"他们中午吃什么?"

Translation:What do they eat at noon?

November 22, 2017

40 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/MitchL2idi

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

November 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/peterold

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

November 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Keith_APP

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

November 27, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaCros179462

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

December 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Keith_APP

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.

November 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/hippietrail

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

February 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Keith_APP

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.

February 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr.rM
  • 1508

That's indeed also correct for asking about the habit (though he may want to mean 吃了什么). I would rather believe that translation is not accepted for now because Duolingo do not have a fine-grained control on answer checking for gradual learning.

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Grunkles

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.

November 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/hippietrail

"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?

February 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Mr.rM
  • 1508

I would not say either is common enough that we should ditch the other one. Not sure why people are so serious about this (just because the alternative translation was not accepted?). I can say it is not unnatural to say this Chinese sentence unless the listener wants to pick nits.

March 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JiunnChyi

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.

December 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/daybreak_7

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

November 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Rafaela_zzy

I agree with you!

November 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/gtang1447

that is also what I did

January 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JoshuaCros179462

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

December 6, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CaedenLaffan

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

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MarriottPlayer

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

January 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/awunker

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

January 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/hippietrail

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

February 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/plantmagic

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

January 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/LeZacky

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!

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Tom264901

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

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rey_De_Corazones

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.

December 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Patrick61851

do just sounds unnatural i mean just read it out aloud

January 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Winston298006

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

July 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/EmArcher

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

September 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Keith_APP

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 ?

September 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jacques439990

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

November 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Metrocavalier

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

December 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/DaniilBubnov

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

December 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/krishtr

lunch = what you eat at noon

March 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Elijah.Fen

又错了,是at noon ,而不是at the noon

April 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/WaaDoku

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

January 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Keith_APP

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

January 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KevinBjork

"what do they eat at noon time?"

January 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/DesmondAllen

midday should be acceptable for noon

March 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/bould1

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

April 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/HaDang549631

What do they eat at noon

March 14, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexanderH795268

Yeah!

June 10, 2018
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