Could someone please explain this sentence structure?


What does the 了 mean here? Is it pronounce le or liao?

  • 2
    1. The usage is "used after the verb or adj. to indicate completion": The clothes have been forgotten in the room. 2. It is pronounced as le 3. Note that 落 here sounds .
    – Stan
    Nov 12, 2013 at 11:36
  • Thank you. So 落在is a verb that is pronounced la zai? Why is the 在needed? Cant this be written as 落了? 谢谢
    – rabbid
    Nov 12, 2013 at 11:41
  • 1
    Here, "落了" (là le) is wrong. A conversation can be "A: 你落了什么东西没有? B: 我落钱包了!" But if you want to add the information of place where the specific thing is forgotten, "落在" is a conventional form to express that. BTW, the sentence can also be "衣服也落在房间内了".
    – Stan
    Nov 12, 2013 at 11:57
  • 2
    @Stan I'm actually really confused here. Why is 了 after 在? The verb is 落, and 在房间内 is the complement indicating location. Nov 12, 2013 at 16:46
  • @StumpyJoePete: Academically speaking, it is quite complex. First, these two structures would be easily mixed up: 1) v + complement(prep+了+obj). 2) v + complement(v+了+obj). The 了 in both of them can be put at the end of the sentence. 孤影萍踪's example "她一挥手碰 翻了 水杯" is the second case (as 水杯翻了 is a complete sentence). For this second case, this paper 结果补语小句分析和小句的内部结构 explains it as the issue of tense. For the first case, I agree with 孤影萍踪 to my language sense, but I don't know if there's any standard explanation :)
    – Stan
    Nov 13, 2013 at 2:10

2 Answers 2



Here 了 is used to indicate the completion of the action of 落在房间内.


Here 了 is moved forward and positioned after 在, and that makes 房间内 become the focus point of this setence.

Other examples: 一阵大风吹来,我的帽子飞到**天上。




  • Great answer. I agree with the point of 房间内 being the 'focus'. Nov 12, 2013 at 21:25

The structure of this sentence is : subject (衣服)+ verb(落)+ prepositional phrase . “ 了” has two pronunciation:

  1. le it’s a structuralparticle , when it is used after a verb. It expresses completion of this action. It has another usage which is to express a new situation is about to happen or it has happened.

  2. liao when 了 is pronounced as “ liao”, it meas “ to finish, over”, like: 我喝不了10瓶啤酒。 (I can’t drink over 10 bottles of beer.)

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