Result complement "-wan" for finishing
On its own, 完 (wán) means "to finish" or "to complete." Using it in this grammar structure, it expresses the idea of doing some action to completion.
Subj. + Verb + 完
- 我们 明天 可以 做 完 。We can finish doing it tomorrow.
- 你 能 吃 完 吗 ？Can you finish eating all?
- 我 今天 要 写 完 。I need to finish writing it today.
- 我 没 看 完 。 I didn't finish reading it.
Usage of 完了 (wán le)
Frequently, you'll also see a 了 (le) at the end, indicating completion.
Subj. + Verb + 完 + 了
- 我 说 完 了 。I am finished talking.
- 你 吃 完 了 吗 ？ Are you done eating?
- 我 看 完 了 。I have finished watching it.
- 卖 完 了 。It's sold out.
- 我们 打扫 完 了 。We finished cleaning.
Where to put the object
If there is an object followed by the verb, 完 must be placed between the verb and the object. To indicate completion, 了 usually goes after the object.
Subj. + Verb + 完 + Obj. + 了
A few examples:
- 我 做 完 作业 了 。I finished doing my homework.
- 老板 开 完 会 了 。The boss finished having the meeting.
- 我 看 完 这本书 了 。I finished reading this book.
- 我们 学 完 这 篇 课文 了 。We finished studying this lesson.
In English we say "I finished the movie," or "I finished supper," but in Chinese you should explicitly use the verb implied in English along with 完了 (wán le) to emphasize that you completed the action: "watch the movie (till the end)" or "eat (all my) supper."
- 我 完 了 电影 。
- 我看 完 了 电影 。To tell us that you watched it till the end.I finished watching the movie.
Sources and further reading
- A Practical Chinese Grammar For Foreigners (外国人实用汉语语法) (pp. 273-84) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Chinese: An Essential Grammar, Second Edition (pp. 97-9) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 1, Part 2 (pp. 42) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 1, Part 2 (pp. 86) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Integrated Chinese: Level 2, Part 1 (pp. 152-3) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- New Practical Chinese Reader 2 (新实用汉语课本2) (pp. 87-8) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy
- Practicing HSK Grammar (语法精讲精炼) (pp. 186-7) Anything Goes (无所不谈) →buy