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can anyone point out why this sentence is wrong?

我刚来了中国的时候,不会说中文。 我上大学了的时候,认识了我女朋友。

Thank you so much!

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"我刚来(了)中国的时候,不会说中文。"

"了" here is a verb particle indicates the verb 来 is completed. But "的时候" (the time when) already indicate the event is in the past. Therefore, "了" is redundant. Just "我刚来中国的时候不会说中文。" is enough.

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我上大学(了)的时候,认识了我女朋友。

"了" here is also verb particle indicates the verb phrase "上大学" is completed.And "的时候" (the time when) also indicates the event is in the past. Therefore, "了" is redundant. Just "我上大学的时候认识了我女朋友。" is enough

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"我刚来了中国" and "我上大学了" are grammatically correct

"我刚来了中国的时候" and "我上大学了的时候" are not grammatically correct

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  • Thanks a lot. May I ask you one more questions? 1/ If I eliminate 我 in 我女朋友 (我上大学的时候,认识了女朋友.), is it grammatically correct? 2/ If I want to keep the phrase after comma (认识了女朋友), can I re-write the previous phrase (我上大学的时候) into 我上了大学? – Jenny Apr 14 '20 at 11:11
  • "我上大学的时候认识了女朋友" is a complete and correct sentence; – Tang Ho Apr 14 '20 at 11:25
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    "我上了大学, 认识了女朋友" are two sentences, it is grammatically correct to write it that way, you can also use conjunction like 也, or 并且 to connect the two sentences better and write 我上了大学, 也认识了女朋友" or "我上了大学, 并且认识了女朋友" – Tang Ho Apr 14 '20 at 11:30
  • I had thought "我上大学的时候认识了女朋友" is grammatically wrong because I learn that after 了, Object needs measure words, otherwise, adding one more 了 at the end of sentence. – Jenny Apr 14 '20 at 11:33
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I think 我刚来中国的时候,不会说中文。 我上大学的时候,认识了我女朋友。 can be better.

The first 了 is redundant and strange, I think I have a need to drop it.

The Second 了 is not correct since writer indicate the time writer knows writer's girlfriend which is when he study on university. Use 上大学的时候 is ok.

If you want to use 了, you can write 我上了大学,认识了我女朋友。 You need to discard 的时候.

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I am a native Chinese speaker, so forgive me for the probable mistakes in my English. I think the wrong place is you are not supposed to use 了 after 上大学, because you use 的时候 in both sentenses, you can only say 我上了大学的时候 or 我上大学的时候, it means the time I was university. The usage of 了 here is kind of like "have done something", so you can use 了 in 认识了我女朋友.

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