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"Their older brother is short."

Translation:他们的哥哥很矮。

November 26, 2017

68 Comments


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

The audio for "很矮" should be recorded again. It is not easy to understand.


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

It sounds awfully synthetic


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/_clay53

Sounds like they were punched while saying it


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

True, it's too fast.


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

The female voice is a lot clearer. They have started adding it in.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KrunalPare1

他们的哥哥矮 should have been accepted. There is no very or short in the sentence.


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

他们的哥哥矮 doesn't sound native. I think 很 here is necessary. 很 doesn't always mean 'very', it is often just a copula connecting the subject and the predicative adjective.


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

恨 is sometimes used as a connecting word instead of "very".


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

It appears that 很is used more than sometimes. It seems to be used almost all the time when connecting a noun to an adjective.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Phill858962

As I understand you always need something to conmect an adjective to a preceding noun and 很 is sort of the default if you don't need anything more specific.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GaMic2018

Speaking as a native Chinese speaker, 很 always means "very" to me. Sometimes the verb is implied in Chinese (for example: 她个子高 and 她长得高 both mean "She's tall" though the first sentence contains no verb and is likely more frequently used), so 很 is not needed even if there's no apparent verb in the sentence. This works with most descriptors that come to mind right now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CinnamonTe1

Where are you from?

I've seen discussions where some Chinese speaking regions have different ways of saying things compared to other places. Is the 很 not used in all Chinese speaking countries or areas?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Toby526381

In hong kong cantonese speaking region the default is 好 instead of 很


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnHarper726576

Hen is often used as just "is" rather than "very".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FTnI15

很 is necessary, it's a place holder rather than it means very.


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

很矮 should be recorded again. It is difficult to understand.


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

It sounds like the "ai" part of the file is slightly corrupted.


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

When is 的 essential? I know that in many cases you can just drop it, but dropping it for this sentence got me a wrong answer...?


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

Normally possession is expressed using the particle 的 (de). However, you can omit 的 (de) in these cases:

  • A close personal relationship is involved (family, close friends, boyfriends or girlfriends)

  • An institutional or organizational relationship is involved (school, work)


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

Brother isn't close enough?


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

Brother is certainly close enough, but Duolingo has yet to implement this aspect of 的 into their lessons. So just always use 的 on duolingo but make a mental note whenever you see it used for close relations. Just repeat these sentences to yourself without the 的 (de) and you should internalize this rule pretty quickly


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

It is close enough. I have done it without 'de' and Duo said it was correct. Hope this helps!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GaMic2018

No language absolutely sticks to the written rules. In this case, it just sounds better to have the 的 after 他们. This is where having conversations with native speakers or watching Chinese TV/films would help.


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

My understanding is that you need it anytime you're talking about something possessive. Ex. My (我的) instead of I (我)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GaMic2018

You don't need it all the time. In this case, it sounds better to have the 的. If you were just saying "My older brother is short," then you can get away with "他哥哥(长得/的个子)矮"


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

Hang on, there are two words for short? 短 and 矮

I had no idea. I learned to use 短 when I learned mandarin years ago and never learned 矮 at all. Good thing 矮 doesn’t come up too much in business!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnHarper726576

Ai is mainly used for height, and duan for distances I think.


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

Is omitting "很" wrong? I think it is true.


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

It is wrong. 很 is not "very" but a connection between the noum and the adjective. Imagine this very as "somehow"... because you only say someone is 漂亮(piaoliang) if that is somehow beautiful.

It is omitted in some cases, for example when you use 更(geng), 非常(feichang), 最(zui), 太的(tai+de), etc.

The negative exchange the 很 for 不 . 你很漂亮。你不漂亮。


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GaMic2018

Speaking as a native Chinese speaker, 很 always means "very" to me. Sometimes the verb is implied in Chinese (for example: 她个子高 and 她长得高 both mean "She's tall" though the first sentence contains no verb and is likely more frequently used), so 很 is not needed even if there's no apparent verb in the sentence. This works with most descriptors that come to mind right now. Just think of the quintessential question "你好吗?" There's no verb in there. 你 is a pronoun, 好 is an adjective and 吗 just makes it a question. Same goes for "你好不好?" No discernible verb there either. And where's the verb in the question "你舒服吗?" ("Are you comfortable?")? Not there. Now, if you add 很 to any of those, you'd be asking a very different question.


