Translation:I will go to work at a quarter past ten tomorrow morning.
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There is a difference between how people phrase things informally or colloquially versus in writing or formal speech.
Bob: What time is it?
Joe: Quarter past ten.
The English phrase used here is a complete sentence and not an informal or short spoken response.
Google can search written material between 1800 and 2008 and compare the prevalence of a phrase.
According to the Google results I see, "it's a quarter past" is still more popular in British English as of 2008.
If you look at the results for all variants of English, the phrase has been used with "a" more often than without it.
Duo Lingo sentences are communication-oriented. Who's to say dropping the 'a' is not 'proper' grammar' if it is dropped by so many speakers? You don't determine 'proper' by frequency (Actually, in any case, you might check out British National Corpus because I believe it is more common to drop the 'a' now)., nor by arbitrary adherence to tradition. English evolves and gets rid of unnecessary function words. In my opinion, there are far too many uses of articles in English when many languages have none. Do you say it's a half past ten?" Technically, you could argue the 'a' should be there, but we don't use it because we often drop articles when they can be assumed.
I see several people have commented on this already. In English the definite article is optional, "a quarter past.." and "quarter past.." are both frequently used, and both should be accepted as a correct answer.
Some of the other comments seem to be a little harsh, perhaps even rude. We might say 10:15am, or 10:15 in the morning, or quarter past ten in the morning, or a quarter past ten in the morning. All are correct, just as multiple ways of saying this in Chinese will be correct (four according to my teacher), but a closer actual translation of this is "tomorrow morning at quarter (or a quarter) past ten", than tomorrow at 10:15am. It certainly not wrong, but it is not as accurate a translation.
Thanks to all the people working very hard to make this program helpful!
Nothing wrong with it; keep reporting. There are so many possible variations that they don't all get put into the database at once. It gets frustrating sometimes, but I often get messages from the DL Chinese team saying my suggestions are now accepted, so be patient (as I often have to remind myself) and know that the course is improving over time.
quarter to and quarter past are very old, I'm 65, and I have not said that in at least 3 decades. it is more natural to say 645 or 615, not quarter to and quarter after
Surely it doesn't really matter whether it is "a quarter to/past " or "quarter to/past". Both a quarter to.. " and quarter past" are acceptable (and taught) where I live. "A" is seen as given. Surely both are should be considered as correct as language is never static but always evolving. eg Of(t)en (t is supposed to be silent), is now accepted as often because the majority say it like that!!
早上 Zǎoshang is used when referring to 'early' morning (from dawn to 8/9am), then from 9am to 12 you say 早上 Shàngwǔ.
almost no one but, my grandmother uses quarter past and quarter to these days
I wrote: I have to go to work at 10:15 tomorrow morning. Marked wrong! It appears that ' yao = want, have to...' and hui = will..' However, I thought I had seen DL use them interchangeably and that's why I tried ' have to ' instead of ' will ' to see how DL would mark it. Now I know - lol!
The literal translation is: ' Tomorrow morning 10:15 will go office '. The English translation is correct, including ' a quarter past ten '. It appears that they want to emphasize ' one ' quarter and hence the ' a ' in the sentence. Anyway, it's all good, so let's just enjoy learning Chinese ( or any other language ) ☺.
I think there's a history of time - telling, in the past many clocks & watches were not accurate so expressions like exactly, precisely, sharp were used. On a real (analogue) clock or watch it's easy to see the hand is quarter /half past or quarter to. Now it seems many of the younger generation don't understand an analogue clock face. I use both "quarter to" & "a quarter to"; both sound natural to me. DL need to accept different English styles and not penalise what they consider to be non - standard English
会 can also be used for future tense: https://www.writtenchinese.com/past-present-future-tenses-mandarin-chinese/