1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Chinese
  4. >
  5. "我只是随便看看。"

"我只是随便看看。"

Translation:I am just looking.

November 25, 2017

66 Comments


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

Why cannot I say "I am only looking"?


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

That should absolutely be accepted too.


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

I submitted "I'm only looking." That's likewise rejected.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JonathanMa680474

"I am only looking" should be accepted.


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

'I'm just looking' is accepted, Jan. 2019


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

Do I need both 只 and 随便 here, or could I omit either of them as well?


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

Yeah, you could say 我只是看看 or 我随便看看, sometimes you'll also see/hear 而已 (ér yǐ), which means something like "that's all":
我只是随便看看而已
I'm just looking, that's all.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeremy114182

Why is 是 used here rather than 在? I though that 在 was always used to describe a continuous action like this, not 是.


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

是 is not used instead of 在 here, but belongs to 只: 只是 means "only" or "just" and is a synonyme of 只.


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

In Chinese you don't use an explicit continuous marker to say this. If you did it would sound a bit like "I'm in the process of looking" in English, grammatical but odd.

But beyond that I can't decode the whole sentence. It would be good to hear from a Chinese native speaker.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Panchete1

I thought 在 was the particle used for present continuous, too. Maybe we'll learn it in next levels, I hope.


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

It is a particle used for the present continuous.

There's nothing about languages that says there is only ever allowed to be one particle for one job. If "will" is the particle used for the future tense in English, then what's "shall"? And "going to" and "gonna"?

Chinese is no different. One word or particle can have one or more than one meaning or function. One grammatical function can be achieved by one or more than one word or particle.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Panchete1

That sounds well. But, what particles are used for present continuous in chinese? 在, 是, another one? Are those perfectly interchangeable? Or when do you use 在 and 是? Thanks.


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

在 and 着 are the two main particles for the continuous. Note also that it's not compulsory to indicate the continuous at all in Chinese and it might only be used for emphasis. This article might interest you: https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/Expressing_actions_in_progress_(full_form)

是 means "is", "are", "be".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max447155

Big blue line on my left


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max447155

Bog blue line on my left


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

Native speaker here (long time expat though): I would use 在(doing) or more explicitly 正在. 在 also has the meaning of to be when referring to locations and location-related metaphors, while 是 in this use case would be unusual for me because it is more used to refer to being certain things. ie. I am a doctor 我是医生, I am superman: 我是超人. There might be regional differences idk about though


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

Why do you need 2 看's?


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

Because many Chinese words are made up of two characters, and some are even two of the same character. 看看 means something like "take a look", "having a look". I'm not sure if it would still mean the same thing with only one 看 but maybe a native speaker could help?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Panchete1

My chinese teacher told us that repeating a verb is like it will take a short time: 看看 would mean something like "take a look for a second!". Let me check if I find something out there. Ah, here it is: https://resources.allsetlearning.com/chinese/grammar/Reduplication_of_verbs


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

Repeating a verb is like saying you're doing a little bit of something casual. In other words, it's a way of saying you're casually doing something.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PhilipWill786005

We may have borrowed this phrase into English--to have a "look-see."


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

Native speaker: You don't really, it just defines the tone. 1 is a bit more curt.


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

I put "I'm just browsing", which is a common way of saying this in the UK/Australia/NZ, but marked wrong


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Asche42

Common in America as well.


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

Why do I need the 是 here?


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

You could also leave it out. 只是 and 只 both mean "only" or "just".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marin470782

'I am only just looking' is awful English!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marin470782

"i am only just looking" is very weird English


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anas276

Is "是" necessary?


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

No, 只是 and 只 can both mean "only".


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

Reported 'I am just taking a look' 1/12/17 ('Having a look' already accepted)


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

Having a look not accepted 10/01/2018


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

'I am only just looking.' I have never heard but I would interpret it to mean I have only just started looking


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

Something like that. Otherwise it is redundant, like "I am only only looking". I actually think the second meaning is what's intended here, which is not good English. "I am only looking" or "I am just looking" are either one more correct to say in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew-Lin

我只是隨便看看。
Note the difference between simplified 随 and traditional 隨.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IndahMaria5

What is this? I am ONLY JUST looking? It sound weird..


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marin470782

"I'll just take a look' is something an English speaker might actually say, unlike the 'correct' answer


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BalajiRama1

Does the presence of shi in this sentence indicate that somehow ”sui bian kan kan” is like a noun of some sort? I am ”somebody who is just looking” ?


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

No, it's just part of the word 只是.

Think about 还是 in, say, 你要看书还是去电影院? "Do you want to read, or go to the movie theater?" 是 is just part of the word, it doesn't mean 去 is a noun now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/e1VpVxkl

“ I’m just looking around”. = Accepted: Nov. 24, 2019.


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

Can this only be interpreted as present (continuous)? I tried "I just took a look" and was marked wrong but told "I'm just taking a look" would be correct.


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

I think you need "了" to signify past tense (i.e., "took").


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

Chinese doesn't have past tense and as such 了 is never mandatory and has multiple uses. English "just" also has multiple uses including immediate past and "merely, only".

But since my earlier comment it now strikes me that the "merely, only" sense is clearly intended. But my Chinese isn't good enough so I'd still like to hear from a native speaker (-:


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Leo-Medeiros

How do I know it's a continuous action?


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

It's idiomatic in English. You can't say "I just look".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yohans42

why can't i say "i am only just looking"? the word only is included in the sentence.


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

Because that would be redundant as "only" and "just" mean the same thing in English. For the same reason you can't say "I am only just merely looking", etc.


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

It's not even that, though redundant language would be bad, "only just" has a different meaning to only or just by themselves. "Only just" means barely or for only a short time as in 刚. E.g. "I only just caught the bus, a second later and I would have missed it." or "I only just started learning Chinese, so I can't read this yet."

I think the main translation for this sentence is wrong therefore because it sounds more like "I only just (started) looking" not "I am just browsing the shop" which is the true meaning.

Use only OR just, but not both.


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

That is the main answer


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

I don't completely understand the meaning of this sentence. Is it "I'm only just looking" in the sense of: I'm only looking - I don't have intentions of buying anything. Or is it more like: I've only just started looking - I haven't had enough time to decide yet?


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

Why not "i am just looking as i please"?


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

Why do we have to use 看 twice?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WmXx13

Why is there two 看?


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

看看 means 'to take a quick look', while 看 just means 'to look'. (Both verbs also have other meanings.) Repeating the verb (called 'verb reduplication') means that the action is short or informal.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PhilipWill786005

There's a similar expression in English, "I just want to take a little look-see." (That expression might even have come to us by way of China.)


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

the required response is nonsense ...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Riven333

2019-01-31:"I am only just taking a look" marked wrong. English idiom for browsing something is to "take a look."


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

Why is it not accepted:"I just have a look."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/George792719

"I am only just having a look" is a common English phrase.

In English you need to put the "am" which is the 是 in the Chinese sentence . But you are correct, you have understood, it just won't take it.

The Chinese 我只是随便看看 literally means:

"I only am pleasing myself looking", or "I only am -as I wish - looking".

In many ways I wish Duolingo would use direct translations like this instead of trying to make them perfect from an English point of view. The benefit would be that you would remember the Chinese word order. I think that would be far more useful even if it sounds funny in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dave168907

Because that is not a proper expression in English. However, we are not here to learn English.

Learn Chinese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.