"我们很忙,下午四点才吃午饭。"

Translation:We are so busy that we were only able to eat lunch at four in the afternoon.

November 24, 2017

71 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/drigoro2000

You either say 4pm or 4 in the afternoon. Come on!

November 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ChristianInOslo

are you interested in learning Chinese or in bickering?

January 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/hippietrail

Memorizing exactly which variety of broken English to pass each question on the test distracts from learning Chinese. These discussions lead to improving the course and making it less frustrating to all who use it in the future.

March 7, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/George792719

This rather patchy program won't even take: " We are so busy, we only got to eat lunch at 4 in the afternoon"

I mean what on Earth is the difference with their preferred answer?

Maybe when you get to having completed every lesson to number 25, like me, you'll start to realise it really grates on your nerves. And they have done nothing to improve the limited English answers in more than a year. This course is definitely being neglected. Might be free but it drives you mad getting things wrong that you know that you have got wright and fully understood from the Chinese sentences.

April 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/George792719

Sorry replace the write with right last sentence.

April 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ShannAwesome

I would say "we didn't eat lunch until 4PM"

December 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/RobinThor

It clearly states in the grammar section of this lesson that this would be a good translation for 才, and it is accepted in all the other sentences of this lesson, so it should also be accepted here.

December 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RobinThor

This does not even accept the example translation from the grammar section (which it shouldn't because "4 pm in the afternoon" is terrible English)

January 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/C9lw2

才 indicated not until. Poor english word choice.

February 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/marcuduo

"4pm in the afternoon" is unnatural. It should be "4 in the afternoon"

November 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/JustusRobi3

I agree, "4 pm in the afternoon" is redundant. It should be "4 pm" or "4 in the afternoon".

October 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/celinetheasian

If you say 4 pm it's implied it's in the afternoon

November 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Simon299426

4 PM isn't just implied it's in the afternoon, it's the ONLY option. There is no time when 4 PM isn't in the afternoon.

March 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/jpolin

"very" should also be able to be "really". "We only ate lunch at" can also be "we didn't eat lunch until"

December 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/hippietrail

"We're so busy we didn't eat lunch until 4 pm" should be accepted.

December 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/CraigSkeel

"We are so busy we had lunch at 4 o'clock in the afternoon" is what I put. Same idea, trying to match what I thought Duo might like. This has too many ways of being said that are as good or better than the accepted answer. I think it should only be offered in multiple choice format.

February 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JustusRobi3

I am inclined to agree; "we are so busy..." should probably also be accepted.

December 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MaeMaeeMaeee

I agree. It is difficult to predict how they wish to have it translated. All teaching methods use different translated forms.

November 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ArtBurnap

I agree with you hippietrail. The use of 才 emphasizes how long it took until one (finally) got to do something. So 'we didn't (get to) eat until 4' should also be accepted.

January 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Celticfiddleguy

It is now, 21.1.18

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rob869844

"... lunch at 4 o'clock in the... " Is corrected into "... Lunchat 4o'clock in the..." telling that I typed an unnecessary space.

Is that true? Does o'clock same as PM not require a space ahead?

November 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/roman2095

There should always be a space before "o'clock".

March 1, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/richard711603

Dictionary's show a space between the number and the word. I have not read any books, magazines or newspapers without the space. I am in the U.S.

November 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/sovanyio

The first clause should accept adding "very" and omitting it

December 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ThomasDay3

4pm in the afternoon as opposed to 4pm when? In the morning?!

December 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Nivkotzer

What implies past tense here?

December 15, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/hippietrail

I think context. It'd be weird to say "We won't eat lunch until 4". But maybe 才 also implies past?

December 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Comitatensis

It looks like it, I would love a confirmation though

May 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/cinimidrak

The "only" has no place in this sentence

December 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Celticfiddleguy

No, "only" (or till / until) needs to be there to show that it's later than usual. It's much more common to say "we didn't eat lunch (un)till..." than "we only ate lunch at..." but 才 is an important part of the information in this sentence and needs to be translated. I think for simplicity Duo has gone with "only" because it also covers the other shades of 才.

January 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ChongWenHo

才 indicates 'only' 她才会 - she will only 她会 - she will

January 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Funkybarca

'Did not' is the same as 'didn't' usually

January 16, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/GabrielleR380587

Where in the original sentence does it imply past tense? There is no completion marker after 吃.

February 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/GabrielleR380587

Also, "very" shouldn't be required in the translation as it is not required in other translations with 很 preceding a single-character adjective.

February 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KynaPatter

"We are very busy and did not eat lunch until 4 in the afternoon" was not accepted because I didn't use the contracted form of "did not"

May 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/stephen_zissou

report it

May 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Charlimagnus

"We are busy, it's 4 p.m. and we're just eating lunch" should be accepted, nothing in the sentences indicates past tense.

August 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/thomasherr422223

Instead of we only ate, should we just ate or we finally ate work? Thanks.

December 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/hippietrail

Only and finally work but not "just". That implies you ate only moments ago, in which case you wouldn't be saying what time it was because it would still be pretty much the same time.

December 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/hallojanelle

Why did it use 'ate' instead of 'eat'? There was no 了 at the sentence

February 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/richard711603

The content of the sentence implies they are talking about a past situation. Even though no了 was present, there was not any indication of future action or on going action.

we only eat lunch at 4 in the afternoon - a statement about a time when you eat lunch

we only ate lunch at 4 in the afternoon - a statement about something that already occurred

I would not phrase it in that manner, as you can see from the comments there are many ways to say it. Hope that helps.

