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  5. "我想我的哥哥,想马上见他。"


Translation:I miss my older brother, I want to see him at once.

November 17, 2017



I miss my older brother. I want to see him immediately.


It's still not accepted.


It has the same meaning but doesn't sound very natural in English. You might use "immediately" for someone you want to see to reprimand them but not really because you're missing them.


I don't know why your comment was down voted. "At once" is not natural in this context and is hardly used nowadays. While "immediately" is slightly better, it is still a bit awkward. Most natural way to say this is "I want to see him right now" or "I wish I could see him right now."


"I miss my older brother and want to see him immediately" was rejected but should be accepted


I would say it's fine as a literal translation but not natural English. Then again this is testing our Chinese and not our English. I don't know how Duolingo draws the line in such cases.


Chinese native speakers:

Apart from the pause, is there any way to distinguish this sentence from "I think my older brother wants to see him right away"? Is this a legitimate interpretation of the Chinese?

Edit: The answers below now suggest both that my alternative translation is a legitimate interpretation and that it isn't. I'll go with "is", since it's the same person saying both yes and no, and the dictionary says yes. ;-)


It would be clearer without any comma at all.


Okay, thanks. So how would you say "I think my older brother wants to see him right away" in Chinese?


The best I can come up with now is 我[觉得/想]我(的)哥哥(会)(想)要马上见他。 Depending on context you can add the bracketed words: omitting 的 makes it more colloquial, adding 会 makes it sound more like a prediction, 想 could mean it is not under the elder brother's control.


So, from that, it looks like the simple addition of the word "要" would be sufficient to change the meaning.

Thanks again.

Edit: On further consideration, I don't think "要" would make a clear difference.


That is an interesting way of putting it. The thing is 想 here is the so-called colloquial form of the more formal 想念, so it clearly means missing someone.
You're welcome.


I'm not sure why that should be assumed, versus "想" simply meaning "think", given that Collins gives the example "我想他会同意的" ("I reckon he'll agree"), which is why adding "念" was my earlier suggestion to clarify Duo's sentence, but you're the native speaker, so I'll take your word for it.

(Collins translates "想" as "reckon" for that example, but "reckon", as opposed to "think", is mostly British, and is common only in certain limited regions in North America.)

Collins also gives "我想换个工作" as "I want to change jobs", and there's no "要", so putting the two Collins examples together seems to me to make my initial suggestion quite plausible, but again, you're the native speaker, not I.


It seems I can only reply here. It helps to think of it as an idiom, so it is not something strictly logical but unique to the language, in a way. Or just something to remember. The "logical" meaning, would be the one you gave from Collins dictionary, which is correct as well. Duolingo likes to teach more colloquial language sometimes, which is how people speak so it is a good thing.


That's why commas are so important.


I think personally I'd use "想念" to make it clearer.


The given one is good too and arguably more colloquial.


I don't doubt it, but does Duo's sentence potentially give rise to the ambiguity I asked about?


Since it's colloquial, it all depends on how the speaker says it, so the meaning should be clear enough.


Understood, thanks, but to clarify it for my hard head, can you simply say yes or no as to whether my alternative interpretation of Duo's sentence is a valid possibility (without the comma, let's say).


The problem here that is not explained, is that 想 also has an alternative meaning to "I would like" or "I want".

想 can also mean 'miss'. So in this case you don't confuse it with the meaning of wanting something.

I learnt that in another Chinese language course


I miss my older brother, I want to see him soon


I'm aware that 哥哥 means 'older brother', but you never ever specify 'older' in English unless you have reason to. Can we just work with 'brother'?


But this a Chinese language course. They want to make sure that you understand the distinction between gege and didi.


"I miss my older brother. I want to see him right away."


"would like" and "want" should be interchangeable in all sentences


Forgive my bring pedantic, but i have the feeling that a lot of the English translations in this lesson were possibly written by a non native English speaker. Might be an idea to go over them once more.

  • 1513

I miss my brother. I want to see him immediately.


I wrote “I miss my older brother. I want to see him Immediately.” DL failed me. I guess “immediately” is too much of a mouthful. As one student wrote : “DL is too picky and frustrating!” Not only that, it is also inflexibly dictatorial. That is, if you don’t adhere to DL’s version, then you can’t progress. There is more than one route to the apex of Mt Everest.


Don't forget that this course is in beta, and reporting missing options helps improve it.


马上 works as "right" in 我们马上回来 (we'll be right back), yes?


Yes, though "to be right back" is a particularly idiomatic turn of phrase, and to be able to generalize and apply "马上" in its full range of contexts, it's usually easier to think of it as "right away" (and so "we'll be back right away" is another way to translate your sentence).


The problem here is that unless this is said by a little kid throwing a tantrum temper not something useful for a learner practically. There are more commonly encountered daily situations where "马上/immediately/right now/at once" would be used. If this was placed situationally say in an "upset customer" scenario it would be much easier to digest. Learning is relating so we need a scenario we can easily imagine.


Why was the last syllable more like 'ha' rather than ta (他)? What special property am I missing here? I know that 'n' at the end of syllable is omitted when there's a nasal following it. But I'm not aware of this 't' to 'h' transformation. Can someone explain?


Chinese "ta" always sounds like "t-ha" to my ears. I mean not like the English "th" sound but like a "t" sound and a "h" sound before an "a." The difference between Mandarin Chinese "ta" and "da" is that "da" doesn't have that "h" sound there. (More scientifically put, it's not aspirated.) However, I don't think it ever sounds like only "ha."


True, and I think some speakers (perhaps regionally) tend to exaggerate the aspiration, especially in "ta", but also in at least some other syllables with a "t" initial.

But you're right, "ta" never gets pronounced "ha". That could be a recording or speaker quality issue, though I hear the "t" when I play the sentence on this page.


The red box can not be moved anymore.. sometimes i want to review the left / missing words underneath. Was move-able before

[deactivated user]

    "Right" doesnt need to be in this sentence: I miss my older brother and I want to see him now. When? Right NOW!


    This answer should be accepted

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