Translation:We have to be at the school by nine o'clock sharp.
It depends on the context : students would say "be at school" but parents going to a meeting there would say "be at the school"
"We must be at the school at nine o'clock sharp." should also be accepted.
I agree. Where is the "sharp" part? I almost never say that and it's both coloquial and redundant anyway.
It's the 整 that justifies the "sharp" in the translation. It sounds redundant in English but I guess it's not in Chinese.
Agree about sharp. If you have to be somewhere by a time, then we do not usually use 'sharp'. It is not the same as saying 'the movie starts at 9 sharp', in this case sharp does a purpose.
"sharp" is standard English. It emphasises that there will be no tolerance for being late (e.g. an appointment), or the event will start without you if you are late (e.g. a movie), as distinct from just being the time you are supposed to be there but they will wait for you if you are a bit late (e.g. meeting a friend). Of course if your friend is intolerant of tardiness he/she might use "sharp" after the time and that means you had better be there at the stated time or else!
It considers "at school" rather than "at the school" to be a typo (but accepted anyway). It's not a typo, though, both are reasonable.
Also, where does "have to be" come from? Isn't 要到 more like "will arrive", or perhaps (eh) "want to arrive"? I'd expect 得 or something, for "have to"
Wouldn't this translate as 'want to arrive' or 'will arrive' rather than 'must arrive'?
I asked myself the same question and found in the dictionnary (Pleco, free on android, really recommend it if you don't know it) that it also means "need, must, have to" ¯_(ツ)_/¯
We have to be at school at nine o'clock sharp OR We have to be at school by nine o'clock. The "By" means not past nine in this instance. so it is already sharp by definition.
I am very confused as to when 要 is supposed to denote 'want' and 'need'. It seems to be at random that it is used for either. Surely one would say '我需要' to mean 'I need'??
"... have to be at school" is as common or more than "... have to be at the school" but it raises a "typo" error.
Is there a difference between "we have to be IN school" and "we have to be AT school"? I've always used the former (first phrase), and thought it meant the same thing! :)
I would see "in school" as meaning "enrolled in school" (e.g. as in the phrase, "Stay in school, kids!") whereas "at school" means to be physically at the school.
The correction tells me the correct translation is "We've to arrive at school at 9:00 sharp". I don't think that putting the conjunction in makes sense
I haven't heard English speakers saying "sharp" right after the time... Any answers?
It is rare in the USA. It is used by some as an imperative to not be late. For example my hiking group leaves at 6:00 sharp. If I show up at 6:01, they are already gone. No kidding!
"sharp" is standard English. It emphasises that there will be no tolerance for being late (e.g. an appointment), or the event will start without you if you are late (e.g. a movie), as distinct from just being the time you are supposed to be there but they will wait for you if you are a bit late (e.g. meeting a friend).
Both from what I've been told, and in my grammar (Modern Mandarin Chinese Grammar: A Practical Guide), 要 can be used for want, need, and future. How does one distinguish between "We want to be..."/"We need to be..."/"We will be..."? From experience, I'd guess it's like most things in Chinese: adding a second character (e.g. 想要，需要，等等) or context. Is this just a matter of collocation?