December 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/woa7dSD5

I don't see the context placing it in the past. Can you explain that more?

December 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/richard711603

I think if 才 was not present, then it could be future tense.

才 has a lot of meanings. A native Chinese speaker could clarify this better, I will try. In this context there would be four options (maybe more)

1 - only
we -only- ate lunch at four in the afternoon (I personally don't like this one)

2 - only then, 3 - just now

4 - not until (if preceded by a clause of condition or reason)
So 'we are busy' would be the condition. You could say 'we did not eat lunch -until- 4 in the afternoon'.

I also believe the first part '我们很忙‘ could be translated as 'we were busy'.
I translate this as 'we were busy, we did not eat lunch until four in the afternoon'.

'we are busy' is valid in the proper context. You could be at work stating that 'work is busy', so you did not eat until then.

I hope that helps.

December 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/woa7dSD5

Thanks!

December 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/StephanusG1

Some of these exercises with 才 require 'not…until' and others 'only'. It's very frustrating trying to remember which is which--instead of learning the Chinese phrases I'm memorising which arbitrary English answers we need.

July 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rumactree

Translations of this sentence are currently only accepting “till” or “until”.

These other variations need to be accepted (not marked wrong):

‘til

til

August 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/LeiFeiRalf

"We are busy we didn't eat lunch until 4 in the afternoon" aaaargh. This must be the pickiest module in the entire course. I'm sorry i can't remember the exact wording evrty time i go round, but this is so frustrating.

November 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RobinThor

What is wrong about "we are busy we did not have lunch until 4 pm"?

December 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/richard711603

As an English speaker, I would say that is acceptable.
I think they wanted the word 'only' because they used 才. We can convey the same meaning without using 'only. Report it.

December 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/HoChunLoon

we were very busy... not we are very busy.

April 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/George792719

Exactly

April 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Yves558328

This compulsory "4pm in the afternoon" is utterly ridiculous !!!

December 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Elaine564

"We are very busy, we did not eat lunch until 4 in the afternoon" was marked incorrect. the only correction was changing "did not" to "didn't". I have reported it

January 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mecell

"We are very busy, we didn’t eat lunch until 4o'clock ." I used the wrong word because I spelled four instead instead of using 4?!?! Good grief!

January 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/aizixin

Model answer 4o'clock is incorrect: space needed after 4

January 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JustusRobi3

For "till" meaning until, the spelling <til> should definitely be accepted. Wiktionary lists both <til> and <till> as accepted spellings in this case; i prefer <til>, by analogy with <until>.

January 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/richard711603

Make sure you report those differences; i.e. 'did not' for 'don't'.
Depending on how you structured your answer, sometimes 'very' is required and sometimes it is not. So report those answers. I do not think many english speaker would phrase the answer in that manner, it sounds a little off (OK, unnatural).

March 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Simon299426

"We are very busy. We didn't eat lunch until 4 o'clock in the afternoon." was accepted but the correct version showed "We are very busy. We didn't eat lunch until 4o'clock in the afternoon." (missing space). There is no option to report this error as the sentence was accepted.

March 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Mihaela9542

I added 4 o"clock why was not accepted?

September 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rumactree

4 o’clock or 4 o”clock ? :)

September 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JustusRobi3

It is, among other issues, only accepting "We are very busy..." even tho' "We are busy..." should be a better translation; 很 hěn before an adjectiv usually means is/am/are more than "very". (In effect, hěn could be considered another word for "to be" [a 'copula'] in Chinese, along with 是 shì. Likewise, Spanish has two copulas, ser and estar.)

October 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Dejo

I wrote ''We only ate lunch at four". The word ''lunch'' is already a time indicator, so ''in the afternoon'' or ''PM'' is redundant.

November 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Malcolm192117

this sections is awful...

December 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JoanWallac

The lesson notes explain that 'we only ate lunch'.... is the Chinese way of saying 'we didn't have lunch until.....

January 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Ruis11

my answer was ok you bum bum had lunch vs ate lunch

you are literally out to lunch Duo

February 20, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/roman2095

Apparently "four in the afternoon" is correct but "four o'clock in the afternoon" is not.

March 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/George792719

I wrote "We only ate lunch at four in the afternoon, We are so busy." Got marked wrong though.

Why do they put commas in the actual question yet resort to full stops for the English answers?

Surely this is a bit misleading.

Also don't we say in English "We were busy. We only ate lunch at 4 in the afternoon". Otherwise the tenses are a bit weird.

April 10, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Louis282791

The "only" in the answer shouldn't be needed. Reported 2018-08-14

August 15, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/sowbug

It is needed because 才 carries a "no earlier than" or "no sooner than" or "only [time X], which was so late" sense. It's grammatically correct without the "only," but it's a different meaning.

February 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/JustusRobi3

I hav said this before: the spelling should be accepted. Both spellings, and (for until) are accepted English; i prefer by analogy with .

September 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/sowbug

The accepted English translation is grammatically incorrect. "only" should directly precede the concept it is modifying. The sentence isn't saying that nothing other than eating happened at 4; it's saying that eating happened no sooner than 4.

"We only ate lunch at four in the afternoon" means "We only ate lunch (and didn't prepare it, or sell it, or look at it, or anything else) at four in the afternoon."

The correct translation is "We are busy. We ate lunch only at four in the afternoon," or alternately "We are busy. We ate lunch at only four in the afternoon." Either of these correctly says that the eating was delayed until 4 because we were so busy.

February 16, 2019
Learn Chinese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.