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  5. "They have never eaten a deep…

"They have never eaten a deep-fried dough stick."


November 22, 2017



If Duolingo uses 'never' in this sentence, it should be 你们从来都没有吗过油条 or at least 从没有. Otherwise it would just be 'They haven't eaten a deep-fried dough stick'


I assume you wanted to write 过 ;)

I’d argue that you need the “never” to translate the -过. If you just use “not/-n’t” instead, it doesn’t sound like you’re talking about (the lack of) a past experience, but just an instance, which would be 你们都没有吃油条。


Hmm, yes, good point! Perhaps both should be accepted, since 从来 still means never.

And yes, I meant 吃!! =D


Can I just say 他们不吃过油条。 here? Does it always have to be past tense?


Yes, the negation of "verb过" is "没有verb过".


If 吃过 means "eaten" how come the hover translation tells you that just 吃 means eaten ? I'm missing the joke here.


吃 is just the verb “to eat” – but as you may already know, Chinese verbs are not marked for tense. So 吃 by itself could translate to English “eaten” given the right context. 过 is a suffix which adds the meaning that we’re talking about the experience of doing something before. So 吃过 “have eaten before”.


What the heck is a deep-fried dough stick anyway??


They look like this:

You would typically cut them in half (or sometimes thirds if they’re very long) and eat them together with soy milk or rice porridge for breakfast.


That would be a stick of dough (or do, apparently, if you are American) that has been deep fried.


"deep-fried dough stick", a Chinese version of churros with food seasoning (usually wild salty) and chewy texture.


Based on Duolingo's own instructions up to this point, the answer provided means, 'They didn't eat a deep-fried dough stick', and the correct answer should be 他们从来不吃过油条. I can't speak to which is better Chinese, but the translation simply does not correspond to what the course has taught regarding the proper rendering of 'never', 'have' as an English perfect marker, and 没有. Either the translation should be changed, or the course content should be adjusted to make clear the proper grammar of these sentences.


The negative version of the “past experience” suffix 过 is formed with 没(有) rather than 不 (and also maintaining the suffix): 没(有)吃过 “have/has never eaten”. *不吃过 is ungrammatical. (The 有 can be omitted in colloquial speech.)

But you’re right, you can add 从来 to add more emphasis: 从来没有吃过 means the same thing as 沒有吃过, there is just more emphasis on the fact that the subject has never ever done that before.


This is very helpful. It would be very useful for this to be added to the 'Tips' section of this lesson.

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