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So I am having a bit of a confusion with the use of 了. So the teacher gave me a sentence which is this: 我买了两个苹果。 She said that V+了+object requires the object to have specified quantity. After that she gave this sentence: 我买了苹果了 She said that if the object have no specified quantity or information there need to be a 了 after it. I ask her if “我买苹果了” is correct or not and she said it is true colloquially which really baffled me. Can someone tell me where to put 了 in a sentence that have objects but have unspecified quantity (like the one above)

  • Acceptable: 我买了苹果, 我买苹果了, 我买了两个苹果; not work: 我买两个苹果了, 我买了苹果了. – xbh Dec 2 '18 at 15:49
  • "if the object have no specified quantity or information there need to be a 了 after it" sounds like a rule you learn to pick correct sentences from a list on a test. Maybe better to ask (in class) why you would choose to start a sentence "我买了苹果。。。" vs "我买了两个苹果。。。" It's not like you're trying to keep the quantity secret so you whip out 了 so you can avoid saying it! – Ben Jackson Dec 2 '18 at 20:43
  • cited rules obscure, web search yields:xuewen.cnki.net/CJFD-LYSX200302031.html 动态助词“了”隐现缘由探微:动态助词“了”(以下称动态助词“了”为“了1”,称语气助词“了”为“了2”)的自由隐现一直是语法界关注的热点。...其中较有代表性的观点是动词(动短)表示结果意义或后有结果意义的补语时;动词后面有数量短语时;句末出现“了2”时,“了1”一般省去, indicating that 了1in 我买了两个苹果了 should be omitted yielding 我买两个苹果了 – user6065 Dec 3 '18 at 0:07
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V+了+object requires the object to have specified quantity

No, it is wrong.

The following sentences are all legitimate:

我买了苹果 = I bought apple (not mentioning how many)

我买了两个苹果 = I bought two apples (stating the quantity)

我买了酒 = I bought alcoholic drink (not mentioning how much, not even what kind)

我买了三瓶白酒 = (I bought three bottles of white wine)

http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictionary/characters/460/

[1] [aspect marker] indicating completed action

[2] [final particle] indicating change of situation

In all the examples above, 了 is a aspect marker that indicates the action (verb) is completed

~

我买了苹果了 = I bought apple

我买了两个苹果了 = I bought two apples

我买了酒了 = I bought alcoholic drink (not mentioning how much, not even what kind)

我买了三瓶白酒了 = I bought three bottles of white wine

In all four examples above, the second 了 at the end is a final particle. It serves to emphasize the fact and stress an affirmative tone.

Your teacher said it is colloquial because we do use final particles mainly in speech, but it doesn't mean we don't use it in writing.

~

我去买苹果(了) = I go to buy apple

我去买酒(了) = I go to buy wine

*You can add final particle 了 to the two examples above (了 stress an affirmative tone - seriously, I am going to buy apple/ wine)*

~

我买两个苹果 = I buy two apples

我买三瓶白酒 = I buy three bottles of wine

You shouldn't add final particle 了 to the two examples above because they are plain factual statements

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It looks to me that it is 我买了苹果了 which is colloquial. The meanings of the examples you give are

我买了两个苹果:I have bought two apples

我买了苹果了:I have already bought apple(s)

苹果了:I have already bought apple(s)

The boldface indicates stress.

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我买了苹果了 doesn't sound natural to me.

I prefer 我买苹果了 in response to the question 你买什么了?, and 我买了苹果 to 你买了什么?.

If the question asks numbers 你买了几个苹果,then 我买了两个苹果 is appropriate. 我买两个苹果了 doesn't sound natural.

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