1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Chinese
  4. >
  5. "他们中午吃什么?"


Translation:What do they eat at noon?

November 22, 2017



Not "what did they eat for lunch?" huh ...


Lunch is 午饭 but I dont know why they would write noon instead of lunch


It is a common way of expression in Chinese. The meaning is the same.


Exactly the meaning is the same - hence why ''What are they eating for lunch?'' should be accepted.


I think everyone who is going to learn Chinese should know this statement below:

凌晨:3:00--6:00 早晨:6:00---8:00 上午:8:00--11:00 中午:11:00--13:00 下午:13:00--17:00 傍晚:17:00--19:00 晚上:19:00--23:00 深夜:23:00--3:00

You should know that when the word "noon" is actually indicates the word "afternoon" and so it should mean 中午 in Chinese and not 下午 which that is the time when we eat lunch (午餐)

Personally, I think the word BRUNCH will be more accurate than the word LUNCH at the time 中午.


That is not correct. If the question asks about a past event, it would have been

他们中午吃 什么?

The question can alternatively be asking about a past habit in certain context. In that case we translate it to

What were they eating for lunch?

(Edit 2018.02.25) "What did they eat for lunch?" is acceptable when the question is about a past action only but not about its consequences.


So you're saying that it is actually mandatory after all to use 了 for all past actions in Chinese? Or just past questions?


I was a bit hasty writing that. Often when we ask " What did they eat for lunch?" it is because something had happened (e.g. someone got food poisoning) or we suspect that they didn't eat or they didn't eat well. All these cases where we have concern about the consequence(s) of the action, we would use 了 to indicate a change of state - say, the eating action was done resulting in someone got poisoned.

Certainly that's not always the case. If someone asks this during a conversation about a past event and expects only a description of the action without concern on the consequences of the action, it is also applicable. You are right I had implied that 了 was mandatory, but that's not what I wanted to do. Thanks and I corrected the comment above by adding a footnote.


It's not specified that the meal is lunch. Lunch would be 午饭, and while that would be an understandable translation, it's not the literal one.


"They noon eat what" is also a literal translation. There's a reason literal translations are not always desirable. Do Chinese speakers actually say this Chinese sentence, and if they do what do they mean?


That works too but instead of "did" it will be "do" since the sentenfe didn't indicate a completed action.


that is also what I did


Yeah it is literal.


When the sun is highest in the sky, what it is that those others consume for nourishment?


There is no character there for nourishment and translations must be 100% literal d-;


I'd give it to you, but I would say drop the nourishment. They could be eating junk food. :)


What are they eating for lunch - should be accepted...wth


i agree completely, it is just present participle rather than present tense. i got this wrong too.


What do they eat at midday?! Perfectly correct here...


when i write "in the afternoon" it's wrong because it should be "at noon". And ‼️ when i write "at noon" duolingo says it should be "in the afternoon". WTF?


I think that "midday" is as correct a translation as "noon".


中午 is "the middle of the day," not just noon.


lunch = what you eat at noon


中午吃 is lunch... DL is using a literal translation instead of the real meaning behind it. "What do they eat for lunch?" needs to be accepted!


midday should be acceptable for noon


Another example where the app digresses from teaching Chinese and distracts everyone with rigid and wrong English usage. Need to fix it!


I put "what did they eat at noon" rather than "what do they eat at noon" How do I distinguish the tense in Chinese?


We don't use tense in Chinese. The time of reference is derived from the context.

So if the context is not clear yet between the speakers, we add more information in the sentence. You would be saying something like What did they eat at noon at such time ?, What do they eat at noon today ?


Is there a reason why "What are they eating at midday" shouldn't be accepted?


"What do they eat for lunch" would be something what a human being could say


又错了,是at noon ,而不是at the noon


again, duolingo doesn't use time in English correctly. these time lessons are killing me. how much garbage English do I have to memorize in order to learn a little Chinese?


Can anyone explain me the difference between "afternoon" and "noon"? Please!


中午 doesn’t mean noon, but it’s translated into English as such. I think it’s more literally ‘midday’ and is roughly analogous to ‘lunchtime.’ Though that is little help here in duochinglish land.


Where is the "what" in the sentence? I wrote:"do they eat at noon"?


That's not really a good translation. Personally, if someone where to say that to me, it would be understood that we're talking about lunch. Literal translations are usually not very correct.


do just sounds unnatural i mean just read it out aloud


Why "eating ay noon time" is wrong???


How would I say 'Did they eat something at noon?' Would '他们中午吃什么吗?' work for that translation?


What will they eat and what do they eat means the same. But the former is more correct


Do they eat at noon? will be :他们中午吃呢


Why does it sound like she says 周末 instead of 中午?


How is "What did they eat in the afternoon" wrong? It's obviously the same here?


Why is "What are you guys eating at noon?" wrong?


Your question would then be asking "you" not "they".


"what do they eat at noon time?"


What do they eat at noon

Learn Chinese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.