The following problem is from a mock exam question from HSK5级应试指南; we're meant to arrange the sentence fragments into a grammatical sentence:


I didn't get this answer correct (the lack of a 在 confused me). The given answer is:


Judging from Google, this seems to be a correct grammar structure, but I haven't encountered before: there appears to be a gap in my knowledge. It appears in this context, 落 has this meaning and pronunciation:

CC-CEDICT: 落 (là​): to leave out / to be missing / to leave behind or forget to bring / to lag or fall behind

Question: How can I make sense of 落家里 within 张东把钥匙落家里了?

I'd ordinarily expect something like 张东把钥匙忘在家里了. I'm guessing 落家里 (without a 在) is just an irregular case, and I can't generalize this to other verbs and/or objects.

  • Note this is a local dialect, I believe is somewhere in northeastern (東北) China. You are correct, in standard speaking, 在 should be added.
    – r13
    Jul 3 at 0:21
  • 张东 dropped / forgot the key at his home.
    – Zhang
    Jul 3 at 12:06
  • @r13 Due to Mandarin is based on Northern dialect, some dialect usages are still retained in standard Chinese. I live in eastern China, but the people here also use this kind of sentence.
    – T-Pioneer
    Jul 10 at 3:15
  • @T-Pioneer Could be, due to the closeness in the geography of your province to the north-eastern provinces. Which province do you live in? I believe (not necessarily true though), Mandarin was modified from the official language (官話) in Bejing used since Qing Dynasty (清朝), so generally speaking, the Northern dialect and Mandarin do bear the similarities. However, 落家里 is not the correct way, to say something forgotten and left at home, per standard Mandarin (普通話) but a local custom (地方慣用語).
    – r13
    Jul 10 at 4:06
  • @r13 I live in Yangzhou, Jiangsu. You are right that the dialect of my hometown is a kind of 官话. Yangzhou dialect is a kind of 江淮官话. It is obviously correct to add a preposition. But is it correct to remove the preposition in standard spoken Mandarin? I am not very sure. If it is only a local custom, someone who speaks another dialect or knows Mandarin very well will help us. If it is widely used in the whole country, it shall not be a local custom. But because every dialect is now influenced by Mandarin(based on Northern dialect), it may mistake as a local custom can turn into standard usage.
    – T-Pioneer
    Jul 10 at 4:32

From these 2, 2. is preferable,according to friends (他们说,“我也不知道为什么。”):

  1. 我把钥匙落在家里了。
  2. 我把钥匙落家里了。

A meaning of 落:留下。

  • If you type "我把钥匙落家里了" in Google Translate, you get "I left the key at home" But if you type "I left the key at home", you get "我把钥匙留在家里了" Go figure. Aug 9 at 7:16

Some verbs (like "落") do not need any preposition after them if there is a location phrase(地点短语), especially in spoken Chinese.

special verb家里location phrase

Some other verbs like "落": 扔, 放, 丢, 送.

If you add a preposition, the sentence is still right.

Why we often delete the preposition? To make the sentence shorter and more casual. It is spoken Chinese. We hardly delete the preposition when we write a formal file.

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