"他们中午吃什么?"

Translation:What do they eat at noon?

November 22, 2017

66 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MitchL2idi

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shasha_Shasha

Can you please include pinyin too and thanks for the information btw...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/peterold

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Keith_APP

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaCros179462

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LydiaA.2413

But lunch is a totally different word (午饭).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fekkezaum

I think the point is to accept translations that convey the exact same meaning (that is, if you were to say that in English how would a native speaker say it) even if it's not the exact same literal word-by-word translation. At the end of the day people communicate using natural language, not odd sounding phrases.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/daybreak_7

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rafaela_zzy

I agree with you!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gtang1447

that is also what I did


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lisa91655

Yeah it is literal.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarriottPlayer

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/hippietrail

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/awunker

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoshuaCros179462

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaedenLaffan

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LydiaA.2413

But lunch is a completely different word.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/plantmagic

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Iough

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". ❤❤❤?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tom264901

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Metrocavalier

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LydiaA.2413

Thanks for your willingness to ask about the answer rather than just hatting on Duo for not accepting your answer. I'm not sure about why, though, I wish i could have been helpful. Have a nice day, :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Winston298006

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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 ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/krishtr

lunch = what you eat at noon


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DesmondAllen

midday should be acceptable for noon


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bould1

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaniilBubnov

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elijah.Fung

又错了,是at noon ,而不是at the noon


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dejoarza

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sofort5

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MariellaVe17

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Richard30914

Sounds like zhoumo instead of zhongwu


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Patrick61851

do just sounds unnatural i mean just read it out aloud


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jacques439990

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sofort5

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cosmosis14

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CarolAdams20

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gabriel127831

Do they eat at noon? will be :他们中午吃呢


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChrisLeverette

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Prince_Dan

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vic53195

"What do they eat at midday" should be correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Deceptiquan

What's wrong with "What do they eat in the afternoon?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/James550591

Just curious why is it 'What did they eat in the afternoon' was marked as wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yann123456

In this sentence, simple tense. If past tense,there would be a past time,like 他们昨天。。。。


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chetlin

Maybe these people are on a weird schedule and every day at noon they eat a handful of Skittles for a snack. Maybe their lunch is at 3 pm. You can't just assume they are asking about lunch when asking what people eat at noon.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JastinFong

"What do they eat in the afternoon" is not acceptable??


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dinghao42

tamen is plural. Thus, one can translate it as You or You all, which are confusingly sometimes accepted and not accepted. Again, the chinese translators of english must improve.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alan881183

What an odd sentence


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jparsonsfilm

周末 sounds a lot like 中午 on this app


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pawlo18

I think this sounds odd to native English speakers because it's floating in time. "What will they eat at noon?" "What did they eat at noon?" "What are they eating at noon?" Are all uncommon-sounding to my ear, but they sound better than the the translation in the example. This is because they are asking for information about a specific meal at a specific time.

"What do they eat at noon?" makes me want to answer with "food".

I think this is just a case of conventions in each language being in conflict. What sounds correct in English sounds awkward to Mandarin speakers and vice versa.

Also, we're used to the meals of the day. It's unusual to say "I'm having a noon meal", but it's not wrong.

Initially I understood the translation as "will they eat at noon", which sounds just fine to me, but that doesn't fit the context of the Mandarin translation.

That said, I think "what are they eating at noon" could/should be accepted...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WaaDoku

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Keith_APP

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KevinBjork

"what do they eat at noon time?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HaDang549631

What do they eat at noon

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