"孩子睡觉以前,他们的爸爸会讲故事。"

Translation:Before the kids go to sleep, their father will tell them stories.

November 18, 2017

66 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hippietrail

I'm a native English speaker and just noticed that the present "sleep" and past "would" don't seem to make grammatical sense to me. In fact when I answered with "slept" and "would" I got marked wrong. Otherwise this sentence seems to be about a past habit. On my previous try I put both verbs in the present and was also marked wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/George792719

"Their father tells them a story before they go to sleep".

That's what it really says, but in Chinese language they go about it a different way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Semeltin

I had the same experience and the ironic thing is that I'm not even given the choice to report the English sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gabrielle145359

You ate correct. The grammar in the current answer sentence is wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MicahLiuba1

Too right. This entire unit is the most illiterate one in the entire course. It seems the writer was only a lower intermediate student of English. I hope Duolingo will rewrite this whole unit hiring someone who actually understands English grammar.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RajasDaithankar

@Micah - since you already know English well (I presume), I'm curious what prompted you to explore this Chinese module?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/windyblue

I think a lot of us are here to learn Chinese, not Chinese -> English, but we share the same sample sentences.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daymiee

Should be "their father would tell them stories"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hippietrail

Probably should accept both 'a story' and 'stories'. I believe 'yi ge' etc are not mandatory where 'a' and 'an' are in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/StephenJoh218823

Why not eliminate"would" and just say their father tells them stories?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hedwigechouette

"before the children went to sleep their father would tell them a story" was rejected but I think it's ok


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rita820103

I agree. In fact, the verb tenses do not match in the "correct" answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sandybadlands

It's actually more grammatically correct than the answer they have...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaynardHogg

You're forgetting the 会.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hippietrail

会 is "will". English "will" has a past tense form "would". Chinese doesn't have tenses so 会 works for present and past tense, like all other verbs.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lepelepelepe

Can someone explain why 'would' and not 'will'? Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vesane

I believe it should be will, otherwise the moods of the verbs don't match. Either both should be indicative (before the kids sleep, the father will tell them a story), or both modal + subjunctive (before the kids would sleep, the father would tell them a story) except perhaps imperfect tense: "Before the kids slept (ie "each night before the kids slept" vs "last night before the kids slept [one time]"), their father would tell them a story. Tl;Dr: you should be right with "will"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CBDave

That was an excellent explanation! Thank you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hippietrail

My natural answer wasn't even with "will" since in English we often talk about the future without "will".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ramy.Taraboulsi

There is a rule in English as to when to use "would": It is "after after" and "before before". So, given that he is telling them stories "before" they go to sleep it should be "would tell them stories" rather than "will tell them stories". Same applies to "should", "might", ...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gabrielle145359

I disagree. If you are going to use "would tell them stories," I think you also need to use "would sleep" or "would go to bed" in the first clause.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ZingGot

No, English doesn't work like that - the children are going to sleep, their father typically does a thing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Loki0Laufeyson

Should also accept "Before the kids fall asleep, their dad will read them a story"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nina_DN

Should "Before the kids go to bed, their Dad tells them stories." be correct..?.?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hippietrail

Aren't there separate words for "go to bed" and "sleep"? At least in western culture the usual custom is that the dad tells the story while the kids just got in their beds but are not yet asleep.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VWieVendetta

They're used synonymously, although technically they may be different


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Semeltin

Well, I would normally agree with you. However, Duolingo translated 睡觉 as(/with/to ?) "go to bed" in the sentence "you have to go to bed immediately - nǐmen yào mǎshàng shuìjiào" and did not accept "sleep" when I got the sentence for the first time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MatthewEpp5

Almost correct. Your translation would be correct if the Chinese sentence didn't have 會。 that is the word that implies future in this sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DebbieJust

That word is not there. Maybe they have changed it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hippietrail

It is there but the course uses simplified Chinese and Matthew uses traditional. It's usually not trivial to switch between the two if your device is set up to use one of them, so Matthew is probably not being deliberately obtuse.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Krstna12

This sentence makes more sense! It does convey habit and routine. Thanks! I wish Duolingo would correct that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DeeCahyadi

Before the children sleep, their father tells stories.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tjatwood42

Is there a difference between 讲 and 告诉?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_GoldFish

So far we have three of them: “告诉“,“说” and “讲”. 告诉 is "to tell", while 说 and 讲 are "to say". They are often interchangeable, but 讲 is more formal and has a meaning of "giving a speech" - one person talks, the others listen, while 说, the less formal one, is "discussion" - everyone is involved. I may be not exactly right though, not a native speaker...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Juan49481

So why didn't the word 听 appear this time, too? Maybe the children aren't listening this time?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FJ7FJ
  • 2095

会 has both meanings "will" and "can". Why here fits only "will"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aprilharian

i was thinking the same thing. but then when i wrote "before the children go to sleep their dad can read them stories", it was marked wrong... I'm confused when it comes to the use of 会.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Llunie

Before the children go to bed, their father reads stories. The original sentence doesn't specify the indirect object.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hippietrail

This time my first natural translation was "Before the children sleep, their father will tell them a story". Not yet accepted but reported.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Zhende1114

The verb tenses do not match in the two clauses. Should be "Before the kids slept, their father would tell them stories." (Although "went to sleep" is much more natural in English.) Or, "Before the kids (go to) sleep, their father tells them stories."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nevin711542

Poor English grammar - mixes present tense with past tense habit. Past tense habit "Before the kids slept, their father would tell them stories


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dantan94

Is it 睡觉以前 or 睡觉之前?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KX3.

It really should be 之前, 以前 sounds like ago, a long time ago.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jeon8257

this "will" is a sort of "would", indicating a custom


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cait312

Before the children sleep, their father reads a story. So frustrating....I get why its wrong.... but that's really frustrating...I guess cause it was my last heart and I was so CLOSE to finishing :'(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bentley38141

These aren't really in the same tense in english, so it sounds screwy.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobinThor

Why does this accept "Before the children sleep, their father will tell them a story", but not "Before children sleep, their fathers will tell them stories"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaynardHogg

I like your second version better without the "will."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/George792719

"Their father tells them a story before they go to sleep".

That's what it really says, but in Chinese language they go about it a different way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stupedfatidiot

"The faraway treehouse"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DrWho819549

"Before children go to sleep their fathers will tell them stories." Marked wrong, can anyone tell me why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WIMDispa

I do not see any difference between 'children' and 'kids'. In my opinion it is nonsense to mark this as a wrong answer!


[deactivated user]

    Rejected: 'Before the children go to the sleep, their father will tell them a story.'


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarmenDiPi3

    What is wrong with my answer "Before the children sleep, their father is going to tell them a story"? Not being a native English speaker (although having lived in the US for a number of years), maybe my sentence is odd???


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JustinGSJ

    "Before the children go to sleep, father will tell them a story" should work. The Chinese (as far as I can tell) doesn't distinguish singular from plural here.....


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TamarYitzhaki

    what a cute father!!! 我也想一个。。。


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnnaWong570164

    "their fathers" is correct, why wrong!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DoD54

    After the kids went to sleep the dead will tell them a story Why not accepted?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DidiWeidmann

    This is not logical! The father tells the stories and then the kids will go to bed. Future is in the wrong place!


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BaskerGeor

    This unit has a bunch of chinglish speakers .... Time to improve your English skills guys..


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/minookamuse

    Verb tense has to agree in both clauses.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobinThor

    What about "Before children sleep, their fathers can tell a story"

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