1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Chinese
  4. >
  5. "你吃猪肉还是鸡肉?"


Translation:Do you eat pork or chicken?

November 18, 2017



你想吃 should be used instead of 你吃。 你吃 will make it seem like you are asking do you eat instead of do you want to eat. 想 will tell us that it is whether you want to eat and not that we have to eat/we do eat. I hope you understood what I am trying to say.


Actually it can be understood, but a bit rude - and Duo's replies often tend to be rude.


I can easily imagine this being said by a steward/stewardess on a plane: "你吃猪肉还是鸡肉?" "Would you like the pork or the chicken?" In English we often omit "eating" when it's obvious and understood, but my "Do you want to have pork or chicken" was rejected. Reported


I agree. I am confused as to how "do you want to eat..." Is a correct response. Perhaps it is implied.


But that would mean, "Do you want to eat..." It's not the same thing as "Are you eating..."


Shouldn't be translated as "do you want to eat..." since 想 or equivalent is not stated. It should just be "do you eat...".


I think it's more that 还是 is here used to imply a question (see above/ tips + notes on the web version). I agree that the sentence is still slightly ambiguous. Can a native speaker give context/ clarification as to 'do you eat/ are you eating/ do you want to eat' using 还是?


还是 can be used as a kind of interrogative, listing 2 or more choices for the listener to choose. So in this question the choice is either 你吃猪肉 or 你吃鸡肉, and when we compile the options into one question, we leave out the second 你吃 to avoid being redundant. Thus adding 想 does not change this logic - you will still be offering 2 options, only the options now include the listener's will: 你想吃猪肉 or 你想吃鸡肉. So I said in a post above it is a bit rude not to say 想 because the options offered are not considering the listener's preference, but the 2 allowed outcomes only (it's like I don't have other food anyway, so are you eating pork or are you eating chicken?).


Keith, can this exercise question be answered with yes/no? what would be a good or the usual way to make a restrictive question in this case?


It's not a yes/no question. It assumes the answer is going to be either 猪肉 or 鸡肉. You can say 不吃, just as you can change the subject entirely, but that isn't what you're being asked for.

Imagine someone saying, "Are you going or not?" The intonation rises on "going" and falls on "not," and obviously they expect that exactly one of those is the case and that you're gonna tell them which.

Imagine someone saying, "Do you like the Beatles, or the Stones?" with the same intonation -- falling on "Stones." They expect you to like exactly one of those two bands. If you say the wrong one they're probably going to be rude to you. Or if you defy their expectation by saying "neither." Or if you say "both" like the actual Beatles and Stones would have said.

Anyway. These are called "alternative questions" and they are a specialty of 还是.

Now imagine rising intonation on both "Beatles" and "Stones." It's really a different question now (a friendlier one). There are no expectations. You can say "no" if you don't take an interest in 60s music at all; you can say "yes" (and then probably explain yourself).

To translate this, you would use 或者, which is "or" without the expectations. It does not form a question by itself; you have to tack on a 吗 to get a yes/no question ("polar question"), same as you do to turn any other statement into a question.


How would it be different to ask "Are you eating pork or chicken"


I think it can mean this. Possibly you would say 你在吃猪肉还是鸡肉?to emphasise that it is happening right now, but in other questions with similar sentences it has both meanings.


but where is the wanting element here? it's all about choice:do you eat pork or chicken. Duolingo should accept also this translation


i know the order is wrong but i have a bad short term memory, but why doesn't "do you eat chicken or pork?" work too?


The use of "还是" seems to suggest that an either-or choice is preferred (i.e. pick one of the two); could "或者" (huòzhě) be used to ask about whether the speaker is OK with either (i.e. both are available)?


或者 is used in statements while 还是 is used in questions


Often so, but it is a bit arbitrary to say that. 还是 can be used in an affirmative sentence.


Just an answer with native instinct.

I would not use 或者 in this sentence. 还是 probably is about making a conscious, exhaustive choice. 或者 is just listing available options serially.

e.g. 主菜是猪肉或者鸡肉。您选猪肉还是鸡肉?

The main dish is pork or chicken. Would you choose pork or chicken?

In both of these sentences 或者 还是 are not interchangeable.


Isn't it just literally "Do you eat port or chicken?"?


It is absolutely a viable alternative translation. Also its simple past form.


No character for 'would like'? If I was on an airline, I would only tune in to the pork or chicken option, so in context, I could understand the meaning, but if I was being tested in an exam, I would fail.


Where is 'want' implied here?


Did you eat pork or chicken since the tense is not defined?


The fact that they haven't defined tense implies (to me) that it is not in the past. You would use 了 to show that an action has been completed.


I put in "Do you eat chicken or pork?" and they didn't accept it. It should be right either way.


Is it normal that she pronounces 肉 as róu and not ròu?


I said chicken or pork instead of pork or chicken :(

Learn Chinese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.