Translation:I learn Chinese using a computer.
Technically, you don't have to include 在 every time you want to make it the equivalent of present tense, although it does help make things more clear. The tense/timing of the event could also be inferred from context. I would argue that you could say "using" for this sentence and it could be correct.
Verb + ing can be a present particle but can also be a gerund. If by the sentence in question you mean "I am at a computer right now studying Chinese" you'd say "我在用電腦學習中文". If on the other hand you mean that studying Chinese on a computer is an ongoing pursuit of yours, you can drop the 在.
Another example appearing in this lesson would be "你為甚麼學習中文" which can be translated as "why are you studying Chinese?". It doesn't mean "why are studying with a textbook in front of you right now" unless written as "你為甚麼在學習中文". But rather it inquires about your motivation of pursuing the study of Chinese.
in other exercises, the translations assume implicit ownership. i don't recall specifics offhand but sentences like 我用手机拍照 seem to expect translations like "i take a picture with my phone" over translations like "i take a picture with the phone". this exercise rejected the translation "i use my computer to learn chinese". is there any reasoning behind this?
You are correct, there is nothing possessive in the Chinese statement.
It won't even take: "I use computer to study Chinese", yet this is exactly what the statement says in Chinese.
This is the worst lesson so far I have encountered. I hope it doesn't get worse from here on. I keep on being encouraged through advertisements to become a paid account member. But why would anyone want to do that with such a half-baked product?
Still pretty convinced that you can't say "use computer." I don't know if it is just a colloquialism from some corner of the world, but it is grammatically incorrect, just like, "You ain't going nowhere!" would be a grammatically incorrect way to say, "You are not going anywhere!" despite the fact that one could certainly hear such a phrase commonly used in the American South. I am genuinely curious about where in the world one does not have to include anything between "use" and "computer."
it is not correct, you are not "using" anything at the moment, the sentence does not include 在 to say it is something you are doing in the present time
it is not ok, you are not "using" anything at the moment, the sentence does not include 在 to say it is something you are doing in the present time
That's because in American English, you need an article such as "a" or a possessive word such as "my" or "John's" between an action verb and a singular direct object (i.e. between "use" and "computer") unless that object is a proper noun. For instance, you wouldn't say "I drive car to work," or "I use spoon to eat." Outside of America, is "computer" an exception to the rule? If so, why?
I'm genuinely curious why this is accepted grammar structure to say "use computer" when this anomaly doesn't seem to occur with any other verb + singular noun combination, at least not from my experience. Where are you all from that are saying using "a" or "the" is not necessary? I'm from the Unites States, and it sounds horribly unnatural and caveman-like without either "a" or "the."
I know it's stupid of me to intervene in a conversation between two national English speakers (English is only my second language) but the temptation is too strong. So, as i perceive it, "using a computer" means using this or that certain, existing physical object which is in the reach at that moment, whereas "using computer" means working in a certain way, "computer-working" (no implication to a palpable physical object here with the possibility of identification at any moment if one chooses to change "a" for "the").
No, we would'nt say 'using computer'. It would either be 'using a computer' or 'computing'. It's the same as 'using a blender' and 'blending' or 'using a phone' and 'phoning'.
I'm pretty sure it has to do with the word 'using', because we do say 'watching television' and 'eating ice cream'.
WORD BANK ERROR - The word bank is missing words and does not have the relevant choices. (I had to use the keyboard).
What part of the English speaking world are you from? It seems this course is mainly using American English, and has little idea of way things are expressed beyond that country.
I'm currently up to lesson 22 on this Chinese course, and one thing is certain in my mind, they do not have enough variety in written answers, and they never seem to update anything. Pity the other features are excellent. And when they give you a range of words to use to respond it works well too. But it is far to limited in the English responses that you have to construct yourself, especially when you understand what the Chinese is saying. We are not here to learn English, we are here to learn Chinese.