it's same.

Adding 了 makes sentence more natural, I don't why but it would be very odd without it.

歪脖子 is a common word describing a long thing, tree more often. a lamp pole is 歪脖子,that is definitely 难得的.

And there is a typo , 棵 instead of 颗.

Answer the comment:

  1. 脖子 represents the form of object. It must have a long part.

  2. It is very common to add 了 after 在, and other verbs, 留在了, 排在了, 放在了, 打在了...

了 express 'past or perfect' tense.

他站在窗前.

他站在了窗前.

Both is correct. But for your sentence, it would be odd without 了. So there is still some difference.

  • 1. So, although '歪脖子' literally means crooked neck, when it is used to describe a long thing, it would simply mean 'crooked' and we could ignore the '脖子' word? 2. Truthfully, this is the first time i read '了' behind the word '在', more often it is '在'+place without '了'. Is there any rule on 在+了 pairing or are they always meant to be used together? – Fai91 Aug 10 '17 at 14:33
  • @Fai91 I edited my answer, and you can find more into here: yellowbridge.com/chinese/sentsearch.php?word=%E5%9C%A8%E4%BA%86 – Jacob Aug 10 '17 at 17:57
  • 一棵灯杆???looks not right. 一棵 usually with a plant, like 一棵树,一棵幼苗 – dan Aug 12 '17 at 1:15
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First, 一颗灯杆 is a wrong expression. You should use 一根灯杆.

一颗 is used to describe small circular/granular things: 一颗糖,一颗珠子.

一根 is used to describe a rod of something: 一根铅笔,一根棒子,一根杆子.

Second, 了 connotes something has been done or finished. 站在了窗前 means it has already stood in front of the window, while 站在窗前 is more like standing in front of the window. 站在窗前 describes the state of being there.

So, 难得的一根歪脖子灯杆站在窗前 looks better to me. However, this sentence still sounds unnatural in some degree.

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  • [难得的] = rarely; coincidentally

  • [一枝歪脖子灯杆] = a streetlight with tilted neck

Tilted-neck streetlights are mostly for road-side or highway-side. Some can be very tall, tall enough to reach second floor window ; Straight streetlights are mostly for parks or small areas, They are generally shorter than the highway-side streetlights. Some may just taller than a man by a little.

streetlight with tilted neck

  • [站在了窗前] = had stood in front of the window

了 is a word particle indicates completed action

More example:

吃晚飯= eat dinner

吃了晚飯 = had eaten dinner

[难得的] [一枝歪脖子灯杆] [站在了窗前]

[coincidentally] [a road-side streetlight] [had stood in front of the window]

If you are a poor student, this situation can help you save some money on electricity.

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