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

I put '他们哥哥很矮', was this wrong? I thought since brother was close, that I could omit the '的' particle. They marked it as wrong, so I'd like to know.


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

You are right! Duolingo still needs to update this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GaMic2018

It sounds better to have the 的. You can get away with leaving off the 的 if you change the sentence to "他们哥哥的个子矮," because having two 的 there (as in "他们的哥哥的个子矮") would sound awkward.
As I've written over and over, please leave off the 很 unless you want to express the word "very," because verbs can be implied in Chinese sentences.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PrakashJos18

My answer is correct and accepted.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LaoJG1

in my experience as a native English speaker, we use 'small' as often as 'short' for a person's height.


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

I dont understand that last part of the sentence


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

I crack up everytime I hear that


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdrianAnde841535

Why cant you say "他们的哥哥是矮"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DanDodds1

This is one of many places where it sounds like two sylables were recorded separately and then combined for playback with the second starting before the first is finished.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GaMic2018

很 is not necessary here unless he's VERY short.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Phill858962

Sorry but that is not correct. Chinese requires something to link the noun to the adjective and the default if there is nothing else is 很. In this context it's more like "is" rather than "very"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GaMic2018

Yeah, I keep seeing that given as the explanation here. But speaking as a native Chinese speaker, 很 always means "very" to me. Sometimes the verb is implied in Chinese (for example: 我病了 and 我有病 both mean I'm sick even though the first sentence doesn't contain a verb), so 很 is not needed even if there's no apparent verb in the sentence. This works with most descriptors that come to mind right now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Phill858962

Interesting. Is it possible that the formal language in the education standards has fallen out of step with real world usage? Or just that large parts of second language learning community has gotten confused?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GaMic2018

You'll have to research more on that one. Perhaps it's time to visit a Chinese professor in person rather than relying on a website creator's bio.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShuangZhou1

"hen ai" is very short, short is "ai" I think usually when I speak chinese it is just "ta de ge ge ai" unless he is very short, idk if im wrong tho


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Barry331764

他们的哥哥很矮。This is wrong. very 很 is not in the English sentence.


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

There is no "very" in the sentence so it shouldn't use the "hen"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/abeauty5950

It's just one of the quirks of Chinese. Personally, I just avoid saying the sentence that way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenjaminNg17

The Chinese pronunciation for short sounds strange


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

I hope Chinese people don't speak as fast as that, then I wouldn't understand them...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NatureSheriff_7

When learning a new language, your perception of the speed at which native speakers speak will, generally speaking, probably be faster than their actual speaking speed. I don't want to make any assumptions, but if Chinese is completely different from any of the languages you currently know, then my first statement is especially true (again, generally speaking). My advice is, after you feel comfortable with the vocab/grammar you've learned, perhaps start with watching Chinese movies with subtitles in your native language to test your understanding. Then, once you're comfortable with that, try finding stuff to listen to, such as podcasts, or something like that. All it takes is more practice! Good luck and I wish you all the best!


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

Yes, that would be the case. Thanks for the advice and the explanation!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NatureSheriff_7

No problem! Chinese is my native language, so the speed of the audio isn't an issue for me, but I completely understand how it could be an issue for anyone who's not used to hearing it. I'm glad I could help!


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

I'm pretty sure it doesn't even have the charters that is needed


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

I'm chinese and 很 means very


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

很 is able to be used to connect nouns to adjectives without it meaning "very".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GaMic2018

Yeah, I keep seeing that given as the explanation here. But speaking as a native Chinese speaker, 很 always means "very" to me. Sometimes the verb is implied in Chinese (for example: 我病了 and 我有病 both mean I'm sick even though the first sentence doesn't contain a verb), so 很 is not needed even if there's no apparent verb in the sentence. This works with most descriptors that come to mind right now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/abeauty5950

That's what I believed as well. I personally just avoid that type of sentence structure.


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

Duolingo needs to fix their chinese because, its wrong

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