"It's a quarter to five now."
I question the reason this is included in the course. I'm in mainland Chinese and I'm not sure I've ever heard a person use this.
Yeah, it's definitely a regional thing. Mostly a northern usage. Usually when I do use it, I use it as 五點差一刻。
Me too! It marked this as wrong and I am a native speaker... Marking for future users.
It was in one of my textbooks from years ago. My Chinese is pretty decent, but people did find it weird when i said it while living in Guangzhou and Kunming. The textbook was written in Beijing.
I agree, there's something unnatural about the translation. I haven't heard it before either.
現在五點差一刻 would be a more natural usage to people who do use it. Southerners simply say 現在是四點四十五。
I've never heard anyone use 一刻 to refer to this before in my life (lived in Hong Kong all my life). That being said almost no one uses the English equivalent either.
I lived in Inner Mongolia, Jiangsu and Guangdong and I don't recall it being used much/at all.