In my textbook there's an exercise in which I must decide if a sentence is correct. There's this: 在客厅里坐着一位老人. In the answers they say it's incorrect because "zai4" shouldn't be there. Is it really a mistake? I always thought "zai4" was optional in sentences like (zai4) + somewhere + li3/ shang4/ xia4/ zuo3 bian/ you4 bian/ qian2/ hou4.

  • 2
    在客厅里坐着一位老人 is fine in day-to-day usage.
    – dan
    Mar 1, 2020 at 12:55

1 Answer 1



The 在 is redundant because of the 里, as 客厅里 already says "In the living room..." and adding the 在 would be saying "in the living room" twice.

So, 在客厅里坐着一位老人 would be saying -- "At the living room in which sits an old man"

  • 1
    在客厅坐着一位老人 is uncomfortable to me. Somehow strange...
    – tsh
    Mar 1, 2020 at 14:55
  • How about 在树上坐着一只老猴子? Mar 1, 2020 at 15:29
  • 上 here sound the replacement of 里 in original example.
    – tsh
    Mar 1, 2020 at 15:39
  • Yes, you are right. I'll edict my answer accordingly. Mar 1, 2020 at 16:27

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