Note: My original question was Why is 你去了北京 correct but 你去了北京吗 incorrect? but I was mistaken, so I'll change the question to try to make it more useful (and less confusing) to the future reader. I'll edit so as to ensure the current answer remains relevant.

There seems to be an important difference between these (completion 了 vs. change-of-state 了):

You went to Beijing?

You went to Beijing?

I had thought it wasn't much of a difference, but the distinction seems very consistent:

Question: Why is 你去了北京吗 less common than 你去北京了吗?

  • Humm, 你去了北京嗎 is totally correct. Oct 31, 2019 at 1:14
  • It sounds fine to me. You can say 你去了北京 or 你去北京了, then you can also say 你去了北京吗 or 你去北京了吗.
    – user4072
    Oct 31, 2019 at 1:38
  • @Becky 李蓓 How do you make searches with spaced words on Jukuu? Nov 6, 2019 at 20:58
  • 去了北京吗,this plan should being in progress (you are possibly in a plain or train), I just want to confirm. 你去北京了吗 , this event is expected to be at status Completed. Nov 7, 2019 at 9:27

3 Answers 3


Both 你去了北京吗 and 你去北京了吗 are possible in practice, but they are used in different situations.

你去了北京吗 is used when you try to confirm the fact that someone really went to Beijing. Let's say you have two friends, Friend A and B. A told you that B has gone to Beijing last week. However, this information surprised you because you didn't expect B would go to Beijing for some reason. So, you might check with B with the question 你去了北京吗. The purpose is to confirm what A had said.

你去北京了吗 is used when you know someone has a plan to go to Beijing, but you don't know whether he has already been to or not. So you might ask him 你去北京了吗 to check if he has already been to Beijing.

  • Nice answer. What about 你去了北京了吗?How different from 你去北京了吗 would it be? Nov 6, 2019 at 20:56
  • @EnricoBrasil 你去了北京了吗? sounds redundant. You could omit either 了.
    – dan
    Nov 6, 2019 at 22:36

Totally agree with Dan's answer.

To answer your edited question: Why is 你去了北京吗 less common than 你去北京了吗?

It's Baidu's algorithm problem - probably wrong. If you search the same on Google, the results are pretty similar. ;)

  • Ah thanks. Google's blocked here.
    – Becky 李蓓
    Oct 31, 2019 at 2:19
  • If you look at the search result on Baidu, 你去北京了吗 include result for every combination of the words, while 你去了北京吗 is just for the phrase. It's not consistent - and doesn't make sense why they treat both searches differently
    – sylvia
    Oct 31, 2019 at 2:21

A.你去了北京嗎? B.你去北京了嗎?

me:I want to go Beijin this summer Next year friend:Hey, B.你去北京了嗎? (hey, you tell me you want to go last summer, did you do that?)

me:I never been to Beijin, B.你去(過)北京了嗎? (I never been there before, did you?)

me:I just come back from Beijin, it's beautiful place. friend:oh, A.你去了北京嗎? (oh, you did that yesterday?)

they feel a little bit different, but after all, A:你去了北京嗎?B:你去北京了嗎? is the same, all these example can can swap A and B

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