In one of my stories I wrote:


A student at Nankai changed this to:


Question: What's the difference between 我去厨房找了饮料喝 and 我去了厨房找饮料喝?

I just want to say something like "I go to the kitchen and get a drink."

As usual, I'm perplexed as to what's going on with 了. I understand they are both the completion 了, so I'd guess that 去了 would imply I've completed going to the kitchen, while 找了 implies my search for a drink is complete. I'm uncertain, so hopefully I can get a clearer mental picture here.

  • 3
    I can give you another version: 我去厨房找饮料喝了。
    – fefe
    Commented Feb 24, 2020 at 13:27
  • 1
    As you said, it depends on which verb you want to put emphasis on, to imply you've completed that action.
    – user4072
    Commented Feb 24, 2020 at 14:00
  • Both sentences are ok, the difference is the emphasis of the sentence. The full translation could be 我去了厨房,并且找了杯(罐/瓶)饮料喝。, but normally we left in the sentence only for the emphasis action (compared to the other action in the sentence).
    – Shaw
    Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 19:38

5 Answers 5


The difference is what is "completed and what not"

(A) 我去厨房找了饮料喝 == I went to the kitchen and found a drink.

(B) 我去了厨房找饮料喝 == I had gone to the kitchen to find / look for a drink.

So, "...找了饮料喝" == "...found a drink" (Completed)

  "...找饮料喝"    ==   "...to find / look for a drink"   (not completed)
  • 找 is "to look for" ,找到 is "to find/ to have found"
    – fefe
    Commented Feb 24, 2020 at 14:54
  • @fefe, same difference. That being so, I'll edict for completeness sack. Commented Feb 24, 2020 at 15:05

This is a very interesting question. However, I think the tricky point here is not really about "了", but the word order. In the first sentence "我去了厨房找饮料喝", if I put 厨房 right after 去了, it is indicating that I want to emphasize on the location where I get a drink. Or let's imagine someone asking "Where did you get your drink?" So the second one is more natural and it is closer to the answer to "Describing a little thing you do every morning." Hope this would help.


The best advice I ever got for 了 and 过 was this (hang on to it for reference):


了 有表示过去时,现在进行时,将来时的意思。
过 只表示过去发生的某些事情。不能表示现在时和将来时。
了 和 过 的用法是非常相似的,希望你能慢慢体会,多多练习。(ง •_•)ง,加油

Therefore, to simply say "了 indicates completed action" is wrong.

I'm going to the kitchen to get something to drink.

I went to the kitchen to get something to drink.

"I just want to say something like

A. "I go to the kitchen and get a drink.""

A. is perhaps the so-called historical present: Talk about something in the past but use the present tense.


"I go" means you haven't gone yet, or you would write I went so you can write:





To my understanding, these two sentence may have different meanings:

去了厨房饮料: I had went to the kitchen. I looked for some (soft) drinks. Maybe I got some drinks, and maybe not.

厨房找了饮料: I had went to the kitchen. I had found out some (soft) drinks.


Let us break and filter out all the additional parts, and they will be.

1 我找了(饮料)

2 我去了(厨房)

我去厨房找了饮料喝了 is a regular statement.

我去了厨房找饮料喝了。 is stressing on the place and what you did there. You did not go to the bedroom or other places, and you drank soft drinks, you did not play game or watch tv.

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