"他不是学生。"

Translation:He is not a student.

November 18, 2017

52 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chen274169

Why does she is not a student fail? It is correct because she and he are interchangeable and only really know by context


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

The Chinese character for he and she are different, so it is only possible for the Listen to Chinese and write it down exercise as they both sound the same. You could report it for that one exercise only.


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

But also keep in mind that if you don't know their specific gender, you write the male ta.


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

I did this on another question but they said it was wrong. The gender was reversed with the exact same sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NikolajPed6

He or she have different characters with duolingo 他 她


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

Thank you for explaining it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SamuelRoth18

To get around this problem with the "Write what you hear" exercises I have to toggle from keyboard input to word bank selection. There I can find whether DuoLingo has used the 他 or 她 and select the one that will be accepted as correct. I really think that DuoLingo should accept either form as correct when there isn't enough context to discern the gender.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vadel646776

Exactly ! We are just starting learning !


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Flazor08

Becuase she and he sound the same but have different symbols


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Juju865903

他 = he and 她 = she It all comes down to the characters


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Isr8Ec1T

他 is gender neutral -- that is what my Taiwanese teacher taught me when I took Chinese 1 class during my undergrad years in a Singapore university. 他 being used as a male-specific pronoun was just a recent change due to Western influence. We see this phenomenon (traditionally gender-neutral 3rd-person pronouns being changed into gendered due to Western influence) happening in other Asian languages such as Thai (เขา), too.

I say, stop Westernizing Asian language and make it complicated by adding the gender BS. Keep it gender-free like the original!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

In English "he" was also originally used for any gender.


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

So we use 很 if followed by adjectives (happy, sad, etc) and 是 if followed by nouns (student, teacher, etc). Right??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kal-in

Correct. 是 is for nouns or anything with a 的 following it.

Adjectives require no copula but it is common to add at least 很 to make it sound nicer. It's not quite as strong as the very in English is.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew100978

Hen means "very" while shi means "is" or "yes"


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

I used "They" and still got this wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kat828543

Why is "she" is not a student failed when Ta is gender neutral


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

There are two Chinese symbols though and the one above is the masculine version "he". Which version of the exercise did you have? Report it if there was only voice and no visual at all.


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

他 is gender-neutral although it's more often used for males. (她 is always for females, though.)

Duolingo often doesn't consider "she" as correct translation for 他 even though technically, 他 can be "she." It's either because the answer writer(s) didn't think of the less often usage of 他 for females when writing the answer(s) or because the answer writer(s) didn't know of such usage.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

We wouldn't use "she" for a gender neutral situation either though. when you don't know the gender, historically "he" would be used. Though in more recent times, people might say "he or she." Even more lately, "they" has been used even for a singular person whose gender is unknown.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

Isr8Ec1T, "They" has only been used as singular since 1375 according to the Oxford dictionary and originally arrived in Middle English as a plural form. "She" did not start being used until Middle English. "He" dates all the way back to Old English where it was used as a gender neutral pronoun. You are right that "you" was used later than "they" for singular, as the singular pronoun "thou" wasn't dropped from common use until the 17th century, but both of those were already gender neutral. Remember that French influenced English in the past. Originslly, "he" was gender neutral. Oh, and I am an English speaker and no, I have never used "they" as a singular pronoun, though I am aware that it can be used that way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EstherJose19

This is so hard for me to pronounce


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

I am a bit confused as to how to tell the difference between the feminine ta and the masculine ta.


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

You can't by listening without the context. By the way, while seldom, 他 can be used for females. Please see my post for more details: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/25690890?comment_id=37429005


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sophie95944

"She" should be correct too


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

The Chinese character is different for "she" than for "he", so only if you had to listen and write it down.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/masonliam99

Why do we use "is not is"? 不是


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

We don't; in English we say "is not", but in Chinese the negative " 不 " comes before the verb " 是 ".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/masonliam99

Okay. Maybe my issue is what Duolingo is showing me the translation is. Could you break down the translation from Chinese into English for me? E.g. "我也姓李" can be broken down in English as "I also last name Li"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

Careful! Sometimes more than one character is used together to make a completely different word. For example, "carpool" in English is not a car and not a pool.

