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With the World Cup on, this is a common phrase I want to be able to ask. Is it simply 你看足球了吗?Or 足球比赛?And do I need the 了 in this sentence? Including the 了 makes it feel like I'm asking them "do you watch football these days, as opposed to before when you didn't?" Or should I put the 了 after the 看 instead of at the end of the sentence?

  • users note (as suggested by question) 看足球 corresponds to "watch the football game" (看足球比赛) for completed action: 你看了足球吗? to denote change (new situation) 你看足球了吗? there also is 你看了足球了吗?(2了) which can be shortened to #2: 你看足球了吗? – user6065 Jun 21 '18 at 9:07
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    Most likely, I will go 你看足球了吗?, 你看球了吗?or just simply 看球了吗?every body would assume you are referring to the world cup, so there would not be any problems with those omissions. – dan Jun 21 '18 at 10:46
  • 看足球 bkrs (Ru) watch the football competition 比赛, 竞赛, although 足球 only means football, also as intermediate 足球比赛 can be shortened to 足球赛 (你想看足球赛吗?) – user6065 Jun 21 '18 at 11:42
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  1. "你看足球比赛吗?" = "do you watch football match?"

  2. "你看了足球比赛吗?" = "have you watched the football match? " (看 is the verb, 了 is the verb particle indicates 'completion of an action-- 足球比赛 is the object that was being watched)

  3. "你看足球比赛了吗?" put the object '足球比赛' between '看' and its verb particle '了'. that make '看足球比赛' a verb phrase

If you want to ask if someone watched the football match, #2 and #3 are both acceptable.

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People recently are just referring to world cup matches as 球赛 which in English we might just call the game.

You already have the sentence structure down pretty well, so colloquially you could just say:

(你)看了球赛吗?

or

球赛,(你)看了吗?

In day to day speaking the orders can be swapped for emphasis or clarity.


了 here isn't changing the state to the level that you feel like it is, because you're referring to a specific one ore two matches that have already happened - it's basically phrasing it into the past tenths.

If you remove the 了:

看球赛吗?

It sounds like an offer to watch a game together.

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Did you watch the football?

  • 你有看足球吗? (Might also mean: Do you watch football? Depends on context.)
  • 你有看足球比赛吗?

Have you watched the game? (about a specific game)

  • 你有看那场比赛吗?
  • 你看了那场比赛了吗?

But it's more common to ask: 你有看世界杯吗? Do/Did you watch the World Cup?

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