Translation:We are so busy that we were only able to eat lunch at four in the afternoon.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
"very" should also be able to be "really". "We only ate lunch at" can also be "we didn't eat lunch until"
"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.
I agree. It is difficult to predict how they wish to have it translated. All teaching methods use different translated forms.
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.
"... 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?
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.
I think context. It'd be weird to say "We won't eat lunch until 4". But maybe 才 also implies past?
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.
Where in the original sentence does it imply past tense? There is no completion marker after 吃.
Also, "very" shouldn't be required in the translation as it is not required in other translations with 很 preceding a single-character adjective.
"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"
"We are busy, it's 4 p.m. and we're just eating lunch" should be accepted, nothing in the sentences indicates past tense.
Instead of we only ate, should we just ate or we finally ate work? Thanks.
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.
Why did it use 'ate' instead of 'eat'? There was no 了 at the sentence
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.
I don't see the context placing it in the past. Can you explain that more?
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.
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.
Translations of this sentence are currently only accepting “till” or “until”.
These other variations need to be accepted (not marked wrong):
"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.
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.
"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
"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!
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).
"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.
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.)
I wrote ''We only ate lunch at four". The word ''lunch'' is already a time indicator, so ''in the afternoon'' or ''PM'' is redundant.
The lesson notes explain that 'we only ate lunch'.... is the Chinese way of saying 'we didn't have lunch until.....
my answer was ok you bum bum had lunch vs ate lunch
you are literally out to lunch Duo
Apparently "four in the afternoon" is correct but "four o'clock in the afternoon" is not.
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.
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.
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.