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  5. "The teacher does not speak E…

"The teacher does not speak English."


November 17, 2017



“不會說英語” Should likely be acceptable. It's not like the teacher is refusing to speak English.


The Chinese sentence, 老师不说英语·, could indeed mean, "The teacher does not speak English." The exercise provides no context; so, there is no way to tell from the sentence as presented. Maybe the teacher is an American spy, and she does not speak English because she knows that doing so might blow her cover and reveal her true identity.

Yes, 老师不会说英语 would indeed clearly mean that the "teacher can not speak English" in the sense that the teacher does not know how to speak English, but this exercise sentence is simply 老师不说英语; "the teacher 'can not' speak English" is one possible interpretation, and may well be the reason why the teacher "does not," but we do not know that for certain.

Remember that in Chinese, the distinction between habitual present and present progressive is not as strict as it is in English. Accordingly, 老师不说英语 could also simply mean "the teacher is not speaking English" (right now).




老师不会说英文 is more correct.


What is the function of Huì 会 in this phrase?


会 is "can" in a capability sense. 我会说英语。 "I can speak English" or "I have the ability to speak English."


“老师不会说英文” Should also be acceptable, because they are unable to speak English


Maybe the teacher can speak english but he doesn't want to. This sentence doesn't talk about the reason why he doesn't speak english


Thank you for keeping an open mind, suzira43; have a lingot.


老师不会讲英文 should be accepted.


A better way of writing that in Chinese would be "这位老师不会说英语." While Chinese is all about reducing complex concepts into the shortest phrases possible, as the sentence currently stands, it's awkward because we don't know which or how many teacher(s) (since both singular and plural form of teacher is 老师) and whether or not s/he is choosing not to speak English or does not know how to speak it.


is "老师不会英文" correct?


《不会英文》and 《不会说英文》 have the same meanings!


Is 英文 more informal than 英语 or are they interchangable


Basically interchangeable. Some people contend that 文 is more appropriate when referring to a written language and 语 is more appropriate when referring to a spoken language, but personally, I almost always use 中文 rather than 汉语, and 英文 rather than 英语.

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