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  5. "九点差一刻。"


Translation:A quarter to nine.

November 19, 2017



The article isn't required in British English. "A quarter to nine" is very unnatural for me


@Monsieur - it is equally unnatural for many others to say "Quarter to nine". They want "Quarter to"; as Nine is already known etc... My view is that I'm here to learn Chinese. Not English.


American English too!!


It's used in the Bitish English i use


And in the (mostly) American English I use.


What do you mean by article? Sorry for the ignorance


The "a" in "a quarter"


Articles (in English) are a, an and the. There's no article needed in this phrase though!


my native language is Dutch and we say 'quarter to...' so for me there's nothing wrong with it. Plus I believe some English speaking folks also use it. Still, it's not always about translating it correctly, I already think Duolingo focusses too much and too often on getting a grammatically correct answer in (American) English. That's all fun but that doesn't teach you the literal meaning of the Chinese sentence, which is very important if you want to truly understand this language.


It sounds verbose and robotic. No native speaker would ever use it. It would be like never using contractions.


My "quarter to nine" should not be incorrect....


"Quarter to nine" is marked as wrong here.


I'm from New York and we say "a quarter to...". I see nothing wrong with that.


In American English we do say "quarter to nine" or "quarter to four" etc. Often we just say literally "Quarter to." and leave the rest as assumed.


Australian English to. We do say it with the "A" as well though.


No article needed!


what is the difference between 九点差一刻 and 差一刻九点

  • 1064

A literal translation of the first is "nine awaiting a segment" (imagine the clock face as a pie with four equal segments) its used obviously here to tell the time i.e. "a quarter to nine". Rearranging the Chinede to form your second combination you get "awaiting segment nine o'clock" Chinese works with implied articles and context and a native speaker will add in implied words until it makes sense. So here it would imply "in a quarter of an hour it will be nine o'clock".


"15 minutes to 9 o'clock" carries the same meaning, doesn't it?

Also, where I'm from, "a quarter to nine" is rarely ever used in conversation.


Why I can not say it in "a quarter to nine o'clock" ?


Because that is very unnatural therefore incorrect


Til can be spelled till


Neither "til" nor "till" should be used with this time expression. It is "(a) quarter to".


As a preposition, "till" is synonymous with "to;" as a conjunction, "till" is synonymous with "until" (but is not a shortened version of "until," as "till" was already a word in its own right for several centuries before "until" became a word). "A quarter to nine" and "a quarter till nine" are synonymous, and both phrases are correct.

In this sense of the word, "til" (without an apostrophe) is a variant spelling of "till;" as such, "a quarter til nine" is correct as long as "til" is an acceptable variant spelling of "till," but some people regard "til" as an incorrect spelling rather than a variant spelling.

"'Til," with an apostrophe, is indeed a shortened version of "until," but that's a different word with a different history, and yes, some writers drop the apostrophe, even when using "til" in its much more recent sense of a so-called "poetic abbreviation" of "until."


"Til" doesn't exist.


My answer: Fifteen minutes before nine. ...which I think is correct. (American English)


DL please, can you fix the 'a quarter'?! The article doesn't belong there!


How have they still not fixed this??? "Quarter to nine" without the "a" is perfectly correct. It sounds so unconfortable to put the "a", I always forget it on here...


Why is 9:45 accepted? Lol


Because "(a) quarter to nine" would be 8:45; but even so we're leaning about "一刻" and "差" here so I think "quarter to" is better.


2019-01-28: "a quarter to nine o'clock" was rejected. Please fix.


i'm confused. they said that the meaning for cha is worse. so why is it included in a sentence that translates to a quarter to nine?


My understanding (possibly wrong) is that 差 is also "lack," and the role it plays here is like "menos" in Spanish, i.e. "nueve menos quince," or something like "it's lacking fifteen minutes to be nine o'clock." Very awkward in English, of course, but it works in Spanish or Chinese.


@Shantel - "Up" means above. Then why is Up included in "Make up"? Or in "Catch up"? No one climbs a ladder while applying lipstick or meeting with friends.. :-)


Many Chinese characters can have multiple meanings depending on the context. The dictionary hints don't always show every meaning that a character might have. When it comes to time, it might help to think of 差 as "less than" or "minus".

"9:00 minus a quarter (0:15) " = 8:45
"a quarter less than 9:00" = 8:45
"It's a quarter to 9:00" = 8:45


For the Chinese, I not sure about others, but I would not say it this way.


A quarter until 9 is wrong still.


Hmm ... I think it is still wrong, full-stop.


Why is "one quarter to nine" wrong?


It's just not very natural (American) English.


It's not natural Australian English either.


Let's all just agree that it is wrong because nobody says that (at least not in Australia).


Is this an English course? All of these variations should just be accepted so that the user can move on.


Exactly. This is not an English course so let's not expect that all 27,347 variants will show up here. Let's pick the most common way to say this in English to prove we've understood the Chinese; and move on.

Else we'll be here till next Christmas debating 'quarter to nine, 'quarter of nine', 'eight forty five pm', 'eight forty five am', 'sixteen hundred forty five hours', 'fifteen minutes to nine in the morning', 'fifteen minutes to nine in the evening', 'five minutes past eight forty in the morning', and two dozen thousand other grammatical gems because we are trying to learn Chinese? Eh?


It accepts "till" but not "til"? Both are informal. And it seems the "a" is still required.


It is more correct to say cha yi ke jiu dian


This was a spoken chinese phrase which asked for the characters. I have them the characters 九点差一刻。i was marked correct but the translation it provided was "They will be back in one hour"


I got correct on 9.45 and it says another translation is a quarter to nine. Which would be 8 45


If 9.45 was accepted as correct then there's a bug. 九点差一刻 is 8.45.


C'mon guys, read the sentences carefully next time! I got it right first try!


I wrote: 15 til 9


You do not need an article here. I'm a native speaker and I had never heard 'a quarter to' before I came across it in an ESL text in China.

[deactivated user]

    The Chinese is written 一刻; literally "one/a quarter".


    A lot of reasonable variations were not accepted. ☹


    I think It's not right to say "A quarter to nine" I hope someone will check and fix this soon.


    It is right to say either "A quarter to nine" or "Quarter to nine". Both are perfectly natural and common ways to say it where I grew up in Australia.


    It is perfectly correct to say that. In fact it is probably the most common way to say it in Australia. It can also be abbreviated to "quarter to nine", which is also commonly used.


    I have a correct answer and it is marked wrong. This is now happening every time I have to deal with "Tap What You Know"


    Again, definitely don't need 'a' quarter to! It's just dead wrong.


    It's not needed but it's also not dead wrong to include it.


    Such a weird translation of this phrase.


    All languages appear weird before you master them. That's quite normal.

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