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  5. "对不起,我们没有空。"


Translation:Sorry, we don't have time.

November 20, 2017



空 is vague as to exactly what isn't available.


没有空 is just a phrase that means you don't have any time available.


That explains it. I was also confused because it sounded like, "Sorry, we have no emptiness."


see, the character 空 can means both "free" and "empty" in english. 空气 is literally "free air" 空间 is "empty space".


Is 对不起我们没有时间 really incorrect? I say this all the time, and no one has ever corrected me.


This is also correct. Just report it.


Can you explain the difference between the two ways of saying it then please?


Where is your chinese xp?


I'm a native Chinese (Mandarin) speaker. I don't use duolingo to learn Chinese, but just randomly wondering around in the forums. So I don't have any xp in Chinese lessons.


Thank you for your random wanderings to help those of us who are struggling to learn Chinese!


sorry, we are not available means the same thing


I wrote sorry, we are unavailable but they still marked it wrong


I was curious as to how to make this sentence past tense given that it contains "沒" already. Apparently, one has to use "以前" ("before"): "我們以前沒有空。"; "我沒沒有空。" and "我沒沒有有空。" are apparently nonsensical.


Exactly! However, I do not think that "past tense" is an independent grammar in Chinese. Maybe "我们以前没有空" sounds a little weird to me just as "We were not available" does.

To express the meaning of "before", I believe that you can use "以前", "从前", "之前" or just a single "前". Though in Chinese, the four words sometimes have subtle differences which can even make Chinese native speakers confused. Hope these examples would make some sense:

很久以前,一位王子爱上了一位公主 <-> A prince fell in love with a princess long ago.

从前,一位王子爱上了一位公主 <-> Once upon a time, a prince fell in love with a princess.

在第一次世界大战之前,一位王子爱上了一位公主 <-> Before the World War I, a prince fell in love with a princess.

一百年前,一位王子爱上了一位公主 <-> A prince fell in love with a princess 100 years ago.


“We were not available" is perfectly fine in English. The past tense in Chinese is often implied, which can be a bit difficult when you want to speak very precisely and that's just not how it's done.


I feel there may be a much better way to translate this


No, it's pretty good. We're not available, We're not free, We're busy, We don't have time. (All have about the same meaning)


"Sorry, we don’t have free time." = Accepted: 26 dec. 2019.


对不起,我们没有事件 still makes sense


What tone is this 空 exactly supposed to be in this context?


对 (duì) = right/correct/to face
不(bù) = not/no
起 (qǐ) = to rise/to be able to

对不起 (duìbùqǐ) = not able to face (lit.) = sorry

Other sorry that we saw:

意 (yì) = idea/meaning/thought/to think
思 (sī) = to think/to consider
意思 (yìsi) = idea/opinion
不好意思 (bùhǎoyìsi) = to feel embarrassed/to find it embarrassing/to be sorry

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