Translation:Where were you yesterday afternoon?
So I guess if you leave the 昨天，你下午在那儿？ would mean "Where are you this afternoon?". How do you add a past tense to that? I want to say "Where were you this afternoon?"
P.S. I'm following all the discussions I commented in but I get no notifications about replies or new entries. Seems like I don't get notified by Duolingo. Any one else having problems with that? I'll add this discussion to my bookmarks to see if it's really a Duolingo problem or if no one answered me on all those discussion pages (which I think is highly unlikely but let's see).
In Chinese "to be" verbs remain the same regardless of the time frame. 在 is a verb that includes "to be"in its meaning along with "at." So I literally say with 在, "Today I am at; tomorrow I am at; and yesterday I am at." Context matters here. 你今天下午在哪儿？(Where were you this afternoon? & Where will you be this afternoon?)
If it is still this afternoon and you want to ask where someone just was, you could say 『你剛才在哪裡？』 or 『你剛才在哪兒？』 where 剛才 means "just now."
Of course, if you are talking to someone in person, and it is still afternoon then it is obvious from the context where the person is right now (the same place you are) so saying 『你下午在哪兒？』is implicitly asking about where they have been.
I am not a native English speaker, but as far as I remember, if you speak about a period of time in the past when something happened (like in the afternoon) you should use "...have been...". Maybe someone with "reliable" English skills can comment on that. Besides that in my understanding regarding testing Chinese language skills it should not be relevant if the correct English translation is "...were..." or "... have been".
I put "where were you yesterday afternoon" it disqualified my point by saying that it's incorrect because I put "were" instead of "was"... that is an absolute tragedy considering the sentence was past tense and I am more than accurate with what I'm stating. Absolute rip off, Duolingo - I am extremely disappointed in your conduct!!! The English translations on Duolingo are more time considered as incorrect or even backward...!!! Not amused!!!
That's why I like the app "Hello Chinese" most. Even those like me who doesnt have a good English can learn Chinese properly. Here it seems that we are learning English, not Chinese. All the topics people are talking how the best way to write something in English. For us who doesnt have English as our first language it is too much energy we need to spend. Every time, I must repeat things that I have already understood in Chinese because forgot the preposition, tipped something wrong and so on. Unfortunately, they dont offer Chinese for my language. Its hard enough to learn Chinese they should have an option to simplify the English as they do with the Chinese (using block instead typing).