Good Morning. Today reading my chinese textbook i found the following sentence.


I have never seen the 了 after a preposition 在. ¿is it right or a mistake? I think the right position would be at the end of the sentence.

  • It is correct. And it is also correct if you put 了 at the end of the sentence. I don't see much difference between the two.
    – trisct
    Commented Aug 7, 2019 at 13:52

2 Answers 2


Both are correct. And I don't see much difference whether to put 了 after 在 or at the end of the sentence.

However, if I had to find a difference I'd say they stress on different parts of the sentence.

(1) To stress the action

你刚刚干啥去了 = what were you doing just now

我刚刚把书包放在了教室的外面 = I was just putting my schoolbag outside the classroom

(2) To stress where the person put the bag

你的包呢 = where is your bag

我刚刚把书包放在教室的外面了 = I just put my bag outside the classroom

Still, the difference is hardly noticed.


Well, a quick look here, for example, finds many sentences with 在了。 Maybe some are not right, often the English is questionable, but generally, this confirms that 在了教室的外面 (outside the classroom) is OK.

Prepositions are mostly dual in Chinese, so in your sentence, it is not just 在 but 在... 外面。Below we have 在...上

I found this sentence with 在了 and 了:

他把聪明都用在了犯罪上,太可惜了。 Too bad he used his genius for crime.

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