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U+4E86, 了
CJK UNIFIED IDEOGRAPH-4E86

[U+4E85]
CJK Unified Ideographs
[U+4E87]
See also:

Translingual[edit]

Stroke order
了-order.gif

Han character[edit]

(radical 6 +1, 2 strokes, cangjie input 弓弓 (NN), four-corner 17207, composition)

References[edit]

  • KangXi: page 85, character 11
  • Dai Kanwa Jiten: character 226
  • Dae Jaweon: page 173, character 20
  • Hanyu Da Zidian: volume 1, page 48, character 6
  • Unihan data for U+4E86

Chinese[edit]

trad. /
simp.
瞭 – sense “clear”

Glyph origin[edit]

Historical forms of the character



References:

Mostly from Richard Sears' Chinese Etymology site (authorisation),
which in turn draws data from various collections of ancient forms of Chinese characters, including:

  • Shuowen Jiezi (small seal),
  • Jinwen Bian (bronze inscriptions),
  • Liushutong (large seal) and
  • Xu Jiaguwen Bian (oracle bone script).
Characters in the same phonetic series () (Zhengzhang, 2003) 
Old Chinese
*teːwʔ
*reːwʔ

Pictogram (象形) – an image of a baby wrapped in a blanket, with only the head visible. Compare with , where the arms are visible.

Etymology[edit]

Verb “to finish; to be completed” > perfective aspect particle (了₁, weakened form) > change-of-state modal particle (了₂).

Two kinds of particle uses of can be distinguished: the perfective aspect particle after verbs (conventionally written as 了₁) and the sentence-final modal particle (了₂). It is generally accepted (Wu, 1998) that these two uses of are derived from the concrete verb “to finish”. The grammaticalisation of this verb had become common in the Tang Dynasty, initially in the form of ‹verb + (object) + perfective › to indicate the completion of an action.

The perfective particle subsequently underwent further grammaticalisation to become the sentence-final change-of-state modal particle; Liu (1985) has demonstrated that this last step may have involved the coalescence of sentence-final with in certain Mandarin dialects, as the pronunciations of 了₁ and 了₂ are distinct in these lects, with 了₂ rhyming with .

This word is cognate with Thai แล้ว(lɛ́ɛo, to be finished; already; then, afterwards), Lao ແລ້ວ(lǣu, to finish; to be completed; perfective particle), Vietnamese rồi(already) (Schuessler, 2007).

Pronunciation 1[edit]


Definitions[edit]

  1. Used after a verb to indicate perfective aspect (action completion).
    蘋果 / 苹果  ―  Wǒ chī le yī ge pínguǒ.  ―  I ate an apple.
  2. Used at the end of a sentence to indicate a change of state.
    大學生 / 大学生  ―  Tā shì dàxuéshēng le.  ―  He has become a student / He is a student now.
Synonyms[edit]
Dialectal synonyms of (“perfective particle”)
Variety Location Words
Formal (Written Standard Chinese)
Mandarin Beijing
Taiwan
Malaysia
Singapore
Cantonese Guangzhou
Hong Kong
Taishan
Hakka Miaoli (N. Sixian)
Liudui (S. Sixian)
Hsinchu (Hailu)
Dongshi (Dabu)
Zhuolan (Raoping)
Yunlin (Zhao'an)
Min Nan Xiamen
Quanzhou
Taipei
Wu Wenzhou
Usage notes[edit]
  • (perfective aspect particle): Most of the time, is translated by a past tense. But it can also indicate that one action is completed before another.
    以後 / 以后  ―  Nǐ chī le yǐhòu jiào wǒ.  ―  Call me when you are done eating.
  • (change of state particle): When used as the change of state particle, can be translated by “now”, “already” or “not anymore”.
    中文 / 中文  ―  Wǒ huì shuō zhōngwén le.  ―  I can speak Chinese now. (I couldn't before.)
    吃飯 / 吃饭  ―  Wǒ chīfàn le.  ―  I've eaten (already).
    沒有 / 没有  ―  Méiyǒu zhǐ le.  ―  There's no paper anymore.
  • In a question, is put before the particle (ma).

Compounds[edit]

Pronunciation 2[edit]



Rime
Character
Reading # 1/1
Initial () (37)
Final () (93)
Tone (調) Rising (X)
Openness (開合) Open
Division () IV
Fanqie
Reconstructions
Zhengzhang
Shangfang
/leuX/
Pan
Wuyun
/leuX/
Shao
Rongfen
/leuX/
Edwin
Pulleyblank
/lɛwX/
Li
Rong
/leuX/
Wang
Li
/lieuX/
Bernard
Karlgren
/lieuX/
Expected
Mandarin
Reflex
liǎo
Zhengzhang system (2003)
Character
Reading # 1/1
No. 8067
Phonetic
component
Rime
group
Rime
subdivision
2
Corresponding
MC rime
Old
Chinese
/*reːwʔ/

Definitions[edit]

  1. to be finished; to be completed
  2. to end; to finish
  3. to understand; to comprehend
    /   ―  liǎojiě  ―  to understand, to realize
  4. clear; plain; understandable
  5. bright; intelligent; smart
  6. (in negative sentences) completely; utterly; entirely
  7. Used with () or (de) after verbs to express possibility.

Compounds[edit]


Japanese[edit]

Kanji[edit]

(common “Jōyō” kanji)

Readings[edit]

Compounds[edit]

Noun[edit]

‎(hiragana りょう, romaji ryō)

  1. end
  2. (art works): concluded

Proper noun[edit]

‎(hiragana さとる, romaji Satoru)

  1. A male given name

Korean[edit]

Hanja[edit]

‎(ryo>yo) (hangeul >, revised ryo>yo, McCune-Reischauer ryo>yo, Yale lyo>yo)

  1. This term needs a translation to English. Please help out and add a translation, then remove the text {{rfdef}}.

Vietnamese[edit]

Han character[edit]

(liễu)

  1. This term needs a translation to English. Please help out and add a translation, then remove the text {{rfdef}}.