学生 = student

So a literal wording in Chinese word order would be "He not be student.", but that is not correct English word order and it would not be accepted. Remember the Chinese verb is not conjugated for each pronoun and so depending on the pronoun it could mean "am", "are" or "is" which is each conjugated from the verb "to be". In English that becomes "He is not a student."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/masonliam99

Oh of course. I figured people who studied languages had enough linguistic knowledge to understand that. I just wanted the breakdown in English so I could understand the language better. As of now, I don't fully understand the meaning of "他不是学生". I understand it as "he [negate following statement] 是学生". Duolingo translated it as, I believe, "he isn't is a student". I guess I want to know what ”是“, “学”, and “生” mean. If "学生" is a compound noun, that's fine, but I'd still like to know the breakdown of the compound noun as I think it'd help my understanding of the language and its origins. And as far as I know right now "是" is a verb "to be" which either applies to occupation or to people , but I'd love to also have that explained to me as prior to this, when describing what something "is", it hasn't been used. I know how to say “my name IS” (我叫)or “I AM eating” (我吃), but there is no "to be" verb in those sentences. Is it a rule with participles, or something else?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

Duolingo does not translate it as "he isn't is..." If it does, that should be reported as wrong.

"是" = "is" in this sentence until you add "不", then the two characters together mean "is not" or "isn't" with the subject given.

You need to account for expressions in each language. "My name is..." is a very English expression. In most languages a different verb is used. Each sentence is explained at the discussion at each sentence.

Added later to answer below.

Chinese does not conjugate its verb. 是 is the verb used for conjugations of "to be" or "to exist" and it is also used as an adjective to mean "correct" or "right". They do not use this verb everywhere that English uses it.

When you want to say, "He is tall." then you will use "很" instead to link an adjective to a subject. When not used this way, then "很" means "very".

If you want a different tense, such as past or future, then you will add a character to mean that.

"I eat" = "我吃"

"I am eating" = "我在吃"

The character added does not mean "am", because they are not conjugating the verb, but rather it has to do with when.

The word "now" translates to "现在".

Look up individual characters here: https://www.yellowbridge.com/chinese/charsearch.php

学 = learning, knowledge, school

生 = life, living, lifetime, birth

Someone else said that they think of the two character word for student as "birth of learning" to remember it, but you could also make a case for "living at school" though you don't have to live there to be a student. I live to learn, so the Chinese word for student works well for me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/masonliam99

So could you explain it to me? What does 是 mean? I understand not being so English-centric, or even Germanic-centric, but I still don't understand what the sentence says. Is 是 a to be verb, or is it something with no equivalent in English? And yes, obviously 'my name is' is quite English - in romance languages, you say "I am called" or, "I call myself", but it is BECAUSE of that that I want to know what this sentence means


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/masonliam99

And I can't speak to your experience of Duolingo, but by opening the translations of each word, Duolingo breaks down that clause as "he isn't is", which is why I asked for the translative breakdown in the first place. The program can be flawed, but a translation program wouldn't offer a translation without basis, I should think


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marita564415

Why doesn't this one Require us to use " 一个 ", which ends like: " 他不是一个学生 ". like some random ones earlier where they threw this at us without teaching it first? And now they don't even use/or require it for this one? :/


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

Why "He is not student" is a mistake


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

shouldn't be pupil be accepted as well? It all depends on which type of school he is in (xiao xue => school => pupil)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/---UwU---

If in a normal paced sentence 是 and 学 sound similar/same, how can a beginner hear the differnece when its spoken?


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

Listen to the sentence structure and where each of them are placed in the sentence. 学 is "to learn" while 是 is "to be" or "is" or "are" et cetera.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wayne417741

Both he and she should be accepted


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

In Chinese, "he" and "she" have different characters. When refering to a male, it should be “他” and when refering to a female, it should be “她”.


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

他 can be neutral.


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

I would love to have the option to listem slowly on the oral exercises


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

The male pronunciation for this is off for "生". He pronounces it like "shang4".


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

I don,t understand clearly


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JasmineHal330092

Why do they not add words that are not in the semfence at all to make it harder. I think rhat would be a better was of learning.


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

I answer HE IS NOT A STUDENT why it is also wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

All caps would be wrong. Double check if the instructions were to put it in Chinese.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JosueEstra9

Why don't you accept "He ain't a student"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ALLintolearning3

The contraction "ain't" is slang and "isn't" would be the correct contraction for "is not" which is used for the pronoun "he".

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