Site Feedback

Resolved questions
When is it okay to use 了 and 没有 in a sentence?

你大学毕业了没有? I saw this sentence in a book. The sentence means "Have you graduated from university?". Why does the sentence with a negative 没有 use 了 instead of 过?Also, why does 没有 appear at the end of the sentence instead of before 毕业? Lastly, why does the main noun, 大学, appear after the verb, 毕业?

For learning: Chinese (Mandarin)
Base language: English
Category: Language


1 comment

    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.



    Sort by:


    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    As you know, in negative sentences, "了" is not used with "没有". So you cannot say "我大学还没有毕业了". Instead, you should say "我大学还没有毕业".

    However, "你大学毕业了没有" is NOT a negative sentence, but a question, which is equal to "你大学毕业了吗".
    Here are some other examples:
    你吃饭了没有? = 你吃饭了吗?
    你结婚了没有? = 你结婚了吗?

    It should be noted that if you need to use "不" rather than "没有" to answer a question, this question must not end with "没有".
    你明天来吗? You cannot say "你明天来没有?", which is grammatically incorrect.

    "Lastly, why does the main noun, 大学, appear after the verb, 毕业?"
    I think you meant to say "Lastly, why does the main noun, 大学, appear BEFORE the verb, 毕业?"

    There is no special reason for it. We always say "大学/中学/小学毕业" instead of "毕业大学/中学/小学".


    It does not use 过 because 过 means to have experienced something.
    没有 comes at the end because it is a way of forming a question. If 没有 went before 毕业, it would read 你没有毕业了大学。 This would be incorrect and would not be a question.
    As for your last question, read the sentence again, it says 你大学毕业了没有?大学 is before 毕业, not after it.

    As far as I recall, 了 has two uses: past tense and change of state. So if, for example, you wanted to say your lamp is broken, you'd say 我的檯燈壞了; not because it was in the past, but because it was working before and its new state is "broken". Likewise, "graduated" is a state of being, therefore 了 is required.

    It's hard to explain it in words.You can contact me.My major is teaching Chinese.

    Submit your answer

    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.

    If you copy this answer from another italki answer page, please state the URL of where you got your answer from.