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我最近没打过羽毛球

Just wondering if the 过 in this sentence can be omitted? Or does the sentence have a slightly different meaning if I remove it?

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    No, and my personal opinion is that you shouldn't put it there. Firstly it is completely redundant, and secondly 沒X過 is a standard phrasing which means haven't done X before at all, and means something entirely different from what you're trying to say. If communication is about clarity, then adding decreases the ability to communicate clearly.
    – dROOOze
    Apr 13 '18 at 11:06
  • Ok thanks! How about in the affirmative? If I want to ask someone "have you played badminton recently?" should I ask them 你最近打过羽毛球吗? or 你最近打了羽毛球吗?or 你最近打羽毛球了吗? Apr 13 '18 at 11:56
  • All those phrasings are fine. To clarify my previous comment: 我最近沒X過Y IMO is not a meaningful phrase, because it doesn't specify a time frame for which 沒X過 is applicable. If you do specify a time frame then it is okay, e.g. 我上個星期沒打過羽毛球, I haven't played badminton at all last week. (I'm not posting an answer, because other people may have different opinions.)
    – dROOOze
    Apr 13 '18 at 12:10
  • But doesn't 最近 represent a time frame in exactly the same way that 上个星期 does? Also, how about "我上个星期没打羽毛球" ? In this sentence is the 过 ok to leave out? Apr 13 '18 at 12:27
  • Yes, that phrasing is fine. No, I don't think 最近 represents a time frame at all (recently doesn't give any indication of the start of a time frame), but I recognise this as being a bit pedantic. In practice, I don't think you would get misunderstood if you say 我最近沒打過羽毛球; my point is that adding 過 creates potential for ambiguities (e.g. bad phone connection, making them hear 我~~沒打過羽毛球, which means something entirely different).
    – dROOOze
    Apr 13 '18 at 12:40
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Your 过 is not necessary, but:

我最近没打过羽毛球。and 我最近没打羽毛球。

are equivalent, as far as people I asked are concerned.

For the question: 'Have you played badminton recently?' people immediately used ‘打过’, but I did not consult all of China!

你最近打过羽毛球吗?

Apparently, ‘打了’ conjures up the idea of hitting someone, so would tend to be avoided in this situation.

I've never played badminton. 我从来没打过羽毛球。

I would like to ask 水巷孑蠻先生 (and other experts here), whether this use of 过 is found in Old Chinese and Middle Chinese texts, or whether might be a concession to Western ideas of tense and especially past tense.

Any situation where a time in the past is mentioned: 'Yesterday .., Last night .., Recently ..' we know for certain the event mentioned is in the past. Past Tense is actually redundant. English sometimes uses what is quaintly called the 'Historical Present':

"Last night, I'm sitting alone, watching TV, when, all of a sudden ....." Nobody will say, 'You used 'I am', therefore this is a Present Tense sentence.'

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我最近没打过羽毛球 indicates that you haven't played badminton lately. It emphasizes the result or the fact that you haven't done it.

Well, 我最近没打羽毛球 sounds like you regularly play badminton, say once a week, however lately you break that rule(not play it). Basically, 我最近没打羽毛球 means you play badminton regularly or in the past, but for some reason you haven't/didn't play(ed) it recently.

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